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Boy Scout Troop 395
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
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Ten Essentials  

The "Ten Essentials" consists of more than ten items, and there are many varying opinions on what should be contained within the list. Items which can serve multiple purposes, and which are light in weight, should always be given preference over single use and/or heavy items. Here is a little basic guidance on items that Scouts should always have with them in the woods.


(1) Map

A basic map of the area is vital to finding your way through the woods. Adult leaders in our Troop will provide appropriate maps to buddy pairs or groups when they are deemed necessary.

(2) Compass

A simple compass can be used to orient a map, and help a lost Scout find their way.

(3) Flashlight or Headlamp

A small flashlight can be invaluable when it gets REALLY dark outside. LED style lights are preferable, due to their extremely long battery life.

(4) Extra Food

Meal replacement bars, trail mix, energy bars, and other lightweight foods are good choices for basic nutrition in emergency situations.

(5) Extra Clothing

A spare change of clothes can keep you warm, dry, and more comfortable when the going gets tough. A jacket and change of socks should be considered the minimum amount of clothing necessary to meet your needs.

(6) Sunglasses or tinted glasses

Shielding your eyes from the sun's glare is important, even during winter snowstorms.

(7) Rain Gear

Whether you choose an all in one jacket, full rain suit, or a simple poncho, you need something to keep you dry.

(8) First Aid Kit

Everyone should have the basics, and hiking partners or groups should make sure that there is at least one substantial kit within the group.

(9) Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool

Good, light weight multi-tools often include pliers, knife blades, screw drivers, tweezers, and other very useful tools. A simple folding pocket knife should be considered the minimum level of utility, and small multi-tools are a nice upgrade.

(10) Matches, Fire Starters, etc

Everyone needs to be able to light a fire, whether with matches or flint and steel.

(11) Water Bottle(s)

Light weight water containers, along with some means of purifying water, are probably the two most important items on this list. Simple Lexan water bottles and a few water purifying tablets are the most basic ways to meet your survival needs here.

(12) Whistle

A whistle is the most effective means of communicating your position to your rescuers. Consider one that doubles as a water-tight match box.

(13) Insect Repellant

Chiggers, mosquitoes, and ticks really like the taste of Boy Scouts. Use appropriate (non-aerosol) Insect Repellents to keep them away.

(14) Sun Screen

Sunscreen is a vital tool for preventing sunburn, even during the winter months.

(15) Space Blanket

Space Blankets can be used for many different things, however they are primarily used to provide warmth in emergency situations.





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