I’ve been getting some comments asking if I could do a pack list video for beginners.
So first-timers could get good understanding of what’s needed and making sure they don’t forget anything.
At the same I’ve got questions regarding gear on a budget.
Not all things have to be by big name brands, and I agree.
“A poor man can’t afford to buy cheap stuff”, but you can still find affordable alternatives.
So this week I realized I can combine these two requests.
I’ll now go through so called “10 C kit” system,
which is something between a mnemonic and gear philosophy, sort of a principle.
It has been coined by Dave Canterbury.
First five C’s of survivability were chosen to provide a list of tools
that will help you to better endure the great outdoors.
Later he added additional five C’s,
thus turning the system into a sort of outdoorsman’s must-have list.
It doesn’t include clothing or food,
as those are variables that change depending on your situation, the location and length of the trip.
I’ll go through these C’s right now.
I’m not going to go through the principles of the 10 C’s
but I’ll include links to Dave’s original videos in the description box.
So here’s how you can build a pretty decent 10 C kit on a budget.
I’ll adjust the camera angle and let’s start looking what’s in here.
Out of 10 C’s, the first one is probably the most important: cutting tool.
Here’s a basic Mora-like knife that I got with Bahco Laplander folding saw.
It has a good rubber grip, and will surely perform just fine with most of the tasks you throw at it.
Regular Mora costs like 10 euros,
so we can say it’s very good tool for the price.
As I mentioned, the knife came with a saw.
One clever thing about 10 C’s kit is that it doesn’t mean exactly 10 items
but instead it means 10 different things you need to take into account.
So you can have redundancy in each C, to improve the kit overall.
This is one of the best outdoors folding saws
and this is pretty capable knife
together roughly £27, which is a very good deal for these two tools.
But again, you can get just a Mora with 10 euros and you’ll do just fine.
The second C is for combustion, or a way to create a fire.
There’s no need to go fancy with this,
just get a minigrip bag and put a hi-vis orange lighter in it.
Easily the best way to start a fire.
With two euros you can probably get also a pack of matches to go with it.
A good tip with matches is to put half of them the other way around,
in case the box gets wet from one end, at least half of the matches are still good to go.
Third C is for cover.
In the framework of this system, this doesn’t mean a tent or a big tarp,
but instead a small, personal cover.
For me, it’s Mil-Tec’s rip-stop poncho.
This exact model is not available anymore in Finland,
for example Varusteleka now sells a bit thicker and heavier version of this.
I’ve been very happy with this purchase, it cost me 19€.
I’ve also slept under it, so I have been using it as a shelter.
Right now it is my primary raingear in my normal hiking setup.
It also works as a bivvy bag.
If you don’t have a rain cover for your backpack, this also takes care of that.
For fourth, we have container.
In my opinion, especially as we’re talking about budget gear,
there’s no better option than to buy some military surplus set.
This one is VDV’s mess kit and canteen.
The mess kit is made of two parts, so if you’ve done your Finnish military service this looks familiar.
And nested inside is the bottle.
Naturally the set is made of metal
so besides eating and drinking from it, you can also boil water in it.
If you don’t want to use the original metal bottle,
you can also fit e.g. Finnish military’s one liter plastic canteen in these.
This doesn’t take too much space in your pack.
This does have a bail handle, so you can hang this over a fire.
The set came with its own carry pouch.
These types of mess kits are available for 10-30 euros.
Let’s say the value of this is 20 euros.
So there you have a water bottle and eating equipment.
The last of original five C’s is cordage.
I carry paracord.
In the previous video I showed how to bundle it up nicely like this.
I think this is again good bang for your buck.
I ordered this one from Lamnia, it cost 12€ for 30 meters.
It’s very tough and packs quite small.
I think this is a very good cordage option for all-around use.
Climbing ropes and the likes are of course a completely different thing, but for the average Joe this is good.
Now that we’ve gone through the original, most important five C’s, let’s move on.
Number six is a bit curiously named: candle.
Practically it means some sort of a light source.
This is my first ever headlamp, made by Varta.
It has two different light modes.
This is several years old.
It’s at least sold as waterproof and impact resistant.
I think on Clash Ohlson’s website there’s some submerging test videos for it.
The best part is that this thing costs only 18 euros, including batteries.
I’ve changed the batteries only once.
Of course the lumen output isn’t the greatest, but it’s enough for normal use.
It’s very sturdy, and only 18 euros.
This “candle” can include actual candles and other sources of light as well,
but for me, a headlamp will be always my number one option.
It’s just so much more convenient than a regular flashlight.
Number seven is cotton.
Although it’s commonly said that cotton kills,
as it’s pretty terrible fabric especially against your skin.
As a fabric it just performs poorly with moisture management.
But for this part, a normal shemagh works very well.
A good basic scarf can add additional warmth in winter,
provide shade in summer, act as a pillow in a sleeping system,
plus a whole bunch other uses.
It can even be used as a bandage and arm sling if needed.
Multi-use item definitely.
Once again doesn’t weigh much and is easy to carry along.
Usually these cost around 10 euros.
And this is also a fairly long lasting item.
Number eight is a compass.
An extremely important piece of equipment.
I have it on hi-vis orange lanyard.
Compass’ role is a bit similar to that of a rope
in the sense that both are great items to have, but useless if you don’t know how to use them,
e.g. if you don’t know any knots or how to get a bearing with the compass.
You need to have certain skills in place before you can do anything with these tools.
Same goes for knives and others,
but with them you might be able to get away with just using common sense
whereas with cordage and compass you need to really learn new skills.
And I advise to do that learning before venturing to the great outdoors.
This is a fairly cheap compass.
I’m planning to purchase a bit more expensive one with a mirror case from Suunto.
If you haven’t bought a compass yet, a good option is for example Suunto A10,
it’s their basic model and costs less than 20€.
A very good investment.
I’m not planning to throw this one away,
I’ll give this one to the misses
and get another one for myself.
Number nine is a bit out of the ordinary or something that not all might think about when packing their gear.
It’s cargo tape, or as we say in Finnish “Jeesus tape”.
Instead of carrying the whole roll with me
I’ve re-wrapped the tape around a plastic card.
This is a surprisingly long piece to be honest.
It’s flexible and flat packet.
The purpose of the tape in this kit is to e.g. help with impromptu gear repairs.
Couple of years ago we used cargo tape and plastic bags to create “waterproof socks” for a fellow hiker.
So it’s a nice option for all kinds of small repair tasks.
Some people insist that this tape has to be very expensive and high quality,
but if we’re looking at this with common sense,
the tape’s purpose is to provide small temporary fixes that last only until the end of the hike, for example.
Not for long term solutions.
So pretty much any cargo tape brand will do, you can buy a roll with like 10 euros.
And of course no need to carry the whole roll with you.
The last part of this kit, number ten, is canvas needle.
This is actually something that I don’t have.
But when putting this kit together, it made me really wonder if I should get one after all.
The purpose of the needle is to work as another repair tool
and the needle should be thick enough so you can fix whatever gear you carry or wear.
For example if your backpack gets a tear, the needle needs to be sturdy enough to penetrate the fabric.
Yeah I don’t have that yet,
but quickly browsing for example a set of five needles costs 3,20€.
So it should fit to anyone’s budget.
I’ve done quite a bit of sowing and stuff like that,
that’s another skillset that’s good to have.
I just don’t have that needles that would be big enough for this category,
and I haven’t carried anything like that when I’m out and about.
So this was a good wake-up call for me.
All of this gear – let’s get rid of this backpack –
all this gear, excluding this saw, is in total 100-120€.
Probably you could get this with even less than that.
But then again, I don’t know if you actually should go cheap on these.
Most of these are not single-use items, they are meant to last for several years.
So this is how my low budget version of 10 C’s of survivability kit looks like.
Although it covers only 9 C’s since I’m missing the needle.
I’d say this is a very solid foundation for a gear list.
You’d add food, water, extra clothing,
rain gear if you want to have more than the poncho.
What’s your shelter? Poncho can be used as one, but it’s not necessarily the most comfortable one.
For example I’m carrying a DD tarp with me, even though I have this poncho as well.
Of course you need first aid equipment as well, plus other things you deem necessities.
But if you got these basic items in place
they will go for a long way.
It’s good to have these all with you every time you go outdoors.
Even for a short day hike, I wouldn’t consider carrying these items as an excess burden
as these should cover any situation you might come across.
Hopefully this video was helpful for those who asked for budget gear recommendations
and for beginner hikers who ponder what are the most essential things to carry.
Full packing lists are a separate thing, as previously mentioned.
These are the basic equipment that should be relevant for almost any outdoor goer.
These items cost roughly a hundred euros, and are more than capable for the intended tasks.
No doubt about that.
Please leave a comment if you’d change anything in this kit
or if you use some sort of a list like this as a starting point when packing gear.
I’m happy to hear what you think.
These and similar items have served me well for years,
so you don’t always have to pour money on things to get something functional.
That was Reissussa channel’s version of 10 C’s kit on a budget.
Thanks for watching,
see you next time.