Every good scout (or hill walker) should know the principle behind the 10 Essentials: a checklist of items to take with you on every trip which will keep you dry, warm, fed, watered, and able to survive, if the worst should happen. The list is open to interpretation depending on environment, climate and activity but here’s our take on it based on some of the best bits of kit we’ve reviewed this year.
Kit list: The 10 essentials for walking and hiking
The '10 essentials' list was originally penned in the 1974 edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills and has since evolved into a systems based approach rather than a prescriptive list.
When packing your own kit bear in mind that the list is open to interpretation depending on environment, climate and activity.
This first aid kit from Vaude comes with all the essentials for small mishaps and is packaged up in a waterproof Velcro-roll closure bag. Insideare a good range of bandages and dressings as well as tick tweezers, scissors, a rescue blanket, alcohol wipes and medical gloves.
The signal is for those who venture into the wilderness and fancy themselves as a bit of a Ray Mears. Its 19 tools include, for the first time on a Leatherman, a ferro rod fire starter, a knife sharpener and an emergency whistle, all in a beautifully engineered 212g package, the Signal might just have everything you need for your next bushcraft adventure. What are you waiting for?
As the name suggests the filtration process needs no manual pumping – simply hang the full reservoir above the collection vessel, unclip the shutoff clamp and let gravity do the work.
A full 2L of dirty water takes a surprisingly quick 2 minutes to drain through. Simple!
Designed for lighting canister and liquid fuel camping stoves the Igniter's performance is immune to moisture, wind and pressure, and it will last up to 12,000 strikes. It’s also small, light and easy to pack. The built-in bottle opener is a nice touch for opening and enjoying a cold beer while your dinner is cooking.
This basic but functional bivvi bag is ideal for minimalist overnight stops, and as an emergency survival bag. Made of 100% nylon, treated with a waterproof DWR treatment, the bag weighs just 340g and packs down to 14x10cm. There is an easy access half zip for getting in and out and a basic draw string operated hood.
The LTM5 hat from Tilley keeps the sun off your face and does it with style. It has a UPF 50+ rating, repels rain and floats on water as well as being guaranteed for life to not wear out.
The Tilley name is synonymous with old school quality and longevity. Okay, 65 quid is a lot to spend on a hat but this one will last you forever and is guaranteed as such.
Full of goji berries, chia seeds and brazil nuts this bar tastes delicious and will keep you going on the trails when you start to flag, as well as help your muscles recover ready for the next day. We love this bar because it’s all natural as well as being gluten and lactose free thanks to the use of soya protein isolate rather than whey protein.
With a 24 lumen ML-E Cree white LED, a weight of just 30g, five lighting modes (including two small red LEDs) and IPX6 waterproofing – all in a tiny 33mm x 36mm x 28mm cube, the Micro LED is the perfect backup headtorch that should be stashed in every backpack for every adventure. And it only costs £15!
At a mere 245g the Cerium LT jacket is a feathery light piece of clothing. That’s because it’s made mainly of feathers. It consequently packs down into its oblong stuffsack no bigger than a fist. If you’re looking for an ultra-packable, minimalist down jacket to act as a stand-alone garment or mid-layer in colder mountain conditions then the Cerium is for you.
Stylish, rugged and waterproof to 100m, the GPS enabled Fenix 3 is the perfect walking companion. Battery life is excellent, with 20 hours of GPS navigation and route logging and linking it to your smartphone unlocks functionality such as LiveTrack so others can follow you online, live weather updates and dozens of other on-your-wrist walking apps.