by Melissa Forester
Early July to late August is climbing season on Mt. Fuji, Japan’s largest peak and a majestic symbol of the country. Although many seasoned climbers and hikers claim that the walk is not a strenuous one, it’s best to be prepared for rocky, rough terrain and possible inclement weather. Here are some recommendations to make sure that you’ll never be caught off guard.
one: Many hikers start climbing Mt. Fuji in the evening in order to see the sunrise at the peak. This handy headlamp will guide the way while keeping your hands free. It features three different flashing modes, an easy to use push button switch delivering forty lumens of light, and a visibility range of 29 meters.
Mountaineering stores throughout Japan, ¥4,147.
two: It is always a good idea to pack a compass for any adventure, especially if you plan to veer off the main path. This compass is compact and made from durable, clear, and scratch resistant acrylic, is ergonomic friendly, and includes a snap-lock lanyard.
Outdoor stores throughout Japan, ¥1,800.
three: Leatherman tools are known for packing lots of features into a small space, and this one is no exception. The Juice Xe6 features stainless steel knives, screwdrivers, saws, and pliers, as well as a bottle opener, can opener, and corkscrew, meaning you’ll always be ready for any unexpected challenge or even a toast at the top of the mountain!
Outdoor and mountaineering stores throughout Japan, ¥16,800.
four: These suede and nylon mesh boots are waterproof and breathable, perfect for keeping your feet dry and comfortable, even when hiking in the rain. They are lightweight and have a high traction sole to keep you from slipping on the rocky areas of Fuji’s slopes.
Columbia Sportswear (www.columbiastore.jp),¥11,550.
five: Columbia Sportswear’s Minerva rain suit is only available in Japan and is made of waterproof and breathable Gore-tex fabric. It can easily be folded or stuffed into the included sack for quick stowage.
Columbia Sportswear (www.columbiastore.jp),¥36,750.
six: The handy Cha-Cha pack from Montbell comes in three sizes and features multiple pockets, water protection capability, and shoulder pockets for carrying cell phones and cameras. The roomy size makes it perfect for longer expeditions and camping trips.
Montbell (http://en.montbell.jp), ¥11,800–¥13,800.