Dream. Plan. Live.
Your Everyday Gear
Written by: Bryan Wolf
“The Ten Essentials“, outdoor enthusiasts know these as the ten items that you don’t leave home without. The ten items that give you the best chance for survival in the Great Outdoors. Although lists vary, here is the gist:
2. First Aid
3. Extra Layers
4. Rain Gear
8. Fire Starter
9. Sun Protection
10. Map and Compass
The truth is, most outdoor adventures don’t call for an emergency fire or the use of a compass. While this list gets us through the worst nature has to throw our way it is hardly the most used equipment in the gear shed. This list is fantastic, and I’m not disagreeing with it, at least not in this post. Rather, I wanted to create a list for our everyday challenges, for the other 5 days of the week that have us bouncing around the city from work to play before heading home to recharge the batteries and start all over again. So what do we use everyday, that also translates to the outdoor lifestyle?
I wanted to create your “Everyday Ten Essentials“. a list that has you covered everyday, in nature, and in the office. So what items carry into both worlds? Through every season? Here is what I came up with:
1. Klean Kanteen- A stainless steel drink bottle with a green footprint. Stay hydrated in any scenario and keep your favorite bottle handy. Better yet, the insulated versions are amazing and will keep hot or cold for most all of the day. Water to coffee or even taking a frozen margarita to the beach; I love this thing! (Best gift idea ever too)
2. ExOfficio Underwear- The World’s best travel and adventure underwear doesn’t have to be just that. Anti-microbial, quick dry, and well fitting comfort are features that we all deserve day in and day out. Try a pair and you may just convert your entire underwear drawer. Men’s and women’s come in several styles.
3. Wool Socks- Have you worn wool socks? Find your favorite brand; Smartwool, Darn Tough, or Point 6, and never go a day without! I was buying a new pack of cheap cotton socks every few months, they all would smell, and they all would tear. My feet feel 100x better with wool and I’ve not replaced a pair yet, plus I can take off my shoes without shame. With a variety of cushions and styles these have you covered from office to mountain peak. Did I mention they have a lifetime warranty?!
4. Day Pack- Don’t limit yourself to a weekend pack; new Osprey, Patagonia, or Gregory packs offer lifestyle options galore. I use my Osprey and Thule bags everyday to and from work. With a clean look, organizer pockets, and laptop sleeves I can fit the rest of my Ten Essentials everywhere I go. Your hands are busy and over loaded pockets are annoying. We all need more than we can carry, or at least we wish we had more than we carried.
5. Knife/Multi-tool– No one said that there couldn’t be overlap between the lists. Trust me, if you have a Leatherman multi-tool or a Benchmade pocket knife you’ll find a dozen uses everyday to use it. With the multi-tool you can get a bit more specific on your possible applications. I carry my Benchmade everywhere I go and it saves me a whole lot of hassle.
6. Headlamp- Another backcountry essential, and I own four of them. Flashlights are all but dead to me. Most all scenarios including changing a spare tire or navigating a dark house in a power outage require the use of your hands. I have a headlamp in my car and in a kitchen drawer at home in addition to the waterproof high lumen ones in the gear shed. My favorite, the made in the USA Princeton Tec, followed by some awesome Black Diamond models.
7. Sunglasses- If you didn’t lose them all the time you would probably already have these with you everyday. Add a pair of Croakies to your Native Eyewear and keep them around longer. These travel with me from the center console in my car to the protective case in my day pack. Another all-around essential. All Natives have Polarized lenses and a lifetime warranty.
8. Fischer Space Pen- What is the number one thing you ask to borrow? It’s pointless carrying a cheap pen in your pocket, it won’t work when you need it and it is destined to explode and ruin a pair of pants. The Fisher Space Pen has a pressurized refillable cartridge that writes on wet paper, upside down, in the cold, and doesn’t explode. Although a pen doesn’t make the top ten list for outdoor essentials, it should make your list. Use it to journal, for mapping or have it in the case of emergencies.
9. Goal Zero Recharger- We know you have your phone everywhere you go amongst other gadgets. Just because you are in civilization doesn’t mean that you have a charger and outlet around every corner. Head to the park, walk to lunch, go to the game, or sit at the center bar table far from a wall, You can take a few charges with you at about the size of a pack of Life Savers and $40 (Switch 8). I’m in favor of escaping to nature without the use of modern devices, but it would seem silly now of days to backpack without being able to make an emergency phone call. I guess you could hike with a carrier pigeon.
10. Sunscreen- I rely on the lyrics of Baz Luhrmann for my last essential:
If I can give you one piece of advice: wear sunscreen.
Again, a carry over from one list to another, but how can you deny the importance of sunscreen. We could generalize this to more of a toiletries bag including some standard hygiene items like the versatile Dr. Bronners. If Dr. Bronners could be used as sunscreen I think that would be the one and only final item, but it can’t do everything.
Now that you have your list, pack your day bag or commuter bag with your Everyday Ten Essentials and head out into the world knowing that you are prepared for any day! Be sure to Tweet us @RRTrails your Ten Essentials, #10EverydayEssentials. we want to know what makes your list!
You can buy any of your “Ten Essentials” or your “Everyday Ten Essentials” at RRT.
Disclosure: The Ten Essentials of any variety will not help you in the event you fall into a Shark tank, are being chased by a Mountain Lion, or are experiencing parachute failure mid drop.