If you plan on hiking up a mountain and spending some time, it is essential to have the right mountaineering equipment with you. You need to have gear that you would take on a winter camping trip. In addition, you need the items normally seen for backcountry travel. That is on top of the equipment you will see on a normal mountaineering expedition. Mountaineering is not a simple hike up a mountain. It is a full-blown expedition up some of the highest mountains. Here are some of the essentials you need to take with you as you trek.
One of the most important pieces of mountaineering equipment is plastic double boots. When you hit the highest reaches, you will be dealing with ice and snow. These boots have a hard plastic outer shell that protects the feet from water and other forms of moisture. The inner shell is made of soft insulated material that protects the feet. Make sure you size these boots properly. Due to the stiff outer shell, they do not break in like most other forms of footwear. Wear thick hiking socks while trying the boots on in order to get the best fit. Make sure nothing rubs or pinches.
At high elevations, especially in the snow, you need sun protection. It is important to wear UV-protective goggles to protect your eyes. Regular sunglasses do not provide enough protection on the sides of the eyes. You also need to use sunscreen and lip balm to prevent sunburns. It is very important to protect your head when mountaineering. You need to purchase a climbing helmet especially designed for mountaineering. These helmets handle falling debris such as rock, ice, or dropped gear. The helmet needs adjustable straps to allow you to wear a hat under the hard shell for cold protection. Do not skimp on head protection when it comes to mountaineering equipment.
Even if you are not planning to do any vertical climbing, a harness is something you need to have with you. When on a mountain, there are points along the way where you might walk near an edge. Guide ropes help keep everyone safe. The harness clicks into those guide ropes. If you are going to travel over ice, crampons are essential pieces of mountaineering equipment. These spiked devices clamp on over your regular boots. The spikes help you grab the ice with the soles of your boots. You also need the traditional mountaineering ice axe known as a piolet.