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Ultimate Female Packing List for Climbing Mount Fuji

packing list for climbing mount fuji

The following female packing list for climbing Mt. Fuji was provided by Lswanson. See all packing list posts here.

So you’ve decided to climb to the tallest point in Japan. What are you going to pack?

Mt Fuji is 3,776 meters above the ground. Some start there but most start at the 5th station sitting at 2,300 meters to make it a bit easier. The Volcano officially opens for climbing season July 1st. If you plan on climbing around this time you should know the weather is fairly unpredictable and freezing at times despite the ground temperature soaring around 30 degrees.

This climb isn’t really for beginners. Yes I saw children and people in their 70’s climbing but they didn’t necessarily make it to the top. Be prepared to use your arms, legs, knees and face to hoist you up the trail.

Plan for an overnight hike. I started the hike at 2pm, slept in an overnight hut on the mountain, and started the descent at 2am. It took me 8.5 hours going up and only 3.5 hours going down.

Female Packing List for Climbing Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji isn’t a climb for beginners.

I was a fresh beginner; the only other mountain/volcano I’ve ever climbed was Mt. Batur in Bali sitting at 1,717 meters. I fell at the finish line and sprained my foot. Not a good end result. It taught me many things like how to be prepared and to be cautious while climbing and the physical and mental strain it puts on your body. The difference between these two volcanoes (besides height) is the weather. It is a completely different ball game when you throw in unpredictable weather at that height so a packing list has never been more essential.

Here is my packing list as well as things that I wished I had brought:

Backpack

An average sized regular backpack will do fine. I went with the Volcom Automation 37L backpack.

>>Check out the best travel backpacks for women.

Travel Clothing

  • 1 Light windproof and waterproof jacket – I went with the Helly Hansen Odin Moon Light Jacket.
  • 1 Long sleeve shirt with thumb holes to protect your wrists
  • 1 Zip up sweater with a collar or hood
  • 1 Sweat wicking shirt – I wore a LuLuLemon Rise & Flow yoga tank top w/ built in bra
  • 1 Sweat pants – Thick for warmth
  • 1 Pair of waterproof & windproof pants
  • 1 Pair of sweat wicking yoga pants – I went with the Lululemon Wunder Under Pants.
  • 1 Hat to cover from the sun
  • 1 Pair of gloves/mitts – Thinner is actually better – also used for grabbing rocks etc.

>>See our packing and prep tips for hiking trips.

Female Packing List for Climbing Mt. Fuji
Packing the right clothing is important since the weather can vary on Mt. Fuji.

Foot Protection

  • 1 Pair of hiking socks – Quick drying (don’t be cheap). I went with Smartwool hiking socks.
  • 1 Pack of moleskin to cover heels in case of rubbing
  • 1 Pair of running shoes – I wished I had hiking boots almost immediately

>>Read more about socks for travel and outdoor activities here.

Other Gear

  • 1 headlamp – I rented one at the 5th station.
  • 1 Carabiner
  • 2 Grocery bags for packing garbage out
  • 2 Hand warmers – It got really cold in the hut at night. I used one pair for my feet and then in my mitts on the early morning climb.
  • 3 bottles of water
  • Snacks including sports drinks, energy bars, nuts, fruit – no junk
  • Food if you don’t plan on buying the food+lodging package at your hut
  • 3 medical masks – The wind makes it extremely dusty.
  • 1 small sunscreen – There’s a chance you’ll be hiking in complete sunshine.

Wish List

  • 1 Headband/buff/earmuffs – It can be so windy.
  • 1 pair collapsible hiking poles – Sometimes they get in the way so being able to attach them to your pack is key. I didn’t have these and the climb down was really tough on my knees.
  • 2 Knee braces – Also great for the climb down if you have knee problems.
  • 1 pair of goggles, glasses and/or sunglasses – Fashion is not important when dust and rocks are flying into your eyes.
  • Bandaids – I didn’t bring any but my wrist got cut up and wanted some.
  • 1 Can of oxygen – If you’re not used to climbing this might be useful at the top.
Female Packing List for Climbing Mt. Fuji
Be prepared for your hike!

If you don’t want to carry all your gear to Japan, bring your favourites and you can rent the rest. I rented a headlamp for 500 yen for the two days.

The last most essential thing to bring is CASH. There are no cards accepted on the mountain besides the gift shops at the 5th station. I needed around 7000 yen for lodging, 1000 yen for bathrooms and at least 5000 yen for unexpected purchases. The more you bring the better in my opinion. You never know what you might forget or need to replace while you’re up there.

Have fun and be safe up there!


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About the author: Lswanson is the writer behind Vagabond Vignettes a site where people can find real experiences and advice all related to traveling. Check out her Instagram to see where she’s headed next.

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Comments

  1. Melissa says

    Perfect, this is exactly what I needed to read! I’m climbing Mt Fuji in a couple weeks and am getting prepared for it now. We plan on hiking through the night to witness sunrise at the top, instead of spending a night in a mountain hut… we’ll see how that goes. I do plan on wearing hiking boots and bringing a buff and headlamp. Thanks for the tip about cash only at the stations. I’ve seen photos of the mountain being ridiculously crowded with hikers to the point where they were queuing up along the trail. Did you experience that?

    I’ll be updating my blog with my experience at Mt Fuji when I get back!

  2. Alex says

    When I climbed Mount Fuji, I purchased a walking stick. I attached chemical light stick to the walking stick with zip ties when it became dark. It provided enough hands free lighting to make the evening hike manageable. With other climber’s lighting, there is enough light around to get your bearings. A small LED flashlight would be good as a backup. I was able to purchase a small thin thermos at ‘The Price’ in Tokyo, and made some hot black tea in the morning before venturing to the mountain. I pre-heated the thermos with hot water to get the inside as hot as possible. This stayed in my pack until the wee hours of the morning when waiting for sunrise. Having some hot tea before sunrise was rather comforting after the long trek to the top.

  3. Callie Hutchison says

    I did the Fuji “Shotgun Run” (up and down on the same day), and I would encourage people to not pack half of this stuff. Keep your packs light, buy water at the stations (it gets more expensive as you go up, but it’s worth it not to have to hike it all the way to the top), And yes, definitely bring cash. You’ll find that all of Japan tends to prefer cash over card, so bring plenty of cash on your trip. Definitely wear leggings and a good base layer t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt for the bottom of fuji, and add layers as you go up. All I had packed were sweatpants, a hooded sweatshirt, a windbreaker and a thin pair of knit gloves, and I was fine. I didn’t need a hat or a buff or anything like that (I had the hood of my sweatshirt when my ears got cold). We all just hiked it in our normal sneakers and we were fine. I bought a few Onigiri at the 7/11 as snacks for the trip up, and had a couple of bottle’s of water, but again, keep your pack light. We saw people “kitted out” in full mountain gear and oxygen and they all looked absolutely ridiculous. What I do wish that I’d had and would bring if I hike it again are only three things… a headlamp for when it gets dark (luckily it was dark for us on the way down and we used our phone flashlights, but there are some rock scrambles going up that you want your hands free for if you’re hiking up at night), hiking poles (for the gravel section and the descent is truly tough on your knees, but yes, you do want a place to put them out of the way during those rock scramble sections) and finally gators to help keep the rocks out of your shoes for the way down. The piles of dirt and rocks that came out of shoes at the Fuji train station was truly impressive, and we had stoped to dump our shoes several times during the journey down. I think you could rent all of these things at the 5th station. I’d recommend doing that over lugging them all over the rest of Japan. Heed my advice, I’m a crazy light packer and was touring with an orchestra around for Japan for a month during this trip. All I had was my violin and a 20L Osprey backpack with everything I needed, from concert clothes to Fuji clothes, and everything in between. If I say I wished I’d had these three things, then you’ll probably definitely want them. That said, all of the other “gear” people had was ridiculous in my opinion. I mean if it’s gonna rain then rent some rain gear, but you if it’s gonna rain do something else. You don’t want to be hiking Fuji in the rain. I also highly recommend the shotgun hike, since we started in the morning and went down in the late afternoon early evening, Fujisan was practically ours. No long lines, no waits, no sleepless night in a cold mountain hut, it was awesome.

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