Martin Volken - IFMGA Guide
QUESTION: What are the five essentials you should always carry in the mountains?
MARTIN VOLKEN: As a mountain guide, my goals are to keep my clients and myself safe, accomplish the objective
and keep everyone reasonably comfortable, so I always pack:
1. Appropriate navigation tools. This could be a map, compass, altimeter, a dedicated GPS and or a downloaded map on your smartphone (take
good care of your battery life there!).
2. Communication tools, such as a cell phone, sat phone, Spot locater device or VHF radio.
3. A high quality first- aid kit.
4. A little more fuel than you think for overnight trips.
5. The above items are for incident prevention and emergency preparedness. From here, what you pack depends on the objective, so it is
hard for me to be too specific. I did develop a packing system that is bundled in threesomes. It is called the “threesome packing helper,” and is meant
to help you not forget anything.
Maps, compass, altimeter
Shovel, probe , transceiver
Skins, ski crampons, repair kit
Food, drink, extra layer
Bivi bag, first aid, cell phone
Under layer, mid layer, outer layer
Hat, gloves, goggles
Sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hat
Harness, Ice axe, crampons
Rope, Ice screws, rescue-gear kit
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