The climbing chatter group on our website (click here if you want to join) has recently been chattering about essential gear to take with you no matter what activity you do outside. Here is a list of the recommendations of must have gear from our climbers.
1. Headlamps, don’t pack just one, pack two in your pack with batteries for each. Headlamps recommended in the climbing chatter this week are: Petzl Actik, the e+LITE and the Petzl Zipka.
2. 16 inch piece of thin cordage or repairs.
3. Duct tape, 1.5 feet or so wrapped around your trekking pole etc.. Great for repairs.
3. Extra clothing, even if it adds weight to your pack.
4. Fire starters, some climbers mentioned a small candle and matches or solid fuel fire starters the size of a silver dollar by Grate Chef that are waterproof and windproof.
5. Water Filter or Iodine Tablets-recommendation by more than one climber on the chatter is BeFree water bottle from Katadyn: It’s a small (0.6 liter) squeeze water bottle that instantly purifies the water put inside (water is squeezed through a filter as you drink). This gives climbers, hikers, trail runners, or others instant water even if the water source is questionable.
6. Maps whether that be a Topo Map, or some sort of printed map. You can print a topo map of any place you’re going by visiting www.caltopo.com. It’s fast, easy, and free. This article helps you get more from this online map program: http://wenatcheeoutdoors.org/2017/04/07/caltopo-a-how-to-guide/
7. Pruning saw blade (2.5 ounces), because in an injury situation (broken ankle) you can park yourself by a wood source (a fallen tree, a big sagebrush) and harvest wood without moving.
8. As far as weather protection goes, minimalists might look at the Exped’s Bivy Uno (silnylon bivy sack weighing 6 ounces) – you can slip into it to wait out a rainstorm, or you can bivy in it if you’ve really screwed up. Much more versatile is Exped’s Bivybag Duo (10 ounces) that two people can bivy inside, sit inside to wait out a rainstorm, or hang as a tarp to create a roof. See: http://www.exped.com/switzerland/en/product-category/bivybags/bivybag-duo-ul