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August 2015 Issue
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10 essentials for your next big trip

This checklist could save your life, writes the Mountain Safety Council’s Andrew Hobman


There are lots of equipment lists available through clubs, guiding companies and on the internet. Typically, these have been tailored to the type of trip and the local conditions, and may vary greatly. However, these essential items should be packed on every big tramp.

  1. Navigation: map and compass – consider taking a GPS as well
  2. Light: headlamp with spare batteries
  3. First-aid kit: plenty of absorbent pads and bandages
  4. Emergency shelter: tarpaulin or bivvi bag
  5. Repair kit: knife, duct-tape, zip ties and wire
  6. Fire: lighters, fire starter or waterproof matches
  7. Sun protection: sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  8. Extra clothing: insulated jacket, gloves and warm hat
  9. Extra food and water: bars, gels and drink sachets
  10. Communication: mountain radio or personal locator beacon. Also a cellphone (though reception is limited in many areas)