View Full Version : 10 essential pack

SGT Rock
2003-03-10, 11:59
Here is my delima. Often I am on a family trip and I get the chance to do some day hiking, maybe it is a remote location with some distance. the kind of place you would want to have the 10 essentials at least. But, because I didn't plan on doing any hiking when I left home, none of the stuff we packed is good for going out. You want to be safe, maybe even comfortable, but you don't need a whole pack and don't want to spend a fortune.

This last week I was in that position while in Alabama. The Sipsey Wilderness was calling and I wanted to go. Eventually my wife made me go to get out for a while. So how do you get the stuff you might need on the cheap? I wnt to Wal-Mart and applied some lessons from the $300 challenge.

1. Lumbar pack - 12.8 ounces. Here is where I splurged a little. The local sporting store had a Mountainsmith lumbar pack on sale for $20.
2. Iodine Pills - 1.1 ounces. Water treatment for abuot $1.
3. Bic Lighter and some dryer lint in a sandwich bag - 1.2 ounces. About $1.
3. Small knife - 0.7 ounces. Free - I found this.
4. Pack Towel - 0.5 ounces. I trimmed off a piece from a Wal-Mart camp towel. Cost about $3.
5. Spoon - 0.2 ounces. Free plastic spoon from some fast food joint.
6. Soda can stove - 0.8 ounces. Free. Made from a coat hanger, aluminum foil, and two soda cans.
7. Stainless Steel cup - 5.3 ounces. A stainless steel grease saver about $8.
8. Fuel bottle - 1.0 ounces. Look in the health and hygine section for this 4oz bottle with flip top spout. Cost about $1.
9. LED Light - 0.4 ounces. I found this light for about $2 in the auomotive section.
10. Mylar blanket - 1.7 ounces. Costs about $2 in the camping section. It can be combined with leaves to make a groundcloth and insulation system. Costs about $2.
11. Nylon Poncho - 10.3 ounces. Rain Gear or emergency shelter. Costs about $8. I plan to replace this with my sil-nylon poncho.
12. 50' white para cord. Lots of good uses. 3.0 ounces. I found this in the boat rope section. Don't use that cheapie braided nylon stuff in the camp section. Costs $2.
13. three 1 gallon zip locks - 1.5 total. Free from mom's kitchen.
14. Trash compactor bag - 2.0 ounces. Free from mom's kitchen.
15. Two 16 ounce water bottles - 2.0 ounces. About $1 for them full of water.
16. First Aid/repair kit - 4.1 ounces. Mostly made from first aid and stuff around the hose. Contains super glue, 2 needles, some floss, 3 safety pins, some small band aids, guaze, waterproof tape, Neosporin, and Alieve. Total cost to me was about $1.
17. Silk long sleeve shirt - 4.1 ounces - I already own this.
18. Alcohol Fuel - 3.2 ounces - 4 ounces fuel line de icer - less than $1.
19. Food - 32 ounces - lots of snacks and ramen. Cost about $10.
20. Map - 3.7 ounces - waterproof topo map. $8.

Total weight: 52.4 ounces (without food, water, or fuel) 124 ounces with map, food, fuel, and water.
Total cost: $50. Another $19 for food, fuel, and map.

So the only 10 essentials things missing are a compass (which is on my watch) and a map - which changes from location to location. Luckily Wal-Mart carried waterproof topo maps of the area in the hunting section. For food, grab some stuff like ramen, tortillas, snickers, and Nutella. I also add in the space that the food will take up, a pair of nylon socks, a wicking T-shirt, and a pair of nylon pants so I'll always have some hiking clothing instead of cotton and blue jeans. The plan is to leave this kit in the car in a storage area so I never mess with it unless I need it.

Any comments or suggestions?

Zero Day
2003-03-10, 13:34
Just a couple of comments:

I think your tinder kit should have two ways to strike a fire so I would add either some kitchen matches of a Zirconium rod.

You could include two large trash bags taped together at the top. This can make a tube tent for an overnight stay in the rain if necessary, or could be used as a poncho. You could then eliminate the poncho and the associated weight and cost.

I might consider leaving the stove, fuel and pot behind and going with non-cook food. (I carry about 20 lbs of emmergency survival food around my waist.)

DEET, chapie, and hand cleaner (since I notice no TP) I suppose that is what leaves are for but you might want to clean up after. (Ref articles on back country illness.)

Zero Day
2003-03-10, 14:53
Given a little more thought, I may have spoken to soon about leaving the poncho behind. In fact if I were only allowed to take one item into the woods, it would probably be a poncho.

SGT Rock
2003-03-10, 16:42
The pot and stove are luxuries. I could get by without them, but they are there if I want to take or leave them. The poncho is one of the best multi use items out there, so I'll stick with that. I thought about adding a 1/2 hexamine block for back up fire starting.

2003-03-12, 11:43
the stove may be a luxury item that you could leave behind, but i would take the 4oz of alcohol - good firestarter and hand cleaner.


SGT Rock
2003-03-12, 12:00
Good point. I'm also getting a 0.5 oz tube of caremex and looking for a 1-2 ounce tube of sunscreen that contains DEET. It looks like I may end up adding about 3.5 ounces of stuff. Egad!

2003-03-12, 20:42
Repel Sportsmans formula works well, it has 20% DEET and comes in a 2oz size . Two ounces of bug juice(cream actually)and a flattish bottle weighs about 2.5 oz total. got it at Wal-Mart its in a white bottle with a green label and cap. Streamweaver

SGT Rock
2003-03-12, 21:14
I've got this stuff called "No Add" that is 20% Deet and sunscreen in one. I was thinking a squeze flip top bottle would do. Soes that sportsman's stuff serve as a sun block as well?

2003-03-12, 21:23
the Repel is just a insect block,It is a cream so it would prolly give some sun protection but I wouldnt rely on it since it isnt meant for that. I wonder if you can buy small empty tubes like neosproin comes in and fill em with a dental syringe.that would be light and compact. maybe a medical supply store or something. Streamweaver

2003-03-13, 00:25
Zero Day, Just curious, did you mean 2lbs of survival food around your waist? Surely not 20!:)

Zero Day
2003-03-13, 10:13
Yes unfortunately I, like most Americans, am overweight. It comes from taking too many zero days while hiking. I take heart in knowing if I were lost in the woods or had to seal myself in a plastic room in the event of a terrorist attack, that I could last 3 weeks without food.

SGT Rock
2003-03-13, 10:28
Oh, I get it. Basically you are "Camled up".

2003-03-13, 10:47
1) Given that you are taking all that other "stuff", I'd add a better headlamp or light. You never know if you are going to kicked out of the house near dusk. Heck, you might even be asked to go for a walk at Midnight. That little LED would be great if you are surprised by darkness, but not so hot if you expecting it.

2) If you can find Duct Tape in camo, you might splurge on a couple yards.

3) Small pair of binoculars and disposable camera in case you think you see an Ivory Billed Woodpecker. This is required if you are deep, deep in the swamps of Louisiana.

4) Airline bottle(s) of Jim Beam (Plastic, of course) for emergency use only.

5) 2" square of Moleskin in case you find a tenderfoot along the trail who needs some help.

6) $10 Dollar bill

Rick B

SGT Rock
2003-03-13, 11:19
1. About the headlamp, I doubt I would ever use one. I've navigated in total darkness in deep forests with just a compass and a map. I sort of have this religion against lights in the wilderness LOL.

2. I thought about wraping some 100MPH tape around a golf pencil. Good idea.

3. I think the disposable camera is a good idea, but instead of carrying it around in the car getting ruined, I'll add it to the shopping list when I get food.

4. If I do that, I need to ensure that the tax lable is in tact. The cops in Deridder are sticklers about open container laws.

5. Duct tape can do the same thing as moleskin.

6. Another good idea. Maybe a $5 and 5 $1.

2003-03-13, 11:45
I like your idea of a pencil. I can think of all sorts of uses for it. Everything from leaving a note in a plastic bag on the footpath to the effect that there was a deer carcass next to the trail (if you were in Grizz country), to getting a injured person's name and contact info.