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Practical Gifts to Keep Hikers Safe

Posted by Loren Drummond at Nov 22, 2013 01:50 PM |

Like the idea of holiday gifts that really matter? Make sure your outdoor friends and family are going out well-equipped by wrapping up a few of the ten essentials in a bow this holiday season.

Like the idea of holiday gifts that really matter? Make sure your outdoor friends and family are going out well-equipped by wrapping up a few essentials in a bow this holiday season.

10 Essentials by Erika Haugen Goodman.jpgAn example of the 10 essentials. Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodman.

Hiking basics: the ten essentials and winter extras

They're called the Ten Essentials, and all hikers should carry them year round, but they are even more essential as the weather becomes colder and more unpredictable.

The Ten Essentials include a topographic map, compass, extra food, extra clothing, firestarter, matches, sun protection, a pocket knife, first-aid kit, and a flashlight. (When it comes to fall and winter hiking, you may want to add a few extra items to your backpack as well.)

First aid kit

Encourage safety, even on day trips, with Adventure Medical’s .9 First Aid Kit. Weighing in at just more than 10 ounces, it contains all of the basic necessities—bandages, antibiotic wipes, basic medications headlamp 250and even duct tape—plus room for add-ins, all in a neat, waterproof casing. This is one of the Ten Essentials no hiker should be without.  $36

Headlamp (or flashlight)

Whether starting pre-dawn or finishing after sundown, they’ll have no problem setting up or breaking down camp in the dark with Princeton Tec’s Vizz Headlamp.

The uber-bright 165-Lumen Maxbright LED turns night into day, and the waterproof design keeps it shining brightly, even in the soggy Northwest. $50

SOG Flashback Knife

SOG flashback knife 250Any pocketknife will do for your essentials list, but if you want to turn a practical gift a into something extra-special, this locally-made knife is one way to do it.

Survivalists (and armchair survivalists) talk about their knives with reverence because they can be life-saving tools in the wilderness.

At just 3.7 ounces, SOG’s Flashback Knife has a 3.5-inch blade, safety lock and reversible belt clip for easy carrying—and is made right here in Washington. $100

Whistle, compass and light, all in one

Coghlan's whistle 250A whistle isn't technically an essential, but this one is way more than a signal if you get turned around or lose sight of your hiking party. 

Coghlan’s Six Function Whistle packs a compass, thermometer, magnifying glass, mirror and an LED light—along with the whistle! An ideal accessory for young and old hikers alike. $12

Tip: it's better to whistle from one spot than to wander around.

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