Whether you’ve just mastered pitching your tent, or are a seasoned camper making adventurous excursions, The Ten Essentials is your go-to guide for staying safe and comfortable outdoors. You can use it for backpacking, car camping, or even a long hike–it’s designed to get you through almost anything Mother Nature throws your way.
The Ten Essentials first appeared in the third edition of Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills as a list of survival items recommended by hiking and scouting organizations for safe travel in the backcountry. It included:
Not bad, eh?
But since the 70s (by the way, put image searching “70s camping” on your bucket list), we’ve had a few new technologies emerge. The Ten Essentials were updated in 2003, and again in 2010, with a more categorical approach that includes more modern tools and accessories.
If you’re going for s’more points, the guide also suggests doubling up on items in smaller kits you can carry in your pockets or daypack, plus the following supplemental items:
As you may imagine, campers have their preferences, and depending on things like experience, geographic location, season, and trip length—will often make additions and subtractions to the list. For example, lightweight hikers with the need for speed may take a calculated risk and leave some gear at home.
Our suggestion is to make sure you feel confident when you camp. Feel no shame about being prepared. Camp enough, and you’ll be able to craft an essentials guide that works for you.
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