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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!