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Thread: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

  1. #1
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seattle, Wash.

    Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    Most LF landscapers who hike away from their vehicle have enough trouble finding room in their packs for camera, lenses and accessories – let alone the “10 essentials” you always hear about:

    1. Topographic map
    2. Compass
    3. Flashlight/spare parts
    4. Extra food/water/clothing
    5. Sun protection
    6. Matches
    7. Knife
    8. Signal mirror
    9. First aid kit
    10. Emergency shelter

    Do you always carry the famous 10 – or just this or that item, depending on hiking terrain, distance & duration?

    If you have to make a choice, does your photo gear trump the essentials, or do the essentials trump the gear?

    What lessons can you share for the over-burdened LF photographer? ;^)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Topo map.jpg  

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Gig Harbor, WA

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    I always carry the 10 essential and more depending on the weather when I hike in Mt. Rainier NP. You can make all the choices of gear for your backpack, it's what happens miles from the trailhead and you're without the necessities to deal with the conditions or situation that matters. Even for dayhikes my backpack, often called "the little refrigerator" by rangers because it looks like one (Sundog Art Wolfe medium), runs on the full and heavier than normal side. If you need to reduce weight, go to ultralight gear, but always consider if your hike is more than a few miles from the trailhead and extends into the night or you have to stay overnight.

    Scott M. Knowles, MS-Geography

    "All things merge into one, and a river flows through it."
    - Norman MacLean

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    Your list is incomplete!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Baltimore MD

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    I always carry the 11th essential - toilet paper. Usually most of the first ten, depending on how far and how long I'll be out. Many items do double duty, an all weather blanket as a ground sheet to keep camera/lenses off sand and mud (and so that cable releases and lens caps don't get lost forever in tall grass), a night shelter or rain shelter, shade, a signal device with its bright red side, and so on. On trails a head lamp is advised, a compass - the old school kind, matches, knife, etc. Combined weight isn't bad so there's little excuse not to have them. I also used to carry a tiny copy of the New Testament for reading material while waiting for wind to settle or the sun/clouds to move, and the pages would be good for fire starting in an emergency. And always extra water and a few energy bars.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    No different from any other kind of hiking, except that the extra load makes it even easier to get a twisted ankle, or dehydrated, or stuck in the
    cold getting hypothermic. I've run into all the above, plus searches or body carry outs for those whose luck ran out. The Natl Parks seem to be
    the worst because naive folks think they are in some kind of theme park
    in which the Govt has removed the forces of nature. Lots of accidents with
    the Boy Scouts and Outward Bound too due to inexperienced leadership
    and too many kids in tow. A bit of extra gear has kept me alive all these
    years. Yesterday it was just a few extra sunglasses screws in my firstaid kit after a lens popped out five miles from the road - not exactly life threatening, but saved me a throbbing headache.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City & Pontremoli, Italy

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    A walking stick is an essential for me.

  7. #7
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seattle, Wash.

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato Tonelli View Post
    A walking stick is an essential for me.
    Me too, especially if there are rushing creeks to cross.

    BTW, the original “10 essentials” list was developed in the 1930’s by the Mountaineers Club, the Seattle-based climbing/outdoors outfit that’s still going strong today.

    I don’t think they had LF photographers in mind – or their heavy burdens...

    Just for fun, here’s their “Classic List” from the 1930’s (Note the absence of “Shelter”):
    1. Map
    2. Compass
    3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
    4. Extra clothing
    5. Headlamp/flashlight
    6. First-aid supplies
    7. Firestarter
    8. Matches
    9. Knife
    10. Extra food

    A few years ago, the Club updated their “Classic List” & renamed it “Ten Essential Systems.”
    1. Navigation (map & compass)
    2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
    3. Insulation (extra clothing)
    4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
    5. First-aid supplies
    6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
    7. Repair kit and tools
    8. Nutrition (extra food)
    9. Hydration (extra water)
    10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

    Note to Mountaineers Club: where’s the insect repellant?

  8. #8
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    Your list is nine items too long. Extra food/water are all you really need. Most of the other stuff is just dead weight IMO.

  9. #9
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Marin County, California

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    The only essentials I need are plenty of water and a flashlight to find my way back to the trail after dark
    Brian Vuillemenot

  10. #10
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Landscape hikers – “10 essentials” or not?

    One thing that you should always carry is a lens wrench. Last friday the rear element on my 300mm Nikkor-M came loose while setting up for a shot but I was prepared with a "BadgerBrand" wrench which covers Copal's 0 and 1, and Copal and Compur 3 lens. That was the second time that happened to me while setting-up for a shot - couriously both time with the 300mm Nikkor-M.


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