The 10 Essentials are the elements necessary to survive in an emergency situation in the wilderness. I recommend carrying them even on short hikes. It’s amazing how quickly – even in relatively urbanized hiking areas – you can be off the grid and totally on your own.

According to the classic text book Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, the ten essentials are:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra food
  5. Extra water
  6. Extra clothes
  7. Flashlight
  8. First aid kit
  9. Fire starter
  10. Knife

There are a number of updated 10 Essentials lists. Here’s the GearGuide version that works for us:

  1. Navigation (map, compass, GPS device)
  2. Communication (mobile phone, walkie talkie, emergency beacon)
  3. Protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent)
  4. Insulation (clothing, space blanket or other emergency shelter)
  5. Illumination (headlamp, flashlight)
  6. Nutrition (food)
  7. Hydration (water)
  8. Cumbustion (matches, lighter, flint/steel, magnesium bar)
  9. First-aid (bandages, antiseptic, hand sanitizer)
  10. Tools (knife or multitool, paracord, duct tape)

What’s on your 10 Essentials list? Let us know by leaving a comment below.