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

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

Yeti Ice


If anything about Yeti strikes you as uniquely their own, you understand how they pride themselves on their products extreme durability, toughness, and mastery of keeping things colder than a polar bear’s toe nails. Yeti Ice is nothing short of your expectations. Not only does the Ice keep things chilled for a longer period of time but it temps food, beverages, etc. colder in a quicker time span. The shape aids in durability and portability, and the Ice comes in both 2lb and 4lb sizes making it perfect for lunch boxes, drift boxes, coolers, tailgating, or any carrier transporting refrigerated perishables.

Continue reading Yeti Ice

GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Video Camera

GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Video Camera

The GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Video Camera is a compact and powerful professional-quality video and photo machine. The built-in wifi enables the use of GoPro Apps to control the camera remotely, preview the shots you’ve taken, and share your masterpieces online or to your desktop. This device makes taking and sharing quick, on the go, and previously hard to take photos simpler than ever. The amazing 10MP photos can be shot in several different modes of your choice the rugged housing is waterproof up to 40 meters and even protects against wet, dirty, or sandy environments. More Information.

The Kayak Adventure You’ve Been Missing Out On

ACK Fan and Customer, Bill Halwick on his 43rd Consecutive Full Moon Paddle.

Full Moon paddle sessions are lesser known excursions for those interested in taking their kayak experience to the next level. Historically, doing much of anything under the glow of a full moon has had mystic connotations associated to it. As a whole, kayakers and SUP boarders get a kick out of the adventure for their own personal purposes, and not to intentionally awaken any undead lake monster on a night that would appear to be ideal for those kind of bewitching endeavors. For convenience purposes, these events typically occur on warmer nights when the water can be guaranteed a certain temperature above freezing. But in a lot of cases people go solo on these trips in efforts to experience a sense of solitude and connectedness with their natural setting, sometimes even in the heart of winter. Continue reading The Kayak Adventure You’ve Been Missing Out On

How to Pack Your Kayak

Before you set out on any boating excursion, be it fishing, long distance, camping, or whitewater, its crucial to have your dry hatch essentials prepared and properly stocked in your kayak. Although all of these different styles typically require different calibers of gear and equipment, there are some not so obvious basics, necessary for any adventure. Making sure you know exactly how waterproof your hatch is before you begin packing is the first step. If you are unsure on how waterproof the space is and don’t have time for testing, be sure to double pack all of your goods into dry bags and then into the hatch to protect against the risk of water damage.  Continue reading How to Pack Your Kayak

Valentine’s Day with ACK

The Gifts

Gift Ideas for Your Outdoor Lover

Imagine this scenario if you will: it’s Valentine’s Day, you planned to surprise your lover at work with chocolates and flowers all in the spirit of the day. You’ll proceed to tell her that you’ve made dinner reservations for The Melting Pot way in advance (impressive move) and she’ll be excited, but not quite as excited as she would be if this next scenario unfolded.

Here we are again on Valentine’s Day, you’ve made some online purchases for your sweetheart that you are rather proud of. You get past the receptionist, up the elevator, and finally it’s just you, your lover, and the Malibu Tandem Kayak, sunset color (with accessories included). She’s stunned, she’s beaming, and she’s forgotten all about dinner. Continue reading Valentine’s Day with ACK