What Equipment Do You Need for a Damavand Hike?

The necessary equipment for a hike up Damavand largely depends on the time of year you embark on the trek. During the colder half of the year, the mountain is teeming with ski tourers, and temperatures and conditions are significantly different. Temperatures drop to -20°C or -30°C, or even lower with strong winds. The journey to Damavand is further spiced up by snow, which is abundant during the winter months. If we catch favorable weather, the mountain is an excellent destination for ski touring. Our agency mostly ventures to Iran’s highest peak during the summer months (July or August), and conditions are markedly different then. Typically, we encounter only isolated patches of snow during the hike, and temperatures at the summit do not drop below -15°C. Whether you prefer the winter or summer option, it’s essential not to forget the appropriate equipment. Below, we’ll outline the equipment needed for a summer ascent of Damavand.

What technical equipment do I need?

As mentioned, during the summer, there is usually no snow on the trail, or it appears only in patches. However, since the weather is unpredictable, it’s advisable to carry crampons with 12 points that you can attach to your hiking boots at home. While ascents are possible without technical equipment, afternoon rains with (snowy) precipitation can occur, making the path snowy or icy and impassable without proper gear. Although an ice axe is part of the crampons set, it’s not necessary as the slope of the path is gentle. However, the use of trekking poles is recommended.

What personal equipment do I need?

During our trek to Damavand, we will be staying in mountain shelters, as it’s more comfortable to spend the night in a building rather than a tent. In the shelter, there are communal beds for 20 or more people in one room, so the space heats up considerably overnight due to breathing. You’ll need a moderately warm sleeping bag (we recommend something slightly better than a one-kilogram sleeping bag) and a comfortable sleeping pad, as there are no mattresses or foam in the rooms.

The ascent of Damavand will be easier if you wear well-worn high mountain boots with a grooved sole, as the terrain in the summit area is sandy or rocky like unfavorable scree. A good hiking boot will particularly ease the descent. For the tourist and travel part of the program, we recommend other lighter shoes and sandals.

The weather on Damavand is generally stable in the summer—sunny and almost cloudless—but anomalies can occur, so warm clothing for temperatures down to -15°C is necessary. We recommend something warm for the upper body (thermal fleece, jacket, soft-shell, etc.), warm hiking pants and thermal underwear for cold weather, and protection for the extremities: gloves (two pairs), warm socks, and a hat.

Sun at altitude is always problematic. Even if we may not feel it due to the cold or wind, it’s essential to protect ourselves from the sun with sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and a hat or cap that also covers the neck.

We suggest packing everything into one smaller and one larger backpack. The larger backpack can be replaced with a travel (transport) bag (a so-called duffel bag). The smaller backpack is intended for day trips in the mountain area. It should have enough space for food and drink for one day, warm clothes, a first aid kit, and other items that belong in a backpack.

What other equipment do I need?

Personal hygiene items, a small towel for the mountain, toilet paper, and refreshing wipes. A pocket knife is always handy. First aid belongs in every mountaineering backpack, including basic tablets (aspirin, charcoal, etc.). You’ll be able to pour yourself a warm tea every morning in a flask or bottle, which you’ll drink along the way. Depending on taste and preferences, various supplements or effervescent tablets of magnesium or potassium are desirable. Since the taste of home is always the best, we recommend bringing along favorite energy supplements, local food (e.g., prosciutto), and other treats. A GPS navigation device is not necessary, but you can take one with you if you wish. To showcase your best photos upon your return, don’t forget a camera with a large enough memory card and a spare battery. If you’ll be taking photos with a mobile phone, you must also have an additional portable or photovoltaic charger. On the “summit day,” we will start the ascent to Damavand in the dark, so a good headlamp with new batteries (replaced just before departure) is essential.

How should I dress in the Muslim world?

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a vast country that respects religion, and it’s important for us as tourists to do the same. The country has dress code rules for both women and men. Men can wear long pants down to the ankles and short-sleeved shirts. Tank tops, 3/4 pants, or shorts are prohibited. Women must not show their figure or bare skin. The use of a headscarf is mandatory. It is advisable to wear a tunic that covers the female figure. Women can wear long skirts or pants down to the ankles and also wear open shoes such as sandals. The upper body must be fully covered, including long sleeves down to the wrists. These rules are strictly enforced at airports, in cities, and in crowded areas. Dress code regulations are more relaxed during the ascent of Damavand. Generally, our mountaineering gear (as we equip ourselves in Slovenian mountains) was well received, and wearing a headscarf or tunic was not mandatory.

What documents do I need to bring with me?

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned return from Iran and does not contain an Israeli stamp!,
  • Valid tourist visa for Iran, which can be arranged in advance at the embassy or upon arrival at the airport,
  • In the case of A membership in the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia, also a UIAA mountaineering card with paid membership for the current year (as it includes the costs of any rescue),
  • Worldwide health insurance card including potential helicopter rescue at Damavand’s altitude,
  • Marriage certificate (if married and traveling with a partner),
  • Copy of the first page of the passport and the visa page (preferred),
  • A money belt (a hidden pouch for money and documents) is recommended.


Preparing for a hike up Damavand, whether in summer or winter, requires careful consideration of the equipment and clothing needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. From technical gear like crampons to personal items like sunscreen and warm clothing, each piece plays a crucial role in tackling the challenges of the mountain and embracing the beauty of the journey. Moreover, respecting local customs, such as dress codes in the Muslim world, is essential for smooth travel experiences. By packing wisely and adhering to cultural norms, adventurers can fully immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring landscapes and rich heritage of Damavand. So, lace up your boots, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure to the summit of Iran’s highest peak.