The 10 Essentials Revisited: A new way of looking at a classic list



The 10 essentials are more than just a list. They are the basics of survival. Carry them and you will always be equipped for the unexpected. 


First developed in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based nonprofit, the original 10 Essentials consisted of a list of specific items—knife, map, compass, matches, etc. Today, several different lists and approaches are in use. 


In the Northeast, one of the most commonly recommended comes from hikeSafe, a safety and education program developed and endorsed by the White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire Fish and Game. It includes: 1) map 2) compass 3) warm clothing 4) extra food and water 5) flashlight or headlamp 6) matches/firestarters 7) first-aid kit/repair kit 8) whistle 9) rain/wind jacket and pants and 10) pocket knife. 


An alternative approach—and one that I personally use— features a broader and less prescriptive set of categories, each one of which can be met in slightly different ways with different gear



This column originally appeared in the July/August edition of AMC Outdoors. You can read the full story here.

Photo by Ryan Smith.

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