Mountaineering Essentials

August and September are usually the most popular months to visit the mountains. Due to friendlier conditions compared to winter and early spring, people tend to underestimate them and set their foot into the mountains unprepared. Mountains can be dangerous at any point and demand full mountaineer’s attention. Slides and other accidents are more frequently caused due to bad or insufficient equipment. The statistics show that more people catch hyperthermia in summer months than in winter, due to insufficient equipment and clothing. In order to prevent or to diminish such occurrence, this article will address the most important parts of each mountaineer’s equipment.

How should I dress?

Dress code is one of the most important parts of the mountaineer’s equipment. Weather could be very unpredictable in the mountains, in terms of sudden drops of temperature, rain, wind or even snow. 

During walking your body should not feel overheated, therefore wearing “active” underwear which fits your body well is recommended. In addition, it also fits your body, which could prevent being stuck in branches or rocks. Avoid using cotton materials because it is cold and slowly eliminates body moisture and causes odor.

In addition, your outfit should be designed in the “onion principle” (many different layers) where each of the layers has its purpose (sweat and body temperature regulation, rain protection, wind protection, and cold protection). Always take each layer off or on gradually in order to prevent the overheating or overcooling your body.

Shoes have to be tested before planning a longer route to the mountains in order to see whether they fit well with our legs and feet. If not, they could cause blisters and other uncomfortable injuries. Generally, the recommended type of shoe for the mountains has a shape of a boot, protecting the ankle in case of a slide. It should also be breathable and waterproof in order to prevent our feet to get sweaty and cold. The sole of the shoe should have a badge “Vibram” which makes the walk more comfortable.

Summer dress-code essentials:

  • Hiking boots, thick socks,
  • outdoor pants,
  • fast-drying underwear and shirt,
  • middle layer fleece shirt,
  • softshell or hardshell jacket,
  • cap,
  • gloves and sunglasses.


What should I pack into my backpack?

The staples of each mountaineers’ backpack are without a question first aid, compass, head torch with spare batteries, helmet, charged mobile phone, hiking poles, aluminum foil, notebook and pencil, a candle with matches concealed in a waterproof bag, low volume high caloric food and water.

Apart from the things listed above, clothing is also one of the most important parts of the mountain equipment. Due to fast weather changes, sudden temperature drops, you have to come prepared with warm and waterproof clothing, therefore leave some space for a sweater or a hardshell jacket.

Due to a higher altitude, the sun’s radiation is also high, therefore wearing UV-protective clothing and sunscreen is also advised. If you are planning to cross a glacier, an ice field, or a patch of snow, it is also advised to take equipment such as ropes, axes, appropriate shoes with climbing irons, hinges, avalanche airbag, shovel, and RECCO beacons.

It is better to come over-prepared than underprepared.

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