Having the right equipment in the mountains can have an enormous impact on your adventures. In nearly 20 years of hiking, climbing, camping, and trail running I’ve found what works for me. Below I share what I bring depending on the type of trip and expected conditions. Many factors go in to gear choice such as weight, versatility, cost, and features. The items I use may not be right for you, and there may be better stuff out there, but this is what I’ve found works for me. I encourage you to figure out a system of your own. Use this page to think about what to consider when choosing a piece of equipment, and research possible gear choices.

My Gear Picks

  • Water storage – Platypus Hoser, 2 Liter
    • Why: I prefer these over camelback brands because these seem sturdier and I’ve never had an issue with funny tastes in my water.
  • Cap – Columbia Coolhead Ball Cap III
    • Why: I like this cap better than a normal baseball hat because it is lighter and on a hot day my head stays much cooler.
  • Sunglasses – Julbo Dolgan Mountain Sunglasses
    • Why: For moutaineering/glacier glasses these work great and are way cheaper than most others.
  • Map – Latitude 40 Summit County Mountain Bike and Hiking Topo Map
    • Why: This is the best map for Summit County hands down<./li>
  • Avalanche beacon – Backcountry Access Tracker2 Avalanche Beacon
    • Why: The Tracker 2 is good because it has 3 antennas (vs 2 on the Tracker) and has a good range. Other brands may have more features but I find this one is simple to use and very clear with range and direction.
  • Water filter – Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter
    • Why: I’ve been using this one for 10 years now and although there are newer, smaller, and lighter weight filters I still prefer this one. Can be used solo and is very durable and reliable. Unlike some methods this also filters out and silt or other debris that may be in the water.


Day-trip: Summer Conditions

  • Backpack (15L-30L)
  • Water storage
  • Food
  • Cap
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen(SPF 50+)
  • Hardshell jacket
  • Hardshell pants
  • Down Jacket
  • Synthetic long underwear
  • Synthetic long-sleeve Shirt x2
  • Hiking Pants
  • Hiking socks
  • Boots/Shoes
  • Watch
  • Map>
  • Compass and/or GPS
  • Cell Phone
  • First Aid supplies
  • Athletic and/or Duct tape
  • TP in ziploc bag
  • Lighter/matches
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Headlamp w/ batteries
  • Hiking poles

Day-trip: Winter Conditions

Same as summer conditions plus the following:

  • Softshell pants
  • Snowshoes/Crampons/Micro-spikes
  • Gaiters
  • Ski Goggles
  • Balaclava
  • Ice Axe
  • Avalanche beacon (if traveling in avy terrain)
  • Avalanche probe (if traveling in avy terrain)
  • Shovel (if traveling in avy terrain)

Overnight trip: Summer Conditions

Same as a summer day-trip plus the following:

  • Larger backpack(45L+)
  • Tent/Shelter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Stove/Fuel/Pot
  • Extra water storage
  • String/cord
  • Bags(ziploc and larger trash bag)
  • Bear bag/vault