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How to pack for mountaineering

The eternal question of what to bring definitely also applies to the sport of mountaineering. Whether you already got a pretty established go-to kit or are to embark on your first ascent, these tips on how to pack from climbing ambassador Robert Caspersen will hopefully be helpful for adventures to come.

As most of this lightweight kit will be on your body during the climb, where you store the different gear in the pack will not be crucial. However, if you’re using a super lightweight backpack with no back pad, we suggest keeping the down jacket (or other clothing) closest to your back to prevent sharp from edges rubbing against your back. If you’re heading into an unfamiliar land, make sure to keep your navigation gear at hand so you can easily see where you’re at.

1. Lightweight and durable fleece with good flexibility – falketind warm1

2. Wool boxer

3. Wool longs 

4. Flexible and lightweight pants with good breathability - falketind flex1 pants 

5. Mid-high wool socks customized for hiking boots

6. Thin to mid-thick wool beanie

7. Windproof gloves with a good grip – falketind Windstopper. It may be a good idea to bring an additional, more insulated pair if the weather turns colder during the climb. 

8. Wool zip-neck

9. Extremely lightweight windbreaker with good breathability – bitihorn aero100

10. Lightweight and waterproof pants which can easily be put on top of your pants – bitihorn dri1, or trollveggen gore-tex pants for colder days.

11. A lightweight and waterproof jacket that adds minimal extra weight. Put it on top of the windbreaker to gain extra warmth and protection. It’s also possible to go for one light Gore-Tex jacket, but building your own two-layer with these jackets will give you greater adjustability to the conditions – bitihorn dri1. For winter climbing we recommend trollveggen gore-tex pro / light pro

12. GPS, map, and compass to keep track of where you are and where you’re going and in case of emergency. 

13. Phone (and extra charger if necessary)

14. Snacks that gives energy, for example, mixed nuts.

15. Food

16. Buff - /29 microfiber neck

17. Rope, preferably an impregnated 60 m 

18. A lightweight backpack that holds the stuff you’re bringing along. Everything from 35-45L will do the work, depending on what you’re bringing. Check out: falketind 35L, trollveggen 40L or trollveggen 45L

19. A super compressible down jacket that can easily be put on when in need of insulation – bitihorn down sweater, or for the coldest days - trollveggen down

20. Wool t-shirt

21. A basic climbing rack 

22. Lightweight mountaineering ax

23. Rope Clamp

24. Another rope if necessary

25. 1L Water bottle. A good tip is to map out sources of water along the trail, so you don’t have to carry more than necessary.  

26. Lightweight crampons

27. Lightweight, but a solid helmet

28. Harness with your personal equipment – knife, carabiner, pulley, slings, nut buster

29. Wind sack for emergencies and unforeseen weather changes. Combined with the sports tape further down, the most essential extra safety equipment. 

30. Tip: Bring a dry sack for first aid equipment and other stuff that needs to be kept dry. It should contain:

Painkillers (in case of an injury which is bearable to cope with until you’re in safety)

A good sports tape. Can both prevent, treat, stabilize injuries as well as repair stuff that has broken. Make sure you get a good quality one which is easy to rip.

Gauze bandage

Batteries for GPS

Batteries for headlight


Extra headlight with emergency light

Wound closure strip