Give the Gift of Readiness
November 20th, 2017 by Curtis Condon

These are the key three: a water source, a fire source, and a knife or multitool. They are the three most critical items on the list of Ten Essentials. While an experienced outdoorsman can get by without the other seven items, the gravity of an unexpected survival situation increases exponentially without one or more of the key three.

The Ten Essentials list has been around since the 1930s. It is comprised of 10 things people should take when venturing into the wild, in the event of an emergency.

In addition to its original purpose, the Ten Essentials list is an excellent source for gleaning gift and stocking-stuffer ideas for the hard-to-buy-for outdoor enthusiast.

Here are the Ten Essentials, with a few gift suggestions for each category:
1. Hydration: Water bottle, hydration bladder, water filter, water purification tablets.
2. Shelter: Tent, tube tent, Mylar emergency blanket.
3. Fire: Lighter, steel and flint, waterproof matches, candle.
4. Tools/repair kit: Pocketknife, multitool, paracord, heavy-duty sewing kit.
5. Navigation: Compass, altimeter, GPS unit, topographic maps.
6. First Aid: Compact first-aid kit, instruction cards, booklet or app.
7. Insulation: Wool or fleece clothing, waterproof outerwear, gloves, stocking hat, wool or synthetic socks.
8. Illumination: Mini flashlight, headlamp, glow stick.
9. Nutrition: Energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, candy.
10. Sun protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat.

App of the Month—Merlin Bird ID
Florida is a winter destination for many species of migrating birds, so now is the perfect time to check out Merlin Bird ID. It is a free, interactive bird-identification app. Simply answer five quick questions or snap a photo of the bird in question to view possible matches. The app also features a library of species range maps, more than 3,000 bird photos and 8,000 sounds. It is available for iOS and Android devices.

December 21 is National Flashlight Day
National Flashlight Day is always observed on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. The day is a reminder to have a flashlight on hand wherever you are. It is also an opportune time to check flashlight batteries and replace them as necessary.

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