Safety Check list

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Safety Check list

Postby Gaelen » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 pm

When I mentioned 'the 10 essentials' some posts back, someone contacted me and asked what was on the full list.

Oh my.
My original 10 essentials has changed over time, and so has the list concocted in the '30s by the Mountaineers Club in the Pacific Northwest. But these (newer) guidelines might spark people to think about what they should have with them, especially in the context of camping alone.

The old list used to be:
1 -- map and compass
2 -- sun/bug protection
3 -- clothing for cold/heat (sweater/hat)
4 -- raingear
5 -- flashlight
6 -- emergency response (first aid kit, emergency shelter/blanket, alert whistle, cellphone)
7 -- waterproof matches & small candle in waterproof container (film can)
8 -- pocket knife/multitool
9 -- food
10 -- water/purification tabs
and the 11th essential, always understood--common sense. ;)
My 12th essential, especially since camping with dogs, was and still is baggies for cleanups!
I used to combine #4 raingear and #6 emergency shelter/blanket by carrying a disposable plastic bag-style rain poncho big enough to make into a small bivy sack in a pinch. Everything (except the common sense) could fit in a SMALL fanny pack. The idea was that you always had the essentials on your person or very near by, so I taught the kids that they were supposed to carry their pre-packed 'essential' waist packs any time they were off of our campsite.
They each had a lanyard like mine with a whistle/compass combination and a tiny microlight. When they were big enough to handle knife skills, they could carry one of my small penknives. They had to wear their lanyards all the time.

Instead of specific things, most 21st century 'ten essentials' lists focus on areas to consider and provide for--and provide some suggestions from the same group that is rumored to have made the original list:


To ensure you can deal with an emergency and spend an unforeseen night in the backcountry, experts from The Mountaineers advise you carry the following at all times while traveling in the wilderness:

Along with your navigation aids, you need the knowledge of how to use them, including accounting for declination, or the difference between true north and magnetic north if using a traditional topo map + compass. The map should be carried in a waterproof container (a large zipper-lock plastic bag.) These days, a lot of people carry some kind of GPS.

Sunscreen should be rated at least SPF 15.
I include bug juice after spending a lot of time in the Adirondacks during black fly season. This might be a good spot for the bear spray, too. :)

[ ] 3 -- INSULATION:
Insulation should allow you to survive the worst conditions that can be realistically expected. Use synthetics such as polypropylene and nylon, or blends of the same with wool or silk. This category includes full rain gear – pants and jacket – and my advice is to not skimp on the quality of these, especially if you hike year-round. Curious fact: A hat provides more warmth for its weight than any piece of clothing.

LEDs do not throw a beam as well as traditional flashlights, but they’re lighter and more efficient because they do not burn out batteries as rapidly. I'm a big fan of the Inova Microlight LED, which actually uses a replaceable watch-type lithium battery and has a locking ON/OFF switch in addition to press-to-light. I have one on the same lanyard with my dog whistles and e-collar controls. ... HgodODbg5w

Maybe the best prep is to take a first aid course now and then. And in a camper, you can afford to have a decent kit. But I used to make small hiker first aid kits, from a cub scout project book, where everything needed for a basic hike fit in containers like film cans, travel soap dishes, bandaid boxes and small ziplock bags. The first aid box I keep in my truck all the time is a double-sided tackle box.

[ ] 6 -- FIRE:
Also good: disposable lighters, and for firestarters, a small candle, chemical heat tabs, canned heat or resin-soaked, chipped-wood blocks.

Some people like to carry a multi-tool--I still stick to a simple Swiss Army Spartan. It has a true essential--a corkscrew--along with a blade, a screwdriver, a pair of tweezers. It's not a 50-implement's very light and compact, maybe 10 or 11 things on it. ;) Other things that make this category include safety pins, spare pack clips, cable ties, cordage and good-old duct tape...maybe a few feet of duct tape wrapped around your water bottle. Again, since you've got the trailer, a toolbox with some critical tools (hammer/mallet, real screwdrivers, a good pair of channel lock pliers and/or a vise grip--you get the idea.

[ ] 8 -- NUTRITION:
In a trailer, something in your galley cupboard should require no cooking and store well: granola, jerky, nuts, candy, dried fruit. It should be enough to hold you over for a day or so.

[ ] 9 -- HYDRATION:
Now, a pocket filter for the water bottle is an option.

The trailer should cover the shelter part...but a good tarp and some spare guyline-weight rope is a fine plan.

I'd still keep common sense as the 11th essential. :thumbsup:
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Postby Miriam C. » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:02 pm

:thumbsup: My cable went out before I got this finished. Thanks Gaelen for a wonderful list.

I hope others with similar lists or safety supplies will post them. P
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Postby EffieRover » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:49 pm

I keep all my camping stuff in sterlite plastic bins with a checklist taped to the top of each. Makes sure I don't forget anything.

The largest bin is the Kitchen bin, a 72-qt that holds:

2 1# Propane Cylinders
Baby Wipes
Camp Mugs
Camp Pal
Coffee Pot
Coleman Burner
Can Opener
Cooking Tongs & Large Spoon
Flat Spatula
Sharp Knife
Dish Soap
Enamelware Pan
Hot Pad(s)
Plastic Silverware ‡
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
Paper Plates
Paper Towels
Picnic Plate Set
Small Cutting Board
Styrofoam Cups
Tablecloth & Clips
Ziploc Bags
Breakfast Bars
Chips / Crackers / Pretzels
Ground Coffee
Graham Crackers
Hot Chocolate
Jiffy Pop
Juice Pouches
Oil for Cast Iron
Peanut Butter
Pop Tarts (Both Kinds)
Tea Bags ‡
Trail Mix
Chocolate Bars †
Ketchup †

Next essential is the Medicine Bin, a 34-qt that holds:

Extra Batteries: AA (4), D (8), AAA (2)
Cotton Balls & Vaseline
Flashlight (2)
Glow Sticks
Headlamps (3)
Lanterns (2)
Citronella Candles
Regular Candles
Weather Radio
Antiseptic Wash
Baby Wipes ‡
Laundry Hamper
Chap Stick
First Aid Kit
Little Tummys / Tums
Tissues, Travel Size
Tylenol / Advil
Sewing Kit
Sudafed / Benedril
Hair Brush, Ties
Music Box
Bug Repellent
Instant Hand Sanitizer
Itch Cream
Sunburn Relief
Solar Shower
Toilet Paper ‡
Toothpaste & Brushes

Another 38-qt bin, which is oversized for its job, holds:

Art / Science Projects
Beach Pails & Shovels
Bird / Bug Books
Bug Jar & Net
Dry Bag
Frisbee, small
Garbage Bags
Geocache Listings
Lantern, Battery
Neat Sheet
Nighttime Books
Parlor Games
Pen, Pencil, Crayons & Camp Journals
Plastic Bag of Grocery Bags
Playing Cards
Power Inverter
Phone Charger
Travel-Sized Games

Yes, it all fits. With even a small camper, I'm hoping the kitchen bin goes away and the medicine bin becomes a duffel. I'm not sure where the fun bin stuff will go. I'll have to make new lists :)
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Postby Gaelen » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:14 pm

y'know, there's one thing I ALWAYS carry, to the point that I forgot to include it. But it's absolutely an essential when you're traveling, whether with a group or alone.

Carry some form of photo ID with you at all times, and keep with it emergency contact information.

When my nephews started coming camping with me, we made a project out of creating their "IDs" -- on the blank side of one of my business cards, they pasted one of their school pictures and a computer label we made with their ID info. Then we used heat-sensitive luggage tag lamination sleeves to make them into laminated IDs (I used the iron.)

Because I was their aunt, I also carried (with my ID) a 'permission to provide care' release for each of my nephews, signed by their mom. In case of emergency, the last thing I wanted to be without was permission to consent to care if something went wrong. So if you travel with kids, and they're not your own, make sure you have power to consent to care from their parents.

These days, I also carry at minimum a medic alert card. It says I have a chemo port, names my diagnosis and lists my docs' contact info. There's an area for current meds; I've covered it over a couple times with new meds on a small address-type label. It fits on the other side of the window ID holder where I keep my driver's license. The medic alert card also says that in my purse/wallet they should look for the USB flash drive onto which are scanned my complete medical records, including my health care proxy. The pen drive is smaller than my pocket knife, and I update it after every new doc appointment, scan, blood draw, etc. It's labeled 'emergency medical info' on both sides of the flash drive, and can be plugged into any computer by medical personnel.

Granted, I've got some serious health problems. But even if your medic alert information is that you're allergic to bee stings, take heart medication or can't take penicillin, that kind of stuff is really important to keep on your person. If you have a critical health issue, the medic alert card/ID and something like the portable medical record service (my doc's office provides it) can save your life when you can't speak for yourself.
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Postby Jazzy Lynn » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:49 pm

I love your idea of the flash drive for medical information. That would be great to have handy at any time, whether you're in your home town or accross the country on vacation. I'm going to pass your idea on to others. At the very least, people need to carry information about any meds they are taking or meds they are allergic to.
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Postby cdfnchico » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:05 am

Gaelen, I, too, think your flash drive idea is a great one. Another thing I have always added to all my flash drives is a folder labeled "REWARD IF FOUND OPEN FOR INFO" ...within that folder I have a text document with a contact email and the statement that the information on the drive is as more important than the drive itself and I will replace the found one with a new one of similar or larger size.
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Postby CAJUN LADY » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:48 pm

We are all in the camping mode again - good time to refresh our safety list. Batteries, first aid kist, fire extinguisher....
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Postby Julie49 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:52 am

I am not a representative for this company BUT if you want emergency medical information easily accessed by emergency personnel consider looking into
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Re: Safety Check list

Postby CAJUN LADY » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:01 pm

Gosh, I hate this! I have been so busy with life in general to check on my camping buddies. I came on this site to ask Gaelen how she is doing and found out she passed away July 17, 2012. Two years ago! Where have I been??? I hate this. :(
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Re: Safety Check list

Postby slowcowboy » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:59 pm

yikes I will call wood butcher and sagebrush and say hi. that wakes me up! slow
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Re: Safety Check list

Postby CAJUN LADY » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:39 am

slowcowboy wrote:yikes I will call wood butcher and sagebrush and say hi. that wakes me up! slow

Good to see you again Mike! Hope all is well with you and you are getting some camping in. Have a good weekend!
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