Mountain views whilst descending from Mt Sinai

We made our climb to the top of Mt Sinai so we would arrive in plenty of time being in position at sunrise. But to do so, we had to leave our accommodation at around 12:30 am, ready to get on the camels at around 1:00am, spend two hours getting to the Bedouin Hut below the summit, then after a short rest/recover time, make the final climb of around 240 metres (700 steps that were all un-even). Sunrise was great, and then we had to make the descent leaving just after 7:15am, we walked back to the bus (near St Katherine Monastery) and then back to our accommodation by about 9:00am.

So in all we were gone from around 8.5 hours – and in that time, we rode a camel, sat around in the cold, climbed a number of steps, sat in a cool breeze at the top of Mt Sinai and then climbed back down in sunlight and the start of what was a warm day.

With that said, I thought it may be a good idea to let you know what I took with me. I naturally did a bit of preparation before hand.

Camera Gear

Remember, what ever you take with you, you have to carry back and will be with you for around 9 hours. So travel light. I have a Lowepro Camera Bag that I emptied down to the bear equipment that I would need. My DSLR – a Canon 7D, a fast 50mm f1.8 Lens, a 24-105mm f4 lens and my monopod. I left all my other gear with Heather back at the Accommodation. I think a good quality fast wide angle lens would have been better that the 50mm lens. (Next Time)


In preparing for the trip, I found that people suggested having many layers of clothes – so as the night moved into day, you could remove the layers as the temperature rose. I followed the advice I took:-

  • Good Quality Windproof/Waterproof Jacket
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • T-shirt
  • Shirt
  • Jumper
  • Jeans
  • Good quality Hike boots
  • Thick socks

I was not cold at any point – I was able to use the scarf to cover the front of my face to keep the cold wind at bay.

On our second trip, we did not have a shelter to sit in whilst we waited before the final ascent – at this stage a blanket (or space blanket) was really handy – just kept the cold out.

On the descent, I had plenty of room in my Camera Bag to put the layers of clothes into as we made our way down.


I took with me a litre of water, and a muesli bar to eat. Someone at the top of Mt Sinai also shared a block of chocolate which was also very good.

Other Incidentals

The most important thing to take is a small pack of tissues. The toilet facilities on the climb are nothing to speak of – running water is non-existent. Hence do not expect toilet paper to exist either!

Monopod – Walking Stick

I needed something to be able to mount my camera and keep it steady when taking photos in low light. Although not as good as a Tripod, I used a Carbon Fibre Monopod a fully adjustable length. I purchased a SLIK Pro Pod 381 CF and have used it not only for Photography, but also as a walking stick. This was the best thing that I took and would strongly recommend something like this to anyone making the climb. I found the adjustable height of the Monopod made it suitable storage with my Backpack, for the ascent when you need it a little shorter, and for the descent when you need it a lot longer.


You definitely need a torch or light of some description. I would thoroughly recommend a LED type torch. They seem to give a good quality light, but are small and lightweight.


The climb of Mt Sinai is a great experience, but whilst you do not have to be super fit, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. Remember – what ever you take up the mountain you will need to carry it back so make sure that you start your trip as light as you can, but remember it can get cold – particularly when the wind is blowing.

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