Expedition shopping list – part 1

Posted: January 15, 2012 by Ben Weber in English

We will need to buy all sorts of different types of equipment for this expedition – winter(polar)/ice climbing/walking gear; summer/rock trekking/climbing. All the different environments will have different needs, though the freezing weather areas will be the most vital to get right – if you don’t get the layers right and you sweat a bit too much, you could easily get frost bite or worse; something that would severely hamper the project.

According to Mountain Guides International, for climbing in Bolivia this June we will need the following:

Upper body

  • 2x Base Layers                   –              One silk weight and one heavy weight
  • 1x T-shirt                              –              For sun shirt at lower altitude
  • 1x Medium weight top        –              Wool/synthetic – over base layers
  • 1x Down Parka                   –              for cold nights/summit
  • Outer wear                           –              waterproof/breathable

Lower body

  • 2x Base layers                   –              One silk and one heavy weight
  • Underwear                         –              synthetic briefs and underwear
  • Fleece/synthetic pants     –              Pants with full length zips to allow to layer without removing boots
  • Shorts/light pants              –              Optional for lower elevation hikes
  • Outerwear                          –              Waterproof/breathable for keeping warm/dry; need to fit over all layers

Head, neck, hands & feet

  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Balaclava / neoprene face mask                –              for stormy conditions
  • Goggles                             –              double lens models with vents
  • 2x Sunglasses                  –              Dark lenses with side protection against snow blindness
  • Light weight gloves          –              Windstopper fleece; work gloves with waterproof palms for when dexterity is more important than warmth
  • Heavy weight gloves        –              with waterproof shells; need to be warm, easy to use, waterproof and breathable with removable liners
  • Expedition down/mittens –              Again with removable lining and waterproof shell
  • Socks                                –              Synthetic or wool – mix of heavy and light weight for weather changes
  • Light hiking boots             –              lightweight and broken down well (can be running shoes)
  • Mountaineering boots     –              Plastic boots with removable liner are best – can dry easily and are very warm
  • Gaiters                              –              To fit over mountaineering boots – keeps water, snow and rocks out – tall and water/abrasion resistant


  • Backpack                        –             85 liters
  • Trekking poles                –              Lightweight/adjustable length
  • Lightweight Harness      –              To fit above layers
  • Crampons                       –              Lightweight/sturdy
  • Ice Axe                             –              With five feet of cord to attach
  • 4x Locking Carabineers-              for glacier travel, technical climbing and belaying
  • 2x Non-locking carabineers         Wiregate carabiners are lightweight and less prone to freezing
  • Belay device                   –              tube-style belay plate for technical climbing and abseiling
  • Helmet
  • Large duffel bag             –              for transporting equipment in planes/vehicles


  • Sleeping bag                   –              rated -15F at least for Bolivia (-26C – will need to be -40C for Antarctica)
  • 2x Sleeping pads


Plenty of miscellaneous items needed as well – eating utensils, headlamps, toilet paper, iodine; med-kit, blister kit, lip balm, sunscreen, water bottles, bottle insulation, compression sacks; garbage bags… lighter weight summit bag; hand warmers; pee bottle; energy bars; sleeping bag warmer… money pouch; journal, camera with lots of memory… and of course… a book!

Phew!!! Need to start seeing how much this will cost in Brazil now…!

Thanks again to Mountain Guides International for this information – looking forward to climbing with you guys!

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