• Stay Alive

What are the 10 Essentials for Hiking?

We hear it all the time, “Don’t forget to pack the 10 essentials with you!”

What are they and why do we need them?

“The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers, to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors.” (rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html)

Every year there are hundreds of victims that need help from search and rescue teams. Some victims are fortunate enough to be found alive, however others are not so lucky. The Mountaineers, with their experience and data, have put together 10 essential items that these victims could’ve had to help them survive. They are easy to carry on any outdoor or camping adventure trip and your chances of survival will significantly increase.

Since most people don’t remember what the 10 essential items are, I’m going to organize them in a different way to help!

First, let’s look at the bigger picture before listing the specific items. This list is organized from the highest to least priority during any survival situation.

1. First Aid Kit: If you are hurt, bleeding or injured this is your first priority. Nothing else matters if you’re bleeding out.

2. Signaling and Navigation Tools: If you are not injured, your priority is to either find your way back or get rescued. Flashlight, headlight, whistle, compass, maps, SOS device, and phones can be used.

3. Shelter: If you are not injured, but can’t find your way back or get rescued, you need to figure out your shelter. Emergency blankets, sleeping bags, or tents can be used for shelter. Do you know how to create insulation before laying on the ground?

4. Fire Starting Tools: Climate Control to help you keep warm or cool are important. Hypothermia / Hyperthermia can kill within hours. Use lights, stormproof matches, flint/tinder and mini hot packs (one-time use), extra clothing to help with this.

5. Water: People can survive without water for 3-5 days, depending on their health condition and environment. When going out into nature, you should already take some amount of water with you. You may also take a water filter or iodine drops if you need more.

6. Protective Tools: In case you need to protect yourself against animals or the environment it’s best to bring a knife, rope or paracord, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses.

7. Food: People can survive without food for up to 3 weeks. When going out into nature, you should already take a snack / lunch with you. Protein bars or something with sugar will help.

Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at what the 10 essential items are, let’s review the 10 items based on what we need to survive from the previous list.

1. First aid kit

2. Map, compass, GPS device, PLB or satellite messenger

3. Whistle, flashlight, headlight or signaling mirror

4. Emergency blanket, sleeping bag or tent.

5. Matches, lighter or flint/tinder

6. Extra water or a water purifying system like filter or iodine drops

7. Knife

8. Sunscreen

9. Extra food

10. Extra clothes

This list can be tailored to what type of tools you are used to and like, type of environment you will be in (sunny verses cold) or length of trip. Just make sure they fit with the list of what you need to survive. We cannot prevent from accidents happening or what plans mother nature has for us, but being prepared will significantly increase your chances of survival.

Put yourself and your family/friends in the best position when in nature.

If you're ready to invest in your safety before your next hike, check out our

Outdoors Adventure Backpack!

  • Includes 8 of the 10 hiking essentials!

  • Made for any outdoors emergency.

  • Life saving essentials are packed inside a kit in a day hiking backpack.

  • On your next adventure, add food / water, and it's ready to help you stay safe!

  • Includes the famous sawyer water filter, up to 100,000 galloons of water.