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Gear for UNAM’s Basic Mountaineering Course

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Thinking about getting started in mountain sports? This is the gear you’ll need.


If you haven’t read the guide to UNAM’s Basic Mountaineering Course, check it out before continuing!

Taking the course was one of the most interesting experiences we’ve had. We were exposed to a whole new world of adventure sports in a safe environment. We loved how affordable the course was... Initially🙄.

One thing we didn’t know was how much gear we would need to purchase over the course of the five modules: orienteering, rock climbing, canyoneering, caving and alpine climbing.

If you’re thinking about enrolling in the course, I bet that you want to know in advance the mandatory gear as well as any additional equipment. In our case, because we didn’t own any outdoor gear, we had to buy a lot of stuff.

This is also a good list to have for anyone planning to take part in mountains sports because a lot of it is essential mountaineering gear.

I’m including the approximate price that we paid for our gear between 2017 and 2018. I know prices have changed a lot since then, but it should still give you an idea of how much to budget for. Also, keep in mind that the brands and models influence the price – we didn’t always choose the cheapest options, so don’t be too afraid of the prices you see here...

Mandatory Individual Mountaineering Equipment

(A list we were given on our first day)💸.

Rock climbing harness

Specifications: CE/UIAA certified.

Petzl Luna (Women’s)

-Cost: Around 2,800 MXN

Petzl Adjama (Men’s)

-Cost: Around 2,800 MXN

Mountain helmet

Two identical HMS carabiners with lock.

One asymmetrical carabiner without lock

Hiking boots


I really don’t remember how much we paid for the bits of rope below 🙈, but it wasn’t much, maybe around 200 – 300 MXN for everything.

- 3 meters of 10mm dynamic rope

- 2 meters of 7mm cordino

- 2.5 meters of seat belt

- 1.5 meters of 1-inch flat, tubular rope

If after reading this you’re feeling like this:

I feel your pain... And it’s not over yet, I’m afraid!

Additional Camping Gear

(It wasn’t listed it but it’s still necessary)

When we started the course, we didn’t have any camping gear, so we also had to buy a lot of it. Because we were already planning a long-distance hiking trip in Canada, we decided to invest in good gear that would make things easier and more comfortable. Once we were in Canada, we didn’t regret investing in this equipment (mostly).


A lot of people already had some gear or they borrowed it from friends, so you might not have to spend too much on camping gear. .

Three season tent, maximum weight of 3 kg

We had a hard time finding a tent in Mexico with the specifications that we wanted. We knew we were looking for something for our upcoming trips, so we got a two-person tent with a porch. We couldn’t find one we liked in Mexico City, so we bought it from Amazon UK and shipped it to Mexico.

Vango Hydra 200 Pine

-Cost: Around 4,000 MXN

Sleeping bag

Sleeping mat

Cooking gear


Hiking backpack (50-70 liters) with rain cover

Thermal blanket

First aid kit

The Best Outdoor Stores in Mexico City

Here are our thoughts on the stores for outdoor equipment in Mexico City 🤔:

  • We prioritized buying our equipment somewhere that would give us the option to pay with our credit cards in interest-free installments. Back in 2017, Vertimanía was the only store that offered that option, so we bought most of our stuff there. We also like that they had a rewards program, so we earned points for every purchase. We were able to redeem them for products at later dates.

  • Our second option was Ruben’s because we found a lot of cheaper alternatives for equipment that didn’t need to be high-end quality. They also sell those fancy brands but they didn’t offer interest-free payments.

  • Our third option was Amazon, especially for equipment that we couldn’t find in Mexico City.

  • Decathlon was just arriving to Mexico City when we took the mountaineering course, so we didn’t go there very often. However, because I lived in France for a while, I knew the store... And I don’t love the quality of many of their products, especially clothing. We did notice that a lot of people bought a lot of stuff in Decathlon because it was certified equipment at much cheaper prices.

  • We visited Séptimo Grado back when they were in Condesa. We loved the store but without the option of interest-free payments, we couldn’t afford to buy our stuff there.

As you can see, there is a lot of equipment involved in adventure sports. Should that deter you from getting involved? Absolutely not! Think of it as an investment in life: experiences, stunning landscapes, great travel tales and friendships. If you plan it right, it’s affordable. Talk to the staff in all these stores and ask the instructors at the mountaineering course, they will always offer you good advice.

Have you taken this course? Where do you recommend purchasing equipment? Let us know if you have money-saving tips!


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