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Mt. Whitney Day Hike, Inyo National Forest, California

Equipment List for Mt. Whitney Day Hike:

This list is broken into “must haves” and “nice to haves”.  Personally, I opt for going light, so think carefully about the “nice to haves” when filling your pack.  Obviously, this list is for an “average” summer day on Mt. Whitney, where temperatures and weather are reasonably good, but can turn quickly.  If the weather looks particularly cold or nasty, or you aren’t climbing in the height of summer, modify this list accordingly.

Must Haves:

·         Hat/Bandanna

·         Sunglasses

·         T-Shirt – Synthetic preferred (cotton kills!)

·         Shorts/Convertible Pants

·         Gloves – fleece or thin nylon spring skiing gloves

·         Socks – thin synthetic liners and wool blend hiking socks (NO cotton!)

·         Boots – some people do this hike in tennis shoes.  I really don’t recommend it

·         Fleece/Sweater – you need a light, yet warm layer in case it gets cold (it will)

·         Rain/GTX Shell – it can rain at any time here, plus wind is always a factor.  I prefer a thin gore tex jacket.  A poncho can also work, but this doesn’t really stop wind

·         Rain Pants – don’t go overboard on this item.  Get the really crappy $15 rain paints.  These are really only for a downpour

·         Backpack – bring a nice light, supportive pack.  Not a monster, and not your little schoolgirl bookbag either

·         Trekking Poles – I’ve got the Leki Makalu shock absorber poles.  Accept no substitute

·         Camera – to prove you did it

·         Water Bottles – however you transport water, you’ll need at least three liters from Trail Camp to the summit.  Don’t skimp on this, you will/should drink it all

·         Headlamp – you will need this for the pre-dawn hours, and for an emergency in case you are stuck above the trailhead after nightfall

·         Water Treatment – you should definitely treat all water on the Whitney trail.  Use either an EPA certified filter or treat your water with iodine tablets (don’t forget the neutralizing tablets)

·         Sunblock/Lip Balm – get the good stuff with a high SPF

·         Toilet Paper – when nature calls

·         Food

·         Oral rehydration Salts – I put this in the must have category because I have been hospitalized for dehydration and it is not pretty.  This is way more common than people realize, and can lead to shock, kidney failure and even death.  These salts are light and can be bought at most REIs or pharmacies

·         Aspirin & Blister Treatment – you really don’t need a full blown first aid kit.  You’re on the Whitney highway, for pete’s sake.  Do, however, bring these two essential items.  For blisters, nothing beats COMPEED bandages/pads by Band-Aid.


Nice to Haves:


·         First Aid Kit

·         Watch/Altimeter

·         Swiss Army Knife/Leathermandepending on what you eat, you probably won't need one of these heavy little things.

·         Map – not just of the Whitney Trail, but a larger map of the entire southern sierra, so you can pick out peaks from the summit.  You don’t NEED a map to do this hike.  If you lose this trail, you really don’t belong here and should probably be placed in some sort of an institution for your own protection

·         Tripod – for die hard photoheads only.  You will find more than enough people to snap your photo


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