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Gear List for Mexican Volcano Expedition

In the list below are required items, not optional.  These items are important to the success and safety of our expedition.  Weather conditions can change rapidly and you'll need to be prepared.

Technical Gear


General mountaineering 10-12 point glacier crampons with straps.  Rigid ice climbing crampons are NOT recommended for the mountaineering section of these routes.  

Ice Axe

The length depends roughly on your height and intended use.  For general mountaineering, the axe should hang a few inches above the ground when held comfortably in your hand.  i.e., a 5'10" person would have a 70 cm axe.


A climbing specific helmet is required, a bike helmet will not do.

Adjustable Ski or Trekking poles

Z-poles or a tri-fold pole that packs down to a shorter length is recommended.  Snow baskets not needed.

Other Gear

Mountaineering Boots

You don't need a super technical mountaineering boot but regular hiking boots won't do either.  You need a highly insulated Gore-Tex cold weather boot that is stiff.

Lightweight Hiking Boots or Approach Shoes

Mid top or high tops are preferable but low tops are fine if you prefer them.


An internal frame backpack 28-45 litres in size.  Ice axe loops on the outside are a good feature.

Sleeping Bag

Anywhere from 0 degree to 5 or 10 degrees is recommended.  Down or synthetic down with an 850 fill is recommended.

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads will be provided but if you prefer to bring your own, please do.


Bring extra batteries


Bring 2 or 3 one litre wide mouth water bottles.  Make sure they are wide mouth.

Duffel Bags

Full Wrap Sunglasses or Glacier Glasses

They must be dark lens full wrap or glacier glasses with side shields.  Visible light transmission should be around 6%.  By comparison, driving sunglasses have around 20% visible light transmission which is not appropriate.

Clothing for Climbing

For clothing, we emphasize a layering system in which we put on and take off layers of clothing depending on the outside temperature and the level of activity.

Outer Waterproof Shell Jacket (hard shell) with Hood

A waterproof & breathable shell jacket with no additional insulation sewn in.  Lightweight is better.  Pit zips and hood that fits over a helmet recommended.

Outer Waterproof Shell Pant

Must be waterproof & breathable with side zippers on the legs.

Climbing Pant (soft shell)

A lighter weight non-waterproof pant that breathes much better than waterproof pants.  This is what you will probably be wearing most of the time.

Long Underwear Base Layers

Synthetic or wool.  Light-weight to mid-weight is best for these peaks.

2 Synthetic Short Sleeve T-shirts

Synthetic or wool

1-2 Mid-weight Long Underwear Base Layer Tops

Synthetic or wool

Insulating Layer - Light-weight

Fleece or wool

Insulated Parka or "Puffy"

Down or synthetic fill puffy with a hood.

Warm Hat

Stocking style.  Wool or synthetic

Sun Hat or Ball Cap

2 pairs Socks

Mid-weight to heavy-weight wool or synthetic socks.  If you normally use liners, bring those as well.

Insulated Gloves or mittens - Heavy-Weight

Water resistant & wind proof highly insulated.

Light-weight Glove

These do not have to be water resistant.  Fleece or soft shell is fine.  They need to fit beneath your heavier insulated gloves or mittens.

Clothing for Travel Days

A collection of regular clothing.  Comfortable clothing for vehicle travel and sightseeing along with some appropriate attire for dining in city restaurants.

Other Important Items


30 SPF or higher

Lip Balm

15 SPF or higher

Toilet Paper

A small amount, not a whole roll.

Baby Wipes

Small Personal Kit for Base Camps

Personal medications, toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, blister kit, etc.  (your guides will have a full first aid kit.  Carrying your own is optional).

Foam Ear Plugs

For wind, Mexico noise and the random snorer in the bunk beneath you.

Stuff Sacks

For organization

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