Anna Pfaff’s Expedition Packing List

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By Uphill Athlete Anna Pfaff

I’ve gone on over 20 expeditions in my climbing life—to Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, India, and all over South America. In the early days, when I was new to packing for these big trips, I would just lay out my stuff and fixate on what I was forgetting. I’m not a naturally organized person, so it didn’t occur to me to make a list and check it.

Then before one of my first India expeditions, someone in my party started a shared Google document, and we filled it with everything we thought we might need for every possible type of climbing. Maybe we’d be on ice, snow, and rock; maybe we’d want skis. We had to be prepared for it all, and the list reflected that.

I hung on to our group list and transformed it into the one included below. It’s a reference piece I’ve been using for years now, even when the trip is strictly ice climbing or strictly rock climbing. It is easy to tweak based on the objective.

A lot of people ask me how to pack for expeditions, so I find myself sharing this list all the time. Maybe they’ve never been on one before, or maybe they’re sport climbers heading to Alaska. I tell them they probably won’t need everything on the list, but perhaps they’ll see something they hadn’t thought of that could be useful.

One thing I always bring with me—on expeditions, to comps, even when I’m staying at a hotel—is a small quick-dry towel. That and a Kindle. Those are the two staples. You’ll be dry and you’ll have books to read.

HARDWARE
Cams #00–#4 (2 sets)
Nuts (2 sets), offsets (HB, micro)
Single slings (16)

Biners (32)
Grigri
Jumars
Belay device (2)
Alpine aiders
Pitons: LA #5–#6, KB, Corner, Standard, Spectre, Beak, Angle, Baby (20)
Pickets (2)
Ice screws (14)
V-Threader (2)
Micro Traxion
Tibloc (2)
Prusik (1)
Shovel (2)
Harness
Crampons
Tools (2)
Alpine tool
Picks (4)
Double-length slings (4)
Lockers (10)
Trekking poles
Helmet

ROPES
Ropes (2 light single ropes, 2 half ropes)
Dyneema cord (70m)

TENTS, SLEEPING BAGS/PADS, CAMP STUFF
Bivy Tent
Base Camp Tent
Bivy sack
Megamid
Tent pole repair
Extra guy cord for tent
Bamboo wands and reflective tape
Sleeping bag (2 0-degree, 15-degree)
Sleeping pads (1 foam, 1 air)

COOKING STUFF
Lighters
Jetboil or similar
MSR WhisperLite International (and repair kit)
Extra bottles, pump
2-liter plastic Coke bottles for fuel at high camp
Titanium pot set
Bowl, spoon, mug
Nalgenes (2 wide-mouth)
Thermos

Coffee, Aeropress plus Alpine Start Instant
High camp food
Bars and Gels

BCAA caps
Electrolyte tabs and mixes

MISCELLANEOUS
Repair kit
Seam grip
Batteries (AA, AAA, watch)
Knife (2)
File
Multitool
alan kit
Hand warmers (20)
Sunscreen
Lip sunscreen
Toothbrush, toothpaste
Aquaphor
Ziplocks (big/small)
DeLorme (make sure activated)
Goal Zero Solar (2 panels, Sherpa 100, venture)
Trash compactor bags
Stuff sacks
Dry bags
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
TP
Sunglasses (2)
Headlamps (2)
Leatherman
Gore-Tex patches
Duct tape
MSR Dromedary Bag, 2l and 4l

Packable towel
Camera (cards, charger)
Kindle/e-reader

CLOTHING
Thin pants
Shorts
Long underwear (2, light and heavy)
Softshell pant
Hardshell pant
Puffy pant
T-shirt (2
Base layer (2)
Midlayer
Light synthetic
Light down
Belay jacket
Hardshell top
Wind jacket
Socks (5)
Underwear (5)
Toiletries
Moleskin
Foot powder

GLOVES, ETC.
Lightweight (1)
Climbing (1)
Belay (1)
Mitts
Down boots
Hat
Climbing helmet hat
Cap
Visor
Nose cover
Buff

PASSPORT, ETC.
Passport
Copy passport
Cash
Extra passport photos (2)
Copy visa

FOOTWEAR
Boots

Rock Climbing shoes
Approach shoes
Sandals

BAGS
Big Duffels (3)
Pack  (50L, 30L)

SKI GEAR
Ski Bag
Skis (Silvrettas/AT setup)
Ski boots
Skins

MEDS/FIRST AID (note: Anna is a Emergency Room Nurse by profession, some of these medications require a prescription and sutures may not be useful for those without Anna’s level of training.)
Ibuprofen
Dexamethasone
Hydrocortisone
Benadryl
Tape
Vicodin
Aspirin
Lip cream
Tea tree oil
Soap
Z-Pak
Keflex
Cipro
Flagyl
Gauze
Tweezers
Suture kit (sutures, Prolene)
Dermabond
Sudafed
Vicks nose inhaler

Download the Excel File to customize into your own list:

Uphill_Athlete_Expedition_Pack_List

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