Welcome to our gear list V3.0. After two years and four months non-stop on the road since we left Deadhorse, Alaska in June 2016 our list has changed considerably, we’ve ditched items we thought we could not do without for a long tour and certain items have become real favourites. Were we to start back over from Alaska again, this is probably the gear we’d carry. [April 2020 Update Here]
The list that follows is what we find to be comfortable for riding in mountain and cold desert conditions (down to -15c) typical of the Andes, that includes cold + wet (Ecuador) and very cold + relatively dry (Peru during dry season). Note that in both these regions highs in the low 20’s (celcius) are common during the day, even at 4000m, and the canyons can reach into the 30’s. This is the gear we used for Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route, Peru Divide and exploration in the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash.
A couple of notes:
• We rode the mountains in Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru (to Huaraz) with +5c Kathmandu Pathfinder sleeping bags, as we’d sent our winter bags down to Huaraz from Mexico, way back. Often sleeping at elevations above 4000m we thought we’d freeze, but these bags were actually quite manageable as long as we slept in all our clothes (including down jackets at times), so if you want to save weight and bulk, consider this strategy. Since Huaraz it has been colder so we are happy to have warmer bags.
• We strategically lighten up at times for extra difficult sections of riding (Baja Divide, parts of TEMBR/Tres Volcanes, Cordillera Huayhuash) by sending stuff ahead with couriers. This is usually to a reliable location such as a pre-booked hostel or Warm Showers host.
Read our Baja Divide gear list, and to see how Mark packs his bike, scroll right to the end of this post.