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Encyclopedia > Ten Essentials

The Ten Essentials comprise the basic equipment that many consider essential in the backcountry. These items are recommended as the very minimum materials necessary to increase the likelihood of survival when in the field. The Ten Essentials are normally carried in a small, separate waterproof container or pack so that they can always be carried on person, and are thus less likely to be lost. In the event that a hiker loses the bulk of his equipment, these ten essentials ensure that the individual will have the fundamental materials needed to have or improvise the human needs for food, shelter, and fire, and in some instances, the ability to navigate out of dangerous circumstances. Although they are referred to as the "Ten Essentials," the list is generally supplemented by a several additions, such as a plastic tarp, duct tape, sewing kit, etc.

The Ten Essentials were first described in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a hiking and mountain climbing club. Many hikers, backpackers, and climbers rigorously ensure they have the ten essentials with them.[1] Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Two hikers in the Mount Hood National Forest Eagle Creek hiking Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. ... Backpacking is traveling long distances with a backpack. ... Rock climbers on Valkyrie at The Roaches in Staffordshire, England. ...

According to the standard textbook Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills,[2] the ten essentials are: 7th edition cover Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills is often considered the standard textbook for mountaineering and climbing. ...

  1. Map
  2. Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
  3. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
  4. Extra Food and Water
  5. Extra Clothes
  6. Headlamp/Flashlight
  7. First aid kit
  8. Fire Starter
  9. Matches
  10. Knife

The textbook recommends supplementing the ten essentials with: For the acronyms, see MAP and MAPS. A map is a symbolized depiction of a space which highlights relations between components (objects, regions, themes) of that space. ... A compass (or mariners compass) is a navigational instrument for finding directions on the Earth. ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ... Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses (RB2132 901L) Sunglasses are a visual aid, variously termed spectacles or glasses, which feature lenses that are coloured or darkened to prevent strong light from reaching the eyes. ... Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, suntan lotion) is a lotion, spray or other topical product that helps protect the skin from the suns ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, with the goal lowering your risk of skin cancer. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... (See also List of types of clothing) Introduction Humans often wear articles of clothing (also known as dress, garments or attire) on the body (for the alternative, see nudity). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the Soviet military jet with the NATO designation Flashlight, see Yakovlev Yak-25. ... First aid kit of the French Army A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, particularly in a medical emergency. ... A forest fire Fire is a rapid oxidation process that releases energy in varying intensities in form of light (with wavelength not also in the visual part of the spectrum) and heat and often creates smoke. ... Household safety matches burning match A match is a simple and convenient means of producing fire under controlled circumstances and on demand. ... A knife is a sharp-edged (single or double edged) instrument consisting of a thin blade used for cutting and fitted with a handle. ...

  • Water treatment device (water filter or chemicals) and water bottles
  • Ice axe for glacier or snowfield travel (if necessary)
  • Repair kit, including duct tape and a basic sewing materials.
  • Insect repellent (or clothing designed for this purpose)
  • Signaling devices, such as a whistle, cell phone, two-way radio, unbreakable signal mirror or flare.
  • Plastic tarp and rope for field expedient shelter.

Not every expedition will require the use of an essential item. However, carrying these basics makes sure that one is prepared for unexpected emergencies in the outdoors. For instance, if a hiker experiences a sudden snow storm, it is imperative that he have fresh clothes and fire starter to keep himself warm; otherwise it is likely that he will suffer hypothermia, and perhaps death. In most circumstances, the Ten Essentials will transform a potentially life threatening experience into a mere discomfort. A filter is a device which removes impurities from water by means of a fine physical barrier. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iodine, I, 53 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 5, p Appearance violet-dark gray, lustrous Standard atomic weight 126. ... Ice axe 1 â€“ pick 2 â€“ head 3 â€“ adze 4 â€“ leash 5 â€“ leash stop 6 â€“ shaft with rubber grip 7 â€“ spike An ice axe is a multi-purpose mountaineering tool carried by practically every mountaineer. ... This mosquito has ironically landed on a bottle of herbal mosquito repellent. ... A whistle is a one-note woodwind instrument which produces sound from a stream of forced air. ... Motorola T2288 mobile phone A mobile phone is a portable electronic device which behaves as a normal telephone whilst being able to move over a wide area (compare cordless phone which acts as a telephone only within a limited range). ... Look up Flare in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...



  • A map and compass prevents one from getting lost in the field. Losing one's bearing in unfamiliar terrain raises the risk of anxiety and panic, and hence, physical injury. Maps that cover the relevant area in sufficient detail and dimension (topography, trails, roads, campsites, towns, etc.) and the skill and knowledge to use them are indispensable when traveling through the outdoors, especially when the place of travel lacks signage, markings or guides. Even a basic compass can help an individual find his way to safety.
  • A flashlight protects against physical injury when traveling in the dark. A flashlight is also useful for finding things in the pack, observing wildlife in dark crevices and folds, and for distant signaling. Extra batteries and bulbs are highly recommended.
  • Extra food and water can prevent or cure hypothermia and dehydration, common illness that can be serious risks in the backcountry where immediate medical response is not possible. These items also minimize the likelihood of panic. It is not recommended that one eat food when there is no water, as the body requires water to metabolize food.
  • Extra clothes protect against hypothermia. Multiple layers of clothes are generally warmer than a single thick garment. By having the ability to simply take off a layer of clothes, one can avoid overheating, which can cause sweat and dampen clothing. Moreover, a change into dry clothes is the fastest way to become warm. Extra clothing is also useful for protection from the elements, including thorns, insects, sun, wind, and often cold. If necessary, they can be cut into bandages, used as a tree climbing aid, made into hotpads, pillows, towels, or makeshift ropes. For overnight trekking, one should keep one set of clothes dry for wear in the evening. One can wear the "day" clothes during the next day's hike when they are drier.
  • Sunglasses help prevent snowblindness. Sunlight, especially when reflected in snow, can seriously limit visibility, and jeopardize one's ability to travel safely.
  • A first aid kit usually contains items to treat cuts, abrasions (blisters), punctures and burns. Additional items might address broken fingers, limbs, cardiac conditions, hypothermia, frostbite, hyperthermia, hypoxia, decompression sickness, insect and snake bites, allergic reactions, burns and other wounds. If applicable, include any personal medications.
  • A knife is useful for opening packages, building shelter, shaving wood for tinder, eating, field surgery (after sterilization), cutting rope and clothing, etc. A larger knife (machete) might be essential when one needs or desires to go off trail into thicker growth. A heavier ax or knife is more effective when one has larger needs for construction or for collecting firewood.
  • Matches (or a lighter) and fire starter (tinder and kindling) to light a campfire is useful for preventing hypothermia and to signal for aid. In an emergency, a fire increases one's psychological will to survive.
  • A water treatment device (filter or chemical treatment) make water potable. All water, including that from streams, lakes, or pools, needs to be treated for bacteria and viruses in order to ensure safety. Most backcountry travelers carry a water filter: low end models are inexpensive and provide protection against many pathogens, but not viruses. Some more expensive filters and improved chemical treatments get rid of most health risks, including giardia and other protozoa and viruses. Treating the water reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal diseases. Since some chemical treatments such as iodine or chlorine may leave a bad taste, many suggest mixing in a flavor to hide the taste. These include powdered lemonade or fruit drinks, or other Tang, Gatorade, or Crystal Light.
  • A whistle is a compact, lightweight, and inexpensive way to signal for help. Although a person cannot shout for a long period, he can whistle for extended amounts of time. Moreover, the sharp sound of a whistle travels over longer distances than the human voice, and provides a much more distinct sound. Although environmental factors such as wind, snow, and heavy rain may drown out a voice, the sound of a whistle is clearly distinguishable in the field.

This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Panic is the primal urge to run and hide in the face of imminent danger. ... Symbols representing a single Cell (top) and Battery (bottom), used in circuit diagrams. ... Hypothermia refers to any condition in which the temperature of a body drops below the level required for normal metabolism and/or bodily function to take place. ... Dehydration (hypohydration) is the removal of water (hydro in ancient Greek) from an object. ... Panic is the primal urge to run and hide in the face of imminent danger. ... Snowblind redirects here. ... Heart Condition is a 2006 rock song from the rock musical, The Boy Who Heard Music. ... Hypothermia refers to any condition in which the temperature of a body drops below the level required for normal metabolism and/or bodily function to take place. ... Frostbite (congelatio in medical terminology) is the medical condition whereby damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Hypoxia is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalised hypoxia) or region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. ... Decompression sickness (DCS), the diver’s disease, the bends, or caisson disease is the name given to a variety of symptoms suffered by a person exposed to a reduction in the pressure surrounding their body. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... From Old English tynder, easily combustible material used for starting a fire. ... Kindling is material for starting a fire. ... Hypothermia refers to any condition in which the temperature of a body drops below the level required for normal metabolism and/or bodily function to take place. ... Binomial name Giardia lamblia (Kunstler, 1882) Giardia lamblia (formerly also Lamblia intestinalis) is a protozoan parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract of humans. ... Tang could refer to: Tang Dynasty of China Tang (Shang dynasty ruler) A transliteration of Chinese family names such as 唐,湯,鄧,邓,滕 Tang Clan of Hong Kong, the first inhabitants to leave China and settle in Hong Kong. ... Gatorade is a non-carbonated sports drink marketed by the Quaker Oats Company, a division of PepsiCo. ... Crystal Light is the name of a sugar-free, energy-free beverage (originally just a beverage powder, which could be soluble in water). ...

Other "ten essentials"

Other outdoor organizations have variations of the Ten Essentials pertinent to local conditions. For example, Utah's Wasatch Club lists extra water in place of food, as Utah is mostly desert terrain, and water is more difficult to find. This article is about the U.S. state. ...

The Spokane Mountaineers list "thirteen essentials," which supplement the list with emergency shelter such as a space blanket, signaling device, and toilet paper and trowel (for sanitary disposal of human waste. The toilet paper also doubles as tinder for starting a fire).[3] A space blanket is a blanket designed to be used in emergency situations to reduce heat loss from a persons body. ... A gardening trowel Trowel used by the Hon. ... Horse feces Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences) is a waste product from an animals digestive tract expelled through the anus (or cloaca) during defecation. ... From Old English tynder, easily combustible material used for starting a fire. ...

The "Ten Essential Groups"- an alternative approach to essential gear selection. Items from each group should be chosen depending on the season, geographic location, and trip duration.[4]


  1. ^ Ten Essentials. Great Outdoor Recreation Pages.
  2. ^ Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 6th edition, Mountaineers, pages 35-40, (1997), ISBN 0-89886-427-5
  3. ^ The 13 Essentials of the Spokane Mountaineers. Spokane Mountaineers. Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
  4. ^ Ten Essential Groups Article. Texas Sierra Club.

7th edition cover Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills is often considered the standard textbook for mountaineering and climbing. ... Mountaineering is an umbrella term that can variously be used to describe the actions of climbing, hillwalking and scrambling. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

See also

Hiking equipment To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...

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