Safety in the mountains clearly depends primarily on common sense and an awareness of our personal limits but it is equally true that if we use the correct equipment we have greater freedom of movement than with badly chosen equipment.
I was born and have always lived in the mountains, I’ve been an Alpine Guide for 30 years, and so I’ve seen a great many people in the mountain context.
Even today, unfortunately, I meet people who go into the mountains without the appropriate mountain equipment or, even worse, with old and unsafe gear. For this reason, then, the equipment we take with us to the mountains must be top quality and complete.
What should I take when I go to the mountains?
What follows is for the summer season. I’m going to limit myself here to a list of what I consider to be indispensable together with a few items which could well be useful. An overly heavy rucksack is a burden on a walk but it is undoubtedly better to have something with you that you don’t need rather than risk not having the equipment necessary if you get into difficulty.
All necessary equipment must be put into a backpack which is essential to a comfortable trip and reduces fatigue. It is important to take with you a rucksack which is big enough for everything you need for your trip – 25-30 litres.
Inside your rucksack:
Obviously the clothes you bring will depend on the time of year and the area you’re going to but the following are indispensable in the mountains: waterproof wind jacket, long trousers and walking boots.
Your walking boots are probably your most important item of clothing so they should be chosen with great care according to the type of terrain you’re going to and above all they must be comfortable (if they are new you should try them out before going on long walks).
Remember that the weather can change very quickly in the mountains and a sunny day can quickly become wintry so you should never be without a warm layer in your rucksack.
A warm headband for your temples and ears is light and can be extremely useful.
Anyone going on a ferrata trip needs the following technical equipment: helmet and harness, ferrata kit.
It is vitally important that this is top quality as your life will depend on it! mountain equipment
For more detailed information consult the ferrata page.
Climbing equipment should be chosen according to the route you intend to climb and as I assume that climbers know what equipment they need I’ll just make a few quick points here. On long routes in the Dolomites two twin ropes are advisable as, in the event of bad weather or unexpected developments, a double rope descent is quicker. mountain equipment
As far as rope length is concerned, 55 or 60 metres are usually enough. Longer pitches are not a good idea because resistance makes it difficult to pull the rope up again and it can be difficult to communicate with your climbing partner.