Gear Zone

This is the place to get the low down on the gear that you will need for all your Scouting adventures.


“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

— Sir Rannulph Fiennes


Join the Mountain Equipment Co-op (a life-time membership is only $5).  Then go to their website and register as a member.  Then create a “WISH LIST” of equipment you would like to have.  You can then invite family members to see your “Wish List’ by using the “Email Invitation” feature on the right side of your “Wish List” page.

Your MEC “WISH LIST” makes an excellent shopping list for your parents and grandparents for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays or whatever.  Check things off the list as you acquire them.

Most of the gear that you obtain now will last for many years.  I’m still using some of the gear that I bought when I was a teenager.

Things to bring to every meeting:

  • Headlamp or flashlight:

Okay          (23 lumens – $18.50):       Petzl Tikkanina 2
Better        (40 lumens – $28.00):       Petzl Tikka 2                               (product upgraded: Fall, 2012)
Betterer     (50 lumens$37.00):       Petzl Tikka Plus 2   (70 lumens)  (product upgraded: Fall, 2012)
Best            (60 lumens – $51.00):       Petzl Tikka XP2      (80 lumens)   (product upgraded: Fall, 2012)
Overkill?:    (160 lumens – $83.00):      Petzl Myo RXP

  • Notepad & Pen/Pencil
  • Locking blade pocket knife (do not carry until you have received your “Carry Permit” – pocket knives must have “locking” blades)

Good:     Victorinox Rucksack Lockblade Knife
Good:     Leatherman c33 Crater Knife
Good:     Gerber LST Knife
Good:     CRKT Lake 111‑Z Combo Serrated Edge Knife

  • Emergency Whistle on Lanyard

Excellent:     Fox 40 Classic Whistle
Good:           All Weather Storm Whistle


Things to bring to every cook out:

All of the above, plus:

Personal Mess Kit:


Excellent Plastic Bowl:          MSR Deepdish Plates     Get the large one – it’s both a bowl and a plate.
Excellent Insulated Bowl:      GSI Ultralight Nesting Bowl


Good Plastic Mug:         GSI Cascadian Mug
Good Insulated Mug:     GSI Nesting Mug
Good Insulated Mug:     MSR Mug


Warning:  Do not leave plastic/nylon utensils in a hot pan or they will melt (and, yeah, I did find that out the hard way).

Good:     GSI Acetal Spoon  and  Fork

OR:         “Sporks” are always fun to have around:

Good:     Light My Fire Spork

Note:  We use MSR Dragonfly Stoves.  Here’s a great video explaining their use and care.


Outdoor Activity Gear Checklists:

PDF files with hyperlinks – Best Way to Use: right-click and save document to your computer.

HINT:  Print these out for each outing and check off the items as you assemble your gear.


◊  Fair Weather Hiking Gear Checklist

♦  Fair Weather Camping Gear Checklist


◊  Winter Hiking Gear Checklist

♦  Winter Camping – Personal Gear Checklist     – UPDATED:  December 24, 2016


Rock Climbing Gear:


5027-143_WHT00_view1_720x720 35 percentGood ($59):        Petzl Elios Helmet   (Available in two sizes)
………………………… let’s all buy white helmets so we look like a team

Seat Harness:

Good ($38):        Adelrid Jay Harness     (updated Nov. 21, 2012)
Better ($59):      Petzl Corax (Size 1 or 2)  (Dual waist buckles)

Personal Safety Line/Tether:

Good ($8):          16mm Nylon Sling:   120 cm in length     (updated Nov. 21, 2012)

Two Locking Pear-shaped Carabiners:

5016-306_TEL00_view1_720x720Good ($13):         Petzl HERA Attache Screw Lock Carabiner

• These colourful biners are perfect for belay/rappel/munter
hitch use and $1.00 from the sale of each goes to support
ovarian cancer research!

• Mountaineer Scouts use HERAbiners!

• For more information about HERA Women’s Cancer
Foundation, see bottom of this page.



MSR 30″ Lightning Ascents
(max wt. 280 lbs.)
beside MSR 22″ Evo Ascents
(max wt. 180 lbs.)

MSR “Ascent” snowshoes (either the plastic “Evo” or the metal “Lightning” versions) are recommended for our group’s activities.  These bad boys were designed for off-trail mountain use and are proven performers.

Pick a snowshoe based on your intended use and the weight that they need to float above the snow.  The length of the snowshoe determines its load carrying capability.  Remember to add your pack weight to your body weight.

A good mountaineering snowshoe will also have a heel lift (also called a televator).  A heel lift is a bar that can be raised up under the heel of each snowshoe so that when you are ascending a steep slope, the heel lift keeps your foot at a more comfortable stair-climbing angle to the slope (your heel only needs to come down to the raised lift – about two inches higher than the snowshoe itself).  This takes a lot of stress off your calf muscle and lessens fatigue.

Update:  For hiking down very steep slopes, extremely long snowshoes (30″) make it virtually impossible to dig your heels in and cause dangerous slipping issues.  If the main purpose of your snowshoes is for ascending and descending steep slopes, consider getting a shorter snowshoe (22″) that will enable you to descend safely.  This lesson courtesy of The School of Hard Knocks.

Remember: as with much of the gear we use, snowshoes are a substantial investment that will be with you for many years.

“Tails” can be purchased that increase the snowshoes’ load bearing capability.  These add-ons can extend the life of your snowshoes if your body weight increases unexpectedly in the future.

Trekking poles (or regular ski poles) are very helpful additions to a pair of snowshoes.  They help you with your balance, give you a bit of an upper body workout and take some of the strain off your knees on descents.



Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 in its natural setting.


Friends of the 1st Mountaineers:

The kids will need special gear (e.g., snowshoes and mountaineering tents, etc.) to permit them to participate in all the adventures planned for the year.  If you are able, please consider making a small donation to help us purchase and maintain this equipment.

 Thank you…


“Because it’s there.”

— George Mallory


Ed Viesturs & Peter Whittaker on Mt. Rainier’s Muir Peak.


HERA Women's Cancer Foundation flag on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation flag on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Ovarian cancer is a very serious but widely under-recognized threat to women’s health.

To help solve this threat, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation employs creative, authentic approaches. Established in 2002, HERA empowers women to take control of their health. It does this through educational materials and awareness programs like HERA Partners in Action. Also, unique fundraising events, such as HERA Climb4Life, provide logoscientists with the HERA OSB1 scientific grant program, which funds research on reliable early-detection tests and better treatments. HERA awards community ovarian-cancer groups with grants that support awareness and outreach programs for women battling this disease.

For more information on becoming a part of the ovarian-cancer solution, visit


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