The Year of Essential Outdoor Gear

8:00 a.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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This thread is for comments on the article "The Year of Essential Outdoor Gear"

We're going back to basics to celebrate the 10 Essentials, the classic list of what outdoor gear to bring into the backcountry. We're giving every 2016 Reviewer of the Month an incredible prize pack of 10 Essentials.

Full article at https://www.trailspace.com/blog/2016/01/22/10-essentials-outdoor-gear.html

9:21 a.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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re #1, a compass --- a compass really needs to be accompanied by a useable map, and if a choice must be made between the two, select the map over the compass.

10:28 a.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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Bill Hudson said:

re #1, a compass --- a compass really needs to be accompanied by a useable map, and if a choice must be made between the two, select the map over the compass.

 Agreed. I expanded that first quote to make sure that's understood.

10:40 a.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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Very cool idea and I'm sure will be warmly received by the Reviewers of the Month. 

11:48 a.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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I was first introduced to the 10 essentials when I joined the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club's Rock Climbing Section in about 1960. Historically, since the list was originated by The Seattle Mountaineers, it was slanted toward climbing in the Pacific Northwest. The Angeles RCS and Ski Mountaineers devised a revised version, more tailored to the Sierra and SoCal mountains. There are versions that are "15 essentials" floating around, and others tailored to specific mountain ranges. And there are versions that are more basic without specific gear named.

I didn't get my first copy of MFOTH (being the full name "Mountaineering - Freedom Of The Hills) until 1964, a paperback version. Right now I have only 2 versions, both hardbacks, the 4th and the current 8th. Somewhere along the line, I donated older versions to Friends of The Library in a futile attempt to reduce the number of books we have. That just left space for more books.

The most important thing is to treat the "10 Essentials" as an outline of the TYPES of gear you need, with tailoring to suit the wilderness area you are headed for. The Cascades are different from the Rockies, are different from the Sonora Desert is different from the rain forests of Kilimanjaro ... etc. 

4:57 p.m. on January 22, 2016 (EST)
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A good knife .

6:43 a.m. on January 23, 2016 (EST)
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I agree, this really is a cool idea.

 

1:32 p.m. on January 24, 2016 (EST)
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Bill S. says it all - it should be termed the "Ten Essential Categories of Gear'"  But only two copies of MFOTH?  Four editions grace my groaning bookshelves, including the first and the most recent.  It is interesting to see how treatment of various topics has changed over the years.

7:09 a.m. on January 25, 2016 (EST)
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hikermor said:

Bill S. says it all - it should be termed the "Ten Essential Categories of Gear'"  But only two copies of MFOTH?  Four editions grace my groaning bookshelves, including the first and the most recent.  It is interesting to see how treatment of various topics has changed over the years.

That's great that you still have the original edition. It must make for good reading, though I imagine not as much has changed fundamentally as we might assume.

As hikermor and Bill S mention, the 10 essentials list has changed from specific types of gear to systems of gear (for example from "map and compass" to "Navigation"). One thing I really like about this is that it forces the individual to actively think about and make conscious decisions about what to bring on a specific trip/outing. Because ultimately you're responsible for yourself and the decisions you make.

It goes back to The Mountaineers asking "can you respond positively to an accident or emergency?" and "can you safely spend a night—or more—out?"

4:28 p.m. on January 25, 2016 (EST)
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The next 3 essentials (in order of importance)

11. Coffee

12. Hammock

13. Batteries to charge smart phone

4:32 p.m. on January 25, 2016 (EST)
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Bacon is higher priority that #13.  Jus' sayin'.

5:22 p.m. on January 25, 2016 (EST)
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I totally agree with G00SE: Coffee is essential. Everyone is in serious danger if I don't have my morning cup.

I've only got one, paperback edition of MFOTH, but I did take mine around to the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival for years getting it signed by such folks as Greg Child, Joe Simpson, Doug Scott, etc.  It was a great way to be able to have a conversation with each of those folks.

8:45 a.m. on January 26, 2016 (EST)
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Bill Hudson said:

Bacon is higher priority that #13.  Jus' sayin'.

 I stand corrected!

10:07 p.m. on January 27, 2016 (EST)
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OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
1. TELL SOMEONE YOUR ITINERARY!
2. WATER BOTTLE & WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM
(To replace water supply, also a chemical backup if the
hardware fails or your water container gets “skunky”)
3. Extra TRAIL FOOD
4. FIRST AID KIT
5. HEADLIGHT and/or FLASHLIGHT
with extra light bulbs & batteries.
6. MAP in waterproof container.
7. COMPASS plus an optional GPS receiver
8. MATCHES and FIRE-STARTERS
‘storm proof’ or in a watertight container.
9. POCKET KNIFE or multi-use camp tool.
10. RAIN GEAR, JACKET & Extra CLOTHING
11. INSECT PROTECTION
12. SUN SCREEN & SUNGLASSES – Summer and Winter.
13. WHISTLE for signaling for help.
14. FOOD STORAGE bear & mini bear protection device.

ALWAYS BRING! > TOILET PAPER <

Optional Items
BIBLE or PRAYER BOOK
BINOCULARS
BIRD, ANIMAL & PLANT identification books
CAMERA & Extra batteries and memory
HAT for warmth & part of your sun protection system
HIKING STAFF
MAGNIFYING GLASS
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
NOTEBOOK
REPAIR KITS sewing, tent & back pack, glasses etc.
SWIMSUIT
WATCH
WEATHER and COMMUNICATION ONLY RADIOS
LEAVE the AM/FM RADIOS & PLAYERS AT HOME!

This document is well formatted for printing on:
http://central-valley-hiking-and-backpacking-group.net/Central_Valley_Backpacking_Club--Reserved.html

It also includes, on a half sheet, printed on the other side:
BEAR BAG / CANISTER
Smellables include: Matches - Lighter - Stove - Fuel, All film cameras and extra film, Clothes that have spilled food or drink on them, Condiments (all spices included), Chapstick - Use unscented only! Deodorant/Antiperspirant*, Extra batteries, Feminine hygiene products (used or unused)**, First Aid kits & Band Aids, All Food, candy bars, treats, trash, unburnable garbage, (check and double check)**, Foot powder, Insect repellant, Lip balm, Lotions of any kind, Medicine (place in boot if needed during the night such as inhalers, etc.), Mole Skin or Mole Foam, Duct Tape, Shampoos, Soaps - personal & laundry (including Campsuds), Suntan lotion and sunscreen, Tobacco* **, Toothbrushes and toothpaste, Unwashed dishes, Water bottles (bears have associated these with sugary drink mix)

…Anything in question.

* Highly discouraged ** Not to be placed in latrines
Anything else that has a non-human odor may attract bears, even though not food related.

Not in bear country ?
What about “Mini-Bears” ?
SQUIRRELS, CHIPMUNKS, RACCOONS,
SKUNKS, COYOTES, POSSUMS & MICE etc.

Always LEAVE at HOME things like:
‘FLAVORED’ LIP BALM, AFTER SHAVE & COLOGNE
Do you want a bear to give you a ‘goodnight kiss’?


Anything with an UNNECESSARY odor!
Always… PACK OUT YOUR GARBAGE!

-- Based on Philmont Scout Ranch BEAR PROCEDURES --
Prepared by: David Lagesse Mar 2015 v1.6


12:48 a.m. on January 28, 2016 (EST)
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I live here in the soggy, damp, dark, chilled Cascade Range. I remember the Ten Essentials from Ira Spring (who taught me photography in his studio at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle) and from Harvey Manning, icons of REI !  Please add a hiking staff to your list...the list that you will always carry as you leave the Trailhead. Wear a hat! A hat traps heat which otherwise escapes your body. Chemical treatments are only good if you have longer contact-time; I like the Sawyer's Mini-Filter and I always start with clean water...just stand outside and hold a cup at arm's length....ha! ha!  In this Age, a cell phone which will work for a text message if no voice is possible, and personal medication for your unplanned overnight. For unplanned overnight or for being lost, I like the larger poncho-type shelters/raingear such as the Greenwood Cape from Six Moons Designs in Portland. In pouring rain, you can toss the entire covering over yourself and set up your teepee underneath and out of rainfall. I still like the breathable Adv.Med.Kit sleeping bag 'wannabee' for unplanned overnight. If you make the day hike pack too elaborate, you are on a backpacking trip. Otherwise, most of these lists cover the program; always 'think' overnight, just in case. Your Day Hike pack should weigh in about 12 lbs., including a nice day pack of 1,800 cu. in./30 liters. I never carry toilet paper, but opt for 12 paper towels in a zip-lock plastic bag...more versatile than toilet paper; yes, I have a mini-stove. So much of survival is the maintenance of proper attitude. ¿Avez vous un botelle de Cognac?  Well, I do put in a tiny, 100 ml. for the sake of attitude adjustment. Not for Scouts!

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