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Being Prepared

In 1969, Isamu Tatsuno, Montbell founder and CEO, climbed the North Face of the Eiger and the North Face of the Matterhorn in the same summer. While staying in Zermatt, Tatsuno and his climbing partner roomed at the Hotel Bahnhof. On the night before they embarked on their climb, Mrs. Biner, the owner of the hotel, had some parting words for him.

"Life is success. Coming back alive is the true sign of success. I pray that you are successful."

These words made quite an impression on a young Tatsuno, and they stay with him to this day. At Montbell, this philosophy guides us on many of our outdoor adventures. Preparation for when things don’t go as planned is vital when recreating outside. We’ve gathered a collection of items below to help you be prepared.


Being able to tell where you are and where you are going is very important. To do that, a compass and a map are essential. Mobile phones are also an option you can consider, but the issue of battery life and charging is something to be aware of. Make sure to keep your map or mobile device protected from the elements.

Sun Protection

Clothing and accessories that can protect you from the sun are just as important as a good sunscreen. Consider long sleeve shirts and hats with wide brims to help supplement sunscreen. Keep in mind that darker colored fabrics with tighter knitting/weaving are better at blocking UV radiation. Mesh fabrics are better at keeping you cool and breathing, but don't provide the same level of UV protection.


Extra Layers

It’s nice to plan trips around good weather windows, but Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. Unexpected rain or a sudden drop in temperature can quickly turn your fun day hike into a more serious situation. Packing extra layers for insulation and protection from the elements should be everyone’s priority. And since we here at Montbell excel at designing lightweight, compact products, they take up hardly any pack space at all.



Hats and Gloves


If you happen to stay out longer than you expected, it is very important to have a light source and some spare batteries so you can find your way even after the sun goes down.

First Aid supplies

A first aid kit should be in everyone’s outdoor setup, and it should contain more than just adhesive bandages. We recommend taking a wilderness first aid class to get a general idea of what to do in an emergency, and also to provides yourself information on what to put in your own first aid kit. Although we don’t carry medical supplies, our first aid pouch and bags are a good way to keep your first aid supplies organized, dry and sterile.

Repair kit and Tools

Being able to repair things in the outdoors is a good skill to have. A multi tool is a great way to be prepared for gear mishaps or cutting cordage, and repair patches are good for fixing a rainfly or rain jacket on the go.

Extra food and water

Having extra food and extra water (or a way to treat water) is important. A general idea of how much water you might need is 1 liter for every 2 hours of hiking. Hike intensity, temperature, scarcity of water, are just some of the factors that can influence how much water you’ll need to carry.

Emergency shelter

When things really go bad in the backcountry, there will be times where you will need to hunker down and stay put. An emergency shelter can help keep you protected from the elements during unplanned overnights. Space blankets can help keep you warm by reducing heat loss.


Space Blanket/Blanket/Wrap

Face coverings

Face coverings and neck gaiters became a facet of daily life on and off the trail. From providing an extra bit of warmth in the cold, to keeping your neck protected from the sun in the afternoon, we've all notice some of the benefits of face coverings.