What are The Ten Essentials?

The Ten Essentials are items The Mountaineers recommends everyone carry on all trips. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place that can be wild and unpredictable. Being prepared for anything is essential. This is as important on short, local trips as it is on long, backcountry trips. It is easy to forget first aid kits and warm layers short trips, but a short trip can quickly turn to a long trip if you get lost or injured.

The Ten Essentials started as a list of ten simple items and is now a systems approached that guides you in preparing for any trip in any season. The two basic questions are: (1) Can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? (2) Can you safely spend a night or more out? Here is a list of The Ten Essential systems:

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun Protection (sun glasses, sun screen, lip balm)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (flashlight or headlamp, spare bulb & batteries)
  5. First-Aid Supplies (gauze, tape, etc.)
  6. Fire (firestarter, matches, lighter)
  7. Repair Kit (knife, duct tape, tools, spare parts)
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water, water purification)
  10. Emergency Shelter (tarp, garbage bag)

Bring the Ten Essentials on every trip!. If you have questions about The Ten Essentials, contact the leader before your trip. For more detailed information download our Hiking Basic Brochure and see Chapter 2 of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills available from The Mountaineers Books and the bookstore.