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

Let’s Go Camping

With Spring giving us this beautiful weather and Summer on the horizon, we at ACK can think of only one thing- camping season!Camping What’s better than getting outside and enjoying what nature has to offer with family and friends? Kayaking a nearby river, cooking over an open campfire, and sleeping under the stars are just a few things that make camping one of our favorite things to do when the weather beckons us outside. We strongly believe that with the proper camping gear, a person who may not like camping can be converted into an avid camper. Gone are the days of uncomfortably sleeping on rocks and limited food options. A new and improved way of camping has evolved through the trials and tribulations of campers before us who have given advice and guidance. Not only do campers of days past provide tips and must-haves, apparently our Facebook fans have a few tricks of their own to share! We took to the ACK Facebook page to see what all of you would consider “camping necessities” and got some great ideas. So great in fact, we couldn’t help but share them on our blog! With these items, the next time you hear “Let’s go camping!” you’ll be fully prepared to camp in comfort and style.


  1. Duct Tape
  2. Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  3. Toilet Paper
  4. Food
  5. WaterKayak campsite
  6. Lighter
  7. Knife
  8. Tent
  9. Sleeping Bag
  10. Water Purifier
  11. Rainwear
  12. Topography Map


  1. Sense of adventure
  2. Kayak
  3. Fishing Gear
  4. Pillows
  5. Sleeping Pad
  6. Mess Kit
  7. Hammock
  8. Cooler


  1. Spouses
  2. Nacho Cheese Doritos
  3. Booze
  4. Beer
  5. Entertainment

We think Tcipip Nut phrased it best when he wrote, “The mindset to unplug, sit back, relax, and enjoy. Don’t forget to look up at night and enjoy the stars show in hopefully dark skies.” Think our Facebook fans missed something? Comment below and let us know!

Love, Hugs & Outdoor Gear

I logged onto Facebook this past Sunday in anticipation of reading post-Super Bowl game comments and was surprised to see how many people posted they were glad that football season was over. Why? Well, not necessarily because they didn’t like football but because and I quote, they were “happy to have their husbands” back. Sad but so true and the good news for those who “lose” their loved ones for a few months is that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner  — time for redemption?

While Valentine’s day is synonymous with love, hugs, flowers and chocolate, I like to look at it as more of an opportunity to bring the romance of the great outdoors to the one I love. For example there was one year we experienced such mild weather that I surprised her with a late night float along the banks of the Colorado river (Lady Bird Lake) here in downtown Austin, Texas. I brought all the goodies one would expect on Valentine’s date such as a couple of glasses of wine, cheese, crackers and chocolate. I even brought her a blanket to stay warm while we enjoyed the sweet sounds of our favorite music.

I do realize that weather can be a problem this time of the year but with a bit of creativity and gear made to keep you warm or dry, there is no reason not to give it a try. Can’t paddle? Go camping. Too cold? Make a fire and warm up some tea or coffee! Or, you can always keep it indoors and make a feast with our complete line of Lodge cookware…nice plug huh?

Sure, this article in fact is about gear but more importantly, they are gifts they’ll cherish through the experience and memories you both make using them.

Think outside of the box this year!

Roland @ACK

ACK Kayak Camping Gear Guide: A Visual Presentation

We’ve written several articles highlighting what you need to know when kayak camping. This time, we took a different approach featuring the camping gear you should consider taking along with you through an easy to follow one page visual presentation. See below or download a high res PDF version for printing and to reference it at a later time. Both versions contain clickable links that will lead you to detailed information about each product or product category. Enjoy! – Roland & Joseph @ACK

Relax – The Hammock Way

Eno Kyle
Kyle relaxing in his Eno Hammock during a lunch break.

I’ve personally enjoyed the art of relaxing for pretty much all my life and discovered that one of best ways to fully appreciate this great pastime is with the help of a hammock. There is nothing like relaxing to the sounds of nature while enjoying the cool breeze in the great outdoors.

I particularly enjoy using hammocks like the one’s we carry by Eagles Nest Outfitters aka “ENO”. The main reason is that they are extremely compact and can be taken just about anywhere. With their packed size being smaller than that of a football, it makes it extremely easy to keep the hammock in your car, backpack, kayak/canoe, office, home…you get the point. As you can see in the photograph, I really do enjoy the portability of hammocks. Yep, that’s me taking it easy on my lunch break just outside our office.

Hammocks are great for camping, festivals, sporting events, fishing, hiking, biking and any other outdoor activity where you may need a quick rest or a good night’s sleep. In addition to their portability, they take less than 30 seconds to set up and put away. All you need to do is find a couple trees (or similar setup) that are about 10-15 feet apart, set the Slap Straps by looping them around the trunks. Once you’ve done this, simply take the carabiner end of the hammock and attach it to one of the six points on each Slap Strap — easy. After that, get in and good luck fighting consciousness as you’ll undoubtedly slip off into a warm dreamland filled with gumdrops and lollipops.

Protect yourself from the elements.

If you want to take your relaxation to a whole other dimension, check out the Kelty Camp and Luxury Camp Pillows. Their portability also provides a convenient anywhere/anytime use pillow. Whether you are traveling, camping or everything in between, Kelty Camp Pillows are the essence of convenient comfort. Couple these with the Single or Double Nest ENO hammocks and you’ve got yourself a  match made in heaven.

Share it with your dog!

Lastly, don’t let inclement weather deter you from breaking out the hammock and getting a snooze in. Consider an ENO Fast Fly Rain Tarp. This product compliments all ENO hammocks and can also be used independently to shade and protect you and your gear.