Reindeer Riders! Gear Of The Tsataan

In a vast and barren landscape, where horses run wild and nomadic herding is a regular way of life, lives the only tribe on the planet that ride reindeer — the Tsataan.

Found in Mongolia near the Russian boarder, the Tsataan spend their summer in a remote valley in the mountains of the West Taiga. I visited the Tsataan last summer and had the chance to learn about some of the gear they use to live the nomadic herding lifestyle.

The Tsataan are uniquely equipped to live in this rugged and harsh environment, relying on their reindeer for survival as both transportation and food. In my visit, I learned that less is more and toughness is key for survival.

With a sturdy, versatile jacket, a useful multipurpose tool, and proper footwear, I felt that I had everything I needed. Read on to learn about the gear and techniques these reindeer herders use, and the modern equivalents that I used on my trip.