Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Ten Essentials - What You Should Carry

In a recent post, a news article highlighted the rescue of two stranded hikers.  These folks were lucky; they were not carrying the right gear for the climate.  The following is  post I wrote last fall.

In my Map and Compass class yesterday one fellow asked what should you carry in your day pack.  I start with the Ten Essentials and the foundation of my pack.

Check lists for hikers and hunters abound on the Internet.  You can find suggested equipment checklists on forums and chat rooms, retailer’s and outfitter’s websites. 

Personally, I build my gear check list on the foundation established on the “Ten Essentials.” From the ten essentials I’ll add items that specifically work for me.  Here is what I use as my baseline:

  1. Navigation (map, compass & GPS)         
  2. Sun protection (Sun screen, sunglasses, a hat)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing, gloves, knit hat, a sit pad)
  4. Illumination (head lamp, flash light)
  5. First-aid supplies (Check with the Red Cross’ web site or McCann’s book listed below)
  6. Fire starting material (metal match, cotton balls soak with petroleum jelly, REI’s storm proof matches, BIC lighter)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water) & filtration system
  10. Emergency shelter (not a space blanket but a windproof water proof shelter, and a blue poly tarp)

I’ll then add a few selected items to the list by including:

  1.  Communications (signal mirror, a SPOT or ACR locator beacon, cell phone)
  2.  Knife and small folding saw
  3. A small ensolite pad shaped to become a sit pad.

I’ll take this list a step further by checking two of my favorite references:

  1. Surviving a Wilderness Emergency by Peter Kummerfeldt
  2. Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann

The intent of carrying all this gear is that should you have to spend the unintended night or nights out you will be prepared. You may not be comfortable but you'll have far better odds at surviving.

I also recommend you involve children in the development of your family’s gear check list.  Listen to their recommendations.  Have them carry their gear too.  Start them early and teach them what you know.  Let them participate.

Have fun and be safe.       


No comments:

Post a Comment