10 essentials for your next sailing adventure.
As sailors there is an awful lot we can learn from other adventure sports. As climbers, paddlers, hikers, adventure runners and other backcountry enthusiasts have done for years, sailors of all kinds can benefit from a systemic approach to the gear they bring with them on the water.
The point of the Ten Essentials list (developed by The Mountaineers) has always been to help answer two basic questions: First, can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? Second, can you safely spend an extended period of time out in the elements? The list has evolved over time from a list of individual items to a list of functional systems; the updated Ten Essential Systems list is included in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition.
As someone who is often jumping aboard other people’s boats (OPB) I try to come prepared with my own Ten Essentials. Here is an outline of my system that is in my “coaches pack” or PFD nearly overtime I step aboard:
Ten Essential Systems
- I always carry a detailed chart of the area I am sailing in. These days, I often don’t pack a paper chart, but rather use the very accurate electronic charting apps I can use on my phone. I use Navionics, iNavX and nvCharts as my primary nav tools. I also will research a sailing area using actual paper charts and MacENC before going if I it is a totally foreign place
- I still always carry a compass. I use a hand bearing compass such as the Weems and Plath hand bearing compass.
- In addition to all of that, my iPhone is a useful GPS.
- I live in sunglasses and a baseball cap. Sunscreen for lips and skin are crucial. Recently I’ve started wearing a long sleeve shirt too. My favorite sun protecting shirts are made from Patagonia. The Capilene® Lightweight shirts last forever, never stink, wash well and take logo’s and even dye sublimation better than most. Many sailors are wearing buffs these days too. They make for good neck protection.