Here we go – we’re off to Peru! I guess we’re as prepared as we think we’ll be! I spent all of February and part of March gathering gear and clothing for our upcoming trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. Finding existing packing lists of previous Inca Trail hikers and recommendations from friends really helped me gather everything I could possibly need to feel prepared. Preparing and shopping is one of my favorite parts about traveling, but also the most expensive! And yes, I tend to over pack. I used REI’s gear list as a concrete guide for what I will need and added a few additions from friends based on their personal experiences. Here is a final roundup for a one week packing list for both the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the rest of the trip in Cusco, Peru. I will be doing a review and budgeting post upon my return so you can better prepare for Peru too!
Packing List: 4-Day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
- Backpack: Osprey Kestrel 38 is what I will be carrying during the hike. Mike will be using his Osprey Aether 60 which is much bigger.
- Sleeping bag: (not pictured) Rented from Llama Path
- Sleeping pad: These lightweight self-inflating sleeping pads will provide much more comfort after a long day of hiking.
- Sleeping bag liner: Since we are renting sleeping bags from the tour company, I felt comfortable with a liner to take with us.
- Trekking poles: These are not pictured since we are renting them from Llama Path.
- Hiking Pants: 2 pairs both water resistant. 1 pair converts into shorts.
- Base Layers: 1 Pair Fleece Lined Leggings + 1 Thermal Top
- 5 Shirts: 2 tanks + 1 shirt + 2 long sleeves
- 1 Fleece Sweater
- Rain jacket: waterproof and breathable
- Warm Jacket: An ultralight down jacket is great for packing and keeping warm – I got one from North Face.
- Poncho: REI had a $30 poncho that seems more durable than others and covers my backpack as well.
- Hiking Boots/Sneakers: Your boots should be broken in! I picked up a blister kit since my boots are broken in but I am prone to getting blisters.
- Casual socks: 1 pair
- Hiking socks: I brought 2 pairs of liner socks and 4 pairs of Smartwool hiking socks.
- Gaiters: This is optional, but with all the rain we are expecting these low gaiters will keep the inside of our shoes from getting drenched.
- All Weather Gloves: Make sure they are water-resistant and insulated – it’s also a good idea to get one’s that have good grip.
- Sunhat, Beanie & bandana
- Headlamp + extra batteries
- Underwear: 2 sport bras & underwear
Travel Pillow: I left my pillow on the plane 🙁
- Heavy duty trash bags: Use these to line your backpacks to keep contents dry and for your items the porter will carry.
- Toiletries: sunscreen, chapstick with SPF, 1 roll of toilet paper, baby/face wipes, hand sanitizer/wet ones, insect repellent 1 bottle, toothpaste, toothbrush, Diamox for altitude, water purification tablets, medicine for stomach issues, ibuprofen, tinted moisturizer with SPF, blister kit, earplugs, travel towel
- Water: This Osprey 2.5L Reservoir fits in my pack and my REI Flash 18 Pack which I like to use when traveling and we have a Platypus 1L Soft Bottle to mix gatorade powder in to replenish electrolytes and calories on the hike.
- Ziplocs: Perfect for keeping contents dry and separating wet/dirty clothes from the clean ones.
- Passport + Money: small bills for tipping the guides/porters and using the restrooms
- Camera +Phone
- Portable Battery Charger: This will charge 2 devices at the same time, allowing us to hopefully get some photos on the trail using our phones and GoPro.
- Newspaper: I picked one up at the airport to read on the long flight but this will be used to put in our shoes to dry them at night.
- Snacks & drinks: For energy we packed Chocolate, Gu Energy Gel, Gatorade powder, Clif Bars, Gu Brew Electrolyte Tablets
Packing List: Cusco, Peru
In addition to everything brought on the Inca Trail, the following is what I will leave in my suitcase and use while in Cusco. These combined will give you an idea for a week packing list for Cusco and the 4 day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.
- Suitcase: This is a small carry on size suitcase.
- Daypack: My daypack is great since it holds a change of clothes, wallet, accessories and my 2.5L water.
- 4 Shirts: 3 shirts + 1 long sleeve
- 2 Pairs Jeans
- Swim Suit
- Sunglasses (not pictured)
- Book + Journal
A few of the items included on these lists I was not so sure about, for example I was not sure if I would actually need my sneakers or travel pillow. But I decided to bring them out of comfort. Other things I did to prepare was get consistent exercise by going on several hikes, working out nearly each day and practicing carrying my backpack around.
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