Never underestimate the importance of a good pack. Especially out in the wild. It could be the difference between an enjoyable trip and an absolute nightmare. When in doubt, just remember it’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared when you’re way out there. But you only have so much space. So, you better be efficient.
The idea of optimizing your pack for the trail isn’t new. Way back in the 1930s, a group of Seattle based outdoor enthusiasts called The Mountaineers published the original Ten Essentials for your pack. Here are the original.
The Original Ten Essentials
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing
- Headlamp or flashlight
- First aid supplies
- Extra food (like the gourmet trail snacks from Righteous Felon)
But, as we all know, things change. They evolve. You gotta keep up with the times or get left behind. Naturally, the Original Ten Essentials have been updated slightly. It’s more categorical now, rather than a list of specific items. Here’s what it looks like these days.
The Updated Ten Essentials
- Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger.
- Headlamp: plus extra batteries.
- Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen.
- First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed).
- Knife: plus a gear repair kit.
- Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove.
- Shelter: carried at all times (can be a tent or light emergency bivy).
- Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation.
- Extra water: or filtration pump or iodine tablets to purify water.
- Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation.
And, since we’re the adventurous type, we came up with our own Bucker twist to the Ten Essentials. There’s actually 12 now.
The Bucker 12
- Navigation: A map, compass, GPS, the stars, something! Getting lost is cool and all, but you gotta find your way back at some point.
- Headlamp: Or a flashlight if that’s more your speed. Plus, extra batteries, of course.
- Sun protection: Some sick SLYK sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen. Because pretty much all of us have gotten a debilitating sunburn at some point. It’s not fun.
- First aid: Including foot care and insect repellent (as needed). Sure, blisters and bug bites is a rite of passage, but they can really put a real damper on the experience. Also, maybe throw some soap and a toothbrush/toothpaste in there while you’re at it.
- Knife: If you’ve ever needed a knife out there and didn’t have one, you understand. A gear repair kit would also be nice to have.
- Fire: Matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove. Because fire. It’s not regarded as mankind’s greatest discovery for nothing. It’s useful.
- Shelter: Tent, tarp, etc. Just something to protect you from the elements. And the critters.
- Extra food: Righteous Felon jerky packs well, so pack a few extra.
- Extra water: A water filter or purifying tablets to purify water from a natural source will also do. Just don’t forget to bring a water bottle to put it in.
- Extra clothes: When in doubt, throw an extra Bucker tee or two in the bag.
- A Hat or bandana: Sweat in the eyes sucks. So, bring something to keep the sweat out of your eyes while you’re trying to read that map or take in the scenery.
- A mask: Hey, odd times call for odd measures. Bring a mask or two on your next adventure in case you’re going to be around people. Even after the pandemic, a mask isn’t a bad idea in dry, dusty climates.
You should be ready to pack up and get going on your next adventure now. So, we won’t keep you. Good luck out there!