By Trailmaster Rick Gilles
Below is the ten essentials list, given by REI. If you search "The Ten Essentials", some variation of this list will appear everywhere. It was first developed in the early 1970's by the Mountaineers group. (I would argue though that the Boy Scouts had a version of this list earlier, even if it was a bit longer). It includes the absolute minimum that any hiker should have in their pack, or at least within the group. I don't believe that everyone in a 10 person group needs a full on first aid kit..... But there are a few things that may be obvious that this list does not contain.
The Ten Essentials, from REI:
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 light emergency bivy)
Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation
Your pack: You should have a pack just big enough to carry what you need for the day, but not much more, because that is just added weight. Don’t wear it for the first time on a big hike, it will give you blisters. Take the time to break it in, even if that’s just wearing it around town.
Water: Everyone’s water needs are different. I drink a ton! Often 5-8 liters on a full day’s hike. I use a pack that has a 3L bladder, then I carry at least 2 more 1L bottles in side pockets
Sun Protection: Consider well what your head needs. The top of your head can burn easily. Consider bringing a lightweight breathable SPF Hat.
Hiking Poles: Can be a help or a nuisance depending on the way you hike. I find them especially helpful in going downhill, and easing the strain on my knees.
Shoes / Boots: We will be hiking over rocks and talus. Running shoes are not likely not appropriate for this hike, as the soles will not be stiff enough to protect the bottom of your feet. Also, given the steepness of the terrain, boots with ankle support is recommended. Like your backpack, take time to break it in before the big hike.
Socks: Everyone has their own comfort level, but moisture wicking socks I believe are essential. I also wear 2 layers of socks, with the inner being a thin liner. I have never once gotten blisters from my boots after starting this.
Rain Gear: Have something on you to prepare for sudden showers! I carry a compact poncho.
Toiletries: Biodegradable soap, wipes, and TP. And a ziplock to carry your trash back out with you.
Gear for warmth: I get cold when I stop hiking. So I always have glove liners, and a hat for when I am in alpine conditions.
In case of snow: We will know more when we are closer to the hike date, but there is the chance we will have to hike thru occasional snow fields. Some things to have in reserve – gaiters for your boots, microspikes, crampons, and ice axe. Highly unlikely we will need the last 2, but they are rentable if that becomes the case.