Whether you are a military guy, a boy scout or the occasional hiker, chances are you’ve heard about the 10 essentials. In essence, these are the 10 pieces of gear you should always have in your kit. These 10 items vary, but generally they include a knife, a fire-starter, a water bottle, a first-aid kit and other common items found in a person’s rucksack. As experienced outdoorsmen will tell you, these 10 items compose what you should have on you at a minimum, and in reality the “10 essentials” are better understood as concepts instead of a definitive and final packing list. For example, edged tools like a multi-tool, saw or axe can satisfy the “knife” concept.

This begs the question, if the idea of a conceptual checklist works so well in the survival and outdoors community, how can it be applied to the handgunning world? Follow along as we put our spin on this widely used “10 essentials” checklist.

This article was originally published in “Combat Handguns” September/October 2017. To subscribe, visit

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