Bird Peak from Esbay Peak. Chugach State Park.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

Crevasse rescue training at the MCA's Basic Mountaineering School.

Photo by Dean Carman.

Snow travel school at the MCA's Basic Mountaineering School.

Photo by Brian Aho.

Carrie Wang illustrates the proper technique for a Butterfly Knot.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

Recommended Equipment

The follow equipment were developed as rough guides. Your trip may require more or less gear. Items like rain gear (in the summer) and serious insulating layers (in the winter) are a must for backcountry travel in Alaska. Remember mobile phones don't work well beyond the Anchorage bowl, and five miles can feel like a million if something goes wrong.

Don't forget to bring food and water (or a method for getting water)! Any full day or longer backcountry trip is no time to go on a diet. Low blood sugar not only affects your energy, mood and physical coordination but also your ability to make decisions.

Please consult your trip leader for any equipment requirements when participating in a club sanctioned trip.

Summer 

Rain gear that works 
Wind gear 
Wool or fleece pants 
Shorts (not recommended due to plants and wasps) 
Light long johns 
Wool shirt 
Jacket 
Baseball cap 
Gloves 
Extra socks 
Wool or pile hat 
Hiking boots 
Stream-crossing footwear 
Walking stick/hiking pole/ice axe
Water bottle

Winter 

Wind gear 
Wool/fleece pants 
Wool/fleece shirt 
Long johns 
Down jacket 
Wool/fleece hat 
Face mask 
Mittens 
Double boots 
Avalanche beacon 
Shovel 
Lighter 
Headlamp 
Repair kit 
Fuel bottle 
Thermos 
Gaitors 
Skis or snowshoes

Medical/Accessory Kit

Sunscreen 
Mosquito repellent 
Whistle 
Large plastic bag 
Lighter, matches 
Map, compass 
Aerosol bear repellent (summer, if desired) 
Moleskin/Spenco 2nd skin 
Ace bandage 
Surgical tape 
Aspirin 
Gauze 
Anti-bacterial ointment 
4" x 4" pads, Band-Aids 
Wire 
Vice grips or pliers 
Utility cord 
Sewing kit 
Thermometer

Overnight Gear

Tent (or snow shelter)
Sleeping pad 
Sleeping bag 
Backpack cover/backpack liner (keep out moisture)
Cook pot (larger in winter to accommodate snow)
Stove (fires not allowed) 
Fuel bottle 
Stove windscreen
Stove platform (winter)

Glacier Travel

Ice axe 
Gaitors 
Climbing boots 
Slings, carabiners 
Rappel device 
Belay device 
Rope 
Wands 
Mittens 
Crampons 
Seat Harness 
Ice screw(s) 
Pulleys 
Prussiks/ascenders 
Glacier glasses/cream 
If snow on glacier: 
Picket 
Skis or snowshoes 





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Many thanks to: Wayne Todd, Tim Silvers, Ross Noffsinger, Steve Gruhn, Carrie Wang, Billy Finley and many others who provided information, ideas and photos. And thanks to Willy Hersman who created, managed and hosted the first MCA website, without which this site's development would have been so much more difficult. Current website donated by Couloir Graphics.