My mini 10 essentials pack 1


The Seattle Mountaineers came up with the concept of the 10 essentials – those 10 items you should carry with you every time you go out on a hiking, backpacking, or camping trip.

DSC_0004That list is:

  1. Map
  2. Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)*
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen*
  4. Extra Clothing
  5. Headlamp (or flashlight)*
  6. First-aid supplies*
  7. Fire Starter*
  8. Matches*
  9. Knife*
  10. Extra Food/Water*

* is a category that has coverage in my mini kit – eight out of the ten.

I often go hiking on a whim, so to ensure I forget as few of the items as possible, I have a mini 10 essentials pack.  It also over-prepares me (a la the military maxim “Two is one, and one is none“)

Let me be clear that this is not all that I bring – I also bring a full complement including a map, proper headlamp, sunglasses, food, layers, fuller first-aid kit, and a Saywer mini water filter.  This mini pack only ensures that in an emergency, I could have most everything.  It also allows me to move the bagged set of gear from bag to bag if I go day hiking one day, and then on a longer hike the next and need to switch packs.

Clockwise from top left of the picture are:

  1. the quart size ziploc that holds the kit, and could double as water storage in a pinch.
  2. Sugru – part of the repair kit portion since I take this camping too.
  3. a universal cleaning stick which I’ve used for everything except cleaning a weapon
  4. a one battery flashlight – this is the AA Maratec version, but once I clean and fix my AAA Maratec version, it will be swapped out.
  5. AAA batteries that fit the flashlight and my headlamps of choice – Black Diamond.  They have the ability to lock the button to save you from accidental lighting of the internals of your pack while you’re walking…
  6. Leatherman Juice S2 – the can opener, bottle opener, and pliers are great backup tools to have.
  7. A Handy Sharp blade sharpener – We met Brad (a Puget Sound resident) in of all places Utah at the Self Reliance Expo.
  8. Hand sanitizer, lotion, and chap stick
  9. Tums and a mini FAK (bandaids, moleskins, etc) – I use this more when the kids get boo boos than for anything else.
  10. Whistle multi-tool with backup compass and LED.  I think a whistle should be part of anyone’s extended 10 essentials list.  The noise they carry if you’re say hurt by a river is so much greater than your voice that they can be the reason you get rescued.
  11. Katadyn water purification tablets.  The PNW has more water than most places, so make sure you carry water – I choose to go a bit lighter and find it.
  12. Sunscreen with a hole in the container that lets it be corded or binered to a pack – free at a local festival.
  13. My compass – I used this compass out of this pack all the time as part of King County Search and Resuce.  Now I do more day hikes that don’t require complex map and compass navigation, so it sits in the pack as a backup. Yes, that cord uses up space and weight, but when I need to keep referring to the compass, keeping it looped around my next ensures I don’t drop it.  That cord can be used for repairs as well.
  14. Home made fire kit, bic lighter, and Exotac MATCHCAP case.

I hope you’ve seen something here that helps you out.  I’ll be doing a more detailed post on my day hike pack i a future post.

If you think there’s something I should add, leave a comment below…


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One thought on “My mini 10 essentials pack

  • Denizonur

    That looks really handy.I still have an old scoohl compass (the key is to get a really stiff one so it keeps its shape when you’re drawing the circle) which I use for drawing clickwheel circles on iPod cover templates.