This is the gear list from for my 2019 Cotopaxi Climbing trip.  When we climbed Mount Ranier we were fortunate and were able to rent just about everything we needed.  This was possible because many of the guiding companies are headquartered in the northwest and they have closets full of rental gear just waiting to be used.

Since this climb is in Ecuador, I think just about the only rentable items are crampons and ice axes, so this means I will need to click the link and have everything with me before flying overseas.  In a way this is good.  It will give me a chance to test and get familiar with all of the gear before starting the onthe trip.

It is a pretty long list so I am not sure the best way to break it up.

Currently I am thinking I will have this long list then if I go into more research and detail I will break that out into its own blog post and then link to it.

This will be a work in progress and I am open to any suggestions and thoughts!

Climbing Gear

Alpine climbing harness

(Adjustable leg loops and fits over all clothing)

Primary Need / Use: This will be used to keep you safer by connecting you to other climbers via ropes or to the mountain via safety ropes attached to the mountain.

For this, I was not sure so I went with a well know brand and one that seemed to be at a mid-range price.

I got a Mammut Ophir 3 Slide. It seems to be a good all-around climbing harness.

Learn more at the official Mammut Website

REI has the Mammut Ophir 3 Slide Climbing Harness

As an added bonus it was on sale for 30% at REI

Locking carabiners Large

a pear-shaped carabiner is best, screw gate type recommended.

Regular carabiners

Not exactly sure about these but I think they should be pretty standard.

Ice axe w/leash


I think these can get pretty specific and personal.  Not sure what is the best for the Cotopaxi trip I am going on.

Plastic mountaineering boots

Primary Need / Use: These are hard plastic boots that keep your feet warm and allow you strap on crampons for climbing in the snow and ice.

Some versions have inner and outer boots, prices can range from $350 to $1000.

I was lucky and our locally owned outdoor store called High Country had one pair of (my size) Koflach Degre boots on clearance.  Being in Georgia, not many stores stock mountaineering boots or have them on display.

These boots are normally $380 and they had them on sale for $150

koflach degre plastic boots



with anti-ball plates Must be fit to plastic boots prior to trip, new-matic type recommended

Climbing helmet

Suggestions: Adjustable should fit with a hat on

Helmets, as you know, are a very important piece of gear.  It should fit well, be adjustable and provide good coverage over your head.

there are quite a few options available, but there was only one option with MIPS protection.  MIPS is very common in the mountain bike world so it seemed like a good option to get the helmet that has this in the climbing world.

I decided to go with the Mammut Wall Rider MIPS Climbing helmet.  It is a little more expensive than some other options but this is money well spent.

Mammut Wall Rider MIPS Helmet

Wall Rider MIPS Helmet at

Adjustable trekking poles


I have a pair of these.

Qualities to look for: lightweight, adjustable collapsible.

Quality Brand Names:

Upper Body Clothes

Cotton t-shirts

Need 2 of these.  This should not be difficult to come up with, I have lots of them

Polypropylene t-shirt

Need 1 of these

1 Long sleeve polypropylene shirt

Lightweight, light-colored for sunny days

2 Women sports bras Synthetic, no cotton!

This does not really apply to me but I will keep it on the list for others who might require them.

Softshell jacket or pull-over

Not one hundred percent sure what the best jacket here is,   should it be a heavier softshell? should it be insulated? or should it be a good exterior layer that can stop the wind, provide a hood and pockets and be large enough for the insulating mid layer to fit underneath?

I am pretty sure this will break out into its own blog post.

Down/synthetic sweater or vest

I think for this I will go with an ArcTeryx Proton jacket.  It is a mid weight jacket that zips up and is very warm as a mid layer.

Hard shell jacket with hood

Waterproof and breathable. Gore-Tex or equivalent is best, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.

For this, I will use my 10+-year-old Arcteryx beta jacket.  I think it is a beta jacket, anyway, it is Goretex, hooded, has lots of zippers and a little longer than waist length

Down parka with hood

Not sure what I will go with here.

This jacket will be used when stopping or resting during the climb, times when you get chilly or if it is very cold on the summit day.

The idea is you have a super warm jacket, that is compressed very small into your pack. When you get cold, you pull it out put it on top of all of your other layers to keep you happy.  Then when you start moving again or do not need it, you put it back it in the stuff sack and keep on keeping on.

Qualities include, very warm, very compressible

arcteryx firebee down parka

arcteryx firebee down parka

Pair liner gloves

Thin wool or polypropylene

Pair warm gloves

Fleece or wool

Shell gloves Modular expedition shell mitts OR Pro Mitts.

Select a model with a strap to your wrist so that you do not lose your mittens in high winds. (Optional for trekkers)


Warm hat Wool or synthetic that cover your ears

I think a good beanie or warm hat I use for running should work here.

Need to confirm this will go under your climbing helmet.

Balaclava or buff

Mountain Madness sent out a cool one of these, so I have it covered

Face mask

Not sure about this one.

What should it look like? What Qualities to look for?

Shade hat or baseball cap

I have several of these, I think I will probably bring one of the ones I run in. They are lighter weight and do not get as heavy and soaked in sweat.

Trekking Equipment

Supportive hiking boots

I have a pair of books I have used for backpacking and hiking on the application trail, I think these should work well.  They are 10 Years old but should still have lots of life left in them.

Trekking Poles

(OPTIONAL, but strongly encouraged)

This is also listed under climbing gear.

Lower Body Clothes

Nylon pants (1 Pair)

Good for trekking or around camp

I think I will use the Patagonia running pants that I have used for the past couple year.

Liner socks (2 Pairs)

Polypropylene or Capilene

Heavy wool/synthetic socks (3 Pairs)

Check boot fit with liner and wool socks on

Make sure to check the sizing in the hiking boots and in Mountaineering boots.

I am pretty sure these socks will be worn while trekking and climbing.

Lightweight long underwear (2 Pairs)

Polypropylene or Capilene

Softshell pants (1 Pair)

Nylon or Running shorts (1 Pair)

or other quick-drying types, not cotton!

I should have these covered, I have some that have a longer liner, I think these will be good bring

Hardshell pants (1 Pair)

Waterproof/breathable with full side zips, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best.


Make sure they will fit over plastic boots. (e.g. OR Crocodiles or equivalent)

I think I have a pair of these in the basement.  Will need to check

Extra shoes

for evenings and vehicle transit times.

I will use one of my older pair of running shoes



I think I will bring my Vann’s Slides. The should work well since they can be worn with and without socks.


Summit pack

lightweight as possible with about 34-50 liter capacity

Jublo Explorer 2 Glacier Glasses iphone image

Large duffle bag

(7,500+ cu. in.) for gear, include a small padlock

Small Duffel Bag

for leaving extra gear at the hotel

Patagonia 60L & 90l Duffelbags 5d3

Patagonia 60L & 90l Duffel bags iphone

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping bag

Rated to at least 10-20o F. Line the stuff sack w/ plastic bag

Sleeping pad

is NOT required. A therma-rest pad for extra comfort is optional.

Miscellaneous Equipment

Glacier glasses

100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo orCebe)*

Looking into these, Jublo seems to be the way to go

What about prescription lenses, what about progressive lenses

Jublo Explorer 2 Glacier Glasses

Jublo Explorer 2 Glacier Glasses iphone image

Personal first aid kit

Lip balm

At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck


At least SPF 40

How much should you bring, what are some good ways to pack the sunscreen light

Insect repellant

Small bottle


Thinking of using the Nathan one that I use for running, it is charged by USB

Just not sure if it will run long enough

2 Water bottles

1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene and 1 bottle holster, or

Hydration bladder

With drinking tube and 1 Nalgene bottle

Plastic mug

OPTIONAL. Basic cups for hot drinks will be provided.

Pocket knife

Small Swiss-Army type

Water purification

Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals

Toiletry kit

Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag

3-4 Large plastic bags

For keeping miscellaneous gear dry

Nylon stuff sacks

For food and gear storage (OR has a good selection); large Ziplocs are also useful


Camp towel

Ear plugs

Hand wipes

1 Small stainless steel thermos (optional)

Favorite snack foods

No more than 2 pounds!

Personal Entertainment

Paperback books, cards, music player, etc.


(Optional. For viewing the route from the lower camps.)


(Optional. 1 lightweight point & shoot on the mountain,

1 large SLR types for the trek in and base camp.)

Fanny pack or wallet

Not sure the best way to keep all the super important travel docs together

for travel documents, money & passport

Passport and passport photos

I will have my Passport

Airline ticket

This will be on my phone, I will also print a copy out for the return trip

Upper Body Clothes