The 10 Essentials of Hiking


A Basic Backpacking series wouldn’t be complete without including a list of the 10 Essentials Of Hiking
00:36 Navigation
01:31 Sun Protection
02:09 Insulation
02:34 Illumination
02:51 First Aid
03:25 Fire
03:36 Repair Kit and Tools
03:57 Nutrition
04:17 Hydration
04:48 Emergency Shelter

Essentials Playlist:
Clothing:
First Aid:

CDT Gear List:

Camera Gear Used:

PCT Gear Lists: Desert –
Sierra Nevada –
Cascade Range –

AT Gear List:

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47 comments

  • a small mirror to use as a signal is also a good idea.

  • How frequently do you rest? Like hike for x hours, rest for x amount of time? Or walk for x miles rest for x amount of time?

    I'm training for a section hike next year, but have no experienced hikers around in my circle.

  • What about a whistle and perhaps a small mirror to attract attention? Would help if you need to attract attention.

  • Hot glue sticks are great as well!

  • Dave Canterbury’s 10 C’s of survivability are also something everyone should have a look at

  • Hey Dixie, I'm starting hiking. I'm going to follow your videos as my how to guide. I'm doing this full time. I've moved to the Rockies to start training. You have inspired me. I just wanted you to know.

  • I’m going on a trail in Denmark this summer by the coast so there will not be a lot of water possibilities so just hoping to get though some towns with churches or something to get a fill up

  • 11. Lightweight battery bank.
    If you can get your phone back up and running it takes care of map, compass, light, communication and exact coordinates for a rescue team.

  • this is a very good and interesting video, my compliments! I have also tried a similar theme once. for our pilgrimage on the Via Francigena.
    Best regards to you from Saxony in Germany
    Thomas – das ist ja ein sehr gutes und interessantes Video, mein Kompliment! An einem ähnlichen Thema habe ich mich auch einmal versucht. Nämlich für unsere Pilgerreise auf der Via Francigena.
    Ganz liebe Grüße an dich aus Sachsen in Deutschland
    Thomas

  • A small whistle. The piercing sound of a whistle can carry. Just something I carry day hiking.

  • Essential gear on any hike, even a dayhike, are basically what is referred to as 'survival items'.
    You casually mention a knife as in the toolbox but basically any survival instructor will tell you a good sturdy (fixed blade) knife is your #1 item. #2 a loud whistle. #3 a fire steel/ferro rod. The list is longer but these are items you did not mention or did not emphasize enough. You carry these items on your person and not in your pack in case you loose your pack.
    As somebody already mentioned most search and rescue missions are about dayhikers getting lost or wounded.
    I suggest you talk to some survival instructors and search and rescue people before making a list like this.
    The items you listed sure are useful but not all are essential for survival.

  • I’ve been away (hiking and camping) but a friend saw my earlier post on this topic. The question he put to me was essentially, what are MY “10 Essentials”? (Not “to start”, but to be reasonably safe on a DAY hike). Here it is:

    1- Survival kit (carry on your belt, NEVER in a pack. Already contains: Mylar bivy, UCO Titan stormproof matches, lighter, compass, reflector, knife, eyeshade sunglasses, basic first-aid items, whistle, Micro-Maglite and 3 AAA batteries, water treatment pills, bouillon cubes, and MUCH more!)
    2- Smartphone (in a waterproof, shockproof case with a spare battery or battery bank)
    3- Appropriate clothing (PLUS rain AND thermal layers)
    4- Water for the day/duration (may include a water filter)
    5- Area topographic map (KNOW how to use a map and compass!)
    6- Ultralight inflatable sleeping pad (i.e. Thermarest short “head-to-hip”, or Big Agnes AXL full “head-to-heel”)
    7- Fix-It kit (or “ditty bag”, i.e. sewing, patching, etc. miscellaneous items, possibly depending on where you’re at or what you’re doing, etc.)
    8- Essential prescription/s (i.e. eyeglasses, medication, etc.)
    9- Emergency Personal Locator Beacon (day hikers NEED this kind of help!)
    10- Food for the day/duration (OR an emergency food bar, like Mayday, or two)

    You may notice a PROPERLY assembled survival kit ALREADY has many of the “essentials” most people like to list. Also, remember most victims are rescued within 10 to 24 hours after a report to Search and Rescue, virtually ALL are rescued well within 3 days, so the survival kit should be assembled with that in mind.

    Any questions?

  • "EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL VICTIM, NOT EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL SURVIVOR." – John Lech, PhD
    (It's always SO cute to watch NON-survivalists try to talk about survival!) The so-called "10 Essentials" is actually little more than a beginner's guide on what to pack. It is TOTALLY insufficient by itself if we're talking about actually being PREPARED! But okay, so what do you pack? START with…

    1- Kits (First-Aid= including necessary med's, contacts and case, etc.; Repair= needle and thread, duct tape, etc….)
    2- Communication (A smartphone in a waterproof-shockproof case and a spare batter or battery bank)
    3- Illumination (A headlight and spare batteries
    4- Navigation (Map on waterproof paper and a quality compass, but LEARN how to use them!!)
    5- Clothing (Wear proper [layered] clothing, but include rain and thermal layers)
    6- Sheltering (At least a Mylar bivy sack, but a regular bivy would be better)
    7- Signaling (At least a whistle and a reflector)
    8- Fire (At least a lighter, maybe some stormproof matches and fire starting tinder)
    9- Water (for the day/duration)
    10- Food (for the day/duration)

    AFTER you have the "essentials", then you can add a buff, sunglasses, etc., but you should also know a number of outdoor Rules, including:

    THE TREKKING RULE
    Rest before you're tired, drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry, remove layers before you're hot, replace layers before you're cold
    THE LOST RULE
    Stop, sit, eat, drink, THINK. Then follow one of the 8 reorienting strategies.
    THE PRIMARY SURVIVAL STRATEGY
    Keep calm, keep thinking. Seek safety, be ready for rescue. The more you try, the better you're odds. Lose your hope, lose your life!

    NOTE: Day hikers are responsible for more Search And Rescue missions than ANY other outdoor activity BY FAR (about ONE THIRD of all SAR missions!!!). However, whether you're day hiking, distance hiking, wilderness hiking or bushwhacking, ALWAYS follow The Five Essential Steps: 1- Plan (heavy on research), 2- Prepare (pack proper gear and supplies starting with a smartphone and water), 3- Proficiency (be PHYSICALLY ready and have the necessary knowledge, skills, experience), 4- Backups (tell at least two people where you're going and when you'll be back, take other reasonable precautions/gear starting with a smartphone), and 5- Basic Survival (understand the basic survival strategies and concepts). For good measure, also follow The Five Basic Skills: 6- Signaling, 7- Sheltering, 8- Fire, 9- Water, 10- Food.

  • "EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL VICTIM, NOT EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL SURVIVOR." – John Lech, PhD
    (It's always SO cute to watch NON-survivalists try to teach survival!)

    "The 10 Essentials most often comes up when discussing day hiking, but day hikers are responsible for more Search And Rescue missions than ANY other outdoor activity BY FAR (about ONE THIRD of all SAR missions!!!). However, whether you're day hiking, distance hiking, wilderness hiking or bushwhacking, ALWAYS follow The Five Essential Steps: 1- Plan (heavy on research), 2- Prepare (pack proper gear and supplies starting with a smartphone and water), 3- Proficiency (be PHYSICALLY ready and have the necessary knowledge, skills, experience), 4- Backups (tell at least two people where you're going and when you'll be back, take other reasonable precautions/gear starting with a smartphone), and 5- Basic Survival (understand the basic survival strategies and concepts). For good measure, also follow The Five Basic Skills: 6- Signaling, 7- Sheltering, 8- Fire, 9- Water, 10- Food.

    The "10 Essentials" is really just the beginner's Survival Kit, that's because beginners DON'T HAVE survival kits (another reason they need rescue more than anyone else!). So to be clear, the so-called, "10 essentials", is a just quick-and-dirty "guide" on what to pack, but it is TOTALLY insufficient if we're talking about actually being PREPARED! But okay, what do you PACK? Start with…

    1- Kits (First-Aid, including necessary med's, contacts and case, etc.; Repair, needle and thread, duct tape, etc….)
    2- Communication (A smartphone in a waterproof-shockproof case and a spare batter or battery bank)
    3- Illumination (A headlight and spare batteries
    4- Navigation (Map on waterproof paper and a quality compass, but LEARN how to use them!!)
    5- Clothing (Wear proper [layered] clothing, but include rain and thermal layers)
    6- Sheltering (At least a Mylar bivy sack, but a regular bivy would be better)
    7- Signaling (At least a whistle and a reflector)
    8- Fire (At least a lighter, maybe some stormproof matches and fire starting tinder)
    9- Water (for the day/duration)
    10- Food (for the day/duration)

    You should also follow a number of outdoor Rules, including:
    THE TREKKING RULE
    Rest before you're tired, drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry, remove layers before you sweat, replace layers before you're cold
    THE LOST RULE
    Stop, sit, eat, drink, THINK. Then follow one of the 8 reorienting strategies.
    THE PRIMARY SURVIVAL STRATEGY
    Keep calm, keep thinking. Seek safety, be ready for rescue. The more you try, the better you're odds. Lose your hope, lose your life!

  • Eyeglass repair kit or spare specs

  • I got to have my seasonings! 🍤🍲🥒🏕

  • Glad I came across your channel.. Subscribed.

  • REI course was awesome! Thank you, Dixie!

  • That's save my life!
    Thank you so very much Dixie. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for the videos. I’m going to be doing The Presidential Traverse this year and your movies are very motivating!

  • I wear prescribed glasses. Are there any sunglasses that can fit over my regular ones?

  • Dixie how does a person send u stuff camping hiking what not thing . Plz some kinda address

  • Is that a bottle of champain? 2:31

  • I would like to see your setup for recording video while walking. It would seem like holding a selfie stick would make for awkward walking.

  • Thank you for the video. It is good to remember these things, even on a day hike. (Went for a day hike last year in a well marked state park. Got to the back side of the park and discovered some of the signs had been removed. As suggested in the video, I downloaded a copy of the park map before the hike. So I was able to find my way back using the map and landmarks.)

  • Great video, Dixie. I think my weakest links in terms of the essentials explained in this video is sun protection and repair gear. I rarely put on sunblock or wear sun protecting clothing. I think that is a bad idea because it can get me in the future but because I really don't burn, I rarely think about it. Gear repair has only been something I've recently got because nothing has ever happened to my gear but I'd rather be safe than sorry, right?! Great video as always – if you're ever looking for a shorter thru-hike, my forest (Shawnee NF) has an easy longer trail that is a bit over 100 miles that many people try to do each year. Plus being a shorter trail, there is more time to see all the cool things our forest has to offer like a road closed two times a year for snake migration!

  • Would love to see an NCT thru hike

  • Some people are mentioning guns but they are not permitted on the trails and parks, correct?

  • Great tips 👍, gotta be prepared

  • Hey Dixie, I know you won't read this lol but anyway,
    I am an assistant helper at my scout group where we have recently really pushed the kids to do their hikes. While they may only be really short 3 day hikes for their age 30 km in 3 days seems like a long time ahaha. They don't take adults on these hikes and only I can go on them as a support member (making sure they don't die lol) but they feed themselves, navigate and everything else. I have found your channel to be an amazing resource and really helped me to improve my hiking which I then have passed on to them. I've shared your channel to the group so they can learn, and they seem to really enjoy it! Since you're really down to earth, PG and a really great role model I think you're a perfect learning opportunity for them and I. But yeah, thank you so much for everything you do for the community 😀 also love your content
    -Frog and the scouts

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  • Can you go over the Guthook app and how it worked for you??? Thanks!!!

  • Another awesome video. One thing that saved me on my recent overnighter hiking trip, my portable lighter flicker ran out of fuel, and luckily I had a flint rock spark to use to light up my fuel burner. Never used it before, especially for lighting a burner, and it worked great. What's so cool about the flint rock igniters, is they are so cheap. I found mine the size of a key chain for only 99 cents at a goodwill store, and it saved me, so I could have another hot meal on a very cold night. Always have back up.

  • Thank you this series is an eye opener for me

  • These are the most straight forward, informative hiking videos on the Tube. Great nature shots, and all while being entertaining without fluffy side out stories. Really to the point- love it. I am catching up on your videos, and snuck a peek at Episode 15 of the CDT series. I live in Texas, but am working on a cabin I bought in Berthoud Falls, Colorado. You walked right past my cabin on US 40 where the Jones Pass cutoff is to the left, and the Berthoud Pass first switchback goes off to the right. I was even there in August when you were on your hike. Wish I knew then what I know now. It would have been great to say "hi". Thanks for the videos, I am working up to day hiking the top of the 12,343 mountain in Arapaho National Forest I see from my porch. Your videos will help me get ready.

    Baron von Berthoud Falls
    Dewey Warner

  • Hey Dixi .. thanks to you and other you tubers i am turning from a dayhiker to a trailhiker .. going to do the Tour du mont Blanc this year..

  • Thanks Dixie for all the tips.
    I'm Leandro, from Argentina and I'm going to do my first hiking in winter. So I'm learning a lot with your videos.
    I have one doubt, since I am hemophilic and I have to take refrigerated medication. Do you know any way to keep cold ???
    The route I'm going to take is 70 km, from San Miguel de Tucuman, we pass through Yerba Buena, to Tafi del Valle. What we plan to do in 5 or 6 days.
    For what I need cold for 4 or 5 days. I was told that 1 or 2 days at low temperatures is resistant, so I am investigating different ways to maintain it.
    Thank you very much for your videos, they are very specific and you are very nice to listen to!

  • HOLY OVERLOAD … does anyone else feel like they are reaching DSP (Dixie saturation point)?!?! Its great information, but so much "talking head" almost everyday. I guess I'll just skip some.

  • Anyone, give me your opinion on which item to replace with a hand gun? If I had to choose from this list I'd pick swap navigation for a gun.

  • I love all your stuff and find you a real inspiration. From a UK walker.

  • I just love that the Seattle Mountaineers originated the list 70 years ago. I challenged my cub scouts to see who had the most. My buddy kids me about having them every hike but I do.

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