FAQ Which Equipment for hiking Xueshan in Taiwan?
Equipment is very important. It can make your hike like hell or like paradise 🙂
You probably come from : https://hikingtaiwan.club/2016/01/climb-yushan-snow-mountains-together/ and asking about equipment :
FAQ : can I rent on site at trailhead ? ==> answer below
FAQ : where can I store my backpack? ==> answer below
FAQ : Which Equipment during Snow Season? ==> answer below
Equipment for UV protection
Over 3000 m altitude, the Sun is burning the skin so we recommend UV protection clothes. long pants + long sleeves + neck scarf + sunscreen 50 UV protection + sunglasses + large hat.
Even if it is cloudy, you still get sunburnt !
Cold protection Equipment
Over 3000 m altitude, temperature reaches 3 to 18 degrees Celsius, even if it a sunny day during summer ! In the end of July with a super beautiful weather we were freezing at 12 degrees in the tent on another trail Nenggao-Andongjun and during the day the thermometer was not more than 18 degrees !
But when you climb, you sweat. So we recommend 3 to 1 layer of clothes that you can easily remove or add along the hike section. Clothes should be QUICK-DRY and no 100% cotton which is long to dry. Gloves are nice too.
Fleece, Gilet, Jacket
IMPORTANT : always keep DRY CLOTHES especially for sleeping : socks, pants (yoga pants for example), T-shirt long sleeves
Rain protection Equipment
It happens as the weather in the mountains changes very quickly. It often rains in the end of afternoon even if it is a sunny day, the clouds form by the perspiration of the mountain.
We recommend a light raincoat with large hood, rain pants, waterproof gloves if possible. The problem is that you sweat faster under the raincoat and you are still wet.
We highly recommend QUICK-DRY clothes.
Body protection Equipment
Some people needs ankle supports, knee supports, gloves, safety helmet, headlamp with extra new battery + 2 walking sticks
It is according to your physical condition.
Why gloves ? Because some plants have thorns or some grass are cutting grass.
Why safety helmet? Because some people are clumsy and hit their head against branches, or they are not used to balance with backpack then fall easily.
Why headlamp? Because if you are too slow, it’s easy to get caught by the darkness. Moreover you need it in the cabin unless you sleep at 6pm.
Why walking sticks? Because it protects your knees. If you use them correctly it will support 30% of your total weight and your arms balance the strength, not only your legs.
Bring your own medicine kit, you never know if you get scratch or bitten by an insect or don’t digest the last meal etc.
Sleeping in cabin is hard because it is crowded with people who talk, who use headlamp right in your face…
You sleep on bulk beds with hard foam on wooden planks. If you are sensitive then bring a hiking mattress, something like this http://amzn.to/2xIMzOP . This mat is super quick to install and pack. It is very light 380 g = 13 oz = 0.8 pounds. Not only in the cabin but you can also use it on the trail for a rest.
We recommend to take many earplugs, one eyeshade, one light pillow
Of course you will need this kind of hiking lamp : http://amzn.to/2zqRml2
Do not expect to use your phone as a lamp because you need your 2 hands, you have more chance to have your phone fall down and the battery of your phone will die quickly.
Most of foreigners choose the option of rental Sleeping Bag in Xueshan cabin. It saves you 1.5 kg to carry. You have to book it before. The sleeping bag can not be washed everyday in the mountain therefore we recommend that you bring your own inside liner for better hygiene : http://amzn.to/2zpJ1y9
Which hiking backpack ?
Of course the most comfortable and lightest backpack are welcome ! Avoid the backpacks over 2 kg, each gram counts when hiking high mountains.
If you have enough money then take this one http://amzn.to/2kRHhdF from a brandname you have guaranteed quality and it is superlight 1 kg and super comfortable !
Else you also have good products at Decathlon shops in Taipei : https://www.decathlon.tw/en/hiking-c106068.html#model=8355654
This backpack is rather light 1.7 kg and 50 L is big enough for hiking Xueshan. Moreover it is very cheap in its category. Decathlon may increase the price when it becomes popular. It is also practical for both occasional hiking and travelling !
Your shoes must be comfortable and durable. You don’t need the expensive brand name hiking shoes because you are not hiking very often in Taiwan mountains.
But Merrell hiking shoes are good and not too expensive http://amzn.to/2zrZvpn
We recommend that you choose bigger than your size. Why? Because you wear thicker socks in the cold mountains, moreover your feet will be swollen by hiking long time.
Do NOT wear NEW SHOES when you hike, it’s the best way to get painful blisters !
Tips : Local Taiwanese hikers wear strong Rain boots made in Taiwan, it costs only 300 NT.
Water can be found at the trailhead and at the first hut, sometimes water source is dry at the top cabin so we recommend to carry 2 bottles of 1.5L of water per person
+ a very light water filter Sawyer http://amzn.to/2yJA1qm rated up to 10000 US gallons = 37854 Liters !
or Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter http://amzn.to/2znRaD1 for pro hikers in group.
or Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System http://amzn.to/2yo9BJB very convenient because you can filter without effort but capacity limit is less than 1000 Liters then you have to change the filter.
Water comes from the streams and from the rainwater collected in tanks : do not drink it without filtering or without boiling !!! You are not going to die but it would be a pity to catch a diarrhea in the mountains… 🙁
Water is only for drinking, there is no shower, no flush water for toilets.
Taiwan mountain environment is a harsh environment, you do not need climbing equipment, just hiking stuff but it is not a normal hike in the woods. We hope that our recommendation will help you. Stay protected, Stay safe, Enjoy the beauty of Taiwan, Formosa island ! Formosa means Beautiful in Portuguese.
If you need a guide to go hiking Xueshan then contact us with the FB BUTTON on this page and see our offer. Please precise your potential Time ARRIVAL at Taoyuan airport and Time DEPARTURE from Taiwan so we can assess what can be possible.
FAQ : can I rent on site at trailhead ?
==> Sorry there is no city, no rental shop at the trailheads, only a check point cabin to control your 2 permits.
==> If you need to rent equipment, you had better do it in Taipei.
==> To buy equipment : near Taipei Main Station exit M8 at the corner of Zhongshan North Road and Zhongxiao East Road, you will find many hiking shops, climbing shops for clothes, backpacks, helmets, ropes, hiking shoes etc…
FAQ : where can I store my backpack?
==> in Visitor center of Wuling Farm, it’s free but it is not locked, you take a little risk to be stolen (never happened to us though)
==> in the Qsquare Terminal Bus (outside) at Taipei Main Station : big lockers with paying fees
FAQ : Which Equipment during Snow Season?
==> The LEADER must have Head: climbing helmet*, snow goggles, thermal hat Feet: 12-point (or more) crampons*, waterproof mountaineering boots, gaiters, mountaineering socks. Hands: ice axe*, snow-proof gloves Hip: climbing harness Body: thermal snow coat and trousers Others: descender, ascenders, belay device, locking carabiners, snow stakes, climbing ropes, accessory cords, etc.
==> the other members must have : Head: climbing helmet*, snow goggles (or sunglasses), thermal hat Feet: 10-point (or more) crampons*, waterproof mountaineering shoes, gaiters, mountaineering socks Hands: ice axe (or trekking poles)* , snow-proof gloves Hip: climbing harness Body: thermal snow coat and trousers Others: 8-shaped rings, locking carabiners
==> Full details in that PDF document Snow season Equipment Xueshan permit English rules