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With a challenging climb ahead, the last thing you need are logistical problems like taking the wrong gear. Looking down on the world from the summit of Cotopaxi will be the experience of a lifetime. With a little bit of preparation, you can avoid problems and have a fantastic trip. We want to share our top five things that we won’t leave home without when going climbing in Ecuador.

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Broken-in Boots

Buy your boots and wear them in (even if it’s just around the house) before you head to Ecuador.

Recommendation: La Sportiva Batura 2.0La Sportiva Nepal Cube, or Scarpa Phantom Guide Mountaineering Boots

Climbing Pack

Put weight in your pack and use it while training for your climb. This is to make sure it’s going to feel good on your trip. Make sure you have a good hydration system inside your pack – one that won’t freeze and can handle warm water. Practice staying hydrated while training.

Recommendation: Black Diamond Mission 50

Lightweight Down Parka

A lightweight down parka that will keep you warm in the coldest of conditions. Ideally, you’ll want an 800-fill down parka that compresses well into the tiniest nook of your pack.

Recommendation: Marmot Ama Dablam jacket, Marmot Greenland jacket, and the Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka

Sunglasses

Aka glacier glasses. These should have very dark lenses and minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses. The best glasses are a “wrap” style, and ventilation is also important. A retainer strap is recommended (Chums or Croakies).

Recommendation: Revo Guide II, Kaenon Klay

Headlamp

A good headlamp is super important for alpine starts. L.E.D. headlamps are recommended and make sure they have 3+ bulbs. You should bring a tilting lamp and bring extra batteries.

Recommendation: Petzl Tikka XP headlamp, Black Diamond Spot headlamp