Gear List

Backpacking & Wilderness Navigation Course Gear List

Alpine Ascents

Overview

  • Each item on the list below is required unless specified to be optional.
  • If seasonal fluctuations impact the requirement for an item on your list, it will be specified.
  • Item images represent one product suggestion for that item.
  • Item images may or may not reflect the model of item available for rent.

RENTAL RESERVATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Items with a price & check box may be rented.
  • Check the box of any item you desire to rent.
  • Complete the personal detail section at the bottom of the page, and click submit.
  • If you are a non-Alpine Ascents climber seeking rental equipment, please inquire via email.

FURTHER RESOURCES

  • If you wish to learn more about any piece of gear, the online Gear Lexicon is available 24/7.
  • A printable/downloadable PDF version of the Gear Lexicon may also be accessed here.
  • For in-depth articles, pro-tips, and advice on select subjects, check out our blog.
  • Our experienced staff are happy to speak with you via phone, or via email.
  • The Alpine Ascents Gear Store offers a wide range of products to suit your needs. All registered climbers are welcome to utilize the discount code contained in your confirmation materials.
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Climbing Equipment

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles

Collapsible skiing/trekking poles with snow baskets. Three-section varieties are preferred.

Footwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Hiking Socks

Hiking Socks

Two pairs of medium weight hiking socks. These socks must be wool or synthetic.

Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots or sturdy hiking shoes for use throughout the course. Prioritize ankle support, arch support, and overall comfort.

Technical Clothing

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Short Underwear

Short Underwear

One pair. Synthetic or wool fabrics only; bring a comfortable athletic style for any top and bottom underwear.

Baselayer Bottom

Baselayer Bottom

Non-cotton baselayer bottoms that should fit snugly without constriction. We recommend lighter weight baselayers rather than heavier fleece-type layers. Wool, wool blend, polyester, or other synthetic fabrics all work well. Be sure your baselayer pants are not constructed from cotton.

Baselayer Top

Baselayer Top

One long-sleeved baselayer top. Your baselayer must be constructed of a non-cotton material such as merino wool or polyester. Note that light-colored, hooded baselayers are strongly recommended for sun protection, and are worn by guides throughout most climbs.

Hiking Pants

Hiking Pants

One pair of lightweight synthetic hiking pants. Some prefer to bring zip-off styles, though that is not required.

Midlayer Top

Midlayer Top

A midweight, form-fitting, lightweight fleece layer for use over baselayers. Hoods are optional but recommended. Grid fleeces generally provide the best warmth-to-weight ratio. Note that very light puffy jackets can also suffice as a midlayer.

Hardshell Pants

Hardshell Pants

Non-insulated, fully waterproof shell pants that must fit comfortably over your baselayer bottoms and hiking pants. Having at least a 1/4 zip near the ankle can be helpful, but not required.

Hardshell Jacket

Hardshell Jacket

A non-insulated, fully waterproof shell jacket with a hood. Must fit comfortably over your baselayer, midlayer, and softshell.

Insulated Synthetic Puffy Jacket

Insulated Synthetic Puffy Jacket

A warm, insulated puffy jacket with a hood for added warmth. Synthetic insulation is preferred for dealing with wet weather, but down fill can work with careful management. A down sweater is typically not warm enough, but layering multiple small puffy layers together may be sufficient. Call the gear department with questions and when in doubt bring multiple jackets to increase layering options.

Handwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Lightweight Liner Gloves

Lightweight Liner Gloves

Very lightweight wool or synthetic liner gloves that offer a snug, comfortable fit. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection. Black or dark-color gloves are also acceptable.

Softshell Gloves

Softshell Gloves

Midweight, lightly insulated gloves for use when mittens are too warm and liner gloves are not warm enough. Leather-palm construction is always ideal for the sake of durability. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Headwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Buff

Buff

A must-have for all outdoor activities, the UV Buff is a versatile replacement for the bandana and serves a multitude of purposes. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Sun Hat

Sun Hat

Any style of lightweight hat for shading the head will work well. Baseball caps and sombrero-style sun hats are the most common.

Wool/Synthetic Ski Hat

Wool/Synthetic Ski Hat

A non-cotton wool or synthetic hat that covers the head and ears comfortably.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

High-quality, UV-blocking sunglasses with good all-around protection are recommended. A good fit is critical for comfort- try on glasses to check for a comfy fit and good light blockage. Keep in mind that high-quality lenses are an absolute must due to mountain sun.

Headlamp

Headlamp

A modern outdoor LED headlamp offering 200-300 lumens of output. Freshly installed batteries plus spare batteries. Weather-resistant models are strongly preferred.

Personal Equipment

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Hiking Backpack

Hiking Backpack

Simple, light internal frame pack with 55-75 liters of carrying capacity. The volume chosen should reflect experience level packing and quality of gear. Practice packing your gear if choosing a smaller volume pack.

Water Filter

Water Filter

A lightweight, simple water filter for water purification during the course. Prioritize a model that is light, simple, durable, and efficient. Gravity fed filters can be a great choice for backpacking trips.

Waterproof Pack Cover

Waterproof Pack Cover

A waterproof cover, sized appropriately to fit your pack, is recommended for staving off rain showers.

Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Inflatable Sleeping Pad

A full-length, modern inflatable sleeping pad is recommended. Older-style three-quarter length pads have been superseded by ultralight full-length pads. We recommend bringing a valve repair/body patch kit.

Backpacking Tent

Backpacking Tent

A good quality double-walled backpacking or climbing tent. Be sure your tent is packed with the appropriate stakes and has been pre-tied with guylines.

20 Degree Fahrenheit Sleeping Bag

20 Degree Fahrenheit Sleeping Bag

Whether filled with down or synthetic insulation, this bag must be rated to 20-degrees Fahrenheit and feature a collared hood for warmth. Be sure to include a compression stuff sack.

Mug

Mug

One insulated outdoor-style mug with a removable lid. Your mug should retain heat well and be spill resistant. Models with 12-20 oz capacity generally work best.

Bowl

Bowl

One two-cup capacity packable bowl. Models with a lid (like a Tupperware) work well, as do lidless bowls and flatter "deep plate" models. Collapsible models can suffice, but must be handled very carefully to avoid unintended collapsing.

Spoon

Spoon

One durable hard plastic or anodized metal spoon. Longer spoon stems can be helpful for eating while wearing gloves.

Knife

Knife

Medium-sized. Keep it simple and light.

Lighters

Lighters

Several small, light Bic-style lighters are recommended for starting your cook stove. Matches can fail in humid climates and leave waste behind.

Hydration System

Hydration System

We recommend using a 2-3 liter hydration bladder for maximum comfort and ease during the trek. Please bring a 1 liter hard-sided water bottle as well in case your hydration bladder develops a leak.

Cooking Pots or System

Cooking Pots or System

A cook system sufficient for backcountry cooking. Many cooking systems are functional- practice makes perfect, whether using single pots or a more involved system including items such as a frying pan. Note that some stove systems integrate directly with a pot.

Stove

Stove

A liquid fuel or cartridge-burning stove can be used. Fuel for liquid-burning stoves will be provided at no additional cost. Those wishing to use cartridge stoves will need to purchase fuel on site. Please note that we rent liquid fuel stoves only. Check out our instructional article and videos on selecting a stove!

Fuel

Fuel

Liquid fuel is included with the rental of a stove system. Please note that canister-style fuel is not provided.

Disposable Waste Kits

Disposable Waste Kits

All solid waste must be carried out of the backcountry, so one waste kit per 1-2 days is typically sufficient. Kits are reusable at your personal discretion.

Compass

Compass

A Northern Hemisphere compass with a sighting mirror and declination adjuster. Mechanical compasses are recommended over electronic compasses for wilderness navigation.

Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

One small bottle of insect repellent.

Trash Compactor/Contractor Bags

Trash Compactor/Contractor Bags

Three heavy plastic garbage bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. Trash compactor or contractor bags are made from a heavier plastic and stand up well to prolonged mountain use. Alternatively, a reusable waterproof pack liner can be used provided it completely fills the inside of your pack.

Camera

Camera

Optional. Small point-and-shoot cameras (including compact SLR's) are ideal & work well at altitude. Alternatively, many opt to use a smartphone camera. Due to weight & care in the mountain environment, large dSLR cameras are discouraged.

Toiletry Bag

Toiletry Bag

Include toilet paper (stored in a plastic bag), hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and wet wipes. Choose a quantity appropriate for the length of your trip, and call the Gear Department with any questions about these items.

Solar Charger (Optional)

Solar Charger (Optional)

Solar chargers are increasingly handy, lightweight, and cost-effective for mountain use, to keep your phone, tablet, or camera charged. We recommend bringing along a battery pack as well, to keep items charged on stormy days.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen

One to two ounces of SPF 30+ sunscreen. Varieties with zinc-oxide are more protective! One ounce is typically sufficient per week, but several small tubes can offer insurance against lost or exploded tubes. Sunscreen loses SPF rating over time; we strongly recommend brand-new sunscreen.

Lipscreen

Lipscreen

Several tubes of SPF 30+ lipscreen. As with sunscreen, be sure your lipscreen is new.

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Basic medical supplies in a compact package. We recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.

Earplugs

Earplugs

Always recommended for getting high-quality rest. Soft foam rather than wax models are recommended as they are light and disposable.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

Many alcohol-based hand cleaners will work well. Bring a small amount appropriate to the trip duration.

Food

Food

Please review the food and water information available in your Climber Information Packet. A close reading of this information is important towards a smooth trip. We recommend taking plenty of time consider this information. Please contact the Gear Department with any food-related questions and check out our write-ups here to learn more.

Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions

I promise to return all equipment rented from Alpine Ascents International, Inc. in good condition at the end of my climb/course. I agree and authorize Alpine Ascents International, Inc. to charge my credit card on file for repairs and/or replacements of damaged, lost or stolen gear. And I agree not to hold Alpine Ascents International, Inc. responsible for any injuries incurred through the use of its rental equipment.

Rental Information

Reserving: Please submit one reservation per person per departure. We recommend submitting reservations at least one month in advance to ensure adequate time for processing. Incomplete reservations may cause delay or failure to reserve requested items. Cancellations must be made three weeks in advance of your departure.

Washington Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place in Washington will be picked up at your gear check. At that time, payment will be taken for all rented items. No security deposit will be charged for Washington rentals; however, Alpine Ascents reserves the right to assess fees for the replacement or repair of any damaged items.

Alaska Rentals: Due to the unique nature of Alpine Ascents' Alaska program, some items requested may be picked up in Talkeetna at your gear check rather than shipped directly to you. However, not all rental items are available for pickup in Talkeetna. Payment for Alaska rentals will be charged to the on-file credit card after your gear check, including a $50 security deposit per item. Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit for the replacement or repair of damaged items. All equipment, whether shipped to you or picked up in Alaska, may be de-issued at the Alpine Ascents Alaska facility at the end of your trip.

International Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place internationally will be shipped to you approximately two weeks prior to your trip departure date. A USA address must be provided for rental shipments. Rental equipment may not be shipped internationally. At the time of shipment, charges will be assessed to the credit card on file, including shipping charges, rental fees, and applicable security deposits. Please immediately contact the Gear Department with any questions.

Confirmation: Allow 48-72 hours for rental confirmation via email. If you have any questions or have not heard back from us within three (3) working days, please email [email protected] or call (206) 378-1927 and ask for the Gear Department.

Payment: The credit card on file will be used to process rental payment. For climbs in Washington, payment will be taken at your gear check and no security deposit will be required. For climbs taking place outside of Washington, charges are processed at the time of shipment (approximately two weeks prior to departure date) and will include a $50 security deposit per item plus shipping. Shipping cost is based on size and weight and can only be determined at the time of shipment.

Security Deposit: Fees are fully refundable upon a timely return (one week from the end of trip). Fees may be assessed for repair or replacement of damaged item(s). Please allow up to two weeks for your refunded to be credited. Please note that for items not returned within one week after a trip end date Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit.

Shipment: Rental items for climbs taking place outside of Washington are scheduled to ship two weeks prior to your trip departure. Once received, please verify that all items are correct and fit appropriately. Please note that sizing information provided is used to determine the sizes of items shipped. You are responsible for rentals once items are shipped and until items are received back at Alpine Ascents. We encourage you to insure your shipment.

Antarctica is basically another planet and so much has to go right to make this expedition a reality… weather, logistics, unforeseen circumstances.  Aside from some very late luggage, this expedition went flawlessly.  Alpine Ascents has considered every single detail and executed the trip beautifully. 

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Goat Rocks Wilderness
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Glacier Peak Wilderness
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Photo credit: Carson Torchia
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Glacier Peaks Wilderness
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North Cascades
Goat Rocks Wilderness
Glacier Peak Wilderness
Glacier Peak Wilderness

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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