Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Post by BigBear » October 31st, 2018, 8:29 am

I agree that a mile is a long ways back to your car if you have a broken ankle or if you are wet and cold.

Anytime I hoist my pack, the ten essentials are with me. However, my pack stays at home when I am walking one of the semi-urban trails in the metropolitan area. I have my cell phone and I suspect help is not very far away. By contrast, hikes in the Gorge and Mt. Hood do not have the same 911 options - a friend of mine broke her hip on the icy Angels Rest trail a decade ago a mere 1/2 mile from the trailhead but it took 4 hours for rescue to reach her (there were a couple of other emergencies at the same time).

Your reluctance to carry the essentials should be proportionate to your hope (misguided or otherwise) of evacuation before your situation becomes "uncomfortable."

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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Post by bghiker » October 31st, 2018, 9:04 am

I don't necessarily carry the "ten essentials" but, if on a day hike, I always take what I would need if I had to spend the night. I also always let someone know where I am and an "oh, crap" time when they should report that I am missing to the authorities. I am by no means an ultralight hiker and tend to carry more than I anticipate I'll need...always planning for that "I didn't expect that" scenario... Mostly because I have had that happen to me in the past. When I was a teenager and out hunting, I got lost and had to spend a night in the woods with no supplies. At the time, as I said, I was a teenager and thought myself invincible. Funny how a night freezing your butt off can change your perspective. I have also lived for several years in Alaska, where the woods can kill you just because they're bored that particular day. I also had a couple close calls there...(I.E. whiteout blizzard conditions in July while the only thing I had brought was a T-shirt and shorts)

As I've gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have learned to balance my planned hike with the worst case scenario. I don't always pack for the worst case but decide based on my experience on where I'm going. I have hiked Silver Star from Grouse Vista about 50 times. I'm not going to pack the supplies there that I would going to somewhere I've never hiked before. A few years ago, I did a 70 mile backpacking trip in Yellowstone and had several items that I never took out of my pack...having said that, I would take them again if I were to do the same trip. I would much rather not need them than not have them.

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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Post by Crusak » October 31st, 2018, 3:05 pm

It's an interesting discussion. I suspect that I carry more in my day pack than anyone else that I hike with, sometimes 20-25 lbs in winter on day hikes.

I've always got a 5x7 emergency tarp, some paracord, first aid kit, a whole kit with various ways of making fire, a change of clothing (base layers only) and spare gloves.

I also pack plenty of calories in case I get stuck overnight.

Most people I hike with tell me that I'm carrying too much. But somehow I'm able to handle the load. ;)
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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Post by BurnsideBob » October 31st, 2018, 9:50 pm

My day hike pack is a 26 liter Osprey Stratus, which weighs 11.5 lbs with my base gear and 2 quarts water. Because I carry the pack on most day hikes, I make few changes other than food, which I tailor to the hike plus a couple candy bars for unforseen events.

I do not carry the 10 essentials, forgoing the first aid kit, sunscreen, compass, and, if I'm familiar with the area, map. I also do not carry gps or water filtration equipment, but do bring my smart phone (if I remember to grab it).

I, too, carry a 5 x 7 space blanket and about 50 ft of 3/16th inch diam braided nylon cord. For extra clothing I carry liner gloves, a bandanna, a fleece cap, and a lightly insulated rain jacket with hood. I use trekking poles that have about 10 yards of duct tape wrapped around their shafts--that tape is my first aid kit. I carry a head lamp, TP and trowel, small multi-tool, match safe loaded with all weather matches, a small bottle of nsaids and antihistamines, SPF 30 lip balm, a zip lock bag containing safety pins, write-in-rain paper, spare prescription glasses, and a pencil, a couple 30 gallon trash bags, and a "camera clip" to clip my camera to the pack.

Seems like the pack weighs plenty but I've got the basics to weather a downpour or unplanned night out.
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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Post by arlohike » November 2nd, 2018, 3:06 pm

Thanks for the input! I was mainly wondering what you'd do somewhere like Forest Park. Just taking the same pack everywhere is definitely simpler. Having options if I run across someone else in need is a good consideration, too.
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