The Ten Essentials: Part 3 of 3

okokokWelcome to the 3rd and final portion of the Ten Essentials series, providing insight into wilderness preparedness since March 13, 2015. If you are just visiting us without having seen the previous two posts (The Ten Essentials: Part One, The Ten Essentials: Part Two) do whatever catching up you feel appropriate for expanding your own outdoor education.

As stated in The Ten Essentials: Part One “The group that originated The Ten Essentials in 1930 was a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers called “The Mountaineers”. The list was constructed by the team to help like-minded individuals with preparation in case of outdoor emergencies. Throughout the years the list has been reconfigured and today it is currently in its eighth edition.”

The final four items on our list include: Repair Kit and Tools, Nutrition and Extra Food, Hydration, and Emergency Shelter. Here, I will go into detail on why these items are so important for backcountry trekking and everyday life as well as unveil the best products for each category.

kjnkjjn7. Repair Kit and Tools

Emergency repair kit‘s are important for obvious situations, but also when you plan on preparing food like fresh caught fish your kit can prove to be the difference between eating and going hungry for the weekend. Creating your own kit designed around your specific adventures is also an available option. When weekend camping or fishing, a simple and basic kit is typically more than enough, and opting for this simple yet inclusive kit will save you weight and time in the long run. Some people will choose to add duct tape, super glue, and their own personal hunting/fishing knives depending. The repair kits are significantly different from medical kits in the way that they are more oriented towards dealing with gear related matters as opposed to medical issues.

glkdsm8. Nutrition and Extra Food

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods don’t typically sound appealing unless you are backcountry-level starving, and this may not be my opinion alone, but more of a universal standard. If you are out on the trail for a long enough period of time where fresh food will begin to spoil, Backpackers Pantry is the industry standard and best place to go for all of your hunger needs (mostly because you’ll grow ill if you attempt to live on trail mix and candy bars for more than a day or so). When you have the option of choosing between Beef Stroganoff with Wild Mushrooms, Chicken Cashew Curry, and Mocha Mousse Pie, you’ll never go back to ordinary freeze dried options again. The only ingredient you need beside the packet itself is, of course, water. No-cook items including energy bars/gels, nuts, dried fruits, or jerky are always great snacks for before and after mealtime.

water-poured-into-glass9. Hydration

Depending on the length of your trip we typically recommend bringing with you a Water Purifier Stainless Steel water bottle, and a Reservoir. When planning out your journey it’s important to chart out oasis’s where there are available sources of water beforehand so that you have an idea where to fill up and if bringing your purifier is necessary. Typically, if you are off the grid for more than a weekend, you should consider bringing your purifier for safety purposes, just in case the “available water sources” no longer exist or are not functional. In everyday life Stainless Steel bottles are the way to go if you are looking for high performance taste, durability, and if you seek something that has proven to withstand the test of time stylistically.

jkjkn10. Continue reading The Ten Essentials: Part 3 of 3

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Dogs

Alright summer lovers, let’s talk hotdogs. Whether you’re a Chicagoan, a New Yorker, or just a fine citizen of the world who can appreciate a good hot dog, listen up. Cheese + Bacon + Traditional Dog = Bliss. I know, it’s simple but sometimes, especially when camping or cooking in bulk, the simpler the better. Regardless, once you give them a try, no grill out will be complete without these tasty little dogs. Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Cheese Dogs

Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack

The Gregory Baltoro Backpack  is the perfect storage and carrying system for backcountry trekkers and travelers alike. After I explain the main features of this pack, you will come to understand why it’s the perfect luggage transport system for both a Euro-trip as well as a week long 14er journey.

The backpack comes in three different sizes (small, medium, and large) and all are meant to withstand any climate and terrain equally. The pack is made with durable yet extremely lightweight materials that allow for the backpack itself to weigh only a light five pounds. The suspension and molded back panel are what set Gregory packs apart from the competition. Both features are meant to fit the shape of any lumbar spine, making it feel less heavy on your lower back and instead, it distributes weight throughout your entire body. Continue reading Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

c839ce7b60d32dbc7477390988631c2fYou wouldn’t imagine Campfire Cinnamon Rolls this delectable, luxurious, and decadent to be as quick and effortless as pouring a bowl of cereal, but this recipe doesn’t have any secrets except a fundamentally, “what you see is what you get” kind of blueprint. The cooked orange interior gives the cinnamon rolls a citrusy zing to it’s sweet, gooey delicious soul. Its a perfect combination of flavors for any place and time. These cinnamon rolls can even be made in the comfort of your own home if you don’t have a trip planned for the near future.

When planning out meals for camping know that creating something delicious doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be sacrificing taste. Deliciousness doesn’t have to mean an overwhelming amount of ingredients or time. Take it easy, you’re on vacation!


  • Oranges
  • Pilsbury Cinnamon Rolls
  • Icing


  • Slice the orange in half and scoop out the insides
  • Put one cinnamon roll in each half
  • Put the oranges onto a baking sheet or something that you can safely put atop a fire
  • Cover the oranges with tinfoil
  • The rolls will rise and begin to smell amazing
  • Once the rolls are fully risen, take them off of the fire
  • Add icing to the rolls and enjoy

See, I told you – simple! Continue reading Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

Foul Weather Fan

Written By Adventure Blogger, Nick Carlson 

No epic adventure started with “On a bright sunny day. . .”
We were grateful for the rain. It has been very dry since Christmas. Raindrops bounced off the windshield in big thuds before the wipers could push them away. We were driving down a winding road to the lake after leaving the highway. Continue reading Foul Weather Fan

The Ten Essentials: Part 2 of 3


Now where were we? Ah, yes, the third item in Ten Essentials “Systems”! Previously in The Ten Essentials: Part 1 of 3  we spoke about the creation of the basic Ten Essentials and its transformation into the Ten Essential “Systems”. We covered the importance of Navigation and Sun Protection, but in this entry we will talk about Insulation, Illumination, First-Aid Supplies, and Fire.

baot3. Continue reading The Ten Essentials: Part 2 of 3

The Ten Essentials: Part 1 of 3


A couple weeks ago in the How to Pack Your Kayak blog post I briefly mentioned an ACK oriented Ten Essentials list in efforts to assist in the proper packing of your kayak for long term adventure. The Ten Essentials are a must for any regular backcountry explorer but, from my experience, each item has also come in handy throughout my regular day to day voyages, whether it be the occasional box opening at work or braving the suspiciously dark apartment laundry room at home. In this blog post, I will go into detail about each essential, explaining why it is important for both our outdoor and indoor lifestyles, as well as which ACK products are best for the categories before us.

The group that originated The Ten Essentials in 1930 was a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers called “The Mountaineers”. The list was constructed by the team to help like-minded individuals with preparation in case of outdoor emergencies. Throughout the years the list has been reconfigured and today it is currently resting in its eighth edition. 

Classic Ten Essentials

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Headlamp/flashlight
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife
  10. Extra food

Updated Ten Essential “Systems”

WordPress-navigation-widget1. Navigation (map and compass) – Being able to navigate your surroundings is important in everyday life so that you are able to arrive at your destinations on time, avoid finding yourself in more menacing parts of town, and so that you can locate the restaurant of your choice before you are altogether too hungry to concentrate. Continue reading The Ten Essentials: Part 1 of 3

Buffalo Bayou Regatta

Written By ACK Houston Store Manager, Aaron Lowe

This past Saturday was the 43rd Annual Buffalo Bayou Regatta. It was a beautiful, cool, and cloudy day in Houston on the Buffalo Bayou at the San Felipe Launch. There were over 700 participants in 500+ boats paddling the 15 mile race route. The race consist of 3 heats that started between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m and were divided by several classes to include all types of paddling styles.

The finish line at Sesquicentennial Park in downtown Houston featured live music from a local zydecoo band and had food catered in from Chipolte and St. Arnolds Brewery. The event also featured several family friendly activities including bean bag toss and Frisbee sponsored by Gilman Subaru. Continue reading Buffalo Bayou Regatta

2015 Spring Demo Days: What’s New?!

This year is our 10th annual Spring Demo Days and at this rate, it’s panning out to be our best yet! This year, we are honored to be able to represent and carry some of the leading kayak brands the industry offers including: Feel Free, Old Town, Viking, Wilderness Systems and of course Hobie. Revolutionary moves are being implemented in the business including the release of Old Town’s Predator XL Minn Kota and Hobie’s Revolution 16. Here are just a few of the new Kayaks that we plan on showing off. 


Wilderness Systems ATAK

Wilderness Systems ATAK

The Wilderness Systems ATAK – Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak has a design that can be customized to meet the needs of any angler. The wide deck is ideal for walking, standing, and scoping the waters for nearby fish.  The boat features Wilderness Systems new AirPro MAX seat which allows you to move about the entire length of the deck. This is a boat that can adjust to just about any environment and any target species. They are currently available for pre-order (said to ship around the end of April 2015) and are going fast! Continue reading 2015 Spring Demo Days: What’s New?!