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Treasures of the Silk Road Gear List

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 & easy walking

Lightweight hiking boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a vibram sole

Down or synthetic camp booties: Optional luxury, any brand with thick foam soles

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

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


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

Midweight long underwear tops: 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, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Midweight underwear bottoms: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt (Patagonia, REI, 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, Patagonia)

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, Patagonia)

SyntheticiInsulated 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

DowniInsulated jacket w/ hood: Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear.

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

Head & Hand Gear

Liner gloves: Lightweight synthetic (Patagonia or any brand of PowerStretch)

Windstopper fleece gloves: (any brand of Windstopper fleece)

Waterproof mittens w/ pile liners: Outdoor Research

Bandanna: 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


Sunglasses #1: For high altitude, one 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, Oakley)

Gaiters w/ reinforced lowers: Short, simple gaiters are best, such as Outdoor Research's Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters.

Headlamp w/ spare bulb: AA or AAA battery powered (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Spare batteries: for headlamp and other gadgets you bring

Camping Gear

Backpack: 3000 cubic inches (50 liters), internal frame, top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best - avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. (North Face, Arc’Teryx, Gregory)

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, Black Diamond)

Pack cover: Recommended. To protect your gear on rainy or snowy days (REI, MEC, Osprey, Gregory).

Sleeping bag: 10 to 0 degree Down 700 fill minimum (Marmot, Mtn Hardwear, North Face)

Sleeping Pad: Inflating, full-length (Therm-a-rest)

Foam pad: (Ridgerest)

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

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: optional

Pee Bottle: one 1-quart (one liter), leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)

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

Trekking poles: (Leki 3-section or Black Diamond)

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

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

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or Terrapin)

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, sleep aids).

Zip-loc bags: always useful

Baby wipes

Earplugs: very useful in noisy lodges and tents, available in most hardware stores

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: 8000+ cubic inches (150 liters). Light colors are better for labeling with your name. (Patagonia, Wild Things “Burro Bag”, North Face).

Small travel bag: optional - useful for storing things, most soft sided “carry on’ type bags work well, you might also use an extra large stuff sack

Nylon stuff sacks: several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling

Lightweight long sleeve shirt: cotton, comfortable

Hiking shorts and/or skirt/sarong: One pair (any brand of Supplex short)

Lightweight pants: One pair (any brand Supplex or “stretch woven” pant)

City clothes: Casual, one or two

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bag(s)



Camera w/ extra batteries

Film and digital memory cards