Ten Essentials

10 Essentials Trail CardTo Carry With You On a Hike (Classic List)

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Flashlight (with spare batteries & bulb)
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra clothing
  • Pocket knife
  • Fire starter
  • Matches (in waterproof container)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • First aid kit

To Keep in the Car

  • Water, pack, boots
  • Spare motor oil and tools
  • Spare clothes and personal items
  • Extra car keys outside car
  • Jumper cables
  • Car jack
  • Tow cable and shovel
  • Maps
  • Alarm clock
  • Blanket or tarp to cover visible items

Aside from the Classic List above, the graphic shows the newer Systems approch to the 10 Essentials.

Based on The Mountaineers' 1930's climbing classes, the concept for the Ten Essentials was first formalized in the third edition of Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 1974 by Mountaineers Books. The list has evolved from a Classic approach (the simple list above) to a systems approach (see the Wilderness Travel Course trail card on this page). The basic premise is that there are certain items that you cannot make in the wilderness or in our local mountains. These items are necessary - essential - to be able to respond to an emergency and/or to safely get you through an unexpected night outside.  Chapter outings leaders strongly advocate that participants carry their own - in case they become separated and for their own protection and safety.

About Item 1: Navigation.Possibly the most challenging item on the list. But having a basic knowledge of the principle we call staying found will go a long way towards keeping you safe and on track. Having a map and compass is handy when your phone battery dies and you still need to get back to the trailhead. Even a basic map can keep a trail hiker from going too far astray. Knowing where North is; knowing where you started from, what the land looks like, being prepared and aware - these factors will help get you back home. The Leadership Training Committee sponsors practice and checkoff sessions throughout the year - mainly for leaders but also for participants who want to learn from our experienced examiiners. 

[Source: Angeles Chapter Leadership Training Committee (LTC): LEADER'S REFERENCE BOOK and the Wilderness Travel Course trail card graphic]



Header photo: Off we go! Satwiwa Hike Winter 2017 © Jane Simpson, all rights reserved]

Ten Essentials