Welcome To Our Troop!
What are the ten essentials?
You will find different versions and interpretations of the "Ten Essentials" remember that each trip has different demands, but the essentials list is not just what you will normally use, it is what you might need in an emergency... 'Be Prepared!'
Before the ten-essentials list comes... PLANNING, which is even more "essential"
The Short-version of the list--not really in any order:
- First-Aid kit
- Map & Compass
- Signal (Whistle & Mirror)
- Water & Food
- Fire (matches, lighter, firestarter)
- Light (flashlight of some form)
- Proper clothing - Includes a good Hat and good shoes/boots!
- Shelter (tent/tarp/Space-blanket)
- Weathering (Sunscreen/Raingear)
ASSUMED but not listed (because they depend on the trip):
- A Good Backpack is very important on most trips, if you don't know how to fit one get help BEFORE the trip.
- Good Footwear is VITAL, never use brand-new boots on a trip - break them in first.
- Not usually listed but REQUIRED by Troop 166: 50' of Rope. Usually a 25' length, and 5 lengths at 5' for lashing.
- (Personally I think 50' of line that can hold your weight AND 50' of parachute cord.)
Troop 166 Expects the scouts to pack everything they need in a backpack, even for car-camping trips.
- this is to build experience packing your backpack and carrying it.
The Long-winded version:
- A first-aid kit can be a lifesaver.
- A few items will allow you to treat scratches, blisters and other minor injuries.
- They should also allow you to provide initial care while waiting for help for more serious injuries.
- Learn what items are in your kit and how to use them BEFORE your trip.
- A map and compass are probably the most important tools you can carry in case you get lost
- but here too, you need to know how to use them - before you need them!
- Signal Devices -
- A whistle can save your life, and in some places is required!
- A mirror can be seen from farther than a whistle can be heard!
- A mobile phone should not be relied upon (signal range and batteries can be issues) but can be a lifesaver by calling for help in many situations.
- Water can prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, Food gives you the energy to keep hiking or even just keep warm!
- In addition to planned meals, it is good to be sure you have a little emergency food (energy bars have a lot of calories in a small package.)
- As a backup, simple iodine tablets can be used to make water safer to drink and are light-weight!
- A pocketknife or multitool can be handy in a wide variety of situations.
- Itís useful for tasks as large as building an emergency shelter or lighting a campfire with poor fuel, or as small as repairing a damaged backpack.
- Keep you knife sharp and clean, and donít forget to first earn your Totiní Chip.
- Matches and/or a fire starter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signaling for help.
- Store matches or lighters in a safe and waterproof bag or canister.
- Flint & Steal are a great way to start a fire - ONCE you have practiced
- Believe it or not lint from a clothes-dryer is great for starting a fire (the best stuff is collected after a load of towels!)
- A flashlight, headlamp or a rugged penlight is important for finding your way in the dark.
- Bring extra batteries, too.
- Bring extra clothing to match the weather, expect the unexpected.
- Multiple layers are better than a single massive jacket, because layered clothing is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures.
- Plan for hot and cold, dry and wet!
- Shelter, this depends on the trip, but a simple tarp can make a trip MUCH more enjoyable if the weather gets bad.
- A typical backpack trip, would require a tarp, a tent and a sleeping bag (nights get very cold without one!)
- a tarp under your tent, 'Groundcloth' helps keep the tent dry, clean, and last longer.
- Don't forget stakes and rope, and plan for equipment repairs...
- Space-blankets (light-weight mylar sheets) can help keep you warm and dry in an emergency.
- You can get sun-burn on a cloudy day, or while hiking on a glacier - don't forget sunscreen!
- A good hat can protect from sun, rain, heat and cold.
- a couple of bread-bags can keep your feet warm and dry even when your boots are soaked.
- a fancy back-pack rain-cover or even a trash-bag, can mean arriving at camp with warm-dry clothes instead of cold and wet!
- a light wool or silk scarf can do a lot to keep one warm while hiking or sleeping, and can even be used for making a splint!