The Ten Essentials list was first presented in the 1930s in an article that appeared in a Mountaineers newsletter. It attempted to list the ten most important survival items for an outdoors man to carry- and it did a pretty good job. Of course, any list of ten items isn’t going to be perfect, and will fail to cover everything. As a basic introduction into what is important, though, it is quite good and held in high regard.
So without further adieu, the Ten Essentials list:
1) Strike anywhere matches- it’s important to have strike anywhere matches, and not strike on box matches, and they’re easily confused. The latter become useless if the box becomes wet. Place them in a waterproof box, with a piece of emery board as a striker.
2) Fire starter- always include some fire starter in your waterproof case. There will be times when it will just be impossible to get a fire started without it. If you find yourself in such times, you’ll be glad you have it.
3) A map- a lot of trouble people have gotten into could have been avoided if they had a map of the area. Don’t make this mistake- be prepared.
4) A compass- and know how to use it.
5) A flashlight- with extra batteries and an extra bulb.
6) Extra food- supplies you with energy, keeps you thinking clearly, and helps ward of hypothermia in cold wet weather.
7) Extra clothing- a rain coat and a good wool hat are essential. A rain coat keeps you dry in rain and protects you from wind. A large amount of body heat is lost through the head, hence the hat.
8) Sunglasses- helpful in sunny or snow covered environments.
9) First Aid Kit- always essential.
10) Pocket knife- Go for a multi-use, Swiss army style knife.
Check out this article for more details on building your own wilderness survival kit.
Good luck and stay prepared!