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Bolivia & Huyana Potosi Kit List

The mountain weather patterns in Bolivia are very stable, but harsh. These mountains are cold. Colder that those in Peru and Ecuador - we're into the realms of plastic boots and thermal mitts.

There’s always a lot of discussion around clothing and kit, so I’ve made some personal recommendations.

Luggage

  • Large Kit bag – tough enough to survive a mule journey and waterproof (wrap the contents in bin liners)
  • 45L rucksack

Boots/ feet

  • A good pair of light weight walking boots will be fine for the trek and approaches
  • 4 season mountaineering boots are required for the bigger peaks, ideally double insulated plastic boots
  • Take at least 3 pairs of decent walking socks and a pair of really thick mountaineering socks for summit day. A pair of Mund Everest Extremes ought to do the trick, consider wearing liner socks too. The layering system also works for your feet, thin liner socks worn under your thick mountain socks will increase the warmth.
  • Blister plasters, Compede is best
  • Foot powder
  • Gaiters. If you suffer with cold feet, a pair of Yeti Gaiters will significantly improve the warmth of your boots.

Legs

  • Warm pair of mountain trousers. I use a pair of Softshell Haglof’s Shark pants – very expensive, but they really do the job because they’re fleece lined and windproof.
  • Lightweight trousers for trekking at lower altitude
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Underwear. Avoid cotton underwear as they get wet with sweat and chaff. Take two or three pairs (minimum) made from wicking material.
  • Long johns (thermal underwear) – essential for summit day.

Body

  • Thermal base layer shirts x 2 (one of which should have long sleeves). Helly Hanson do the job.
  • Mid-layer fleece x 2
  • Heavy outer fleece jacket. Alternatively, it might be worth having a look at one of the one of the new Primaloft insulated jackets (such as the Mountain Equipment Fitzroy or Rab Generator jackets) as an alternative to a heavy weight fleece. They tend to be warmer and less bulky than the equivalent fleece jacket. They’re windproof and water resistant too.
  • Gore-Tex shell Jacket
  • Down Jacket – not essential, but great for wearing around the mountain huts, and worth carrying in your rucksack in case you need to warm-up in a hurry.

Hands

  • Take several pairs of gloves
  • A pair of woollen gloves for cooler days
  • A pair of good quality general mountaineering gloves. I use a pair of Mountain Equipment Guide gloves
  • A pair of really warm mittens to deal with the cold on summit day.

Head

  • Warm hat. I wear a Lowe Alpine mountain cap. It’s thermal lined and you can pull the flaps down over your ears.
  • A thinner hat for wearing underneath your climbing helmet.
  • Sunglasses/ glacier goggles
  • Ski goggles (optional)
  • Head torch
  • Sun hut

Other

  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottle
  • 4 season sleeping bag (good for – 15 c), it can get really, really cold camping out on the trail and in the high hut. 
  • Wash-bag and toiletries;  antibacterial hand wash (essential), toilet paper, a packet of travel fresh wipes/ baby wipes, soap, toothbrush/ tooth paste, sanitary towels etc
  • Trek towel
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Book
  • Sweets/ biltong/ snacks
  • Travel washing line for drying kit
  • Camera, batteries (make sure you take a spare fully charged battery)
  • Ipod
  • Copy of your travel insurance document
  • Passport

Technical equipment

  • Bring your own harness, helmet, crampons and axe, if you have them.
  • I use an Alpine Bod harness because it’s easy to put on when you’re wearing boots and crampons, a normal rock-climbing harness will be fine, though
  • A pair of general mountaineering crampons will be fine. Make sure they have anti-balling plates and fit your boots properly
  • One general mountaineering axe required

If you don’t have all of this equipment, please call me regarding rental options. Poor-to-reasonable quality rental equipment is available locally.