Plan B Kit

The Ten Essentials—A Systems Approach
The Mountaineers, Seattle


Back in the early 1930’s when mountain accidents were not that uncommon, The Mountaineers, a Seattle, WA based climbing club,  studied the causes and what might have prevented or reduced the severity of accidents and increased the rate of survival.

They devised a list of ten items that should always be carried on outings. These items are directly related to increasing the likelihood of survival in case of accidents, etc. This list became known as the “Ten Essentials”. The list has evolved over time from a list of individual items to a list of functional systems; the updated Ten Essential Systems list is included in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 7th Edition.

Ten Essentials: The Classic List
Extra clothing
Extra food
Fire starter
First-aid supplies
Sunglasses and sunscreen

Ten Essential Systems: The updated system approach

(extra clothing)
Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
(extra water)
(extra food)
Navigation (Map & Compass)
(waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
First-aid supplies

Repair kit and tools
Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
Sun protection
(sunglasses & sunscreen)
Other useful items


Adapted from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 7th Edition by The Mountaineers

 The Mountaineers Books, $26.95 (paperback), $37.95 (hardback).

Jim Yuen

March 2002,  Sept 2008

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