A Note on Bolivia and How to Travel in Those Parts, Part 2
For successful travelling in Bolivia, two things are necessary—to be in the best of condition physically, and to have the right outfit and equipment.
The following outfit is the final result of my experience in what was necessary for crossing the passes of the Cordilleras and traversing the steamy tropical forests.
Shoes for all your animals and nails, rasp and pairing knife.
A good roomy native saddle, not a heavy one, for your mule, and a light roomy semi-military saddle for your horse.
A good pair of blunt spurs.
As many strong raw hide nets as required for the cargo.
Plenty of blankets, thick and thin.
A big canvas saddle cloth for the back of each animal.
(The blankets go on top and serve the double purpose of preventing the animals’ backs from getting sore, and keeping the men warm at night.)
A piece of canvas well oiled and dried to go over each cargo.
Two tents—one for yourself and the other for the boys.
Two buckets, two pots with iron legs like Kafir pots, one big one and one little one.
A good big kettle and a small one.
A Collins’ axe, and a cutlass of the same make.
Plenty of rope of Llama wool and a halter of the same for each animal.
A thick long horsehair rope to put round your tents to keep away snakes.
Some cowhide boxes for your clothes.
Thick socks or stockings made by the Indians. (These can be bought at the market in La Paz or Oruro—English socks are no good.)
A good pair of shooting boots.
Several pairs of alpagatas.
Pair of scales.
Plates and cups of enamel ware.
A folding canvas catre for yourself.
A few loose boards for nailing on to thick branches of trees for a floor to your tent is advisable.
A pick and spade.
A good rifle (personally I have mostly used a fine double barrel Holland and Holland sixteen bore, given me by my father, with very good results).
A good breach loader.
A big six shooter.
Aneroid to mark up to 20,000ft.
Canvas folding bath.
Small medicine box.
Rum and whisky.
Old port and old Madeira.
Plenty of coca leaves for barter and to give away.
Some tools; nails and screws.
Two or three horn lanterns.
Plenty of soap.
Each mule should carry half a challona, which you can buy off the Indians living on the slopes of the Cordilleras.
Some sugar and rice, sufficient for the trip.
Tinned meats to be used when wanted; at once when opened taken out of the tin and not kept after using.
A big mosquito net, and a small one, to be used as occasion may require.
Fifty pounds of ships biscuits.
Coffee, tea, cocoa.
A small basket with a naphtha stove, small kettle, pot pan, etc., to be used when required in your tent.
A vicuña wool mask and night cap of the same material.
A good pair of sheepskin or bearskin gauntlets.
Two pairs of wind and sun glasses.
Panama hat and cap.
Crowbar and drill.
Miner’s hammer and dynamite.
Gold pan and quicksilver.
Big carriage umbrella.
Thick poncho (rug with a hole cut in the middle).
Seat stick, pulley and tackle.
No. 5 is the best all round shot to have your cartridges loaded with; but it is as well to have an odd few charged with buck shot as well.
Three or four scout watches, and
Anything else you think you need.