When you are headed outdoors for an adventure, it is essential that you bring along things that you need to keep you safe in the outdoors. These things are typically known in the Outdoor Industry as “The Ten Essentials”.

It is important to note that you should NEVER carry anything that you do not know how to use. This extends to every part of the Ten Essentials—from how you need to prepare food, to different communication devices, to first aid—you should always be confident in your training and abilities to use everything that you bring along on the adventure.

There are a whole variety of different versions of “The Ten Essentials”, but they can all be broken down to the ten essential categories of items to pack. Use the categories below as a guide to help you pack everything you need for your next adventure:

  1. Navigation (so you know where you are)
    • Map
    • Guidebook
    • Compass
    • Handheld GPS
  2. Communication (so you can call for help if needed)
    • Cell Phone (IMPORTANT NOTE! If you are ever going to use your cell phone as one of your ten essentials, make sure that the area you are going will have service, and that you bring extra powerbanks to ensure you have battery for as long as possible).
    • InReach or SPOT Device
    • Satellite Phone
    • VHF Radio
  3. Water (so you stay hydrated)
    • A FULL water bottle of at least 1 litre
    • Knowledge of where to get more water wherever you are going
    • Water purification system like a LifeStraw or Gravity Filter
    • Treatment Tablets
  4. Food (so you stay energized)
    • Snacks for your trip like fruit, nuts, or granola bars
    • Extra food; it’s best if these are high protein like Clif bars, pepperoni sticks, and other high calorie snacks.
  5. Weather Protection (so you stay out of the elements)
    • A small tarp and some rope
    • A tent
  6. Clothing (so you stay warm and dry)
    • Warm layers
    • Waterproof layers
    • Spare change of clothes (kept dry)
  7. First Aid (so you stay safe)
    • Match your first aid kit to your own level of training; basic kits can be purchased at any drug store.
  8. Repair (so you can adapt on the go)
    • A knife
    • Duct tape
    • Zip ties
  9. Illumination (so you can see)
    • A Headlamp or flashlight
    • Extra batteries
  10. Fire (so you can be warm and deter animals)
    • A windproof lighter
    • Windproof/Waterproof matches
    • Flint & Steel
    • Knowledge of fire starting and the 5 D’s of wood collection (down, dry, distant, dinky, dead)

This blog was written by Em McFarland, Power To Be’s Open Adventures Lead. With a lifetime of outdoor experiences, Em’s certifications include sea kayaking, canoeing, and wilderness first aid. When she isn’t leading programs, you can find her hiking through the forest or paddling down a river.