Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of the gear I take out with me on the mountains:
White Yamabushi bag which is probably 25 or 30l (I’m really not sure).
Drybags, one big 20 or so litre one, and one small one for my wallet (Japanese cash is useless! If I put my wallet in my back pocket, the cash gets wet from sweat, ironic because Japan is still very much a cash-based society).
First aid kit with poison remover, triangular bandage, band-aids, bug-bite ointment etc.
Headlight and spare battery.
Camelbak pak, 2l
1l or 500ml secondary source of water or sports drink
Onsen towels. Very useful!
Snacks, nuts mainly.
Clip for my camera.
Spare masks, clean wipes etc.
Goretex jacket and waterproof pants.
Hiking pants and shirt I got from Patagonia, but the size is a bit odd on both. I want new hiking clothes, but it’s impossible for me to find my size in Japan.
Sony a6500 and four batteries
18-55mm stock lens
GoPro 9 with one battery (two of my batteries bloated and became useless)
Standard Tripod (not carbon fibre)
Small GorillaPod tripod.
Rode Mic Mini
DJI Mini 2 Drone
For video editing I use Final Cut Pro X.
I have a subscription to a royalty-free music provider, but I don’t want you to have the same music, so I won’t tell you who it is (for this reason I stopped using Epidemic sound).
I use a Mac Mini for editing, and rarely my 2016 MacBook Pro.
For yamabushi training, I have my own set of Shiroshozoku robes, made to measure (Japanese sizes are noticeably small on me!). This includes:
Fundoshi loincloths, I have about three or four I use interchangeably.
I also always wear a white undershirt. It helps collect the sweat and also keeps me warm for those days on Mt. Gassan.
If need be, I wear white leggings.
Hakui white jacket and obi belt, I have three sets that I use interchangeably.
Split-toed socks for Tabi (split-toed shoes).
Tabi, split-toed yamabushi shoes. I swear by these. Best hiking shoes by far.
Kyahan, spats or shin guards.
Hakama, pantaloons. I have one set.
Hokan, headpiece or turban. This is just one long piece of white fabric. I have maybe three or four, but only need one.
Shime, necklaces. I have one made out of hemp and one made out of rope. I have ruined multiple paper ones over the years (they break so easily if you’re not careful!). I am stuck on only having done the Akinomine Autumn Peak Ritual twice, which means I haven’t yet received a Futodasuki. Futodasuki replace the shime and you receive this after doing the Akinomine three times (which we haven’t been able to do for three years now!).
I have an awesome Kori, a woven box, that I use to store my gear.
I don’t have my own Tsue, staff, I stupidly left it behind after the last Akinomine training. I have to remember to keep my own.
I have a small Dewa Sanzan shoulder bag that I use in place of pockets and to hold water and my rain jacket.
Dewa Sanzan-branded Kappa rain poncho.
Dewa Sanzan-branded water bottle.
I’m currently trying to memorise Sanzan Shukuji, a 7-page chant. I’m about 3 pages through at the moment.
Towels. Always plenty of towels.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.
I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.
On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.
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