Do you take the 10 Essentials on Yosemite Hikes?

The Boy Scouts use this list. Makes a lot of sense. You’ll see different variations of this and I don’t know what you’d do with a map and compass on a Half Dome hike. Stay on the trail and you’ll be fine.

First Aid kit


Flashlight or headlamp


Extra clothes

Rain gear

Fire! (matches, etc)

Sun protection

Map and compass

Water (and treatment)

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “In our culture we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God. – R.I.P. Ravi Shankar

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Do you take the 10 Essentials on Yosemite Hikes?

  1. Maureen L says:

    I concur with Rick that there’s no need for map and compass on Half Dome hike. There are a number of Yosemite trails that are a bit sketchier, especially when they cross granite or go above tree line, but I’ve found that photocopies of detailed descriptions of trail from books like Shaffer more useful than my handy Harrison maps.

    REI credits the Mountaineers for creating the original list in the 1930s. Their words of wisdom, according to REI website:

    “The purpose of this list has always been to answer 2 basic questions: First, can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? Second, can you safely spend a night—or more—out?”

    In accord with this, I think of my 10 essentials as things I hope I never have to use on a day hike, as opposed to items like water and filter and sun block and rain gear, which I consider ordinary.

    Google “rei ten essentials” and you’ll find their list and their explanations. (It’s a long link, so I’m not copying it here.)

    REI says the Mountaineer’s “updated list” is

    Navigation (map and compass)
    Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
    Insulation (extra clothing)
    Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
    First-aid supplies
    Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
    Repair kit and tools
    Nutrition (extra food)
    Hydration (extra water)
    Emergency shelter

    In Yosemite, water filter is better than loads of extra water.

    I take the be prepared to spend a night out seriously adventures. I do have matches and a “space blanket” in my usual kit, and my handy 20 yards of duct tape wound around a pencil. Also, I take a Gerber multi-tool, which is more handy than a knife. (It was on sale, Leatherman is a better known brand.) Headlamp, too.

    A multi-tool would be a great addition to your Santa list, or at this point, your list for the Kings on Jan 6. Little Christmas is a tradition that’s dying out, but worth keeping, and not only for gifts!

    Ravi Shankar and Dave Brubeck in the same month! May their music live on!

    • Thanks for the note, Maureen. True story –> I was hiking in the mountains west of Vegas about 5 years ago – Mt Charleston area. When we arrived back at my buddy’s truck, all 4 tires had been slashed. (Punks) We had to walk down a dirt road for about 8 miles and darkness set in. We felt OK because we had our “Essentials.” We got help and called the cops and a tow truck well after dark. Yea for the right stuff!!

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