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Title image - BAI takes you to: Carstensz Pyramid

Climb the most remote of the Seven Summits with Berg Adventures

Carstensz Pyramid – Recommended Gear

We love Carstensz expeditions because they are real adventures. There will be lots of travel and changing conditions. We will trek from tropical forests to glaciers in a few days’ time. Then we will climb the most technical of all the “seven summits”. This trip is great fun and will provide surprises and challenges that will make for lifetime memories. Being prepared with the proper equipment is essential. We have listed a just a few things as “optional”. The other items on the list are required for your success. Please try to avoid bringing “extras” or substitutions. Space and weight limits will be a factor as we trek and climb. Bring a sense of humor, patience and the items on this list!

Travel Gear and Pakcs:

115-liter “Boundary Bag” or river dry bag: This will be carried by your porter (weight limit 17 kilos /37pounds). Light colors are good so you can label your bag clearly with your name.

Alpine style backpack: 30 – 40 liter, (2000 – 3000 cubic inch) size. Simple top opening pack with few zippers and outside pockets is best. This pack will stay with you at all times during the trek and climb.

Rain cover for backpack: Essential!

Large Ziploc bags: XL 2 gallon size is preferred. Bring at least 6. Useful for containing your valuables in a dry and secure place inside your day pack.

Small travel duffel: Can be kept inside your larger duffel or checked as a second piece on your international flight. Another option is to bring a carry on size roller. Airlines are often more liberal with carry on size restrictions for roller boards than they are for backpacks. This bag will travel with you to Timika, where it will be stored with a change of travel clothes for the end of the trip. Mark clearly with your name or attach at least one luggage tag to identify your bag.

Expedition duffel bag: Will be stored in Bali. This is the best way to bring your backpack and Boundary Bag on the airlines. Light colors are good so that you can label your bag clearly with your name. We will spend luggage tags for you to use as well.

Trash “Contractor” bags: Bring two or three for additional waterproof storage.

Zip-ties to secure luggage zippers: We find these just as secure and much easier to use than small padlocks. Available at most hardware stores. These can be removed from your bag easily with nail clippers.


Rubber boots: High quality knee-length rubber boots. (“Mud Boots”) for the forest trek. Preferably with laces or buckles. Make sure the boots have good grip.

Running shoes or light trail shoes: For travel and easy walking. Also good for the final trek days to Base Camp.

Crocs: Or sport sandals such as Teva. For getting out of wet shoes after hiking, at camp and perhaps poolside in Bali.

Climbing boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a Vibram sole. Gore – Tex boots are a good option for this climb. Some climbers might prefer to bring approach style rock climbing shoes that are slightly oversized with Gore - Tex socks or neoprene booties worn inside.

Heavy-weight socks: Two to three pairs synthetic/wool

Neoprene socks: (Optional) Another good option is to wear Neoprene “paddling” socks instead of wool socks on Carstensz summit day. Dry wool socks can be kept in a zip lock bag in your pack as a backup.

Gore-Tex socks: (Optional) Can be worn over socks for added warmth when wet if your boots are sized large enough.

Medium-weight – light-weight socks: Four pairs synthetic wool blend. Some climbers will wear light and heavy socks together in their rubber boots.

Liner sock: Optional. Very thin Capilene or synthetic liner socks tend to bunch up inside your thicker socks when wet. They may cause blisters rather than prevent them.

Gaiters: Simple gaiters that fit over both your trail shoes and climbing boots are best. Short gaiters are fine. They simply need to keep mud and rocks out of the top of your boots.

Travel shoes: It is a good idea to leave a pair of clean shoes in Bali. All your footwear that goes to Carstensz will come back muddy!


Changes of casual travel clothes: These will be stored in Bali and Timika. Include a couple of shirts with collars for the hotels and restaurants. You should also bring a bathing suit and possibly some workout clothes.

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear. Fast drying and easy to wash is best. Women should also bring sports bras that dry quickly.

Climbing pants: “Shoeller” type fabric, stretch material that is breathable synthetic is highly recommended. The material should hold up well to abrasion and dry quickly. These can be worn with or without long underwear bottoms.

Light-weight synthetic hiking pants: Two pairs. One pair can be shorts, or convertible to shorts. At least one pair should be long. No cotton!

Light-weight long underwear top: Capilene or another lightweight, quick drying synthetic material.

Light-weight long underwear bottom: One or two pairs. Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. Synthetic sport pants are also good for hiking and camp wear.

Mid-weight long Underwear top: 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.

Mid-weight long underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable.

Light-weight synthetic vest or jacket: Primaloft or another synthetic material is better than fleece because it is lighter and dries quicker.

Warm synthetic jacket: Not down! Should be large enough to fit over your other layers.

Warm synthetic pants: (Optional) Most likely to be used only for wear at Base Camp.

Short-sleeved T-shirts: Two or three, synthetic material: most nylon running shirts work well.

Shell jacket: Foul weather breathable jacket such as Gore-Tex. Your jacket should have a hood.

Shell pant: Foul weather breathable shell pants. Full zips are best. If you have an older pair of Gore-Tex pants that are still functional, bring them! On summit day they will get ripped and abraded.

Poncho: For warmer rainy days on the trek

Hand & Head Gear

Leather gloves: For rock climbing on rough rock. Garden gloves or climbing leather gloves are ideal. They will be used on summit day for climbing abrasive rock, crossing the Tyrolean traverse and rappelling.

Windstopper gloves: At some point on summit day your climbing work gloves might become too wet and cold. A dry pair of fleece or synthetic covered “Windstopper” gloves can save the day.

Insulated gloves: For the coldest conditions that we might encounter a heavier pair of alpine climbing gloves with removable liners can be useful. Try to find a pair with thick, durable material on the palms and across the knuckles.

Buff: One or two. For light insulation under your climbing helmet, sun protection, sweat band, etc.

Bandana: One or two traditional cotton bandanas will be invaluable. For washing, sun protection, cleaning sunglasses.

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor. Berg Adventures will provide you with baseball caps that work great when used with buffs or bandanas.

Wool or fleece hat: Bring one light-weight hat for slightly cool days, lighter hats fit well under helmets.

Balaclava: Minimum one. Some people layer thick wool or fleece balaclava over a thinner Capilene one.

Camping and Trekking Gear

Sleeping bag: Rated to at least 20 F (-5 C). Down or Synthetic. Down is more compressible.

Compression stuff sack for sleeping bag: Does not need to be waterproof since your porter bag will be.

Sleeping pad: Inflating,(Thermarest) Must fit inside your porter bag. Thinner 3 /4 length models are best.

Foam pad: Thin closed cell foam. For extra insulation and in case your Thermarest leaks. Thin yellow Evazote pads are less bulky then Ridgerest.

Trekking poles: One pair, three - section collapsible. Leave small baskets on the poles; they help with flotation in the mud.

Water bottles: Two 1-liter, wide-mouth bottles Nalgene bottles.

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: (Optional) recommended if you prefer tea or broth on hikes or on summit day. One liter size recommended.

Pee bottle: 1-liter or 1. 5 liter leak proof, wide-mouth

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette).

Umbrella: Recommended. Small to medium size. Should fit easily in the side of your pack.

Headlamp: With extra batteries.

Climbing Equipment

Climbing harness: Fully adjustable with leg loops. Should also have a sewn belay loop.

Locking carabiners: Three LARGE diameter, pear-shaped locking carabiners.

6 standard oval or D-shaped carabiners: Do not bring bent gate or small diameter carabiners.

Ascenders: One left, one right


Daisy chain: 2, for rigging ascenders and for clipping into anchors.

20ft of 6mm accessory cord: Your guides will help you rig all climbing gear before summit day.

Figure-8 rappel/descending device: Must be figure 8, since the fixed ropes are quite large; other devices may not work.

Climbing helmet: Light-weight and adjustable to fit over hats.

Medical & Personal

Swiss Army knife: (Optional) Many people bring them and never use them. Should be small and simple. The most useful features are scissors, screwdriver and tweezers. Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flights.

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily.

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand.

Insect repellent: Small bottle for trekking through the jungle.

Toiletry kit: Toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, comb/brush, shave kit, small mirror. Bring small containers and keep your kit in a plastic bag, not a heavy zipped case.

Small personal first aid kit: Berg Adventures will bring a complete group medical kit, but a small quantity of supplies that you normally use, such as moleskin, athletic tape, small amount of duct tape, safety pins, travel sewing kit and similar items will be useful for you to bring along. Ibuprofen, Imodium, Tums or Rolaids are common over the counter medications that are good to have in your personal kit. Keep your kit small and put it in a zip lock bag, not a heavy first aid kit pouch.

Personal medications: Think carefully about what meds you use regularly or when you travel and bring plenty. Bring duplicate supplies of any essential medications that you use and give your guide the backup supply. You will need to be on malaria medication (Malarone is what will be prescribed for most people).

When you visit your travel clinic consider additional options for personal prescription drugs: Ciprofloxin for G.I. infections, Azithromycin for respiratory infections and as a general broad - spectrum antibiotic. Ambien (Zolipidem) as a sleep aid while you are jet lagged, Diamox to aid in acclimatization and Dexamethazone for severe altitude headaches (do not use Dexamethazone regularly).

Water purification: Such a Potable Aqua (iodine tablets). We will purify water at all camps, but it is good to have a personal supply when travelling internationally.

Baby wipes

Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents.

Other Things

Sunglasses: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR. You may want to bring a back-up pair too.

Camera: Do not bring an SLR Camera with detachable lens to Carstensz. They are too heavy and too difficult to keep dry. Small point and shoot cameras are great however. They are small enough to keep dry and easy to use. Bring extra batteries. Also bring your camera’s charger just in case we can use it in Timika. Bring a large capacity memory card. You will want take lots of photos and videos.

Smart phone: (Optional) Can be used as a backup camera or even as your primary camera. It is also good to have for music, e-books, games and entertainment. There will probably be cell coverage on Carstensz summit ridge and in Timika. Check with your service provider before you leave home about your rates for data and calls in Indonesia. Wireless will likely be available only in Bali.

Satellite phone: (Optional) Berg Adventures will provide sat phones for emergency communication and for dispatches. Because of limited power we cannot allow our phones to be used for personal calls. If you want to bring your own sat phone, or rent one, Thuraya is the best network in the Carstensz region; Iridium will also be good.