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The Essentials



A key component of the YAK includes our Essentials kit.  The Ten Essentials are critical whenever you start an outdoor adventure, backpacking, camping or a “simple” day hike.  Now you might not need each of them on every trip, but if you get in a bind having them may make all the difference.  To complete your essentials just add food, a jacket, and water to the included water bottle.



The first Essentials list was created back in the 30s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based group of outdoor adventurers and have been adopted by BSA, GSA and other outdoor-oriented groups.  The goal was to help people be prepared for different situations, emergencies or otherwise in the outdoors.

In 2003, the list was updated from items to “systems” instead of listing a sharp tool (for the FB censor) now we think of having tools or instead of a map and compass, think navigation).

The updated "systems" approach made its debut in The Mountaineers’ seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books).

Ten Essential Systems

Systems in bold are included in the YAK.

  • Navigation (map and compass with a magnifying lens)
  • Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Insulation (Emergency Blanket)
  • Illumination (1 Watt LED Headlamp)
  • First-aid supplies (Individual First Aid Kit)
  • Fire (Waterproof Fire Starter/waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  • Repair kit and tools (Trusty sharp tool)
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (1L BPA free water bottle extra water)
  • Emergency shelter (Ripstop nylon waterproof poncho)

What jam will our Essentials kit get your scout out of?