Yay! You booked your trip to hike the Inca trip…now what to pack? Here are some essential items to pack for your trip.
- Sleeping bag + sleeping pad OR sleeping bag liner: you can either choose to bring your own sleeping bag + sleeping pad or rent a sleeping bag through the travel company. Even if you end up renting a sleeping bag, you might still want to bring a liner for cleanliness and even for extra warmth during the night. My tour company pitched tents for us, so we didn’t have to worry about bringing/renting tents for this trip.
- Layers. Depending on when you go, it can get quite cold. My friends and I went in July, and we got lucky with the weather. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. However, I know someone who went in June one year, and he got snowed on. Before you go make sure you check the weather in the area and bring enough layers to keep you warm throughout the days.
- Raincoat. There are different micro climates throughout the hike, and it may rain during the hike. I really lucked out on my trip…it only rained once, and that was during lunch when we were taking shelter anyway. If you have one, you may also want to bring a rain cover for your backpack.
- Baby wipes and hand sanitizers. There are no showers on the trail, so baby wipes are crucial for personal hygiene. While hand sanitizers and Wet Ones worked for the most part, I felt the cleanest after washing my hand with hand. There is running water at camp, so my hand soap came in quite handy. If you can spare room/weight in your bags, I highly recommend bringing soap!
- Head lamp. Flashlights work will work too, but I head lamps make it so much easier to move around hands free.
- Toiletries. Keep to the essentials. We used face wipes instead of face wash for convenience.
- Toilet paper/pack tissues. Definitely an essential item!
- Sunscreen. Don’t get burned! In addition to sunscreen. make sure you bring along chapstick with SPF.
- Diamox. The highest point on the trail is Dead Woman’s Pass, at 13,828 feet. This is pretty high for most people. Be sure to pack some Diamox for the trip, just in case you or someone else in your camp end up needing it.
- Small medical kit. Even though my friends and I were relatively young-ish (in our 30’s) on this trip, we were the weakest group due to knee injuries and illness (flu, altitude sickness, diarrhea, fever – you name it!). You’d never know what’s going to happen, so be sure to pack a small medical supply kit that includes pain medication, cold medication, stomach medication, cuts/bruises ointment, vitamins, and bandaids (for blisters and such). We ended up using up most of our medical supplies on this trip!
- Hiking poles. There are a lot of steps on this hike. Hiking poles were very helpful, especially if you have bad knees. If you don’t want to bring the poles with you on the trip, you can always buy sticks when you get there.
- Money. You will need to tip your guides and porters at the end. Make sure you bring enough for this. Also you may need some spending money when you get to Machu Picchu for souvenirs and such.
- Portable charger. There are no power outlets available on the trail. If you have electronics, a portable charger would be helpful.
Been on the Inca Trail? What else did you pack?