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Aron Ralston and the Ten Essentials
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HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Lesson from Aron on 06/20/2013 06:57:23 MDT Print View

I have heard the same thing from several others......... But I think about him and his arm everytime I get ready to start a backpack....then I call my emergency contact person and give them all of my info. I have become much more thoughtful in regards to this subject.

If I ever think, 'oh, it will be just a quick hike and I will be done...I don't have to worry about telling anyone'...visions of that horrifying arm cut flashes ....and I make the call or leave the not.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Three and a half Essentials on 06/20/2013 13:11:44 MDT Print View

Where I am, it is a very odd trip when I have all 10 along.

1. Map - absolutely if I'm going someplace new, but there are places I know more accurately than the map.
2. Compass - likewise
3. Sunglasses and sunscreen - at high latitudes, I'd put DEET before PABA. And a good sunhat before sunglasses.
4. Extra food - it takes a LONG time to starve
5. Extra water - FAR more important than food, but sometimes it is just a way to collect and treat the readily available water.
6. Extra clothes - VERY important here and in many mountainous areas. A warm hat and a trash-compactor bag have big return per ounce.
7. Headlamp / flashlight - Yes! This probably saves my butt more than anything else when the hike goes longer than planned. With LED lights, there no reason not to. But, helpful hint: If you haven't changed batteries in your LED for a long time, you may be surprised just how bright it is again with new battery.
8. First aid kit - Meh. First Aid is in your head more than your fanny pack. Inhaler for an asthmatic kid? Of course. Splints and gauze pads? Not for me. Practice sessions with your pack contents for hemorrhage, broken bones, and exposure? Very good to do beforehand.
9. Fire starter - mini Bic and a square of wax paper.
10. Knife - SAK Classic for me but to each their own.

Priorities for me, in order:
Water - bring it or treat it, likely carry it for some distance.
Light - small LED light
Warmth: Trash bag, hat, fire starting. Likely some other layers.

On more remote trips (i.e. if I don't expect to see anyone else):
Panic button: Cell, PLB, EPIRB, or VHF depending on location and coverage.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Three and a half Essentials on 06/20/2013 13:14:57 MDT Print View

Pretty much how I approach things. Thanks for posting.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Three and a half Essentials on 06/20/2013 14:04:09 MDT Print View

Small variation on your theme - use space blanket instead of bag. A little more warmth because of less radiation loss.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Three and a half Essentials on 06/20/2013 15:43:40 MDT Print View

>"use space blanket instead of bag"

And the metallic coating helps prevent them from scanning your brain waves!

Bouncing IR (in during cold, away when in the desert) is a plus.

In the "community service" category, though, I have been known to use a trash bag as, well, a trash bag on my way out to tidy up the trail.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Aron Ralston and the Ten Essentials on 06/20/2013 21:14:12 MDT Print View

My 2 essentials are my neck knife and firetseel. They stay on my body while I hike. If I ever loose my pack, I can still build a fire and comfortably survive a cold night.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: Aron Ralston and the Ten Essentials on 06/20/2013 23:50:03 MDT Print View


Excerpts from the book

"I went on a month-long streak of climbing four-teeners in January, with close calls on all of them." Or after somewhat goading two others to ski down a dicey slope, an avalanche ensued nearly killing them all. He stated "I felt guilty about my own decisions: decisions based on ego, attitude, overconfidence, and ambition, which overrode the combined training and experience of our group." His two companions haven't spoken to him since.

What you said seems quite true. I think every risk he took just emboldened him. Maybe the loss of his arm (during a relatively safe trek) saved his life.