What's in YOUR Day Pack: 10 Essentials


Lightweight Essentials for Day Hikes

More 10 Essential ideas

Here is a quick look at how to keep the things for a day pack light and small, while still being prepared.  Over 800 Search and Rescue operations occurred last year in Arizona. Over 40% of them were for day hikers who didn’t have enough water and couldn’t find (or make) shade. The simple fix for the desert heat is water and shade.

Packing the 10 essentials will prepare you to address most unexpected challenges you may have outdoors:

  1. Navigation: map, compass, cell phone, [Optional GPS device, PLB, satellite communicator, or satellite phone], [extra batteries or battery pack]
  2. Headlamp: plus, extra batteries
  3. Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes, and sunscreen
  4. First aid: including foot care, personal medications, elastic wrap and insect repellent
  5. Knife: plus repair kit i.e., cord, tape, safety pins, gear tape, etc.
  6. Fire: matches, lighter and tinder, [Optional ferro rod, stove as appropriate]
  7. Shelter: carried at all times (can be a lightweight emergency blanket or bivvy that can be setup for rain, wind, sun protection or used as a wrap, poncho, signal, water catch, etc.)
  8. Extra food: beyond minimum expected
  9. Extra water: beyond minimum needed for outing PLUS water treatment option
  10. Extra clothes: sufficient to survive an emergency overnight
  • Add Signaling to this list. Mirror, Snap Light stick, Bandana, etc.. If you’re going to be out for more than 4 hours, you may want to add toilet paper and a trowel, more water of course, and a sandwich.

Pretty simple.

Keeping these things small and light, mostly in their own little "Last Aid Kit" will ensure that you throw them in whatever pack you’re taking.  

Go play outside. With a few things.