7 Essential Types of Gear You Should Buy before Your Mountaineering Expedition
If you are planning to start mountaineering, you might wonder where to start. Well, there’s a lot to learn about this exciting sport, a good point to start may be to collect the necessary mountaineering gear. Here we go.
Layering is Essential
Layering is essential for choosing the correct mountaineering clothing. Instead of wearing a single bulky jumper to get warmth, it’s best to wear multiple thin layers, so that you can stay appropriately warm without having to carry a thick load that can meddle with your free movements.
Basically, mountaineering layering system is made of:
- Base layer
- Light insulation jumper
- Medium insulation jacket
- Hard shell jacket
- Parka jacket (as per the altitude/region)
1. Base Layers
Base layers are indeed an important point to start while layering up for your mountaineering adventure. Here it’s recommended to take a look at the mountain t-shirt created by Rogier Chang and read his interesting story how he created these wonderful t-shirts with enthralling designs and cheery colors. These t-shirts will not only act as appropriate base layers for you but also will keep you cheered up throughout your journey with their colors and designs.
2. Light Insulation Jumper
After choosing the basal layer, you should turn to a light insulation. This should typically be a lightweight synthetic jumper made from fleece. It will keep you excellently warm but the material is breathable too.
3. Medium Insulation Jacket
This basically does exactly what it intends to. This layer should ideally be more insulating and less breathable than the earlier layer. A synthetic or down insulation jacket would be appropriate. It should be lightweight, wind-resistant and highly packable so that you can easily tuck it in your backpack if you want to strip off some layers.
4. Hard Shell Jacket
Hard shell jackets are waterproof, lightweight and windproof without any insulation. Its main purpose is to keep you dry and safe from the weather elements. Ideally it should be made from a sturdy waterproof material like Gore-Tex and it’s useful to choose one with a hood. Some of the hard shell jackets also come with climbing features like a helmet compatible hood.
5. Parka Jacket
If you are planning to take on extreme altitudes, you will have to buy an entire set of extra layers that can safeguard you from the extreme temperatures above 6000m. Parka jackets hat are bulky, big and very warm are usually worn at rest breaks on the mountain to maintain your body heat.
The same rules apply while layering your bottom half for mountaineering as the top layering system.
You should start with underwear and next a base layer. It’s advisable to wear a soft shell trouser as the next layer.
Soft shell trousers are made from stretchy material that offers an ease of movement but at the same time they are lightly insulated and breathable and hence they are great for climbing and mountaineering.
Hard shell trousers come next to your soft shell. They offer you ultimate protection from the weather. They should ideally be windproof, durable and waterproof.
Choosing a hard shell with 7-8 zips or full side zips on the side is a good idea because it will make them far easier to get over your climbing boots and crampons while it’s dumping with snow.
Pairing a perfect matching mountain t-shirt described above with your bottom layering is also a good idea to look stylish!
Choosing the appropriate boots for mountaineering adventure depends on the terrain you will be dealing with, e.g. snow, ice or rock, whether it will be vertical ascents or long distance hikes to get to a climb, will it be a 1-day excursion or an expedition that would be week long, how cold would it be and so on. There are single mountaineering boots (with a single upper boot), double mountaineering boots (with separate inner and outer boots) and a hybrid of both these.
Collect all this necessary gear and then head out towards the mountains to enjoy your expedition in a true sense.