Wednesday, July 6, 2011

14ers Checklist

Friday I am headed out to climb my fourth 14er.  Considering there are 54 across the state, it is going to take me a while to climb them all.  In fact my pace of checking these off at 1-2 per year is much slower than my inspiration of a few years ago, Mark Obmascik, who wrote Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled and Knuckleheaded Quest for the Rocky Mountain High.  Mark set out to climb all 54 14,000 feet altitude picks in less than a year and then write a book about it.  Not only did he survive his quest, but also he wrote a good book in the process (2009 National Outdoor Book Award).

As I explained in my 7/1/11 Hiking for Hearts post, I am headed to Mount Sherman to knock another off the list.  One of the people I convinced to join me will be climbing his first 14er so I told him I would write up a checklist of what to bring.  The items on this list come from several places, but when in doubt and you are looking for the right info, go to

  1. Hiking Shoes: It starts with the shoes and I think Merrell makes the best for hiking.
  2. Hiking Socks:  Cotton sweat socks won’t do and nothing worse than getting a blister on a hike.
  3. Ball Cap:  Good for the sun and the sweat when the temperature is warmer.  I wear my First Ascent hat very time I climb a mountain for the first time.
  4. Beanie: For when it gets colder, which it usually does at some point in your hike.
  5. Gloves:  I like polar fleece mittens where the fingers can be exposed with Outdoor Research shells.  These serve me well skiing and they do the same climbing.
  6. Synthetic shirt:  Avoid cotton and go with one of the popular breathable shirts.
  7. Synthetic Long Underwear: Again these are good when it gets colder.
  8. Wind Block Jacket:  I love my Eddie Bauer downlight sweater.  If you want you can pay twice the price for a similar one from Patagonia.
  9. Waterproof Shell: I am happy with my North Face Venture jacket, but several options are available.
  10. Convertible Hiking Pants:  Get the ones with the zip off legs as you may want shorts when it gets hot.  I picked up a pair at REI I like.
  11. Pack:  I like Go Lite’s packs best.
  12. Water Bottles:  You will need a lot of water so fortunately my Go Lite backpack has two sleeves on the side and I can put more inside.
  13. Snacks:  Hiking for Hearts will give us lunch, but you will want munchies along the way.  I love the S’Mores Trail Mix at Target.
  14. iphone:  I have discovered that my iphone camera is about as good as any handheld and it gives me a lot more like GPS and a cell phone.
  15. Watch
  16. Knife or Multi-Tool
  17. Sunscreen:  You really are a lot closer to the sun and you know it.
  18. TP (in Ziploc Bag): No one stocks this on the mountain.
  19. Space blanket and First Aid Kit:  Just in case…
  20. Headlamp: In case you get caught on the mountain after dark.
  21. Trekking poles:  I just tried these last year, but they are a huge difference maker.
  22. Ibuprofen: You will want these before and after the hike.

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