Climber.Org Gear Information

A compendium of knowledge for your edification!

Here's a quick summary, scroll down to browse longer descriptions of each database:
(Some items here used to be on the Databases page.)

Links on this page point to gear tips and techniques. We actively solicit YOUR input, so help us improve this information by contacting the webmaster and letting us know what you'd like to contribute.


Glacier Glasses Glacier Glasses fact sheet (not all sunglasses are the same)
What kind of dark glasses do people prefer in the mountains? How necessary are they? Contact info is provided for one place to get photo-sensitive prescription lenses that work on high-altitude snow and at night by darkening when exposed to UV in sunlight. Many referrals are provided for specific brand names that climbers like.


Batteries Battery Life fact sheet (capacity, temperature sensitivity, weight, etc)
Rechargeable, lithium, temperature high-drain applications, and other factors which determine which battery is best are discussed.


Crampon Straps Crampon straps - three styles with pictures and text
Scottish, home made, or step in? Depends on your boots and your budget. Pictures and descriptions of three crampon strap styles will help you decide which is right for you. There is some discussion of technique, but this page is really about the straps. Again, we'd love to add your boots to this page, so send us pictures and be famous forever.


Ice Axe Straps Ice axe wrist loop - two styles for more flexibility and safety
You've seen the standard ice axe tethers, but here you can see a couple of innovative techniques you might not think of on your own. The contributors don't guarantee these ideas will work for you, but have a look and send us your photos if you've got a better idea!


Home Made Gear Home Made gear - links to patterns and materials
To lighten up your load, try home made backpacks, sleeping bag or quilt, tarp, gaiters, pants, rain jacket etc... Some of these gears have been extensively tested on spring-fall mountaineering trips in the Sierra Nevada as well as during a 230 miles hike of the John Muir Trail in summer.


Trangia Stove Trangia stove: ultralight, ultracheap (including 1-oz pot stand plans)
Think MSR is the lightest stove you can get? Try 3.5 ounces and $10 bucks! This page shows you how to save both weight and money with an alcohol stove and an easy-to-build pot stand. Total weight including cookware and fuel is less than an empty MSR with no fuel bottle.


Cat Stove Cat stove: ultralight, ultracheap alcohol stove made out of cat food cans (including plans)
Think Trangia is the cheapest light stove you can get? Build one from your recycle bin! This page shows you how to save weight and even more money with a homemade alcohol stove and pot stand. (This page is not on Climber.Org, and requires JavaScript to display.)


Esbit Stove Esbit stove: uses solid fuel tablets, one of the only fuel you can ship first class mail for food drops
Uses solid fuel tablets, one of the only fuel you can ship first class mail for your food drop. Each tablets burns about 12 min. The Mouradians used it for 2 weeks on the JMT, one tablet for breakfast and one for diner, and report that it worked great. Definitely use an aluminum foil screen with the stove. I found them online at REI and Campmor Camping Cookwear. These links worked as of 2009 but will probably break in the future!


Diamox Diamox fact sheet (from the Physician's Desk Reference)
There are lots of rumors about Diamox - read what a reference book has to say! Side effects of mixing this drug with aspirin can include coma and death, and allergic reactions are possible, so don't take Diamox without consulting a knowledgeable doctor first. Note that the manufacturer recommends 1000mg/day for rapid ascent at high altitude. The PDR fact sheet says that side effects decrease when the dosage increases. Keep those things in mind when evaluating dosage recommendations.


Acclimatization Acclimatization fact sheet (from Damon Vincent)
Interested in what really happens to your body at high altitude? How fast do you acclimatize, and what's the mechanism? How fast do you lose it?


Empty Fuel Packaging How to pack empty fuel bottles and stoves for air travel
Tips from a frequent flyer and a flier from the FAA - you can pack stoves and liquid fuel bottles, but not propane/butane cannisters.