Berg Adventures on Pinterest
Berg Adventures on Pinterest
Berg Adventures on RSS Feed
Berg Adventures on Facebook
Berg Adventures on Facebook

Follow us:

Title image - BAI takes you to: Mt.Elbrus
Why climb with Berg Adventures

Recommended Gear for Berg Adventures Mt. Elbrus Climb

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running shoes: For travel and easy walking.

Sport sandals:  Useful for the sauna, and for around the hut on Elbrus.

Lightweight hiking boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a Vibram sole.

Climbing boots: Plastic double boot. (Koflach, Scarpa)

Booties: Down are synthetic with a thick foam sole. Optional luxury. (any brand, Mountain Hardwear Chugatch booties are an example)

Lightweight socks: Two to three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)

Mid-weight socks: Two to three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)


Lightweight long underwear top: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Mid-weight long underwear tops: Zip T-neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)

Lightweight long underwear bottoms: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Mid-weight underwear bottoms : Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op). 

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton.  Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work.  (North Face, Patagonia, or any brand of PowerDry)

Jacket synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended. (eg. Wild Things Primaloft, Patagonia Puff Jacket)

Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polargard HV. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Chugach 3D pants are an example.  An acceptable alternative are fleece pants Polartec 100 or 200, but they are bulky, heavier and less versatile.

Down insulated jacket w/ hood: Be sure that the fill is at least 700 or 800 fill, baffled. (North Face)

Waterproof breathable jacket & pants: Jacket must have hood, pants must have full-length side zips. (Arc'Teryx, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Head & Hand Gear

Liner gloves: Lightweight synthetic (Patagonia Capilene or any brand of PowerStretch)

Windstopper fleece gloves: (Any brand of Windstopper fleece)

Waterproof Mittens w/ pile liners: (Outdoor Research)

Bandana: Two or three traditional cotton style

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.

Wool or fleece hat - Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears

Balaclava: At least one. Some people layer a very thin capilene balaclava under a thicker fleece one. 


Sunglasses #1: For high altitude.  One pair of high quality 100%UV and 100%IR with a minimum of 80% light reduction, side shields such as those found on “glacier glasses” are not recommended, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum protection from bright light on snow.

Sunglasses #2: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR, for safari and lower elevations, also as a backup. It is important to have a spare pair of sunglasses. 

Ski Goggles: (Bolle, Oakley, Smith)

Gaiters: Short, simple gaiters are best, such as Outdoor Research's Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters.

Headlamp w/ spare bulb: AA or AAA battery powered (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Spare batteries: For headlamp and other gadgets you bring.

Climbing Equipment:

Ice axe: General mountaineering axe.  60 cm length is good for most people but it does depend on your height.  Shaft should be straight, not curved.  You will need a leash to attach your axe to you harness as well as a “wrist loop”.    Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6 ft of 9 / 16 inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one. (Grivel, Black Diamond)

Crampons: 12 point step-in (Grivel, Black Diamond)

Harness: Alpine style, you should not have to step through leg loops to put it on and off. It should be lightweight and fully adjustable. (Black Diamond)

Carabiner: Large locking “pear” shaped style. (Black Diamond, Petzl)

Perlon cord: 20 feet of 6mm perlon which is also known as static accessory cord. (don’t cut it, bring in one piece)

Camping Gear

Backpack: 3000 to 5000 cubic inches (50 to 80 liters), internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively. (Wild Things, Dana, Arc’Teryx, Gregory, North Face)   

Small day pack: Optional but very useful, should be small and simple, can double as stuff sack or organizer, useful for airline carry-on and for while touring in cities.  (Black Diamond, North Face)

Pack cover: Recommended. To protect your gear on rainy or snowy days (REI, MEC, Osprey, Gregory).

Sleeping bag: 0 to -10F (-23 to -17C) Down 700 fill minimum (Marmot, Mtn Hardwear, North Face)

Water bottles: Two - liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene or Lexan bottles)

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: Optional, but very nice on the train to Moscow, and on the long summit day. (Zojirusghi “Dura Bottle”, Nissan, Outdoor Research)

Pee bottle: One 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)

Trekking poles: Adjustable length in two or three sections, easier to strap on to your pack when not using them. (Leki, Black Diamond)

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flight.

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids).

Zip-loc bags: always useful

Baby wipes

Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents. Available in most hardware stores and drug stores.

Water purification tablets: Such as Potable Aqua brand iodine tablets. You will be given plenty of purified water during your climb and at your lodge in the Caucasus, but one bottle of backup purification tablets is always a good idea for your travels. They are especially useful in hotels in Russia. We do not recommend you drink untreated tap water anywhere in Russia and bottled water in some rare cases might not be available.

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: 8000+ cubic inches (130+ liters).  Light colors are better for labeling with your name. (North Face Base, Patagonia, Wild Things).

Small travel bag: Useful for storing things in St. Petersburg, most soft sided ‘carry-on’ type bags work well. You might also use an extra large stuff sack. (Camp Trails, Wild Things, Patagonia)

Nylon stuff sacks: Several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling.  They will be used for storing items in huts and hotels, as well as organizing your travel bags and backpack.

Lightweight long sleeve shirt: cotton, comfortable

Hiking shorts and/or skirt/sarong: One pair. Synthetic material is preferred for fast drying and wicking moisture ability.

Lightweight pants: One pair. Synthetic material is preferred for fast drying and wicking moisture ability.

City clothes for St. Petersburg and Moscow: Casual, two or three changes.  We will be in museums and restaurants in the city.   In St. Petersburg  you will see most Russians dress up to go out to dinner. Consider bringing some nice travel clothes. You will have the opportunity to store items in Moscow while we are in the Caucasus.

Bathing suit / workout clothes: Our lodge in the Caucasus has a great sauna!

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks:  for locking duffel bag(s)



Camera with extra batteries: Digital and/or film camera. Bring plenty of extra batteries, and memory cards for your digital camera. If you recharge your batteries power will be available at our lodge in the Caucasus. Adaptors to fit the outlets in Russia can be purchased in St Petersburg or Moscow. Digital video camcorders are very useful. They allow you to record sounds and still images as well as video.