The 10 items you should never enter a national park without, according to the National Park Service

Yes, thermal underwear is on the list.

A person in a beanie and a backpack staring up at a tree-lined mountain.

So, you think you want to explore the wilderness? Slow down there, adventurous soul — you may need to bulk up your backpack first.

Protect yourself and your travel companions by stocking up on these 10 crucial supplies the National Parks Service coins the Ten Essentials. Bonus: Keep these items around the house in case of emergencies, too.

1. Navigation


TurnOnSport Professional Field Compass | $11.99 via Amazon

Use maps provided on each national park’s website (and make sure you know how to read them), but be extra prepared with a compass and a GPS system.

2. Sun protection


Banana Boat Sunscreen Stick | $11.99 via Amazon

Don’t underestimate how long your skin may be exposed. Load up on a three-pack of sprayable sunscreen that’s easy to apply, plus pack an SPF stick that’s small enough to go in a fanny pack or backpack. Bonus: Make your clothing work for you with a UV protective jacket.

3. Insulation


OUTDOOR SHAPING Unisex Merino Wool Beanie | $22.99 via Amazon

Sudden changes in temperature and weather happen, so be prepared with an extra layer. The NPS specifically recommends packing: a jacket, hat, gloves, rain shell, and thermal underwear.

4. Illumination


Curtsod rechargeable headlamp | $15.99 via Amazon

It’s a good idea to come ready with a flashlight, lantern, and — the NPS’ preferred light source — a headlamp so you can be hands free.

5. First-aid supplies


The Protect Life First Aid kit, designed by doctors | $24.95 via Amazon

Here’s a packable first-aid kit designed by doctors. Add this emergency guide to it so you’ll know what to do if there’s a medical emergency and no cell service available.

6. Fire


UCO Stormproof Match Kit | $9.26 via Amazon

Make sure you can start one with tools on hand including matches and a lighter. Or, if you want to have as rustic an experience as possible, these magnesium fire starters have over 2,000 five-star reviews.

7. Repair kit and tools


Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan Pocket Knife | $36 via Amazon

You’ll be thankful you have these if your equipment breaks. Fix most basic repairs with a Swiss army knife (this one includes a large and small knife, can opener, and screwdriver) and some duct tape.

8. Nutrition


RXBAR Vanilla Almond Protein Bar | $19.99 for 12 via Amazon

It’s recommended to carry an extra day’s supply of no-cook items — and you’ll want them to be nutritious, too. We recommend stocking up on trail mix packs and a box of granola bars (try 88 Acres bars for seeds and oats or an RXBAR pack for nuts, dates, and egg whites). You can also bring dried fruit and jerky.

9. Hydration


Owala FreeSip Stainless Steel Water Bottle | $37.99 via Amazon

Make sure to check if there are refillable water stations wherever you plan to camp or hike. Bring a reusable bottle like the Owala water bottle or even a multi-liter hydration backpack. It’s also recommended you bring water treatment supplies — brush up on how to purify water.

10. Emergency shelter


Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp | $26.49 via Amazon

Be ready to protect yourself in an emergency situation with a tent, tarp, bivy sack for warmth and weather proofing, and space blanket.

Ready to explore? Here are 6 of the best national parks across the US.

More from The Buy
Amazon Prime Day 2024 is fast approaching — don’t miss out on the early sales.
Amazon Prime Day 2024 kicks off Tuesday, July 16 — but these home items are on sale now.
Supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Made to offer razor-sharp precision.
Save on this new, open-box iPad keyboard during this alternative to Prime Day.
Browse participating restaurants and discover where you can save.
This unique noise-cancelling pillow runs on Bluetooth technology.
This price is only available through July 21.
Access thousands of the best documentaries for life with no price increases.