Last updated: Nov 29, 2020
First, my credentials and why this list might be worth your time. I’ve been traveling the world and have been to 6 of the 7 continents. (I’m coming for you Antarctica!) I’ve done a couple solo trips to Nepal, hiking in the Himilayas and meditating, and to Iceland, where I drove around the country in my Happy Camper. Been to Africa, where I walked with cheetahs, and to New Zealand, where I did an intro class to ice climbing. Also, I’ve been on numerous hikes, with one intro to mountaineering class and summited Mt. Baker.
Now that we’ve established that, on to the fun stuff — gear list!
The below list is meant to be applicable to almost every trip, whether it’s extremely rugged or in the lap of luxury.
Had a hilarious exchange with someone I just met. We marveled at how we were willing to pay like $2000 for this camera, when we have a $1000 phone that takes prob just as good pictures. And yet, I won’t pay $1000 for a new tv when my current tv has a solid green bar on the left side of the screen. Worse yet, good luck getting me to pay for $5 for an app! Bottom line, the Sony A7iii camera is amazing.
For me, before I gave myself permission to buy this cadillac of a camera, I took a couple photography classes to get the basics. I landed on this camera because, once again, I trust the Sony brand. The reviews for this was stellar with the latest in technology, the mirrorless makes it less bulky than others. Lastly, I just dropped my camera on the driveway concrete… and it still works great. Whew.
Charmast Slim USB C Power Bank, 26800mAh Portable Charger USB C, 3A High-Speed
We all need a battery bank to charge our devices when in unknown places right? In preps for my intro to mountaineering class, where I’d be spending 5 nights on the ice, I bought this tiny sliver of a battery bank, the Charmast. Yet, despite it’s slimness, and much like me, it packs a punch! At 26,800 mAh, it’ll charge your devices over and over without worrying about running out of juice. Only advice I have is to make sure you have quality cables to go along with it. I’ve used cheapo, knockoff cords and it doesn’t transfer the power as well.
Clothes & Shoes
Nike Tech Fleece Joggers
I wear these Nike Tech Fleece joggers at home to stay comfy, but also when I’m traveling on a flight. Breathable, stylish, and has a hidden security pocket for important docs.
And FYI, the term “joggers” implies the pant legs are more form fitting than regular sweatpants. When I first tried them on and asked my roommate what she thought, she said, “are you really planning to go out like that?” So yeah, it might turn some heads, but trust me, once you get confident in them, you won’t care what anyone thinks but yourself. And now you know.
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoe
In 2019 when I tried summiting Pikes Peak, I was wearing an older pair of Merrell’s. It resulted in me getting a blister and eventually a toe nail falling off! GROSS.
So, I decided to switch brands and go with Salomon. I bought one of their approach shoes when I went traveling through Asia, so I thought I’d try them again but this time for hardcore hiking. After some research, I landed on the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes.
- At $130, I think it’s a reasonable price to pay for something that you depend on in some of the roughest conditions. In other words, why skimp out when so much is on the line.
- Gore-Tex. Name brand reliability for waterproof shoes.
- Lightweight and looks great. It doesn’t look so bulky that you couldn’t wear it out as casual wear in the rain or snow.
United By Blue Buffalo Fiber Socks
I was going to recommend an ice axe but realized nobody would probably click on it. So, what’s the next best piece of gear while mountaineering? For me, it’s fresh socks after a long day. I bring 3 pairs of thick socks, alternate between two pairs for actual hiking, and preserve that 3rd pair to feel clean at the end of the day and in my sleeping bag.
My favorites are the United By Blue, made from buffalo wool, which is a more sustainable method.
“When we realized the untapped potential of bison fiber, a material largely considered a waste product by the ranching industry, we developed a supply chain to salvage it before it could be discarded. No bison have been harmed for the purpose of their fiber. We’re simply stepping in to divert a precious, existing resource that’s been grossly underutilized.
The American Bison’s shaggy coat consists of a layer of hollow, compact and resilient hairs that allow them to keep warm and dry in some of the harshest climates. And it packs more than incredible warmth; bison fiber is also temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic, lightweight and flexible.”
Black Diamond LiteWire Carabiner Rackpack
Got the LiteWire carabiner pack for my mountaineering course, which required several of types of carabiners. There are are super lightweight and comes in these flashy colors, just to make sure you don’t ever lose sight of them. Although they’re meant for serious climbing, I use them for my serious day-to-day lifestyle. Clip in your water bottle to make sure it doesn’t accidentally fall out at the least opportune time.
BUBM Travel Organizer Cable Bag
Too many cords? So get a cord divider bag and keep it all organized! My friends got me this and it worked like a charm.
There are tons of cord organizing bags out there, and the Wirecutter even does a review for this specifically. I’m just saying for what you need it to do, this bag does not disappoint. The orange color makes it just slightly more noticeable, in case it’s buried in your bag, and it’s simple enough that it doesn’t have excess weight.
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