On this page you'll find some helpful suggestions for gear and clothing that will keep you comfortable and make your trip through the Andes more enjoyable. This photograph demonstrates three layers of clothing that will prepare you for almost any kind of weather except a warm, sunny day. The layer closest to my skin (black layer) is a ribbed, synthetic Duofold liner (about $15). On top of this is an orange Patagonia fleece (about $70). Finally a yellow, water resistant windproof shell
(L.L.Bean, about $50). The synthetic layers wick perspiration away from the body, keeping your skin fairly dry. If you wear cotton, it will get soaked and as the sun goes down, if you can't change into dry clothes, you'll get chilled. Other suggestions appear below along with selected web sites where you can shop. WARNING: Hi-Tech clothing is not cheap.
Here's what I'll bring for the hike: (Remember, these are my suggestions. You may wish to take more or less but remember, everything you bring must fit in your backpack and your duffel bag).
A water resistant shell with a hood, 2 heavy fleeces (Patagonia R2), 1 light fleece, 3 long sleeve Duofold skin layers, 2 pair loose fit hiking pants (I prefer Patagonia "Loose Tights"), 1 pair fleece pants liners (for sleeping comfortably on cold nights and to wear around the campsite at the end of the day), 1 pair nylon outer shell hiking pants (legs zip off and convert to shorts), 3-4 pairs polypropylene sock liners, (Note: liners will keep you feet dry and blister-free), 2 pair heel and toe cushioned hiking socks, 1 pair of hiking boots (I have a pair of waterproof Asolos), 5 pair underwear, several cotton T-shirts (long sleeve), a fleece hat (for sleeping at night), a wide-brim "Indiana Jones" style hat for wearing during the day, a multi-pocket vest for little things like chap-stick, sun block, bug spray (you'll need it, there were biting gnats in some places along the river), a small notebook and pen and whatever else you think you absolutely must have, a light pair of cotton gloves, mirrored sun glasses, and an aluminum collapsible walking stick. Every possible layer I might need for the day goes into a Kelty backpack along with a roll of toilet paper, a small box of wet wipes, my snacks, my camera equipment, a first-aid kit, a 4-piece fly rod (just "in case"), and a handful of tracts and New Testaments for the people we meet along the way. Everything else goes into my duffel bag and on the back of a burro.
I have a four-season Eureka K-2 Expedition tent that sleeps two comfortably and has an attached vestibule to store gear and keep it dry. Underneath the tent goes a plastic ground cloth. I sleep in a down mummy bag rated for zero degrees Fahrenheit on a self inflating foam/air mattress. The tent/sleeping bag/air mattress combination kept us toasty and dry in 1999.
Links to Outdoor Equipment Sites: