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Title image - BAI takes you to: Bolivia

Bolivia Expedition 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

Climbing boots: Plastic double boots (Koflach, Scarpa, La Sportiva)

Booties: Down or synthetic fill with thick foam soles. This item is an optional luxury.

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

Midweight socks: Two or three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Fox River, Patagonia, Smartwool.


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, 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, Outdoor Research).

Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polarguard 3D. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Compressor pants or Outdoor Research Neoplume Pants are examples. 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 (North Face,Marmot, Mountain Hardwear).

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

Head & Hand Gear

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

Windstopper gleece gloves: Any brand of Windstopper fleec.

Waterproof mittens w/ pile liners: (Outdoor Research, North Face)

Bandanna: Two or three, traditional cotton. You may also like a tubular bandana like those made by Buff.

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

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. 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, Oakley)

Gaiters: Should have reinforced lowers (Outdoor Research).

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

Spare batteries: For headlamp and other gadgets you bring.

Climbing Equipment

Ice axe: General mountaineering axe, mountaineering “walking” length, 60 – 80 cm in length, depending on your height. It should be an alpine style model with a straight shaft. You will need a leash to attach the axe to you harness not a “wrist loop”. Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6-ft,1-inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one (Grivel, Black Diamond, Petzl).

Crampons: 12 point step-in model for glacier travel (Grivel or Black Diamond)

Harness: Alpine-style. You should not have to step through leg loops to put it on and off. Should be lightweight and fully adjustable (Black Diamond, Petzl).

Carabiner: One large locking “pear” shaped and two regular carabiners (Black Diamond, Petzl)

Ascender: One ascender, either left or right (Petzl.

Perlon cord: 20 feet of 6mm perlon, also can be called static accessory cord.

Helmet (Berg Adventures will provide)

Rappel device: For descending (ATC, figure 8).

Camping Gear

Backpack: 3,200 to 4,500 cubic inches (40 – 60 liters), internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings, excessive outside pockets and bags that are heavy when not loaded. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively (Wild Things, Arc’teryx, Gregory, The North Face).

Small day pack: Optional, should be small and simple, can double as stuff sack or organizer, useful for airline carry on, or while touring in cities (Black Diamond, The North Face).

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

Sleeping bag: 0 to 10F (-12 to -20C) Down 700-fill minimum (Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face)

Sleeping pad: Inflating, full-length (Therm-a-rest, Outdoor Research Exped Down Mat.

Foam pad: (Ridgerest)

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

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: Optional, but very nice on summit day. 1-liter size (Nissan, Outdoor Research)

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

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)

Pack towel: Small or medium size. Do not bring “terrycloth.” Bandanas work in a pinch (Pack Towel).

Trekking poles: Should be adjustable in two or three sections (Leki, Black Diamond).

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

Medical & Personal

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

Zip-loc bags: Always useful

Baby wipes

Earplugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents. Available in most hardware stores.

Water purification: Such as Potable Agua (iodine tablets or purine). You will be provided with treated water at camps but a personal supply is handy for travel and in hotels.

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: 8,000+ cubic inches (130+ liters). Light colors are better for labeling with your name (Wild Things, Gregory, North Face, Black Diamond).

Small travel bag: Optional. Useful for storing things in La Paz, most soft sided “carry-on” type bags work well (Camp Trails, Wild Things, North Face).

Nylon stuff sacks: Several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling (Outdoor Research)

Lightweight long sleeve shirt: Cotton and comfortable

Hiking shorts and/or skirt/sarong: One pair

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

City clothes for La Paz: Casual style, one or two changes. You will have the opportunity to store a few items in La Paz while we are away.

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bag(s)



Camera with extra batteries and memory cards