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The Gear You Need to Hike, Bike, and Camp on the World’s Tallest Volcano

So you want to climb earth’s tallest volcano and descend on a mountain bike, eh?


If you plan to explore Chile’s Atacama Desert at any elevation or time of year, you’ll need extreme cold weather gear. This is triply true if you wish to climb the 22,615-foot Ojos del Salado — earth’s tallest volcano — and descend on a mountain bike. Below, you’ll find a bicycle light enough to carry up and tough enough to careen down, plus a burly helmet, necessary should you go over the handlebars. Also: the warmest bag and tent I’ve slept inside, paired with the most comfy (and insulating) sleeping pad. Just as crucial: a kit to keep your body warm for a full week and all manner of useful, desert-resistant (though not desert-proof!) accessories. After you’ve stocked up, completing the trek is up to you.


From High-Altitude Desert to 22,000-Foot Summit


The Gear:
Patagonia Grade VII Down Parka $899
Patagonia M10 Anorak $379
Patagonia Galvanized Pant $299
Outdoor Research Alti Mitts $199
La Sportiva G2 SM Boots $825
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Backpack $260
Leki Cristallo Trekking Poles $120


Speed and Protection


The Gear
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro Carbon 6Fattie $6,500
Specialized Dissident Helmet $350
Julbo Aerospace Goggles $240
Farm to Feet Damascus 1/4 Crew Socks $19

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Here's a quick :60 sneak peek of the high altiplano of the Atacama Desert in Chile. One of the driest and most desolate places in the world. Last month I was fortunate enough to join some friends to explore this region via 4x4, foot and bicycle. For 9 days our group acclimated to the high, volcanic landscape. We started night 1 @ 12,400' and finished at the Tejos refuge on Ojos del Salado at 19,200'. For the most part we were completely alone under the dark night sky with the nearest service station and city lights hundreds of kilometers away. However, we did share one campsite with a 75 year old cow corpse that has been naturally preserved by the salty, arid environment as if it had just recently perished. As the trip progressed, the low oxygen and extreme wind chill(-15F) eventually got to almost all of us before we could stand on the top of the worlds tallest volcano. Considering the yearly 15-20% summit success rate on Ojos del Salado, I'm proud of my comrade @charles.bethea who persevered and made it to the top (22,600'). He also managed to ride his @iamspecialized bike down from 20,000' to 17,000' where our vehicles were parked. The full story of our adventure can be read in a future @gearpatrol feature. #chile🇨🇱 @djiglobal @aperturent @lasportivana @bigagnes_ @thenorthface @outdoorresearch #ojosdelsalado #atacama #adventureawaits #neverstopexploring #optoutside @growlbros @sassafrasbenchworks @saycheeeesepleeeease @rcbethea85 @patagonia @emotimo #sonya7sii #djiosmo #phantom4 #canon6d #emotimo #toyota #4x4 #hilux #diesel

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A Base Camp at Sub-Zero Temperatures


The Gear
Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 Tent $750
The North Face Inferno -40f/-40c Sleeping Bag $729
Big Agness Insulated Double Z Sleeping Pad $110+
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp $37
MSR Whisperlite International Stove $100
GSI Outdoors Halulite Pot $40

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