There is a direct correlation between your quality of equipment and your quality of experience. If you want a great experience, get the great gear. If you go for shabby gear, you risk a shabby experience. At FMG, we want to provide you with the best and safest experience possible on your pursuit of Mt. Fuji. Because having the proper gear for this expedition can make the difference between a miserable memory and a good one it is important that you take a close look at the list below.
We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow (yes sometimes it snows on Fuji in the summer months), sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, send us an email, or give us a call to speak directly to an experienced guide.
Much of the required equipment is available for rent through our rental store and available to reserve during the checkout process. Items available for rent, along with their prices, are noted in red parentheses next to the item.
A minimum of 25L or 1,500 cubic inch pack is the average recommended size for this climb. A hip strap is recommended for added comfort.
It is a known fact that 70% of your body heat escapes through your head. So put a plug on it. Use a warm fleece/wool beanie to keep your head warm in the cold. This will also help regulate your body temperature.
BALL CAP OR SUN HAT:
A lightweight ball cap, bandana or sun hat for hot days. On many days our climb will start off in hot/humid conditions and you will want something to protect you from the sun beating down you.
HEADLAMP / SMALL FLASHLIGHT:
Although our goal is to be safely down the mountain before sundown, it is always safe to hike with your headlamp, as a precaution. Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.
It can get very bright on the mountain, these will prevent your eyes from getting sunburned (it does happen). Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from the dusty paths encountered, especially on the descent. It is recommended that you bring polarized sunglasses which are made specifically to protect your eyes in high altitude environments.
These keep your fingers warm in freezing temperatures and high winds. Fleece is ideal because it is insulating even when wet. Even better would be a pair of light weight waterproof gloves.
We recommend a minimum of three upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium/heavy, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.
OUTER LIGHT LAYERS •T-SHIRT:
Also needs to be made from quick-drying, durable materials such as nylon or athletic (i.e. running/soccer shirt) material. NEVER use cotton. Many times on hot days in mid-summer, we will begin our climb in shorts and t-shirt. A long sleeve shirt is also useful for sun protection.
INSULATING LAYER - LIGHT WEIGHT
When you start to reach higher altitude, or if there is a cool breeze in the air, you'll want to throw a light layer on to keep your body temperature from dropping. This is intended for use during the day when you don't need something quite as heavy as a fleece jacket. Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top, quarter zip styles, will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.
INSULATING LAYER - MEDIUM/HEAVY WEIGHT
This will keep you warm! Remember that the temperature at the summit will at times, be below zero degrees celsius. In these temperatures you must stay warm. This insulating layer needs to provide that ability. Usually a fleece or wool upper body garment, i.e. a warm fleece jacket will do the trick. Remember this item needs to have the ability to be layered over your base layer top and under your shell jacket. Some people tend to get cold or overheat more easily then others. Based on your own body temperature patterns you should choose between a medium to heavy insulating layer.
You will need a jacket made of waterproof material with an attached hood. Mountain weather is extremely difficult to predict and a weather report for fair weather can never be fully reliable. You must always come prepared for a potential rain shower.
We recommend a system of two layers, which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS:
A lightweight, synthetic pair of trousers is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.
RAIN PANTS (HARD SHELL):
Trousers made of waterproof material will be needed for the climb. Waterproof trousers with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are useful for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots.Mountain weather is extremely difficult to predict and a weather report for fair weather can never be fully reliable. You must always come prepared for a potential rain shower.
On hot summer days, you may find starting off our climb in shorts and t-shirt to be the most comfortable option.
Ideally you will want waterproof ankle supporting hiking boots. These will stabilize your ankles and keep your feet dry in the cold rain. The other less ideal option is comfortable ankle supporting athletic shoes. Be sure to APPLY WATERPROOFING SPRAY to your shoes prior to your climb. Be aware that if your athletic shoes get wet and the weather is inclement, you may be forced to stay in a mountain hut until favorable weather due to the risk of frost-bite. This is the risk you take by using athletic shoes instead of waterproof boots.
You will want socks, either wool or synthetic, but NEVER cotton. Use liner socks (a thin silky sock that minimizes friction between your sock and your foot) if you have not had time to break in your boots or if you are prone to blisters.
Small ankle-length gaiters big enough to cover the area from the top of your boot to the area above your ankle. These will keep the plethora of pebbles and rocks on Mt. Fuji from entering your boots. This is not a "must" because duct tape makes a suitable substitute for gaiters on the mountain.
Having a pair of hiking poles plays a major role in reducing stress to your knees and back. Hiking poles are great for helping keep your balance, which in turn leads to less energy consumed when climbing and descending. Mt. Fuji wooden poles can be bought at the 5th station for receiving stamps and are good as souvenirs, but they are not the best for climbing. Blisters on the hand are a common aftereffect from using Mt. Fuji’s wooden poles.
BACKPACK RAIN COVER:
Most backpacks are not waterproof and mountain weather is extremely unpredictable. With a backpack rain cover, you're one step closer to keeping all your valuables dry while climbing. Use dry bags or garbage bags to wrap all your clothes and other valuables inside your backpack for extra care.
Before climbing Mt. Fuji, many people buy Fuji climbing sticks as a souvenir. These sticks can be branded at each station along the way for ¥200 per branding. Mt. Fuji is also riddled with all kinds of little souvenir shops. We recommend bringing around JPY5,000-10,000 for gifts and keep sakes.
Due to the inherent risk involved in alpine pursuits, and in the interest of your safety, FMG strongly recommends that all participants purchase travelers insurance that provides full medical and emergency evacuation coverage in Japan. We recommend World Nomads travel insurance because its one of the best and is recommended by other tour organizations like Lonely Planet and National Geographic. With travel insurance from WorldNomads.com you can buy, extend and claim online even after you've left home. Click here for a quote on your desired travel insurance coverage.
Capture the moment and relive the memories years from now.
2-3 WATER BOTTLES:
You have two options; pack water in with you or buy it at a mountain hut as you journey up Mt. Fuji. If you choose the latter option, remember that the cost of water on Mt. Fuji is 500 yen per 500ml (half liter). Usually 3-4 liters is sufficient for the climb.
UV rays are exponentially more potent in higher elevations. It is not uncommon to get burned even in cloudy weather. We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access.
We recommend SPF 15 or higher.
We suggest bringing crackers, candy bars, jerky, chips, cookies, trail mix, fruits, energy bars, and hard candies. Add peanut butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, or pepperoni for additional calories and taste. If you enjoy bread items, bagels work well. Include some salty snacks to replenish lost salts.
2 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS or DRY BAGS:
When it rains, you want to be prepared. Placing all of your clothing inside of a dry bag will waterproof everything inside the bag. In the event of rain, you will be happy knowing that your warm clothing will still be dry.
1 LARGE ZIP-LOCK BAG:
Please use this as your personal trash bag. There are NO trash bins along the trail or in any of the mountain huts. Any trash you take up Mt. Fuji must come down with you.
Every guide on your climb is equipped with a first aid kit. Cell phones will be carried for emergency contact in case of evacuation. If you think you might have any medical conditions which might hinder you from making the climb up Mt. Fuji safely, please consult your doctor before deciding to join our tour. The climb is definitely NOT recommended for those with heart related illnesses.
Fitness and Conditioning
Sound fitness gained through a well-guided program is the single best way you can ensure a safe and successful tour. Our training goal is to help you get physically and mentally prepared to fully engage in the sport of hiking. Your climbing goal will be to perform strong and steady throughout your tour. Follow our physical fitness guide and come well prepared for the challenge of climbing Mt. Fuji!