The list of the ten things you should always have in your pack has been around a long time and it varies a bit depending on who you ask. Tony Nester, the Survival Guru over at Outside Online gives his take on the subject with a few variations on the old standbys.
The ten things that make Tony’s list include: a knife, firestarter, tinder, emergency blanket, water, iodine or chlorine dioxide, first aid, signal mirror, duct tape, and a light, in that order. As you can see, there are several differences between this and the classic list, which includes a map and compass, extra food, and clothing, amongst others.
Tony does a great job of explaining why he chose each item and some good tips to make using the items even easier. For example, he recommends that you soak some cotton balls in Vaseline, then store them in a ziplock bag, to use as tinder, explaining that “They withstand tough conditions, can burn when damp, and hold a flame for over a minute.”
There are other great tips like this one and some good reminders as to why we take all that stuff with us when we head out into the backcountry. Obviously you’ll have other things in your pack as well, but these are the items that should never leave.
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