Rock Climbing Equipment List

Although this personal gear list is long, these items are necessary for health and safety during your trip. Check out COE’s Outfitting for gear you can rent.

Upper Body

  • 2 synthetic (non-cotton) t-shirts
  • 1 long underwear top (polypropylene or wool, not cotton)
  • 2 non-cotton insulating layers (ex. fleece jacket, wool sweater, pile vest, down vest)
  • * 1 Rain Jacket or Poncho (must fit over all other layers and keep you dry)
  • Women should bring 2 to 3 sports bras

Lower Body

  • 1 pair synthetic long underwear
  • 2 pair synthetic shorts (athletic shorts work well)
  • 1 lower body shell, one of the following:
    • * nylon wind pants
    • loose fitting synthetic pants, tight weave, NO JEANS
    • rain pants
  • underwear (cotton is fine here)

Head and Hands

  • 1 warm hat, wool or synthetic
  • 1 to 2 bandanas (women should bring 2 to 3)
  • 1 pair wool/fleece mittens or gloves
  • 1 sun hat, baseball hat is fine


  • 2 pairs hiking socks for 4-day, 3 pairs for 6-day, and 4 pairs for 8-day trips; thick and wool or synthetic
  • 1 pair hiking boots, good ankle support and traction, comfortable and broken in!
  • 1 pair camp shoes, soft shoes, warm; old sneakers work well (no open toed sandals or shoes with holes in them such as Tevas, Chacos, Crocs and Keens)

Personal Gear

  • * Frame backpack to carry all personal gear and your share of group food and gear: internal or external - pretty big (3,000-5,000 cubic inches)
  • * sleeping pad – closed cell ensolite or Therm-a-rest
  • * sleeping bag & stuff sack (rated to at least 20 degrees F)
  • 3 large heavy duty plastic bags; can be garbage bags (one for your sleeping bag, one to line your pack, and one to cover your pack in case of rain), some smaller Ziplocs or other small stuff sacks are nice too
  • Small backpack (school backpacks work!)
  • 2 quart-size water bottles, sturdy; Nalgene is a good idea
  • cup (or mug) bowl, spoon
  • pocket knife - small to medium-sized
  • * headlamp or small flashlight, with extra batteries

Personal Essentials

  • chapstick, sunblock, sunglasses
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • small towel
  • contacts, solution, glasses
  • medication (let instructors know)
  • money, $10-20


  • 1 to 2 pairs liner socks, synthetic or wool and thin
  • book, journal, field glasses, binoculars
  • digital or film camera
  • something to share (poem, small instrument, reading, a game...)
  • insect repellent (~30% DEET is good)
  • * crazy creek chair
  • your own climbing shoes

Things not to bring

  • Drugs not prescribed to you
  • iPods or MP3 players, electronic entertainment devices
  • Alcohol or cigarettes
  • Your own tent

* These items can be rented from the Cornell Outdoor Education Outfitting Center and must be reserved ahead of time by submitting the "Equipment Rental Contract" on the Forms page.


  • Please don't bring any cotton clothing. Cotton will not keep you warm when it gets wet. Only wool and synthetic fabrics like polypropylene, thermax, or capilene retain their insulating properties when wet.
  • Ladies, please remember to bring all appropriate sanitary hygienic toiletries in ziplock bags.