Seems like I revisit the 10 essentials every half decade or so, and some of Dale's posts got me thinking about them again for the first time in a long while. Most of the stuff in the list I take anyway, even on day hikes, so I have thought them into the ground.
An exception is the issue of knife/sharp thing. So I was reading some posts here and elsewhere on the latest in SUL sharp things, including the everlasting personality-type test that is the knife vs. scissors debate. Full disclosure, I'm currently in the latter camp but am a moderate and could be convinced to switch parties.
One of the "new" developments I noticed that both amused and caused me some alarm is the apparent appearance of the following argument for carrying a bigger knife - you need, at a bare minimum, a knife big enough to hack off your wrist/arm if it gets caught under a rock. While I have seen many posts like this that were jokes, there have been more than a few that seemed very serious.
Now I don't remember this emergency situation being part of the original rationalization for the ten essentials. I am supposing this is due to Aron Ralston's experience in Utah in 2003. Weirdly enough, I was floating (on the Green river) by the mouth of the Canyon he was stuck in exactly the time he was stuck, as I later determined when I finally got back to Moab and first heard the buzz.
Anyway, I'm curious if anyone else has noticed this topic coming up. I know it is ridiculous, but it shows how certain very public events effect people's psyches. Also I guess a lot of people (not me) really dig disaster porn - at REI the disaster porn section (I believe they euphemistically call it something like "adventure") is sometimes as big as the local guidebook section.
Also, has anyone else, anywhere, ever, had to hack off a limb to escape death while hiking, and should I be worried about this possibility?