Most adventure sports come with a bit of danger, but mountaineering presents a new level of threat—especially in the Teton Range. As a result, even the most experienced mountaineers should double- and triple-check their gear packs. If you’re preparing for a big Teton Trip, you may even want to upgrade some of your equipment. Below, we have listed the ten essential pieces of safety gear along with some of our favorite products on the market.
Navigation—Even if you’ve climbed a certain trail before, you should never be without a map, compass, and/or GPS. Area maps are available at visitor centers and in trail books throughout the range, and your phone will be able to provide a compass and GPS. However, you should also carry a manual compass in the event of an emergency. We like this simple wrist compass from Suunto.
Sun Protection—The Tetons are known for their bald faces and treeless walls. No matter where you’re hiking or climbing, you’ll need some form of sun protection. Keep sunscreen and sunglasses with you at all times.
Insulation—When day turns to night in the Teton Range, temperatures plummet into dangerous territory. If you’re out on the trail, you need to be prepared. We like this Patagonia Puff Hoody—it’s ultralightweight, water-resistant, and provides down-like warmth.
First-Aid Supplies—Mountaineers should always be prepared for an emergency. As a result, you should always keep a basic first-aid kit in your pack. We like this Medical Kit from Adventure Medical Kits. Equipped with trauma pads, elastic bandages, medications for allergic reactions, pain, and fever, and hospital-quality shears and precision forceps, this small kit has everything you need to mitigate a dangerous situation.
Hydration—Hydration is of utmost importance while climbing in the Teton Range. Opt for an insulated hydration system to ensure temperature-controlled water. We like the Skarab 24 Hydration Pack from Osprey; the 2.5 liter reservoir features an extra-wide clip for easy access, cleaning, and refills. If you’re embarking on an extended trip, consider bringing along a Water Filter Kit or Purification Tablets.
Don’t Take Safety for Granted
While the novice mountaineer may risk getting in over their heads, veteran mountaineers also have a risk of growing overconfident and over-learning lessons that may backfire in unusual situations. We’re not about judging, and there’s no way to be 100% safe, but stay diligent and mindful while exploring the Tetons or other mountain ranges.