Water Bottle (Platypus)Compass (Suunto)First Aid KitHead LampBackpack 28L

This list is most useful for the total first timer. It will give you tips on the most General Mountaineering Gear needed.  If you have any questions, feel free to comment!

The items listed below are a must in most cases of mountaineering. Please check before you head out into the wilderness!

= always take items with the infinity mark


Simple is best, preferably with only one main compartment. The best way to waterproof your bag is to pack your valuables in ziplock, and then place all your items inside 2 layered trash bags (or waterproof stuff stack) in the main compartment of your bag. Best to knot your trash bag the same way a stuff sack is tied, by rolling then knotting. A thin skinned, thin cushioned, and thin belt backpack is best. This is to minimize the amount of water soaked in your backpack, which can make it unbearably heavy if you are not careful with which backpack you take. There are also sawanobori veterans that poke holes into the bottom of their backpacks to leak out water.

Backpack 28LBackpack 40L

Head lamp

Get LED. Essential when camping, but you must take this at anytime in case you run into problems and have to go down from the mountain at night. It’s also important to remember that night fall is very early in the mountains, especially if you are at the bottom of a ravine. Take extra batteries.

Head Lamp

Topography map

1/25,000 or 1/50,000 is used in most cases. Having 1/25,000 for the sawanobori route and 1/50,000 for approach and descent is preferable. You should keep a photocopy in your backpack and mark down your route and any streams you will come across with a highlighter in advance.

Topographic MapTopographic Map2

Compass & whistle

Get a decent Suunto or Silva compass. If this breaks, it may get you in a lot of trouble. Compass and whistle should be kept on one string around your neck. Whistles are useful when calling one another over loud rapids.

Compass (Suunto)Whistle on a String


Water resistant, preferably waterproof watch. Metallic bands and large watches will hurt skin.

G-shock Watch (Casio)

First aid kit

For injury and illness. Taping tape, (adhesive) bandage, gauze, disinfectant, painkiller, cold medicine, etc.

First Aid Kit

Water bottle

The “Platypus” brand water container is useful since you can fold it up when empty. Main use is for water while camping, trekking and coming down from mountain.

Water Bottle (Platypus)

Phone & survival blanket

A mobile (or satellite phone) and aluminized survival blanket are good to have on you, in case of emergency, for any mountaineering activity.

Cell Phone / Solar PhoneSurvival Sheet


notepad (waterproof), pen, toiletry, radio, extra garbage bag and Ziploc bags, sandals, glasses or contacts,

Check my other posts for an easy-to-understand guide of Wear & Footwear, Camping (Bivouac) & Cooking Gear and Climbing & Safety Equipment.

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