Outdoor activities such as mountaineering entail going into the mountains in search of adventures. It is the culture of the first human settlers to seek out their peace, but now it is done basically to have fun and to spend time with nature. Having an excellent physique and good technical training is not enough for mountaineering; however, equipping yourself with the best mountaineering gear is essential for a successful mountaineering experience.
Having the best mountaineering gear will enable you to navigate the mountains effectively and make you feel safe when mountaineering. Standard items include mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, and so on.
If you are confused about how to choose the best mountaineering gears that will enable you to enjoy your mountaineering experience then this article is especially for you. It aims at providing you with ways on how to choose the best mountaineering gears.
So Read On!
Choosing mountaineering gears depends on the route you are taking to climb a mountain. Let us take, for example, if you are crossing routes that are not covered with ice, then you might not necessarily need a rope, harness, or a crevasse rescue but if you are, then you need them. And even if your mountaineering experience will only take a day, it is wise to be equipped with the right and the best mountaineering gears for navigation, shelter, fire, first aid, and many more.
Here are many of the best mountaineering gear items that you can choose for a successful mountaineering experience whether you are mountain climbing or biking or making a shelter on the mountain.
The Mountaineering Boots
Boots selection remains one of the most essential pre-trip decisions when selecting the best mountaineering gears to have a fabulous experience.
Mountaineering boots are very important as they serve as the primary mode of transport, they provide stability and traction especially when walking in areas that are rocky or uneven and they serve as your lifeline on the sloping side of the mountain as they provide rigid stability, therefore, boots with stiff sole are highly recommended in other to provide a stable platform.
Making the right choice of the mountaineering boots to use depends on the temperature and the amount of time spent in mountaineering. However, they are divided into two;
i. Insulated mountaineering boots
ii. Uninsulated mountaineering boots
i. Insulated Mountaineering Boots
Insulated boots can be worn at any time of year but they are mostly worn in winter, early season, and sometimes the late season. They are suitable for climbing in very cold temperatures or used by mountaineers that spend a significant amount of time on snow.
The warmest insulated mountaineering boots are also called double boots because it has a two-part design with the inner booties to provide insulation against heat and the outer booties made from plastic or other flexible synthetic materials to serve as waterproof.
ii. Non-insulated mountaineering boots:
They are lighter and less bulky than insulated boots thereby making mountaineers more comfortable and nimble. Non-insulated mountaineering boots are commonly worn in mild temperatures or by mountaineers that don’t spend much time on snow.
Your biggest investment should be your tent as it serves as primary protection from elements (wind, rain, and heat) and is the only thing that is between you and nature. Tents come in a variety of shapes and sizes but the key factors to consider when choosing the best tent are tent type, strength, ease of set-up, weight, and storm resistance.
A mountaineering tent is made for four seasons and they come in double or single wall options, structured to withstand heavy wind storms and remain able to ward off immoderate precipitation. The double-walled type has two layers of fabric, the inner fabric serves to improve breathability whilst the outer layer serves to withstand wind and snow. They are heavier than single-walled tents but stronger.
Mountaineering Sleeping Bag
One of the most highly sought after pieces of gear on the mountainside for adequate warmth and a goodnight sleep is the sleeping bag. This gear is so important that it can make or cut your mountaineering experience short. They are constructed from synthetic materials to keep you warm throughout the night. Sleeping bags are classified based on their temperature ratings, that is, in terms of warmth, the minimum rated 00Fahrenheit bag is highly recommended.
Crampons for Mountaineering
Crampons are designed to be attached to your mountaineering boots so that you can climb and walk across slippery surfaces without falling flat on your face. There are two types of crampons; they are;
Flexible of Hinged crampons
Flexible or hinged crampons: are more comfortable and they bend or move with your feet making them ideal for working on ice whilst the Rigid crampons as the name suggests are not flexible with the feet.
The crampon attachment system is divided into three, including strap-on, step-in, and hybrid. The strap-on can be used for different mountaineering boots and are more difficult to secure than step-in and hybrid attachment systems. Step-in crampons unlike strap-on can only be used with boots that have heel welts and toe which are used for more technical ice climbing. The Hybrid crampons have heel levers that require boots with rear grooves or welt. The toes attach with straps and flexible toe bindings that fit most boots with or without toe welts.
Note: Hybrid crampons are mostly used or attached with boots that are light weighted whilst step-in crampons are designed in a way that they can only be used with technical boots.
Mountaineering is one of the most exciting adventures in the world, so choosing the best mountaineering gear is crucial in enjoying the mountaineering experience to the fullest. To get the best mountaineering products check out our list of best gears for mountaineering!