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
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
A ragtag crew of friends, some mountain bikes, and Chile’s monster volcano. What could go wrong? Read It Now.