Mountaineering Checklist

Published October 17, 2017

This article is part of our series: Intro to Mountaineering

An illustration of items in a mountaineering checklist

Even though weight is always a consideration, mountaineering is not an ultralight activity. You'll need to have more than the basics to survive unexpected mountain weather (which you should always plan for). To determine what you need to bring, think about the length of your climb, how remote the location is and the weather forecast. (You'll also need to have the necessary technical skills, of course.)

For multiday trips, also check out our Backpacking and Winter Camping lists.

How to Use This Mountaineering Checklist

Use this checklist while you plan and when you pack to make sure you don't forget anything important. Here are a few tips on how to use this list:

  • Beyond items listed as optional, this list likely includes other items you won't take, too. It's intentionally comprehensive, but it isn't the final word on things. Add or subtract items as you see the need.
  • Items that are part of the Ten Essentials systems are marked by an asterisk (*). While the Ten Essentials systems are not optional, the exact items you take for each system can be tailored to your trip based on considerations such as weather, difficulty, duration and distance from help. To learn more, see our article on the Ten Essentials.
  • Print out the PDF version for easy use at home.

Printer-Friendly Version (PDF)

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Hardware quantities depend on route.

For Technical or Mixed Routes:

Crevasse Rescue Gear:

  • (2) Lightweight pulleys
  • 20 ft. of 5-7mm accessory cords (to make prusik slings)

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Navigation * is one of the Ten Essentials systems. If you use a GPS (or GPS app on your phone), you also need a map and compass as an emergency backup.

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Overnight Gear

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Mountain Kitchen

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Food & Water

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Clothing & Footwear

Pack extra dry clothes * beyond those required for the trip.

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Emergency & First Aid

One of the Ten Essentials is an emergency shelter. Even if you're carrying a tent with you, you should have an emergency shelter in case you have to sleep overnight away from your basecamp.

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Health & Hygiene

Sun and bug protection:


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Tools & Repair Items

  • Duct tape strips

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Personal Extras

All of the following items are optional, and you'll need to decide how much you're willing to carry if you decide to bring one or more of them along.


Ten Essentials

Related Resources