Jenny's Gear Lists

- 97 Ice Axes,
- 5 Cases Dynamite,
- 7 Cans Nitroglycerin
- ..."    — From Mark Twain's "A Tramp Abroad" (1880), a snippet of the gear list for the ascent of Riffelberg.
On this page:

If you are like me and you always forget stuff when leaving on a climbing trip, there are two solutions: either leave everything in a pile at the entrance of the apartment (what I used to do before getting married), or get someone with a sense of organization to deal with the gear (a.k.a. a wife)... Jenny's good at compiling packing lists and here are some of her lists. The smart-ass comments are mine.

There also used to be a list of tricks on this page, but they are now on a separate page.

Rock climbing gear

Summer clothing

Jenny warmly dressed in an integral down suit.

Right: Jenny warmly dressed in an integral down suit. Purchase this image on a royalty-free CD archive compilation

Technical rock gear

Other gear

The women of the expedition trying out their 'Freshette' accessories with Cho-Oyu in the background


Right: The women of the expedition trying out their 'Freshette' accessories with Cho-Oyu in the background

Sport Climbing

Aid and Big Wall climbing

In addition to normal climbing gear:

Emergency gear

Always in the pack

Winter Climbing Gear

Winter Clothing

Technical winter gear

Snow covered ski bindings

Right: Snow covered ski bindings Purchase this image on a royalty-free CD archive compilation

Other winter gear

Backcountry skiing

In addition to the winter gear:

Pigs and pussies present for breakfast in Sardinia.

Car camping

Right: Pigs and pussies present for breakfast in Sardinia.

Remote/winter camping

Catastrophe backpack... also known as survival bag or emergency pack...

While we are on the subject of equipment packing, here's a suggested list of equipment to keep in a backpack in your home, to grab and run in case of major emergency (hurricane, flood, earthquake, forest fires, angry wife, WWIII, robot uprising, shotgun wedding narrow escape...) before heading for the woods. Remember, if the shit really hits the fan, don't stay in cities. Of course, the kind of equipment that may be needed depends a lot on where you live and what kind of potential emergency you may have to face; so try to think beforehand if you are more likely to be hit by a hurricane, an IRS audit, a tsunami or a disgruntled employee. Plan accordingly.

Tornado tearing house down (image of unknown origin)

Also consider carefully where to keep the pack: entrance of your house to grab on the way out ? Trunk of your car ? At your office ? Hidden in the back of the garden ?

Note that in case of orderly evacuation by car, you will want to get more than the list above. Some important items that you should be able to toss into a car on a 15 minutes notice: pets, family photos (this is irreplaceable), wedding album, personal journal (if it's still on paper and not on a blog!), fileserver (better if you have everything regularly backed up to an external hard drive, even better if it's backed up offsite), a laptop with wireless (alternate communication medium that may be available if cellphones are saturated), a camera to document the event (may have historical importance later on), surgical masks, some valuables (jewelry), spare change (rolls of coins become very handy if banks are closed for a long time), hiking and camping gear (large water container 20l, 2-second tent, sleeping bag, mattress, extra blankets, good stove, plenty of gas for the stove, pots and pans), extra clothing, long conservation food (cans or better: dried stuff, white rice, beans...), construction tools (cordless drill, hammer, screwdrivers, saw, axe, nails, screws, chainsaw [wind can trow down a lot of trees]), larger solar and/or hand-crank charger, power inverter, cooler or power cooler, a bike (a quiet, easy and long-lasting way to move around). Don't expect being able to find gas for the car. Consider a destination and brief some family members / neighbors about it. As experience has shown, don't trust the government to help: if you've lost everything, you no longer pay taxes and a week after the disaster you are not news anymore...

The 'Suck' advanced slab protection device

Rec.Climbing endorsed gear for next year

The gecko climbing shoes
Comes in two models: the GreenFoot based on chopped off real gecko feet or the MetalFoot Lowe/HomeDepot design based on a large metal brush. Great for those long runouts at Glacier Point Apron. You'll finally be able to lead the Snake Dyke.
The Essential Joe S. belay knife.
As seen in most climbing movies. Reinforced Carbide tip with diamond coating allows you to also use it to quickly and efficiently carve holds in blank 5.9 rock.
The Safe Binner.
Made out of very advanced poly-alloy, you drop it as much as you want and it won't micro-crack. Come with an optional electronic accelerometer embedded inside warning you when it's been through too much and you should retire it. Only $2000 each.
The 'Suck' advanced slab protection device.
With this device you can aid long blank sections of rock without having to place bolts. You can also protect those hard 5.8 moves when the bolts at your favorite crag are placed more than one meter apart. You too can 'suck'. Picture of unknown origin on right.
The full body rubber suit.
After the sticky shoes and the hand jammies, you too can finally climb those heinous offwidths/squeezes and make them feel like real 5.9, just like Layton Kor and Brutus of Wyde rated them. Comes with a barrel of talc powder to put the suit on.
Centrally marked ropes.
To cut short any further discussions, a consortium of leading ropemakers has setup a discussion group to decide on how to establish a marking standard in the safest way. Should come out anytime now.
The hard to find Bolt Gun.
As seen in Cliffhanger and finally available to normal climbers who are not yet superstars. Uses 48 AA batteries (not included) and Black Diamond ice screws.
The r.c cell-phone
Calls 911 automatically when your pants get brown from the inside. Or when it gets dark. Or cold. Or your stock of Power Bars is down to one. Or your Camelback is leaking. Optional configuration include a quick TR button which will post a standard victory Trip Report for when you finally manage to free that 5.8 you've been working on for a week.
The Trip Report generator
A masterpiece of artificial intelligence and Dadaism all in one. You just feed it a few basic elements: name of route, nickname of partner, how much runout, how many times you went offroute and a few other keywords and it generates a Trip Report that will earn you adulation on r.c. Certified by Dingus. Windows installer comes on a CD with abusive EULA terms.
The big wall Suzie Doll.
Lighter than a realdoll and won't puncture if dragged behind the pig thanks to special reinforced kevlar fabric. The favorite big wall climber model is 'Big Suzie' who will lighten up your hauls big time when filled with helium. Comes with certificate of quality from MadDog, solar battery charger and a gallon can of Suzie-lube. Helium refill tanks sold separately.
Essential DVD collection
Contains all the major motion pictures in climbing history: Buy at Amazon.comCliffbanger, Buy at Amazon.comVomital Limit, Buy at Amazon.comKey Too, Buy at Amazon.comEiger Pension... DVD audio tracks feature commentaries by gym rats and an acerbic rebuttal by Lord Slime.