How to prepare the equipment

Equipment for hiking

All the equipment needed for the tour can be divided into four categories:

  • personal clothing
  • personal gear
  • general equipment
  • general products

An instructor brings general equipment and products and distributes among all the participants, so leave some free space in the backpack. Traditionally camp equipment (tents, equipment for the fire, cauldrons, gas, etc.) is distributed among men and the food is divided equally to all participants. Attention: food for the six-day hike is approximately 5 kg per person, general equipment – about 3 kg. The total weight of the backpack should not exceed 18-19 kg for men, 2-3 kg less for women.

While packing, remember that everything you put in, you will carry on your own back.

How to pack a backpack:

  • a sleeping bag and clothing should be protected from water (packed in plastic bags, and large plastic bag should be put in a backpack before packing things)
  • put things not necessary on the move (sleeping bag, clothes for sleeping) at the bottom of a backpack
  • heavy items should be placed close to the back, in the middle of a backpack
  • a raincoat, water, snacks, toilet paper should be with easy access
  • try not to press or soak common food you are entrusted to carry. You also need to remember what common food is in your backpack

Personal clothing for the tour:

Clothes for movement should “breathe”, dry quickly, be firm and do not restrict movement. We do not recommend cotton items. They dry not so well and are heavier than synthetics. Make sure to have firm and comfortable shoes and a reliable raincoat. While packing it is quite handy to imagine what you can wear under certain weather conditions – sun, rain, fog, wind and approximate temperature during the trip. In this way you can pick the best outfit.

  1. Trekking shoes must be comfortable, durable, light, maximum waterproof (usually special shoes for trekking have an inside membrane that removes water excess and does not let moisture from the outside), have good grip with the ground (sole of Vibram type) and fix the legs well. Do not take new, never worn before shoes as you can get bloody blisters on your feet. New shoes should be worn previously during a short outdoor activity
  2. Spare shoes – used at night in the camp to make your feet rest. Sandals are the best, but light rubber slippers are OK as well
  3. Trousers, 2 pairs. A pair of synthetic ones should protect against wind and aside moisture. It is rather convenient when the lower part of a leg can be unzipped turning the trousers into shorts. Another pair of layered or fleece pants is for insulation. They can also be used as clothes for sleeping. It is necessary to have some trousers to put over when it is cold and rainy. It is best if they are waterproof and have holes for ventilation
  4. Shorts
  5. Socks – thick and thin ones, 2-3 pairs. If possible, you should take special socks for trekking; they take away moisture, dry quickly and are set on the leg firmly reducing the risk of getting calluses
  6. A T-shirt – 2-3 pieces. It is good to take special T-shirts made of polyester that dry quickly and a long sleeve shirt
  7. A light sweater of a thin fleece or something like that
  8. A warm sweater – a thick fleece one. Wool things keep you warm well, but are difficult to dry and weigh more
  9. A windbreaker jacket – a light jacket with a hood to protect from wind and prevent from getting wet
  10. A raincoat – a waterproof jacket or a cape-poncho
  11. A panama hat/a bandana/a cap and gloves – are optional. Headgear should protect not only head but also neck and ears from the sun
  12. Hats and warm gloves – for chilly, rainy or windy weather
  13. Spare underwear and swimsuits

Personal gear:

  1. A backpack – a modern anatomical model with stiff backrest, height regulation and waist belt should be chosen. Recommended capacity for men – 80-100 liters, for girls – 60-80 liters (can be hired)
  2. A sleeping bag – while choosing sleeping bag make sure to remember approximate temperatures during the nights. Thus, for overnight stays at an altitude of 2500-3000 meters in warm seasons a sleeping bag with comfort mode of about 0° C is OK, for overnight stays at higher altitude it is better to take warmer models. Comfort mode for girls should be lower than for men. Weight of a sleeping bag must not exceed 2 kg, it must be very well isolated from the water
  3. A rug – polyurethane or inflatable one
  4. Utensils (a plate, a spoon and a cup) – should be light and durable (plastic ones can easily break)
  5. Dry sacks – for isolation things and a sleeping bag from water. Ordinary plastic bags can be used instead
  6. Flashlight – best headlamp, LED of Petzl Tikka XP type (make sure to put new batteries)
  7. A flask or a bottle of water – 1-1.5 liter
  8. Personal first aid kit – should contain specific medications you use
  9. Personal hygiene items – a toothbrush and toothpaste (to minimize weight it is better to take remains of the tube and a light, simple brush), a bar of soap (40-50 g), a towel (small, not cotton, the best – a microfiber one), wet wipes, sunscreen with high SPF and a lip-balm
  10. Sunglasses
  11. The documents, money, cell phone – make sure to pack in a waterproof packaging

Optional items:

  • Trekking poles – relieve the legs and help to maintain balance
  • A foam bedding with elastic – is a small rectangular bedding comfortable to sit on during stops and rests
  • A small knife
  • A torch
  • A camera

Equipment for high-altitude climbing

High-altitude ascents (from 3500-4000 m) are in snowy areas, with temperature minus 0, winds and snowfalls. Climbing has three stages: the first is an acclimatization trekking at lower altitudes, then a gradual approach to the mountains with height increasing and climbing itself.

Climbing requires clothing and equipment similar to the one for trekking. But the final list should be formed taking into account the need for warm clothing for climbing. Sleeping bag comfort mode must be at least -5 … -100C, girls need warmer one. It is necessary to consider that the backpack will be heavy because of warm clothes and gear for climbing.

Above 3500 m there is completely winter weather: cold, high winds, snow, bright sun and fog. For movement in good weather one should have a set of light clothing (layered clothing, a light sweater and a windbreaker), and in camp – wear another pair of pants, a sweater and a warmer jacket. The clothes should keep you warm during ropes hangings and not to restrict movement while using a climbing harness and ropes.

List of clothes for high-altitude ascents:

  1. Boots – a very important element of equipment. Wear special shoes for winter trekking with high, thick, warm walls, wholly leather repellent coating and durable sole. Shoes should be compatible with your crampons
  2. Gaiters – prevent ingress of snow into boots, covering shoes tightly
  3. Socks – you can have several pairs of several kinds and wear in the following order: simple thin (pleasant to the body), thick wool (warm), thin synthetic (to fix thick socks)
  4. Layered underwear – synthetic or wool. No cotton! At an altitude of over 3500 meters you wear layered underwear all the time, so it is important to have comfortable and functional one
  5. Trousers – ordinary windproof, warm enough for climbing, dress over underwear. Combinations may be different, depending on the available items. If you have trousers for skiing, your lower part of the leg can be cold. Warm pants should have ventilation. If you plan to put on pants while climbing – they must be zip offs, you should know how to put them on quickly
  6. Light fleece sweater or similar and a warm sweater for leisure or extreme cold
  7. Windbreaker/raincoat – a light jacket that protects from wind and is snow repellent
  8. A hat and a mask – a hat can be of any kind; a mask protects the face from wind and frost
  9. Gloves warm or fleece + verhonky. The outer layer should prevent from snow sticking. You can also take the mittens. Not to lose your gloves fasten them with a piece of elastic. It is a good idea to have a spare pair of gloves in your backpack
  10. A warm or a down jacket

Personal mountain gear for climbing:

  1. Carabiners, 3 pcs. – at least one of them must have a screwed muff
  2. Crampons – should fit your shoes
  3. Prusik – 6-8 mm of diameter
  4. Ice axes with a leash – you should be able to fix carabiner at peak or at top of an ice axe or a leash must be reliable enough to use for belaying
  5. Self-belaying system – a parachute cord or one made of a 10 mm rope
  6. Belaying system (lower)
  7. A helmet

Equipment for rafting

  1. A wetsuit for rafting – a solid suit with long legs, a sleeve can be both long and short / like a T- shirt. The optimum thickness of neoprene is 5 mm, thicker fabric will rub you during an active rowing. Also it is good to wear rubberized jacket to protect oneself from cold spray
  2. Waterproof socks or shoes – neoprene socks protect feet from the cold; wear above usual socks, then put on sneakers or boots. Waterproof shoes have rubber soles so do not require extra shoes. The thickness of neoprene for socks / shoes must be bigger than for a suit – 5 mm
  3. Neoprene gloves – to protect hands from the cold. You can use any other gloves instead
  4. Footwear – shoes or sneakers should be well-worn or half a size large than yours usual to fit feet in thick neoprene socks

Wear: a T-shirt/a layered shirt, thin pants, leggings or layered trousers under waterproof clothes, thin socks – on your feet, a light hat, a bandanna or a buff on your head.

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