- Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)*
- Sunglasses and sunscreen*
- Extra Clothing
- Headlamp (or flashlight)*
- First-aid supplies*
- Fire Starter*
- 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:
- the quart size ziploc that holds the kit, and could double as water storage in a pinch.
- Sugru – part of the repair kit portion since I take this camping too.
- a universal cleaning stick which I’ve used for everything except cleaning a weapon
- 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.
- 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…
- Leatherman Juice S2 – the can opener, bottle opener, and pliers are great backup tools to have.
- A Handy Sharp blade sharpener – We met Brad (a Puget Sound resident) in of all places Utah at the Self Reliance Expo.
- Hand sanitizer, lotion, and chap stick
- Tums and a mini FAK (bandaids, moleskins, etc) – I use this more when the kids get boo boos than for anything else.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sunscreen with a hole in the container that lets it be corded or binered to a pack – free at a local festival.
- 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.
- 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…