New header image
Banner Photo by Roy Vermillion - Grand Ridge Hike

The Ten Essentials

The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers. In 2003, the group's updated "systems" approach made its debut in its seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books), now in its eighth edition.

Packing these items whenever you step into the backcountry, even on day hikes, is a good habit to acquire. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them. Yet you'll probably never fully appreciate the value of the Ten Essentials until you really need one of them.

We present both the Classic and Updated Ten Essentials here for your reference:
Classic Ten Essentials
  1. Map

  2. Compass

  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen

  4. Extra clothing

  5. Headlamp/flashlight

  6. First-aid supplies

  7. Firestarter

  8. Matches

  9. Knife

  10. Extra food  

Updated Ten Essential "Systems"
  1. Navigation (map and compass)

  2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)

  3. Insulation (extra clothing)

  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)

  5. First-aid supplies

  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)

  7. Repair kit and tools

  8. Nutrition (extra food)

  9. Hydration (extra water)

  10. Emergency shelter

For more detailed information on the Ten Essentials we suggest you checkout the links below:

REI (web)

The Mountaineers 

Trip Reports

05/02 - Touring the Clipper Round the World...
04/30 - Not Just a Day Outside
Website by Vieth Consulting