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The Ten Essentials: Your Guide to Safe Outdoor Adventures

Embarking on outdoor adventures can be exhilarating, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immersing us in the breathtaking beauty of nature. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a first-time adventurer, the key to a successful and safe journey lies in being prepared. Imagine finding yourself deep in the wilderness, surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes, and the only sounds you hear are those of nature itself. In such moments, the last thing you want is to worry about your safety or lack the essential tools to overcome unexpected challenges.

This is where “The Ten Essentials” come into play. Conceptualized by The Mountaineers, these ten indispensable items and practices form the backbone of every adventurer’s toolkit. From the rugged terrains of mountains to the serene trails of forests, the ten essentials serve as a compass guiding you through the wild and untamed beauty of the outdoors.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into each of the ten essentials, unveiling their significance and the role they play in ensuring your safety, comfort, and peace of mind during your outdoor escapades. Whether you’re planning a short day hike, an overnight camping trip, or an ambitious multi-day trek, understanding and embracing these essentials will pave the way for a remarkable journey you’ll cherish forever.

So, let’s lace up our boots, secure our backpacks, and journey through the essential gear and knowledge that will empower you to embrace the wonders of nature confidently. The great outdoors await – are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure? Let’s get started on this exciting expedition through “The Ten Essentials: Your Guide to Safe Outdoor Adventures.”

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase an item from the link I receive a small commission which helps me  continue to help others get in the outdoors safely. 

The Ten Essentials:

1. Navigation: This would be some kind of map, compass, GPS, or Personal Locator. Personally I have a Garmin inReach and my phone with the Onx Backcountry app. A Map or way to navigate is essential for safety in the outdoors. It is very easy to get lost when all you see are trees and rocks.


2. Illumination: This would be headlamp, flashlight, lantern. Personally I usually carry a headlamp and flashlight. Make sure they have fresh batteries or full charge. Even if you are not planning to be out after the sun goes down, you never know what will happen. You could get lost or have an emergency that delays your hike, or you could find a cool cave that you want to go explore. I am a huge fan of USB charging headlamps and flashlights as they are lighter.


3. Sun protection: This includes sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, protective clothing. Personally I do a hat (or visor), Sunglasses, sunscreen, and protective clothing. The sun is brutal and Skin Cancer is a huge deal!




4. First Aid: It is important to have a well stocked first aid kit. When you are out hiking it’s important to have more than just Band-Aids and Tylenol. Most outdoor retailers carry some great hiking first aid kits that are small! Based on the activity you are doing, it’s important to add activity specific items to your first aid kit. I also suggest taking a basic first aid class to know what to do in an emergency.

5. Repair kit/tools: You never know when a repair kit will be needed. I usually carry a knife.=, mini multitool, and duct take. I have used my knife and multitool so many times on day hikes. Recently I was on a hike and my trekking poles kept loosening. The multitool was needed to tighten the screws.


6. Fire: Matches, lighter, tinder. Hopefully you will never need fire on a short hike, but if you are stuck over night it might just save your life. Make sure they are in a baggie or something to keep them waterproof and that you know how to use whatever you bring on trail.


7. Shelter: Tent, tarp, anything to shield you from the elements. On day hikes I bring an emergency bivy. Once again make sure you know how to use it, but hopefully you never need to use it!



8. Nutrition: Anytime you workout, nutrition is important. It’s important to bring food beyond what you plan to eat on the hike, incase you take longer than expected or to share with a friend. I usually just throw a few granola bars in my pack.


9. Hydration: This is such an important one. I have been on too many hikes where I see people in the heat with only a plastic water bottle. You should always carry more water than needed. Water filters are another great addition to your pack. There are small ones like the sawyer mini that make it easy to carry at all times. I also suggest bringing electrolytes for every hike and outdoor adventure. Nuun is my favorite!


10. Insulation: Make sure to check the weather and being extra clothes for the low temperatures of the day. I always make sure to have an emergency Mylar blanket with me as well.


Every person is different and adds to the 10 essentials. This is just a starting place. Personally I add my bathroom kit (I will do a post on that one soon), pen and journal, a tick kit, and my adventure buddy. It is important to know the area you are adventuring in and bring extra essentials based on the location.  If you are in bear country add bear spray. If you are in icy conditions add crampons. There are so many things that are dependent on your location and season.

If you have questions let me know! I would love to help you put your 10 essentials kit together!

Lassen Peak Hike


Since I moved here in April, I have wanted to hike Lassen Peak. Right now the peak hike is only open certain weekends because they are doing construction on the path. My friend Sam and I decided we were going to hike the peak the weekend in October that it was open.


Suddenly the weekend was upon us and we were finally able to hike the peak! We arrived around 10am so we would have time to hike the whole thing slowly and hangout after. The hike to the peak is only about 2.5 miles long and it goes from 8,000 ft elevation to 10,500 ft elevation. So in 2.5 miles you hike 2,500 ft up. We didn’t realize how steep that would be until we were hiking.



This hike was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be. The elevation made it really hard on our lungs and the steepness made it really hard on our legs. I love hiking with Sam because we can both complain and be real when we are exhausted and wanting to die.


Finally we made it to the peak. It was beautiful up there! We could see so far and there was snow at the top. We really enjoyed the hike and the reward of our packed lunches at the top.






After our beautiful hike, we did a small walk to lake. At the lake we hung our hammocks and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.




It was such a perfect day! I can’t wait for the next day we can get out and enjoy the Lord’s beauty!




Mojave Trail

This weekend we took an adventure like no other. My parents had been planning this trip for a long time and we were finally able to take it.


In the Mojave Desert there is a Road that used to be used as an old “road” that used to be traveled by American Indians to get across the desert. It was also used as a mail route for a few years in the 1800s. Today this road can be traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles over the course of a few days.


Thursday night we packed up the Jeep with survival gear, extra fuel, and extra water to prepare for our weekend adventure. Friday morning we left the house to meet our friends Scott and Jeri and their twin 5 year olds Tyler and Josh. We wanted to be on the dirt road for a few hours before sun down to find a place to camp for the night. You can camp almost anywhere along the road and we planned to camp Friday night and Saturday night.


Friday we drove over a lot of Rocks. As we had never taken the jeep on this kind of off roading before we were excited to play around and see what it could do. After a couple hours on the trail we reached Fort Piute and decided it would be a good place for camp. We set up camp and went exploring a little. Scott, Jeri and the Boys were going to be sleeping in their tent, my parents planned to sleep inside the jeep and I positioned the jeeps 15 feet apart so I could string my hammock between them. I was excited as this was my first night using my new hammock.



Penny Cans (Toll Road)

After eating a delicious dinner we lit the camp fire and sat around it just hanging out. I love camping and camp fires may be my favorite part. We made brown bears, listened to owls, and stared at the stars. That night I slept in my hammock. Soon after going to bed the wind stared to pick up. If you have ever camped in the desert you know that the wind can be really strong out there. I soon found out that my hammock was great in the wind. My bug net blew around a lot and with a huge gust I would rock a bit but for the most part my hammock just hung still. The only thing I worried about was animals coming to sniff me in the middle of the night. The strong wind also made it a little colder. I had prepared for the cold by layering a wool blanket and yoga mat beneath me. (a big problem with hammocks in cold butt syndrome.) With only my sleeping bag on top of me the wind made my toes cold. Next time I will remember another blanket for the top. One amazing part about sleeping in a hammock is that you have a full view of the stars all night long. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the stars and being able to see them from bed.


Making Brown Bears



The Sunrise that morning was amazing! Sunrise is definitely my favorite part of any day. I have been known to get up early just to watch the sunrise. There is something even more magically about watching the sun rise over the desert, especially when you are laying in a hammock so close to it. After everyone was up, my dad started the grill to make breakfast burritos. Camping with my parents we always eat well! After breakfast we packed up camp and headed out for more adventures on the trail.








Saturday took us over some rough road. I was able to drive a little bit and most of my parts were filled with off camber driving and being tilted at 15-20 degrees. One part driving down this really rough patch I did switch and make my dad drive. I would have been able to drive it but in all honesty I didn’t want to be talked about as the girl that scratched, dented, rolled… the jeep. I figured if someone was going to do it, it needed to be him. He did end up scrapping the running boards pretty bad and there were a few moments where we were worried about making it through. Thankfully Scott was driving in front and we knew if he made it through we could too.



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We passed the old school bus and car, and the mail box. Saturday night we made camp in a new location. At camp we did some shooting, both with guns and archery. Soon after shooting the wind started to pick up as usual in the desert. We ate dinner as the wind continued to pick up strength. As we ate we started to get worried about how strong the wind was getting. Scott and Jeri realized that the tent was not going to hold if the wind was any stronger. We started working on solutions for the night. After contemplating driving home in the dark we decided to move the jeeps in front of the tent and tie the tent to the jeep. With the jeeps positioned to block the tent I was unable to have my hammock up and ended up sleeping in the back seat Scott and Jeri’s jeep.





The Mail Box

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My hammock hung before we had to move the jeeps for the wind


It was nice having kids to chase my arrows for me 🙂


Teaching the boys how to shoot the bow!


    CIMG2007The kids shooting the BB gun with their dad


The tent hooked to the Jeep


The Rock Pile


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Water Crossings

After Surviving 40 MPH winds, the sun finally rose. Sunday was the last day on the trail. We drove to the rock pile to drop off our rocks, drove through some strong wind in the dunes that made it difficult to see, and drove through deep water. Finally we reached the highway and made our way to Peggy Sue’s Diner for lunch. I have always wanted to stop there!

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This trip was a really fun experience and I’m glad I was able to experience it. I felt so dirty and ready for a shower when we got home. All the dirt, sleeping in weird places, and the peeing in the desert definitely felt like Ragnar training. So while we didn’t get our training runs in we still got some training! Ragnar is next weekend and now I am in total Ragnar mode!