When I asked Bobby Model what to bring for Mount Kenya, the first thing he said was an umbrella. At first, I thought that it was kind of silly—the idea of carrying an umbrella up a mountain. It seemed rather colonial of us.
It turned out to be incredibly intelligent because, even at alpine altitudes, there are still tropical levels of rain. You're getting a freezing-cold garden hose of rain on you every afternoon. All the nicest Gortex in the world is not going to protect you from that. Having an umbrella gives you this microclimate around your upper body that keeps you from getting cold and wet. —Contributing Editor Matthew Power