In short, climbing a mountain takes a lot of preparations. You need to be physically fit, you need to be with a team, and you need a budget and every relevant outdoor gear. I know, climbing a mountain is really exciting and rewarding, but at the same time, it is extremely dangerous too.
So, there can’t be any sort of rush. You need a detailed plan for climbing and it takes time to get ready. However, in this article, I will be only talking about what you need to climb a mountain. All other parts will be covered in other articles shortly.
Things You Need To Climb A Mountain
Of course, I will give you a complete list, but you can figure it out yourself, at least most of them. Just ask yourself the following 2 questions:
- In case of emergency or accident, can you handle it wisely?
- Are you well prepared to spend one or more nights outside?
If the answers are yes for both of the questions, you are already well-prepared. But not everyone is as skilled as you. Even the most experienced climbers make simple mistakes. So, here is the following list of items that you should have when you decide to climb a mountain.
- The Navigation Package
It’s so easy to get lost while climbing a mountain. And I don’t need to remind you the facts that how many mountaineers had to be rescued each year because they are simply lost. So, your navigational equipment is a must-have.
The 5 essential navigational items are a map (printed & digitally saved on your cell phone), altimeter, a compass for direction, GPS device (I am not talking about the one which is built in your mobile phone), and a locator beacon.
I could go on explaining all of them, but I believe as a mountaineer you know about them already. You can’t miss any one of them to make your climbing successful and ensure safety for yourself.
- Headlamp With Compatible Helmet
Even you plan to return before the dark, a headlamp which is more like a torchlight is a must. The whole point of having a headlamp is to keep your hands free so that you can keep climbing. That’s the reason it has to be compatible with a climbing helmet.
There are plenty of climbing helmets out there from various brands and all of them are headlamp compatible. But your focus should be on the headlamp. Keep spare batteries for the lamp and if it is solar-powered, make sure it is full-charged before you start climbing.
- Enough Stockpile of Food
Maybe you are planning a one-day trip, but emergency may arise out of nowhere. Bad weather or injuries may prolong the stay. So, you must bring enough food for your survival.
Bring only those foods that need no cooking at all. You won’t have that luxury in case of emergency. Nuts, dried foods, candy, dried soup, instant coffee & tea are good in such a situation.
Of course, you have to bring enough water, but be prepared to purify any water too. There are some purification chemicals in the market that you can bring. Also, you can boil water to purify them.
- Protect Against Scorching Sun!
You must have a sunglass and wear it all the time unless you want to get a sunburn! It can lead to skin cancer as well. In addition to the sunglass, you should have the sunscreen (rated at least SPF 30) and sun-protective clothes.
The sunglass will protect you from the harmful ultraviolet rays and make the climbing easy. Sunscreen is a must while you are on the mountain. It not only saves from skin cancer but can save you from other diseases like lupus.
Like the above two: sunglass & sunscreen, the sun-protective clothes offer more safeguard against the sun sometimes. And by sun-protective clothes, I don’t mean the thin white t-shirt. Try to wear a hat with full-brim as well.
- A Complete First Aid Box
If you are lost in the mountain and even the rescuers have located you successfully, you need to be prepared to survive in the wilderness. Besides, during the entire climbing expedition, who knows what might happen, right? So, the wise thing is to bring a complete first aid kit.
Now, depending on the duration of your expedition, you need to decide what to include in the first aid box. Some basics are bandages, antiseptic cream & liquid, tape, gauze pads, a needle, painkillers, and if you have your own prescription from the doctor, include that too.
If you are allergic to bees or hornet venom, consider including an EpiPen too. Remember, your first aid box has to be sturdy and compact. Make sure it is waterproof too. You can find a lot of them in the dispensary or even online.
- Fire & Knife
It could be cold out there & you definitely need light during the night? So, you need a fire starter. Instead of traditional match boxes, bring a butane lighter that you trust most. Igniting the wet wood is really difficult, so you need some sort of fire starters. Petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls, & wax soaked woods are great as fire starters.
If you climb on a high altitude, you may end up on the snow where you won’t find any wood. So, consider bringing a mini stove too.
Moreover, a survival knife is a must during any wilderness outdoor activities like mountain climbing. You can use it to prepare your food, repairing stuff, and it works great as a first aid kit too.
- Bring Shelter
I am not talking about the rain shell, but an emergency shelter; more like plastic tube tent. It has to be perfect against wind, snow, or rain and keep your body warm. In addition to the tent in your base camp, bring an insulated sleeping pad to keep yourself warm if you have to rest or sit on the snow.
Some experienced climbers also recommend a bivy sack too.
So, you have found everything you need to have while going to mountain climbing. You have to make the list and cross-check all the items before you start the journey. Think twice so that you won’t have to regret at all later.