Mountain climbing is a fantastic sport for challenging yourself and taking in the stunning scenes of the outdoor world. Whether you are going for a day trip of mountain climbing in the UK, or if you have a trip planned to Nepal, you will not want to forget the essentials. Being prepared prior to a mountain climbing excursion will make your life a lot easier, instead of being stranded and having forgotten your navigation equipment, for example.

We have made you an ‘Essentials for mountaineering’ list, so you don’t have to:

1. Correct Footwear:

Having the correct footwear for mountain climbing is possibly the most important piece of equipment you will need. Not only will wearing the wrong shoes cause you discomfort, but they can cause injury on uneven footing. Hiking boots are the best option for mountain climbing as they add ankle support and have a grip that is better for uneven terrain.

2. Mountain climbing Insurance

One of the main essentials for mountain climbing that mountaineers often forget about or neglect is mountain climbing insurance. As with many extreme sports, there are health and life risks that unfortunately can arise depending on the environment and health. Making sure you have mountain climbing life insurance, income protection or critical illness coverage can offer that extra peace of mind. Summit Financial Services are specialists which offer life insurance for climbers, hillwalkers, and mountaineers.

3. Hiking poles

You may choose not to use hiking poles but they can be extremely helpful and beneficial on more difficult terrain and altitudes. Where there is no support to hold onto, hiking poles can really help on narrow paths and river crossings and can prevent your knees from injury on descending paths.

4. A comfortable backpack

When you are investing in any of your mountain climbing gear and equipment, you will want to consider comfort first. Investing in good quality, the comfortable backpack will save you hours of discomfort. The best backpacks for mountain climbing and mountaineering have hip straps so that the weight isn’t solely on your shoulders. You will want to make sure that your backpack is around 30-40 liters in size. This is the perfect size for long day trips, however, if you are doing overnight trips you may want to invest in something bigger.

5. Practical clothing

Practical clothing for mountain climbing is most definitely essential. As there could be extreme temperature changes, you will want to protect yourself from overheating or freezing. To be more specific, we have broken down practical clothing into different categories:

  • Socks: Woolen, thick walking socks are a must for mountain climbing. This is because you will want to make sure your feet can still breathe, whilst keeping them warm and preventing blisters from hiking boots.
  • Trousers: Trousers, unless it is summer and really hot, are the practical option as they are warmer, and protect your legs from any scratches. Waterproof, or water-wicking walking pants will be best for all weather conditions. You will want to stay away from the likes of jeans and heavier trousers.
  • Tops: One trick of mountain climbing is to always remember to wear layers. This is so if you get too hot, you can take off a layer, but if it is colder, you will be able to stay warm. Wear tops such as thin t-shirts or base layers as the first layer, then a light sweater/hoodie, and then a good-quality jacket.
  • Headwear: Whether it is hot or cold, pack a cap or hat to keep your head warm. You can also choose to bring a head torch if you have an early start and late finish up the mountains. Sunglasses are also an important accessory to remember.

6. Water and Food

Of course, you mustn't forget some of the most important things, water and food. Running out of water and food can be very dangerous when climbing a mountain. You don’t want to end up far from any resources without any food or water so make sure you pack more than you think you need. Packing small snacks such as protein bars and fruit are good ideas too for extra caution.

7. Navigation equipment

Making sure you have lots of mapping and navigation tools is so important. Mountain climbing can send you into some very unexpected terrain and your direction can be off. Make sure you have packed if not all, most of these:

  • A map
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Your phone

8. Emergency supplies and first aid

As with any extreme sport, you should be prepared for the unexpected. You should always bring emergency supplies and a first aid kit. We suggest bringing:

  • Matches or lighters
  • First aid kit: Including pain killer, antiseptic wipes and cream, moleskin, plasters, bandages, mosquito cream, nonlatex gloves, scissors etc.
  • Spare batteries (For any GPS)
  • Portable charger (for your phone in case it runs out of battery)

Nonessential equipment to consider:

Now that you have all of the essentials packed, it is time to think about any extras you want to take with you:

A camera

Although it makes sense to take a camera, many people just use their phones in this day of age. Taking a proper camera will reduce the risk of wasting your phone's battery, and you will get stunning shots at the end of your climb. Bringing a DSLR camera will capture the stunning scenes around you and it is really worth putting in your bag if you have one.

A stove

A stove is definitely not a necessity if you are going on a day trip, however, if you want a hot lunch, or if you are camping overnight, bringing along a small stove can be a great idea.

Camping supplies

If the mountain climb is going to take longer than a day, of course, you will need overnight equipment. The basics you will need are a lightweight tent, an inflatable air mattress or foam mat, and a warm sleeping bag.

A knife/ pen knife

A pen knife or knife is a very useful tool to carry with you on any outdoor excursion. Whether you use it for cutting string or bandage when cooking food or whilst you are camping to build shelter you will find it comes in handy.

We hope that this list was a helpful guide and checklist for you to prepare for your mountain climbing excursion. Any extras that you choose to bring along will be added bonus’ to your trip.