Packing list for mountaineering

Packing for a trip you’ve never taken is difficult.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to repeat this experience many times with my first camping trip, first backcountry camping trip, first ski touring trip and now first mountaineering trip.  It’s always so hard to know what to bring for something you’ve never done before.  Online lists are usually a great place to start and as soon as I get back from a trip I always go through my pack and write down everything that I used as well as anything I wish I’d brought.  This gives me a more personalized list that I can improve on for the next time.  Also, going out with more experienced people helps because you learn little tips and tricks for different situations.

Here’s my list as well as some notes regarding some of the items.


  • Gore-tex shell
  • Softshell (I didn’t bring this but wish I had – adds versatility to layering.  A hooded soft-shell would be best)
  • Gore-tex pants (get pants that have full length zippers – otherwise you won’t be able to put them without taking off your boots)
  • Hat with visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Wool hat
  • Buff (I didn’t bring this but I wish I had – would have been good for sun/wind protection)
  • Waterproof gloves (for next time I would bring an extra pair – I was fine with one pair but a thinner pair in addition would have been nice)
  • Knee-length gaiters
  • Boots (I used my Scarpa Mont Blancs and they were perfect – weren’t too hot and I even did the hike up in them)
  • Down vest
  • Down sweater
  • Lightweight pants
  • Wool long johns
  • Capris or shorts (for around the hut)
  • Two long sleeve tops (one wool, one synthetic)
  • Two lightweight t-shirts
  • Tank top
  • Bra
  • Underwear (I brought a a pair for each day)
  • Two pairs of sock liners
  • Two pairs of light-midweight wool socks
  • Flip flops (for around the hut – it was too hot for the hut booties)


  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • 1 pole (useful on the hike in to the hut)
  • Sleeping bag & compression sack (rated to 5C)
  • Down pillow
  • Headlamp
  • Stuff sacks for clothes & toiletries
  • 50L backpack & garbage bag liner (I learned it was easier to use the garbage bag liner to keep things dry than to have to stop, take out a rain cover and put it on.  That being said I might still bring a rain cover as well next time)
  • Compass
  • First aid kit (I included a blister kit, knife, bandaids, ibuprofen, gravol and immodium – you can never be too safe in those huts!)
  • 1L Nalgene bottle
  • Camelback (I didn’t bring one but would next time – easier to drink from on the go)
  • Reading material
  • Journal & pen
Note – for this trip I didn’t need to bring any technical gear, everything was pre-placed at the hut.  I chose to bring my own helmet and harness because I’m partial to them!


  • Chapstick with SPF
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wash cloth & sample sized soap
  • Floss, toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Contact lenses (I also brought glasses & prescription sunglasses as a backup)
  • Ear plugs
  • Hair elastics
If anyone has any suggestions for things I might have missed or tips, I’d love to hear!
Leave a comment


  1. dferrer333

     /  April 7, 2013

    Thanks for the pack list! We are also venturing into our first mountaineering experience. Where did you go?

  2. This packing list is from a trip I did up to Bow Hut on the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper. We used the hut as a base to climb some of the 11,000ers. I have another packing list from my most recent trip that I will put up this week. Hope you have a great trip where ever it is you’re going!


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