Recommended Gear List

If you don't have all these items, don't fret. This list is compiled from many sources, and may be used as a checklist. When packing gear for a specific mission or training, consider the following: weather, location/altitude, time of day/night, type of mission (ground pound, tech rescue, trail evac, necessary speed, etc.), your own specific needs (meds, caloric requirements, hygiene). Pack accordingly!

This list is ASAR's recommended mission gear list; for the NMSARC gear list for Field Certification, please see the study guide (PDF).

On You

  • Standard clothing:
    • Wool or polypro socks appropriate for footwear
    • Wind / waterproof pants
    • Wool or cold-weather pants
    • Long underwear, tops and bottoms, no cotton
    • Fleece, wool or other mid-layer, no cotton
    • No matter what you wear, follow the principles of a three-layer system - no cotton!
  • Sturdy, waterproofed hiking boots
  • Gaiters - waterproof, mid-calf or taller, large enough to cover hiking boots
  • Sunglasses or goggles (helo-operations)
  • Watch with ability to measure seconds
  • Small wallet with ID and cash
  • Extra set of car keys (if you drive)

On You or In Your Pack

  • Pack - minimum 2,000 cubic inches, larger for winter (3,500 to 5,000 cubic inches)
  • Extra clothing (for you or for subject), extra layers for cold/wind (middle layer)
  • head cover (heat, sun and cold)
  • water repellent gloves/mittens and liners
  • extra socks
  • poncho or waterproof jacket with hood (outer layer)
  • Ditty bags for small items, inside and attaching to outside of pack
  • Food and snacks for 24 hours
  • Water (2 qts/ltrs minimum, more for hot weather)
  • Water purification system (iodine tablets or filter)
  • Foam pad & ground cloth
  • Sleeping bag (one per team)
  • Space blanket or bivy bag (e.g. Adventure Medical Kits Thermo Lite Bivvy http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com
  • Multi-blade knife and/or Leatherman-type multi-tool
  • Helmet
  • Bandanna
  • Climbing harness, two (2) locking carabiners, prusicks
  • Fire starter (waterproof matches, lighter - consider keeping a lighter in every jacket you own, plus with your stove)
  • Compass with 5 degree accuracy
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror (glass preferred, or best plastic with high reflective properties)
  • Headlamp and extra batteries and bulbs
  • clear safety glasses / extra eyeglasses or contacts if you cannot function without them
  • Personal first aid kit, reflecting your level of medical training and personal needs - personal drugs (allergy, aspirin, anti-acid, etc.) - see recommended first aid kit list
  • Surgical gloves, 2 pair (personal protection from body fluids of subject)
  • Cable ties/zip ties
  • Stove, fuel, cook pots (one per team)
  • Thermos filled with hot liquid
  • TP or Kleenex, toiletries, contact lens care, etc.
  • sewing kit
  • chemical hot and/or cold pack - hand warmers
  • earplugs
  • Pencil or pen and waterproof paper (e.g. Rite In The Rain http://www.riteintherain.com)
  • Leather gloves
  • 20' of tubular webbing
  • 50' of 8 or 9mm cord
  • Extra shoelace, heavy string or utility cord
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent
  • Duct tape and repair kit
  • Trail marking tape (brightly colored)
  • Large heavy duty trash bags (2)
  • Maps in large zip-lock bag
  • Camera
  • Bow saw or other packable saw

Optional, not required

  • GPS with spare batteries
  • Handheld radio (155.160 MHz) with spare battery pack and high-gain antenna
  • Snowshoes
  • Ski poles / Trekking poles
  • Avalanche Beacon / Snow Shovel / Avalanche Probe
  • Shelter
  • Snow study kit