When I don’t have time for an overnight backpacking trip, I still like to hike nearby trails. If I’m hiking a trail shorter than five miles that I’ve already done before, I often only take my Salomon Hydro Handset, which holds my ID and my truck key. (I know that’s not the best practice way to do things, but I’m honest.) If I’m doing a longer trail, however, or a trail I’m not familiar with, I do take along the 10 essentials.
The REI Co-op blog has a great article on the 10 essentials that everyone should read, but I’ll do a brief recap here and then show you what I bring along.
Originally, there was a list of 10 items that hikers should carry with them in the woods. We call this the “Classic List.”
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing
- First-aid supplies
- Extra food
Now there’s a new list of 10 essential “systems” to carry along.
- Navigation (map and compass)
- Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
- First-aid supplies
- Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
- Repair kit and tools
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Emergency shelter
The featured picture for this blog article shows what I bring, but I’ll put it here as well:
- Navigation – Suunto Traverse watch has a compass; map provided by park (if any – sometimes I’ll snap a picture of the map at the trailhead on my phone); SPOT Gen3 GPS
- Sun protection – sunscreen and bug spray (usually travel size); sunglasses (currently cheap, but I am drooling over these Sunski shades and they’re on my wishlist) and Chums strap
- Insulation – Mountain Hardware rain jacket; Buff
- Illumination – Black Diamond Spot headlamp
- First-aid supplies – my own kit cobbled together after my NOLS Wilderness First Responder course; toilet paper and hand sanitizer
- Fire – lighter wrapped in duct tape
- Repair kit and tools – Swiss army classic knife; duct tape on lighter
- Nutrition – usually a Clif bar, because after the A.T. I have had my fill for life and I’ll only eat them in an emergency
- Hydration – Platypus Duolock Softbottle (1 liter); Sawyer Squeeze filter and bag
- Emergency shelter – space blanket (kept in my first aid kit)
I carry all of these in a Camelbak Helena Pack I’ve had forever. It’s 20 liters, so it’s overkill, but there’s a lot of gear on my wishlist and a smaller pack has to wait! I also carry a few plastic grocery bags to pick up trash along the trail, my cell phone, my truck key, and my ID.
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