Peru’s Great Divide: Gear


The Peruvian Andes are quite hilly (to put it mildly), and it didn’t take long to learn on our first jaunt here in 2010 that it’s best to carry as little as possible. The luxury on the Great Divide route is the scenery, so we got rid of all our luxury items of kit and this is what was left: just under 15kg each. All fitted neatly into 2 rear panniers with the tent strapped across Neil’s rear rack. 

Harriet’s Packing List:


Haz's clothes for our bike trip through the Peruvian mountains

Inov8 Terroc trail shoes
Rab Shadow Hoodie
Helly Hansen Lifa Warm LS top
Sport Ancash Football Shirt
Rab MeCo 120 Tee. The best wicking layer I have found.
Haglofs Mid flex 3/4
Rab Powerstretch leggings
Brixton Cycles Socks. Yeah Rasta!
Bridgedale Merino Hiker socks
Rab MeCo briefs. I hate to wear cycling shorts, but with only one type of underwear I get chaffing on seams. Switching between 3 different types I don’t get any problems.
Lowe Alpine Dryflo briefs
M&S Knickers
M&S Bra
Shock Absorber Bra
Mountain Equipment G2 Ultimate Mountain Pant – windstopper. If I were just cycling in Peru (and not on a longer trip with mountaineering) I would switch these for windstopper leggings.
Rab Latok Jacket – eVent. Once again this is overkill for Peru but you do need a good waterproof at all times of year. I would prob get a Goretex Active shell.
Rab Latok Gloves. Mountaineering gloves are a must for soggy descents from high passes.
Rab Powerstretch gloves
Alpaca Hat, made in Rapaz. Drop by their weaving factory on your way through.

Camping Gear
MSR Whisperlite International Stove with expedition service kit.
Fuel: Bencina Blanca which is widely available and of excellent quality in Peru. Another good choice would be an alcohol stove particularly if you are heading to Bolivia too.
MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
2 Sturdy Hunza Crockery Spoons
Thermarest Prolite4 Sleeping Mat
Nalgene 1l bottle
Mountain Equipment Snowline 700 Sleeping Bag in Exped dry compression bag, This bag is rated down to -17C (if I were only cycling in Peru I would take one that goes down to -5C instead)
Rab Silk Liner
3 x Exped dry bags, 1 for clothes, 1 in front bag, 1 contains my kitchen

Biking Stuff

The contents of our tool kit

Long Haul Trucker (bought as a complete bike) w/ Brooks B17S Saddle, Cargo Tubus rack and On One Mary handlebar
Ortlieb Back Roller Panniers. The seam of one of these failed en route and was repaired by a cobbler.
Rucksack lid front bag
Sigma Cycle Computer
On One Toe Straps
2 x Podsac webbing straps
Giro Savant Helmet
Park Spoke Key
Tri-hex key
Sigma Sport Multitool. Wouldn’t be my 1st choice but was the only one available in Istanbul in 2008.
Blackburn Mammoth Pump
Leatherman Wave with broken screwdrivers – whoops
Screwdriver, see above.
15mm spanner, for pedal removal when pushing or carrying bike.
NBT2 cassette remover
Chain Breaker
Park Tyre Levers
Patches and rubber solution
1 x Inner Tube
Replacement brake pads
Grease, tiny Pot
Duct Tape
Electric Tape
Spare gear and brake cable
4x Spare spokes
Random screws, powerlinks and spare chain links


Victorinox Wee knife, mostly for the little scissors.
Toiletries – Suncream, Moisturiser, Lip Balm, Sun Lip Balm, Wet Wipes, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Comb, Contact lense solution, (bought sachets of shampoo whenever we took a shower)
First Aid Kit
Canon HS240 Camera
Garmin Etrex 30 GPS
Contact Lenses
Petzl Tikka 2 Headtorch

Neil’s Packing List

The contents of Neil's panniers

Specialized Tahoe Cycle shoes
Nepali special Crocs
Rab Powerstretch Fleece
Nepali special 3/4 shorts
Helly Hansen Lifa Warm LS top
Nepali special long sleeved t-shirt
2 x Bridgedale Merino Hiker socks
1 x Briefs
Madison cycle shorts
Rab Powerstretch leggings
Mountain Equipment G2 Ultimate Mountain Pant, windstopper
Mountain Equipment Kongur Jacket, Gore Tex Pro-Shell
Nepali special micro down jacket
Montane Resolute Mitts
Rab Powerstretch gloves
Brixton Cycles cap

Camping Gear

Integral Designs MK3 tent, Mountaineering tent that wouldn’t be our first choice if just cycle touring (it’s bright yellow, for a start).
Thermarest Prolite4 Sleeping Mat
Nalgene 1l bottle
Alpine Designs 4 Season sleeping bag, in Exped dry compression bag. Once again this is overkill for this route – a 2 season bag would do.
Rab Silk Liner
Assorted Exped dry bags

Biking Stuff
Long Haul Trucker, w/ Cargo Tubus racks and On One Fleegle handlebar
Ortlieb Back Roller Panniers
Giro Savant Helmet
VDO MC1.0 Cycle Computer
On One Toe Straps. Didn’t use much on this route
2 x Podsac webbing straps
3 x Spare spokes


And here's what's in the front bag

Assorted chargers and cables
Rechargeable batteries, AA and AAA
Canon 1100D SLR Camera
Garmin Etrex 10 GPS
Steripen Classic
Contact Lenses
Petzl Tikka 2 Headtorch
Nexus 7

6 thoughts on “Peru’s Great Divide: Gear

  1. Denise Blanchard

    Hi! Harriet!
    Neil is right about gear list being dull stuff, but you are so right about the fact it’s a mine of gold of information for us preparing for our trip in the same area! Thank you so much for taking time to share your experience. Your post about food was also great! I see you have a Steripen in your kit. Do you use it frequently? Is water from streams in the mountains safe to drink without any treatment?
    My husband and I follow all your adventures with great interest. We are looking forward to be on the roads in Peru next July. And who knows, maybe our road will cross yours someday!
    Happy trail!

    1. Harriet and Neil

      Well it was your request for this blog post that put the wheels in motion. We are also doing a page on seasons and when to be where which you may find useful.
      We use the Steripen a lot in Peru but not at all on the Puna. Basically wherever there are animals grazing or people then we use it. We have met many cycle tourists with parasites so it is a good idea to clean your water. I would look at the USB chargeable one as it is quite a bit lighter than the classic.
      Take Care

  2. Natoli

    I forgot a question: how did you do to recharge your GPS or camera? I do not see a dynamo hub on your bike.
    Thanks again for this site full of useful information !!

    1. Harriet and Neil

      Hi Seb, We just took lots of spare batteries and recharged them whenever we could.
      All the best,

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