In the first installment discussing the “10 essentials”, I presented an overview of the types of items that one should consider when putting together their own kit bag for outdoor adventures. In this post, I’m going to address in more detail how to store and manage three key items along with a couple of tips that you can do yourself. We’ll begin with the headlamp, but these tips are applicable to any battery-powered light source, whether that’s a flashlight, headlamp, or lantern (although including a lantern in your 10 Essentials kit would be a very based move).
Next, we’ll touch on items like lip balm and sunscreen which are often stored in tube applicators with twist mechanisms. While these are convenient in order to dispense the product without getting it all over your fingers, when traveling in dusty and sandy environments (especially desert or canyon lands) the mechanism tends to get gummed up with fine dust and dust/sand also get into the balm or the sunscreen itself. Furthermore, in very hot areas the balm can melt and make a mess of your bag. I’ll show you a proven method to deal with this below.
Finally, a word on butane lighters: while arguably one of the most convenient and inexpensive methods to carry fire-starting capability with you, they’re prone to discharging when tossed into a small bag full of objects in the event that the gas release button is accidentally depressed while in storage. Here’s how I recommend that a lighter be prepped for carry in a 10 Essentials bag or survival kit.
These are just a few ways that you can optimize your survival equipment for carry in a back-country situation (or everyday carry, for that matter). I hope that these proved useful to you as you continue to build and refine your own “10 Essentials”.