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Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS!
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kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 03/23/2014 13:37:36 MDT Print View

I am new to BPL but have been browsing the forums for a while now. Unfortunatlly I bought all my gear before I was aware of weights and within the past two years. So I'm trying not to replace items if necessary.

I'll be hiking Rainier this june and this is my list so far.

We'll be sharing a rope, my tent, and my partner's white gas stove (MSR XGK)

My tent came with whimpy summer tent stakes so I'm looking for recommendations for good winter stakes.

Sleeping bag (depending on weather):
Marmot Pinnacle 15 – 2lb 8oz
Stuff sack – 2oz
Marmot Helium 0 - 2lb 12oz
Stuff sack - .8oz

Closed Cell Sleep Pad – 14.6oz
Thermarest – 21.5oz (Will Omit)
Sleeping Bags
Sleep Pads

Bibler Eldorado 2p 4 season
Vestibule – 22oz (Dependent on weather)
Vest. Poles – 5.7oz
Vest Stakes (3)
Tent Poles – 13.5oz
Tent Stkes (6)
Guy Lines – 1.1oz
Tent Body – 52.5oz


Big Puffy MH Phantom – 14.5oz
Lightweight Puffy – Patagonia UL – 7.2oz (Weather Depending)
Shell – REI Something Soft Shell – 16.4oz
Midweight – Patagonia R1 – 10.4oz
Base Shirt – Smartwool Longsleeve hood – 8oz
(or UA poly t-shirt – 3.6oz Weather Depending)
Stretchy soft shell pants – TNF – 8.6oz
Base long johns – Smartwool – 6.7oz
Rain Coat - MH Ghost Whipserer - 1.8oz (not sure if I need this?)
Socks – Wool 3.1oz x2
Gators - 7.1oz
.Mid Layers
,pants and rain coat

Fleece Hat – 1.7oz (Weather Depending)
Thin wool gloves – 1.3oz
Ski Gloves – 7.4oz
Overgloves – 6.9oz (Weather Depending)
Balaclava Fleece – 3.1oz
Ski Goggles – 4.4oz (Weather Depending)
Stuff sack - .6oz
Glacier Goggles – 1.1oz
White case – 1.5oz

I don't like the balaclava and am open to suggestions

.Hats and Gloves

Crampons – 32.2oz
Ice Axe – 13.7oz
Helmet Petzel Elios – 12.2oz
Snow Shovel – 25.6oz
Boots - La sportive nepal - 30.41oz

I'd like to get the Petzel Metor helmet (7.9oz) but ugh...$110


Snow Picket w/Biner – 15.7oz
Harness BD Couloir – 8.1oz
Crevasse Rescue Gear – 1lb 1.6ozz

.Crevasse Gear

Ten Essentials
BD Headlamp – 3.9oz
Knife Leatherman squirt – 2oz
Compass Suunto – 2.6oz
First Aid – 1.9ozv

.ten essentials

Personal Things – 5.2oz

These can easily be reduced I'm sure

.Personal Things

Water Bottle Coozie – 5.6oz (Weather Depending)
Mug Snowpeaks 400 – 2.5oz
Spoon REI - .6oz
TI Stoic 1.3L Pot and Lid – 7.1oz
Stuff Sack - .7oz
2L Platypus – 1.4oz
32oz Gatorade Bottle
Meal Coozie - .5oz

The pot might be a tad to small for melting snow, but I'll never need a larger pot other than this trip, so can't justify buying a new one.


BD Epic 45L – 4lb 1.4oz
Osprey Xenia 85L – 5lb 4oz

So I can hardly fit everything into the 45L, but the 85L is too big. If I can find a reasonable priced pack I'd be interested in suggestions, otherwise i'll just use the 85L. I might be able to save some weight by removing the lid?


Thanks everyone for looking! And sorry about the dog, she has a bad habit of standing right in the middle of my gear

Edited by buckie06 on 03/24/2014 21:11:32 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 03/23/2014 13:55:38 MDT Print View

You might be able to get by with the small cook pot for snow melting, but it won't be very efficient. The smallest snow melting pot that I've ever used was 2L. For a stove platform, you want a piece of Masonite about 10 inches square or larger. Plus aluminum foil.

For snow camping, you probably want six or more snow stakes. I recommend SMC snow stakes, about nine inches long, aluminum with holes in them. REI sells them for about $1.95 each. Additionally, you might want to have one big bombproof anchor for the tent. That would be either an aluminum picket or an aluminum fluke with about six feet of strong cord.

That would be an excellent place for a GPS receiver, but you have to know how to use it.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 03/23/2014 14:38:44 MDT Print View

You are going to hike around the mountain or climb it? There will still be deep snow in June if hiking. Looks like you are prepared for that. We had a light snowpack until the last month and then it made up for lost time.

It could be wet, so don't skimp on hard shells-- you might never take them off. The weather comes off the Pacific between the gap in the coastal range and smacks right into Rainier, ergo the world record snowfalls. is a great place to get local Washington info, as well as

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 03/23/2014 15:57:19 MDT Print View

HERE is Alena Lee's gear list for Mount Rainier , she went in July of 2009.

Edited by annapurna on 03/23/2014 15:59:28 MDT.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Summit on 03/23/2014 17:38:31 MDT Print View

I will be summit-ing Rainier via Emmons Glacier. First day fly in and hike in to base camp, second day is crevasse practice, third day is the summit bid and hike out. Four is extra rain day.

Edited by buckie06 on 03/23/2014 17:43:39 MDT.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Ranier Gear list comments on 03/23/2014 21:54:28 MDT Print View

Kristen - buy one of these: 4 quart aluminum pot, 1 lb, $17.95 - well worth the time it will save you melting snow. There is also a 2Q pot, but 4 is really a lot better.

Here are some snow anchors as well:

(bring regular tent stakes as well, you may be setting up on either snow or earth.)

If the weather forecast is for decent weather you might consider leaving the vestibule behind. It would be nice to have if the weather craps out though.

A few tips to get the weight and bulk down and some gear suggestions -

Bring the lightest sleeping bag you own and sleep in all your clothing. It will also save you time in the morning getting ready to go.

Unless you tent to sleep cold, just bring the closed cell pad, skip the thermarest.

for clothing - my preference is to do baselayer, softshell top & bottom, lightweight puffy and a rain jacket (mostly to block wind) - watch the weather forecast and decide if you really need the heavier puffy. Extra socks are well worth the weight. Bring a THIN hat/balaclava (Ibex, smartwool, or capeline) you can wear under your helmet.

I would leave the ski goggles, they are just likely to fog up anyway. I would leave behind the overgloves.

You can cut the crevasse rescue gear down some, but I don't see any prusik setup in there. You can get by without a snowshovel, but it does make digging tent platforms a lot quicker. I usually do without myself.

Be sure to take fresh batteries, and possibly a spare set for the headlamp.

Personally would leave behind the deodorant, but bring hand sanitizer. Many people who get sick in the mountains do so from contamination on their hands not giardia, crypto, ect. Be sure to bring TP. Bring the highest SPF sunscreen you can find, and make sure it is less than a year old. You won't need the aquamira as all of your water will come from snow melting.

I would leave bottle cozie behind as well.

As for packs, if you work with your partner you may be able to have them carry the bulkier items so that you can get everything into the 54L pack, but for Rainer, something in between usually works better. If you do wind up with the 85L pack at least it will be easy to pack.

Have a great trip, hopefully the weather will cooperate, June can go almost any way weather wise on Rainier. The Emmons is a beautiful route, enjoy!

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
thanks on 03/24/2014 20:19:04 MDT Print View

thanks for the comments. You're correct that I have a lot of extra layers. What I've shown is my setup for extreme cold. Once I get closer to June I'll have a better idea of the weather and should be able to shed some layers, loose the hat/gloves/etc. For example if it'll be cold enough to need the water bottle coozie.

Thanks for the other tips, I'll re-evaluate my list and include some things.

Does anyone have recommendations for a pack between 45L-85L ?

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Packs on 03/24/2014 22:10:15 MDT Print View

You are welcome Kristen.

Take a look at the Osprey Variant 52, and the CCW (Cold Cold World) Chernobyl or Chaos if you are looking primarily for climbing packs. The wild Things Andinista is a great pack, big but lightweight and can be downsized to two different sizes by using the compresion zippers. If you can find a Wild Things IceSac they are great climbing packs (still regret selling mine.)

The Osprey Aura 65 and the new Osprey Exos 58 are also worth a look. Some of the Mammut packs look interesting, but I don't have any real experience with them.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Packs on 03/25/2014 12:45:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Jim, my friend has the Osprey Varent and likes it. However, the BD Epic 45L that I have is a climbing pack. Thus besides this trip I wouldn't have a need for another climbing dedicated pack.

I'd like to get away from the heavy over-featured Ospreys and try something else. I'm thinking of getting a light weight pack that I would use for Rainier and other 5-7 day summer backpacking trips around Colorado. I see a lot of people like the Zpacks around here, would that be a good choice?

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/25/2014 12:55:48 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 04/02/2014 05:46:36 MDT.

Sean B
(FastPacker) - MLife
Pack on 04/07/2014 20:28:55 MDT Print View

Consider using the thermarest instead of the foam for its packability. The gear might then fit into the smaller pack or a zpacks type pack if it used less volume saving more weight. A neoair takes that idea to the extreme. The coozie and vestibule are also targets for volume reduction.

Only way to materially reduce pack weight here is expensive. It's always the big three:
Firstlight instead of bibler - 2lbs
Any 1lb 30degree bag - 2lb
Frameless backpack - 3lbs

7lb saved for a lot of money and you need to be comfortable with the risks of a lighter bag and less tent.

Edited by FastPacker on 04/07/2014 20:31:09 MDT.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
CCF on 04/08/2014 22:33:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments Sean,
wouldn't I want to keep the CCF pad and ditch the thermarest? isn't closed cell pretty much mandatory for camping on snow to keep the cold coming up from the snow?

And the foam pad I had strapped to the outside of the smaller pack so removing it would not solve my space problem. I think removing the thermarest will allow for much more space, if I have my partner carry the tent and I carry the stove/fuel maybe everything will fit. doubtful though....

Sean B
(FastPacker) - MLife
Therm on 04/09/2014 19:21:15 MDT Print View

Steve House used a plain old thermarest on his nanga parbat expedition...

And I've used one in -25 *f on snow in Minnesota and was pretty cold inside of 2 sleeping bags. This was 15 years ago in Boy Scouts.

I'm not a fan of strapping the pad to the outside. It's always in the way and makes it hard to lay down the pack. But I'd rather do that than the bigger bag.

Is the sleeping bag is the space culprit? Have you used a compression stuff stack? Cuts the space of traditional bags way down. Investing in a UL bag would do wonders. [You could sell both your bags and buy one 20* that weighs 20oz and takes up 1/3 the space in your pack.]

Also you can separate the poles from the tent body so that the tent conforms to the bottom of the pack and the poles slip down the side of the pack.

I'm clearly really against giant mountaineering bags. Mine is an older dyneema zpacks blast 32. The main compartment is 40L and I'm stuffed to the max for multiday mountaineering trips.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
TAR vs CCF on 04/09/2014 20:49:44 MDT Print View

One or the other will do fine for Rainier for you. On the standard routes there is no issue with carrying the CCF pad on the outside. Unless you sleep cold you really don't need a super warm bag. I have typically used 40-32 degree bags and closed cell foam on most of my Rainier trips. Unless you really have use for both of the bags you currently own you might consider selling one and using the money to purchase lighter bag. I typically use a bag in the 50 liter range on Rainier so with a little work you should really be able to get everything into the 45.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 04/09/2014 21:19:46 MDT Print View

The 15 degree bag will be plenty up to one of the high camps. I would want more than a closed cell foam pad since you'll be sleeping on a cold cold glacier (probably).

The vestibule won't be necessary.

Take a real waterproof shell jacket.

I won't comment on layering since that seems to vary a lot between individuals.

Take all the gloves/mittens you can carry.

You could probably ditch the reverso and use a munter if you actually need a real belay.

Everything should be able to fit into the 45L pack.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Re: Rainier Gear List - WITH PHOTOS! on 04/09/2014 21:23:49 MDT Print View

If you want a lighter pack, you would be hard pressed to find a better balance of lightweight and capacity than the BD Speed packs. These are only slightly lighter than the Epic pack though, so it might not be a good use of money.

As for the pad, I like an R value of 5 or more under my torso. I use a full length thermarest (compresses down nicely) and a 3/4 length foam pad. Then I use my pack under my feet. I like a full length foam pad, but they are just too bulky.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Ground Insulation on snow on 04/09/2014 22:02:44 MDT Print View

Keep the thermarest. Get a thin 1/8 to go underneath it. Lawson has some at a good price.

I once spent two nights at high elevation sleeping on only a ridgerest in a WM ultralight. Woke up both mornings with ice under me in the bottom of my bag and in the ridges of the pad. A ridgerest alone is not enough insulation on snow. I think R4-5 should be a minimum for sleeing comfortably on snow.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Another Pack Idea on 04/09/2014 22:43:56 MDT Print View

The Exped Lighting 60 might be a good pack to check out. Women's versions are often on sale for better deals. The normal price is $250 which is a bit pricy.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Pack space on 04/10/2014 22:04:31 MDT Print View

The sleeping bag is definitely taking up a ton of space in the 45L pack, also the shovel. My 15 degree bag is about 16"x7" in the stuff sack. I do not have a compression sack so can't speak to how small it can pack, I can squeeze it down to 10"x7" with my hands.

Here's all of my gear, assuming I carry the stove/fuel/pot and rope, my partner carries the tent. This is without ANY food, and it is just about full. I'm guessing I could fit one or two day's worth of food max.

I feel like I'm ever so close with this pack, I can justify either buying a new pack or a new sleeping bag. I do need the 0 degree for winter camping so no dice on selling it. I'm wondering if a 30 degree will be warm enough on Rainier, and small enough to make everything fit in the 45L

I think I'm going to keep the thermarest and get a 1/8" CCF pad. since the foam pad is on the outside of my pack it really isn't taking up space, just weight.

thanks every I really appreciate all the help! I like the idea of ditching the vestibule, people who have climbed rainier, would I be ok without it?

Also, Jeff, or anyone else, you recommended an actual rain jacket; would the Houdini work? Or can you recommend something else? I don't have any experience hiking in the PNW weather.

Edited by buckie06 on 04/10/2014 22:25:29 MDT.

whitenoise .
(whitenoise) - F
Re: pack space on 04/10/2014 22:55:12 MDT Print View

Jim's suggestions are good. I would definitely take the 45L and cram it all in. You should buy a compression sack for the 15 degree bag and take it. Unlike a lot of Rainier trips I've done, it sounds like you'll be camping for at least 3 days. This means sleep is important, so bring the more comfortable sleeping gear, even if it means it's slightly heavier. Nothing worse than being exhausted on summit day. Only you know what comfort level you need.

I wouldn't bring the vestibule; it's nice to have but definitely not necessary (never had one on my climbs). I'd bring either a wind shell or hard shell, not both. If you can't choose your weather window, then you should bring the hard shell just in case.

Looks like things are as light as you can get them, but I actually think your 45L looks perfect size fully loaded.

Have fun!