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Title image - BAI takes you to: Ojos del Salado and Aconcagua

Recommended Gear for Climbing Aconcagua & Ojos del Salado

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running shoes and/or sport sandals: For travel and easy walking.

Hiking boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a Vibram sole. (Scarpa)

Climbing boots: Plastic double boot (Koflach)

Booties: Down or synthetic fill with thick foam soles. (Mountain Hardwear, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Lightweight socks: Two to three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale, Fox River)

Midweight socks: Two to three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale, Fox River)


It is very important that your clothes fit loosely and comfortably so you can layer your clothes appropriately. This is key for maintaining a comfortable body temperature.

Lightweight long underwear top: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Midweight long underwear tops: A zip-T neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)

Lightweight long underwear bottoms: (Patagonia Capilene, Mountain Hardwear, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Midweight underwear bottoms: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia, REI, Mountain Hardwear, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work. (North Face, Mountain Hardwear).

Jacket synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended. (Wild Things, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia)

Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polarguard 3D. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Chugach 3D pants are an example. An acceptable alternative are fleece pants Polartec 100 or 200, but they are bulky, heavier and less versatile.

Down insulated jacket: Jacket should have a hood. (Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, North Face)

Waterproof breathable jacket & pants: Jacket must have hood, pants must have full-length side zips. (Patagonia, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Mountain Hardwear)

Head & Hand Gear

Liner gloves: Any brand of Windstopper fleece.

Mittens w/ pile liners: Waterproof/windproof shell with pile liners. (Outdoor Research)

Bandana: Two to three traditional cotton style

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.

Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears.

Balaclava: At least one. Some people layer a very thin Capilene balaclava under a thicker fleece one.


Sunglasses #1: For high altitude. 1 pair of high quality 100%UV and 100%IR with a minimum of 80% light reduction sunglasses. Side shields such as those found on “glacier glasses” are not required, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum coverage of the eyes to protect them from bright light on snow.

Sunglasses #2: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR, for lower elevations, also as a backup. It is important to have a spare pair of sunglasses. 

Ski goggles: (Bolle, Smith)

Gaiters: You may choose to bring larger gaiters for your double boots as well as short gaiters, such as Outdoor Research's Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters; for your hiking boots. (Outdoor Research, Black Diamond)

Headlamp with spare bulb: Plus two sets of extra batteries. (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Climbing Equipment

Ice axe: General mountaineering axe, mountaineering “walking” length, 65 – 90 cm length, depending on your height. (Grivel or Black Diamond)

Axe leash: You will need a leash to attach your axe to you harness, not a “wrist loop”. Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6 ft of 9 / 16 inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one.

Crampons: 12 point step-in crampons for glacial travel.  Avoid crampons for technical waterfall ice climbing. (Grivel or Black Diamond)

20 ft. 1/2 inch tubular webbing: You will construct swami belts for tying in when necessary. Your guide will show you the best method. Climbing harnesses are heavier, bulkier and not as versatile.

Two Carabiners: one locking, one non-locking

One Rappel Device: figure of 8 style or Black Diamond ATC

Helmet: (Black Diamond, Petzl)

Camping Gear

Backpack: 5000 - 7000 cubic inches (70 to 90 liters), internal frame. A top-opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings, packs that are heavy when empty and have excessive outside pockets. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively. Try to get a high volume top loading pack. (Serratus, Wild Things, The North Face)   

Small day pack: Optional, should be small and simple, can double as stuff sack or organizer, useful for airline carry-on and for while touring in cities. (Lowe Alpine Attack Summit)

Down sleeping bag: Rated to at least negative 10 F (-25C), 700 down fill minimum (Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face)

Sleeping pad: inflating, full-length (Therm-A-Rest or Outdoor Research Exped Downmat)

Foam pad: (Ridgerest)

Water bottles: Two 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth bottles. (Nalgene or Lexan bottles)

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: Some type of thermos to keep liquids hot.

Pee bottle: One 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth. (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)

Pack towel: Small or medium size, do not bring “terrycloth”, bandanas work in a pinch (PackTowl)

Trekking poles: Lightweight poles with 2 or 3 sections so they compress while not being used. (Leki, Black Diamond)

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flight.

Dishes: Large mug, plastic bowl, Lexan fork and spoon. Lightweight metal is O.K.

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or L’Oreal)

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids).

Water purification: Such as Potable Agua (iodine tablets). You will be provide with treated water at camps and on the climbs of both Ojos and Aconcagua but a personal supply is handy for travel and in hotels.

Zip-loc bags: Always useful, bring them for personal trash bags and to organize small items.

Baby wipes or wet-naps

Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents. Available in most drug stores and hardware stores.

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: 8000+ cubic inches (130+ liters). Light colors are better for labeling with your name. This will hold all your gear as you move between hotels and main camps. (North Face, Wild Things, Patagonia)

Small travel bag: Optional. Useful for storing things in hotels and huts, most soft sided “carry on” type bags work well. (Camp Trails, Wild Things)

Nylon stuff sacks: For storing and organizing; light colors preferable for labeling. (Outdoor Research)

Lightweight long sleeve shirt: cotton, comfortable

Lightweight pants: One pair (for traveling or light hiking)

City clothes for Santiago, Copiapo and Mendoza: Casual, one or two changes 

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bag(s) while being stored at the hotel. Some airlines do not allow them on checked luggage.