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Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Posted: October 31st, 2018, 8:29 am
by BigBear
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."

Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Posted: October 31st, 2018, 9:04 am
by bghiker
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.

Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Posted: October 31st, 2018, 3:05 pm
by Crusak
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. ;)

Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Posted: October 31st, 2018, 9:50 pm
by BurnsideBob
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.

Re: Ten Essentials on EVERY hike?

Posted: November 2nd, 2018, 3:06 pm
by arlohike
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.