During my preparation for a trip to Peru there was one thing I was completely sure of – that I must limit my luggage to one large backpack, in which I can pack up to a maximum of 23 kg.
The situation is not easy, especially if you are going far into the unknown for several months, but like most things possible to do. 23 kg is quite heavy, but it was still necessary to make a smart selection of all things, and choose those which will be the most important and the most useful during my trip.
Good packing, how to start?
In my case before packing I decided to do some extra preparation:
- I made a packing list of the necessary things
- I asked some friends who have been in South America before what they took with them for the trip, what they did not need, what they need the most, what I can buy there, what definitely not
- I made an internet search about the topic
- I bought and collected all the things necessary for my trip in one place
And finally, after all these consultations, richer in knowledge, and after doing shopping I started to do the least enjoyable activity for me – packing. I love to travel, but somehow I am not big fan of packing. If I have to do it, I wait until the last minute, and I hope that someone will do it for me. So far my hope ends every time and always I have to stand face to face with this little ungrateful task. Fortunately I am always efficient and it finishes with a happy ending :-).
List of so called essentials things – what exactly should you take to Peru?
My personal Packing List Peru
This packing list is almost identical for men and for women, minus the typical woman equipment :-), which not necessary are for the men. This packing list will help especially for all of you who would like to travel to Peru or other South American countries for more than some weeks, and who love to do a lot of trekking and even mountaineering.
- Trekking shoes (If you are planning to do a lot of trekking, you should have the shoes protecting the ankle. I personally have had and still have from more than 2 years Meindl LADY AIR REVOLUTION 5.3 trekking shoes. They are perfect in Peruvian climate and environment. You can also reach in them some snow-capped peaks. These shoes are multifunctional, very comfortable, waterproof and you can use them both in warm and in cold climate. More parameters about this model of boots can be read on the official site of Meindl).
- Sandals, which in the case of rain, you can use as a substitute shoes (Ideal alternative to trekking boots on very warm days, especially on a stroll through the city)
- Slippers for the shower
- 1-2 pairs of trekking trousers, lightweight, quick-drying (one of them can be with the option of zipping off to shorter versions)
- 4-5 pairs of socks, 3 of the typical for trekking (I have all socks of Smartwool and just love them. They are very comfortable, warm, the feet do not sweat in them so much like in others)
- 4-5 pairs of black cotton underwear (one color is the best, because as we begin to wash it with other things, at least they will not dye). If you are planning to do trekking, it is better to have 5 pairs of socks and underwear, but if you are not planning to do long trekking, 3-4 will be enough. You can always wash it in the city).
- 1 bra + 1 sport bra
- 4 t-shirts
- 2 T-shirts with long sleeves (one thinner and one thicker)
- 1 or 2 pairs of leggings (then you will need only one trekking pants)11. Polar (I have Polartec Thermal Pro fleece PATAGONIA WOMEN’S FLEECE HOODY R3® – perfect for chilly evenings, very warm and comfortable)
- Jacket on a cold evenings and nights (I have extremely light down jacket from down Mammut Eigerjoch Jacket Men – perfect for long trips, very warm – even till – 10 degrees, comfortable, you can pack it in a small bag. I use it also on alpine expeditions)
- Warm thermal underwear – up and down (I have very warm underwear of KWARK company. I recommend it a lot, as well as the company. I chose Women’s blouse Power Stretch Pro (080300) and Leggings Power Stretch Pro (087101). The company sews costumes for clients, and sewed also for me. Thanks to this the costume fits my figure perfectly. I also chose the colour of the polartec and the thread. I also wanted to have longer sleeves with longer back, they made these changes for me too. They did it’s very fast, and they were very helpful. I can highly recommend this company)
- Hat and gloves protecting from the wind
- Sun Hat
- Swimming suit
- Poncho / raincoat – light but strong (I personally recommend a rain jacket, because it is more convenient, stronger. I have Marmont jacket – Speed light Jacket 3-layer GORE-TEX® and the pants – Arcteryx Men´s Beta AR Pant. I use them both in the rainy season and during climbing high mountains).
- Microfiber towels (1 bigger – for the body and 1 smaller – for the face)
- A sleeping bag (I have a sleeping bag It works very well till -10 degrees. I’m taking it on the climbing expeditions).
- Mosquito net (if you plan to visit the jungle)
- Ear plugs
- Electricity adapter
- Small backpack (light in which it will be possible to pack things for 1 – 2 days of trekking)
- The waterproof bag for the most important things
- Wipes hygiene and moisturizing
- Flashlight and batteries
- Notes and pen
- Duct tape
- Cup, fork, knife, tablespoon
- Repair Kit: needle, thread, a pair of buttons
- Netbook and charger for netbook
- Mp3 player and charger to the player
- The phone and phone charger
- The camera, charger, cable to transfer pictures and two memory cards
- External Drive
- Plug contact (International)
- Wallet (small, soft)
BEAUTICIAN (a lot can be bought in Peru)
- Gel / soap to wash
- Shampoo with conditioner – a small bottle
- Toothpaste – a large tube (in Peru somehow I did not find a toothpaste that would suit me. So, if you have your favorite one, pack a greater quantity)
- Dental floss
- The razor
- Sunscreen with a big filter minimum 50 (the sun in Peru, and certainly in the Andes is very, very sharp. Remember to lubricate every 2 hours, if not you can have serious problems. Of course, a lot depends on the skin, but if you have sensitive skin, remember about these principles)
- Small mirror
- Sanitary towels, tampons
- Small Hand Cream
- Manicure Instruments if you use
- Vaccination book
- Airline tickets, reservation number and the number to the office
- Credit card
- Color Photocopy (2 pieces) of: passport, vaccinations book, insurance
- Pocket money ($ 100 just in case)
In the article “Things worth to do before the trip to Peru” you will find some advices what you should do before going to Peru. These advices are useful also in any other journey you are planning (not only to Peru), especially if it will be a longer one.