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Miscellaneous: The essential items for your trip on the Inca Trail are: Water, toilet paper, Headlamp & flashlight, rain jacket, thick socks, 2 pairs of comfortable walking shoes (worn in!), moist towelettes, warm sleeping clothes, 2 or 3 lightweight shirts that wick away moisture, 2 pairs of zip off pants (not cotton), a comfortable, sturdy backpack, a good water holder to strap around your waist, snacks, medicine in case of sickness, blister block, camera/film ( throw away panoramic is nice), 45 sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. I made the mistake of bringing too much. Once you start hiking, you don't have much time to go through your pack, so just bring the items that you absolutely need.
Updated May 9, 2005
Luggage and bags: Waterproof bags
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Waterproofs - it rains a lot. A rain cape is a good idea, looks a bit stupid but gives excellent ventilation in the heat .You can also put it over your daypack at the risk of looking like the hunchback of Notre Dam!
T shirts/Trousers that dry quickly- everything gets damp here
More clothes than you think you'll need. Everything gets wet quickly either from rain or you sweating buckets and you'll need to change clothing often
Neutral coloured clothing. Bright colours can frighten the wildlife.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Anti malarials
Antiseptic wipes/lotions etc
Mosquito repellent/after bite
Sun lotion (above SPF 15, preferable 30. The sun is very strong)
Sun hat - my God its so hot there!
antibacterial alcohol based hand wash & tissues to use as toilet paper
Photo Equipment: batteries
plastic bag to protect camera
Zoom lens for photographing wildlife
binoculars for wildlife spotting
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: torch
headtorch for night hikes
battery operated fan if you don't like the heat and humidity
Miscellaneous: Acidophilis(friendly bacteria capsules) buy them from health shops, helps protects against runny bottoms and tummy upsets!
Updated Aug 23, 2006
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Most all public restrooms do not have toilet paper or soap. I would highly suggest always having some on hand, as well as some hand sanitizer. Also -- do not put the toilet paper in the toilet, but in the trash can next to the toilet. Some places have signs telling you this but it's a general rule to help the poor plumbing.
Written Dec 1, 2005
Luggage and bags: If you can avoid bringing large suitcases with you, do it. The streets in Cusco aren't really paved. They're more like tiles and cobblestones, and are really narrow. If you have large luggage it would be very difficult to maneuver. If you can't avoid it, arrange for a car to take you where you need to go so that you don't need to drag your luggage all over. Small luggage and backpacks are highly recommended.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes/sneakers are a must. Because the majority of the streets aren't really paved, you'll need good, comfortable shoes with a good thick sole for walking around. People don't really get dressed up too much (not that we saw, anyway), so there's no need for women to bring high heeled shoes. You'd just be miserable and probably end up breaking your neck. The streets can also get pretty slippery when wet, so keep that in mind. Pack an umbrella, and make sure to bring a jacket. We were there during the first week of May which is the beginning of the dry season and heading towards their winter, and it got pretty cold at night (40's F). It'd just be colder at night, the deeper into their winter it gets. You should also pack a hat of some sort to protect you from the sun. We also had hiking pants that zipped off into shorts, and they came in handy on our hikes. When we got too hot, we just zipped the legs off and tossed them in our backpack.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Pack some headache medicine in case the high altitude gives you a headache. I'd recommend packing some immodium or kaopectate for those "unexpected" issues. Also, bring a really good sunblock with a high SPF (30 or over). The high elevation and the proximity to the equator make the sun very strong. Even on cool, cloudy days the sun is very strong, so don't let it fool you. My husband and I learned that the hard way and have the weird sunburn lines to show for it...
Photo Equipment: Camera, batteries (and recharger), film, extra memory cards, tripod. There are so many things that are picture-worthy, so don't be caught unprepared!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We didn't camp out, but I'd suggest a warm sleeping bag because the nights were pretty cold (40's F).
Updated May 12, 2005
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If venturing into the Amazon (especially in wet season) be sure to have great waterproof gear! Not only great waterproof gear, but light coloured waterproof gear.
Upon purchasing my brand spankin' new 'black' gore-tex jacket, I couldn't have kicked myself harder. And, being a seasoned Canadian backwoods guy, I should have known better.
Black (dark colours) = many mosquitoes
Light colours = far fewer mosquitoes
Don't be foolish like myself unless you want to be sorrounded by 'hundreds' of these little critters!.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring alot of toilet paper!
Photo Equipment: Wrap your camera good as it is very humid in the jungle and it WILL reak havoc on your gear
Updated May 5, 2003
Luggage and bags: Backpacks offer not only the means to do multi-day hiking trips but also are the most practical for getting from the bus station to the hostel without having to shell out for a taxi.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain gear is essential for backpacking trips in the Cordillera Blanca or Inca Trail.
Written Feb 25, 2003
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Wow, sunblock is essential like most people here point out. We were really stupid and went out one day on a low altitude, cloudy sky hike and ended up being so sunburned that we were in bed a full day suffering. Completey stupid of us, and it was a day wasted that easily could've been avoided had we ONLY FOLLOWED THE OTHER TIPS!!! :-) So please, listen when people say -- cover yourself in sunblock no matter what!! We saw so many other burnt faces it's just not worth it.
Written Dec 1, 2005
Miscellaneous: If you are planning to get well off the beaten path or want to impress the local native population, bring a Quechua phrasebook. Quechua is the language of the Incas and is spoken through a good portion of Peru and other countries.
Written Aug 18, 2004
Luggage and bags: backpack
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: sturdy and comfortable walking shoes
pair of socks for each day
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: diamox pills prescribed by your MD (just in case you needed it)
Photo Equipment: a good camera with lots of memory space because once you get there you`ll be trigger happy
Miscellaneous: never forget your sunblock
Updated Jul 15, 2006
Luggage and bags: 5 things you truly need: a good daypack, comfortable shoes, wicking hiking socks, a fleece jacket and your mental toughness.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Did the Inca trail recently. No matter what people say -- bring a rain jacket &/or poncho, no matter what season it is. Our first day of hiking was sunny & great, then it rained for 2 days. Our guide said that we didn't need ponchos..hhhm.. Should have brought one. Also, you can buy your winter hat/cap, gloves & scarves in peru -- much cheaper & la ighter load for you. Buy them, use them & give them as presents when you go home.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Altitude sickness pills, diarrhea meds, toiletries, etc can be purchased in Peru. Cheaper, don't need prescription -- just ask your local guides what you need.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You don't have to bring your own sleeping bags and/or mats. Unless you're emotionally attached to yours, you can rent them in cuzco for $12 each. Not too bad if you're going to be traveling peru for weeks, carrying that extra weight is not going to be fun.
Miscellaneous: Make sure you bring PADLOCKS for your luggage. You will be traveling by bus, train, etc. There have been reports on people going under buses, digging through luggage bags in airports (they stole my ipod charger & a a traveling friend of mine also lost his ipod & battery charger -- these 2 are big in the black market) and etc.
Written Sep 20, 2006
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