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Denali gear list: the kit that got me to the top

Prepping gear for climbing Denali

My complete Denali gear list includes everything you’ll need to summit the highest mountain in North America

Denali in Alaska, USA, at 6,190m (20,310ft), is North America’s highest mountain and one of the seven summits (the seven peaks that make up the highest point on every continent). 

I recently returned from climbing Denali with American Alpine Institute (AAI). Any good guiding company will issue you a detailed kit list, but I always like to see what others have used. As such, I thought it would be helpful to share my complete Denali gear list for future climbers to reference.

Denali gear list

As I joined a guided climb, tents and cooking equipment were supplied. However, climbers were responsible for supplying their sleeping system, footwear, mountaineering clothing and equipment along with any other personal items. A handful of items were available to hire from AAI but I would always recommend buying your own where possible. Hire gear may not always be in the best condition and may not be available in your size.

I had much of the gear beforehand but there were some specialist items I needed, particularly when it came to some of the cold-weather gear. Denali is one of the coldest and windiest places in the USA, so it’s worth investing in the best and warmest available. On arrival in Anchorage, Alaska, you will have the opportunity to visit an outdoor store in case you’re missing any gear.

Prepping gear for climbing Denali
Atlas & Boots Organising our gear before the climb

Even though Denali is only a 6,000m mountain, some of the gear I bought – such as my sleeping system and mountaineering boots – is robust enough to use on Everest – if I ever make it there – and other 8,000m mountains. Some items on the list below are optional – electronics and toiletries for example – but the majority are essential unless otherwise stated. For reference, I have linked to the exact gear I used where possible.

Sleeping system

For this expedition, I updated my sleeping system completely. Every piece of kit was new. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made when it came to camping. I slept soundly every night and while the lack of oxygen at the higher camps may have been discomfiting at times, the cold never kept me awake. Read our dedicated sleeping system for Denali article for more information.

Sleeping system for Denali inside my tentSleeping system for Denali inside my tent
Atlas & Boots I updated my sleeping system for…

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