Great thread! I need to catch up...

I'm liking this thread cause it reinforces for me why I bother to take along each and every piece of gear in my pack. Im always thinking can I leave it behind and what are the consequences?

1. As said, and I have seen more than my share, day hikers woefully unprepared for a forced overnighter. I have always contemplated an immobilizing injury. Probably cause I've had a few in my day riding MX. cry If we are talking about surviving a night out 11 items seems to cover it. As a minimum rain gear and something to keep me warm always go with me. I realize as Lori mentioned that rescue is not going to be immediate in almost all situations. As a small boat sailor I have read the operational response procedures for PLB signals and its not like dialing 911 folks. Now if your not so equipped and your relying on someone coming along or on your hiking partner to fetch help its going to be a while. Bleeding and exposure would be my worst fears.

2. The 11 item overnighter gets us all prioritizing. Great thing to keep in mind every time you are loading your pack. Helps reinforce collecting those essentials on the living room floor first when loading the pack. I always use a list because I admit I am far from infallible when it comes to memory.

3. I find a lot of the items overlapping showing that in general we all have some similar basic needs. Some of the variants to my list may not apply to others and vise versa. I did not include hiking sticks in my original list but I take them on every BP and most day hikes because I have no natural balance since my inner ears were destroyed. I can do with out them but its a pain. Same with a headlight. I cant function as the light goes down. Without light I don't know which way is up. I left it off my list thinking I could hike only during lighted hours. It also goes with me on all BP and day hikes. So just a few examples of wanting to take items that others might find non essential.

3. I will probably take the challenge with my wife this summer on an overnighter on the AT here. There are stretches here with bear boxes, shelters, and plenty of water. Should make the 11 easy and hopefully under 6lbs. Cant remember if the weight is still a issue with our challenge here? I think another good learning experience would be to take along my day pack with no more than usual and spend a spontaneous night no more than say 3 miles out. It certainly will not be comfortable but very use full in proving what's in my pack. grin