SNAP Review – 10 Essentials

10 Essentials cards: Dangers and Essentials
10 Essentials game tin

A simple take-that game, 10 Essentials aims to to introduce kids to the standard “ten essential items” for backcountry hiking. Remedy dangers like dehydration or snow while playing similar dangers on the other players! What did Asher and Anitra think of this game? Listen to their review in 6 minutes, or read on below.

10 Essentials was designed by John Isley, published by Trailside Games, and is distributed by Education Outdoors.

How to Play

Deal everyone ten cards. On your turn, you draw one card and play one card. You must play a “Hike” card to start your action pile before you are allowed to play any scoring cards.

Scoring cards come in three types: miles, wildlife, and scenic. Play one into your action pile to work towards your goal (50 points).

You may also play orange “Danger” cards on players who have started their action pile. These represent the possible hazards that hikers might encounter, and must be negated with the appropriate green “Essential”.

Unlike other take-that games, hikers can still play some scoring cards when they’ve been affected with a Danger card.

Keep inching towards the goal with 3 mile cards and wildlife cards.

There are also red “Evacuate” cards, a special Danger card that must be negated with a new Hike. If a player has an “Evacuate” on their pile, they may not play ANY scoring cards until they play a new Hike card.

10 Essentials Damaged Gear and Repair Tool cards
Fix your Damaged Gear with Repair Tool


10 Essentials is a simple draw-and-play game with a strong take-that element. It feels a lot like Mille Bornes, but is a bit kinder, allowing players to continue to work on their point piles even with hazards.

We recommend seeding the deck with “Hike” cards near the top, or giving one to everyone in their starting hand. Otherwise there may be a lot of drawing before you can even start playing cards in your own scoring pile, which can feel very unfair.

10 Essentials cards: Dangers and Essentials

10 Essentials is merely OK. There’s a lot of take-that, and not much of anything else. It does fulfill its purpose to educate and interest kids in hiking, and it comes in a weatherproof tin. Combined with the theme, it would be a good choice to bring camping or hiking.

Find 10 Essentials on Amazon for around $15.

The Family Gamers received a review copy of 10 Essentials from Education Outdoors.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

10 Essentials
  • 10 Essentials: the card game


2-4 players (could do 5)

Ages 6+ (some reading, addition up to 50)

30 minutes (we’d say 15-20)