What's In My Pack?

Updated: Feb 2

By Gordon Lubbers /

The first topic for a new blog …. not that hard a choice. Since I’m primarily an outdoor photographer, some of these articles will touch on heading out with a camera to capture part of the beauty that is New Hampshire. I wouldn’t want to encourage anyone, though, to do so without the proper preparation.

Safety First has to be your mantra. The outdoors can be an unforgiving place for those not prepared …. and becoming a statistic surely will upset your loved ones. Don’t do it.

Yes, there’s a difference between shooting Little Niagara Falls in Strafford and Thirteen Falls in Lincoln. The big difference is distance and terrain. First question … are you okay with the distance? The next question is what’s in your pack besides the camera gear?

What you should carry is known to hikers as the Ten Essentials. The list dates back to mountain climbing courses given in the 1930s and represents the collective wisdom of outdoor skills instructors. You won’t need every item on every trip, but essential gear can be a lifesaver in an emergency. Tailor the list depending on the outing; let the weather, the remoteness of your destination and terrain difficulty be your guide. There are no guarantees, of course, but if you carry them you’ll be more likely to end a hike to a waterfall or fire-tower whole, hale and healthy. And that’s the objective, right? How else will you share your photos and claim bragging rights for the trek?

Here’s the list. If you have questions or comments, you can enter them below. Be well and stay safe.


1. Navigation: map, altimeter, compass, GPS device, extra batteries

2. Headlamp & extra batteries

3. Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen, sun-protective clothing

4. First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (season depending)

5. Knife: plus repair kit

6. Fire: matches, lighter & tinder, magnesium bar & flint

7. Shelter: carried at all times … a lightweight emergency bivy is a great choice

8. Extra Food: An extra day’s rations minimum

9. Extra Water: Either bring more than you drink in a day, or know where the water is and carry a way to purify it

10. Extra Clothes: Enough to survive an emergency overnight.

Additional information and a printer friendly Ten Essentials PDF can be found here: REI Day Hiking Checklist

Gordon Lubbers is an advanced enthusiast photographer who enjoys teaching others; Gordon loves to roam around at night...in town, on the beach, in the mountains and he describes his photography as, “(mostly) about the quiet, peace, and beauty of the night sky and moonlit landscapes”. Check out Gordon's work here

#rplc603 #thefocusblog

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