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Ten Essentials

Filtering water

You're about to walk out the door, either for a dayhike, a week-long backpack trip, or an overnight on the river with your kayaking friends.

What are you bringing along with you, besides a sunny disposition? What should you always, always make sure you have with you, no matter what?

There are variations on the answers to the question about the "essential" items to carry depending on the outing and the environment. Listed below are the concept-based "Ten Essentials" we've adapted from The Mountaineers. Here is the list:

» Navigation (map and compass)
» Fire (matches or lighters)
» Signaling Device (whistle or mirror)
» Sun Protection (sunglasses and sunblock)
» Insulation (extra clothing)
» Nutrition (extra food)
» Hydration (extra water and/or the means to make more)
» Illumination (flashlight/headlamp)
» First Aid Kit
» Emergency Shelter (trash bag, bivy sack, tent)
» Bonus: Repair Kit including tools

Have you got your own list? Or a story to tell about a time when you needed one of these items and didn't have it with you?

Talk about it!