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Ten Essentials

These are the tried and true essentials for backcountry travel

  1. Map — So you can get where you're going or communicate your location to rescuers.
  2. Compass — Critical for navigation and providing rescuers with your location.
  3. Flashlight/headlamp Going for help can mean a long hike in the dark. Don't forget spare bulbs and batteries.
  4. Extra food — For warmth and strength.
  5. Extra clothing — For covering an injured hiker to prevent shock, as well as for keeping warm.
  6. Sunglasses — Eyes are especially vulnerable to the bright sunlight encountered in the mountains. These can help avoid eye damage.
  7. First-aid supplies/Gear repair kit — A ready-made, storebought kit may prove inadequate. It is best to construct your own, based on expert advice.
  8. Pocket knife or Multi-tool — Can be incredibly versatile in time of need.
  9. Fire starter — Being able to start a fire can be the difference between life and death. A fire starter, such as a lighter, matches, or some other device, as well as some form of tinder as a means to keep the flame going.
  10. Whistle — To signal your location to rescuers should you need them.

These are the essentials and should be a part of your gear anytime you venture out. As you become more familiar with the outdoors and your own needs feel free to add additional gear. Some recommendations are: A space blanket, this can double as a shelter if necessary. 550 cord, between 25 to 50 feet.

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