Are you searching all over the internet for a proper checklist for your essential mountaineering gear? A checklist ASAP helps and is very useful and also recommended, so that we don’t forget anything! It’s even better if you adjust it yourself, after testing it for the first time.

Smart dressed according to the onion principle

The modern trends of Mountaineering gear show, that the multi-layer approach is essential, often described as the “onion principle”. Every layer has its own function: keeping you warm, dealing with perspiration, wind protection, protection against cold, etc.

Here you go, your mountaineering gear checklist:

  • Waterproof hiking shoes – high boots: (extra suggested for beginners, because the protection for your ankles is very suitable), or – low hiking shoes: with ribbed soles, shoes with Vibram soles are very useful, where enhanced grip is ensured. However, we often adjust our hiking shoes to seasons and their conditions: to use winter or summer hiking shoes. If you have just bought new hiking shoes, we recommend you have a testing tour, to prevent blisters on longer tours.
  • Hiking socks + extra pair of socks (in case of the multi-day tour)
  • Hiking trousers
  • Breathable shirt with long sleeves, one with short sleeves + an extra one
  • Warm clothes: in winter use more layers, in the summer less
  • Raincoat against wind and rain
  • Down jacket (for winter, autumn, and spring)
  • Cap and thin gloves (recommended even in early summer, because of the temperature fluctuations)
  • Food and drinks (if necessary)
  • Toilet paper (mountain money)
  • Passport or Identity card, money
  • Backpack (for one-day tours: 20-30 l)
  • Map, compass, GPS (recommended especially for glaciers)
  • Bivvy bag and Alu foil
  • Sun cream, sunglasses with UV protection (in snow and glaciers you should use sunglasses with shading from 3 on category)
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Headlamp and additional batteries
  • Cell phone with a full battery (+ phone charger)
  • Candle and a box of matches in an impermeable bag
  • Iron reserve (high energy food, dehydrated foods which are light and have a long shelf life)

The technical equipment depends on the complexity of the tour and the season of the year. The list of equipment above is suitable for easier, demanding, very demanding, and secure, as well as roadless areas. Some extra equipment is needed for alpinist mountaineering, such as camalots, nuts, ropeman, etc.


  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Ice screws (if needed)

➢ • Climbing helmet

➢ • Rope: 20 m, 30 m, 40 m… depending on tour difficulty

➢ • Climbing harness

➢ • 3-5 carabiner with screw gate

➢ • Endless sling 60,120cm

➢ • Via Ferrata lanyard (if you go on a via Ferrata route)

➢ • Via Ferrata climbing gloves

➢ • Avalanche safety kit (in winter, in the high mountains also possible in spring and early summer)

➢ • Belaying device (ATC, REVERSO…)

➢ • 2-3 extra ropes (Prusik ropes)

➢ • Hiking poles

If you don’t have your own gear, that’s no problem. You can rent the gear here.

  • Symbols/legend:
    • Mountaineering equipment for winter and early spring

    ➢ • Equipment suitable for all seasons

Every part of technical gear is used and carried as needed. In case you are planning to go on an easy summer hike, you won’t need any ice screws, axes or crampons.

How to pack your backpack and how not to forget anything?

All the mountaineering gear must be checked before the mountaineering trip. And some additional advice: When you pack equipment in a backpack, you should think in advance about which equipment you will need first; you should leave those things at the top of the backpack.

For beginners: it makes sense to take more equipment. After a few tours, you will know which piece of equipment is redundant and which piece you will miss on the tour. It makes sense that the backpack is not too heavy, so you can enjoy the tour more.

Have you thought about water, sleeping conditions, etc.?

For multi-day tours, you need to find out:

  • Where you will sleep?
  • If you are going to sleep in a hut: Do you need to book in advance? Do they have food and water in the hut? Do they accept cards in a hut, should you bring money?
  • If you are going to sleep outdoors, you need to know in advance whether outdoor sleeping is allowed in terms of tent placement, or is there only bivouac placement (bivouac bag, sleeping bag, Thermarest-pillow for sleeping).
  • Is there any water, as well on the way, so that you don’t carry excess weight in your own backpack?
limbing Triglav north face fully equiped


  • Goals: do not choose difficult goals, rather start gradually and when you reach sufficient confidence and experience, you can choose more challenging paths.
  • Company: invite a friend, relative or partner with you. The best experience is when you can share mountaineering happiness with others.
  • Which tours to choose: Collect tours that are not besieged in the summer, e.g. in Slovenia, there are very beautiful tours: over the Soča Valley for example.
  • Preparation: Get well prepared for the tour, also inquire about the weather forecast and check it regularly.
  • Do not reach your goal for all costs: It is not necessary to get to the top of the mountain for all costs and reasons. If you are not feeling well or you notice that there are bad weather conditions, you better turn around. The mountain will stay there for a long time, and you can return to it when conditions are better.
  • Professional approach: If you are thinking more seriously about mountaineering, you should enrol in a mountaineering section or a mountain club.
  • Share your plans & be safe: Tell relatives where you are headed and when they can expect you. In case of an accident or if you get lost in the mountains, you will make it easier for the rescuers to find you.

When in the mountains, take time for yourself. The mountains are perfect for relaxing and finding yourself! Wishing you a safe and merry step in the mountains,

Matevž Vukotič, IFMGA guide at Altitude activities team

Altitude Activities Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice 2023 Award

Proud recipient of a TripAdvisor 2023 Certificate of Excellence
Thank you all for the great reviews!

Trip Advisor 5 stars

Aleksandra (our guide) provided an excellent day out with lots of beautiful sightseeing and lovely hikes! It was a full jam packed day (10 hours) which had enough breaks with a lovely spot for lunch. We loved it so much that we are going to go on another tour with Alpine Activities!

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DECEMBER 17, 2023