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 a maximum of 23 kg. Packing can be a complicated task, especially if you are venturing into far unknowns for several months. But, like most things, it is definitely doable – and this article is here to help.
23 kg is quite a lot, but it was still necessary for me to make smart decisions – choosing only those which would be of importance and utility during my trip.
How to start with packing?
In my case, before packing I decided to do some extra preparation:
- I made a packing list of all the necessary items
- I asked friends who had been to South America about what they took on their trips; what they did not need; what they needed the most; what could be bought in South America, and what definitely could not be.
- I conducted internet research on the topic
- I bought and collected all the things necessary for my trip in one place
Having completed these tasks, I was richer in knowledge and able to commence with the necessary shopping and packing for my trip. I love traveling, but am not a big fan of packing. Whenever I do have to pack, I always leave it to the last minute – in the hope that someone else or a magic elf, does it for me. So far, however, this hope ends unmet each time, leaving me to face this unpleasant task on my own. Fortunately, I am an efficient packer so it finishes with a happy ending :-).
List of essentials – what exactly should you take to Peru?
My personal Packing List for Peru
This packing list for men and women is almost identical, minus the typical equipment that females require that men do not. This packing list will those of you who want to travel to Peru or other South American countries for more than just a few weeks, and who love to do a lot of trekking and mountaineering.
- Trekking shoes (If you are planning to do a lot of trekking, you should have shoes that protect the ankle. For over two years, I have frequently used my Meindl LADY AIR REVOLUTION 5.3 trekking shoes. They are perfect in the Peruvian climate and environment. You can also use them to reach some them some snow-capped peaks. These shoes are multifunctional, very comfortable, waterproof and can be used in both warm and cold climates. You can find out more about these boots 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 showers
- 1-2 pairs of trekking trousers, lightweight, quick-drying (it is preferable if one of them has the option o be converted into shorts).
- 4-5 pairs of socks, 3 of which should be suitable for trekking (I have Smartwool and just love them – they are very comfortable, warm, and prevent my feet from sweating).
- 4-5 pairs of black cotton underwear (having only one color is best, as when you begin to wash it with other things, they will not become dyed). If you plan on trekking, it is best to have 5 pairs of socks and underwear; but if not, 3-4 pairs will be enough as you can always wash them in the city.
- 1 bra + 1 sport bra
- 4 t-shirts
- 2 t-shirts with long sleeves (one thin and one thick)
- 1 or 2 pairs of leggings (in this case you will only need one pair of trekking pants). I have the Polartec Thermal Pro fleece PATAGONIA WOMEN’S FLEECE HOODY R3® – perfect for chilly evenings as they are very warm and comfortable.
- Jacket for cold evenings and nights (I have an extremely light down jacket from down Mammut Eigerjoch Jacket Men – perfect for long trips, keeps me warm and can be packed into a small bag)
- Warm thermal underwear – up and down (I have very warm underwear from KWARK, a brand I highly recommend. I personally opted for Women’s blouse Power Stretch Pro (080300) and Leggings Power Stretch Pro (087101). The company sews costumes for clients, as they did for me. Therefore, the costume fits my figure perfectly; and I was also able to choose the colour and thread. Having received the item, I wanted to have the sleeves and back made longer. The company made these changes for me very quickly and helpfully. Therefore, I highly recommend this company).
- Winter hat and gloves
- Sun hat
- Swimming suit
- Poncho/raincoat that is light but strong (I personally recommend a rain jacket, because it is more convenient and resistant. I have the 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 big- for the body, 1 small – for the face)
- A sleeping bag (I have a sleeping bag which works very well till -10*C, which I take on climbing expeditions)
- Mosquito net (if you plan to visit the jungle)
- Ear plugs
- Electricity adapter
- Small backpack (in which you should be able to pack things for 1-2 days of trekking)
- Waterproof bag (dry 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 netbook
- Mp3 player and charger
- Phone and charger
- Camera, charger, cable to transfer pictures and two memory cards
- External Drive
- Adaptor (International)
- Wallet (small, soft)
BEAUTY PRODUCTS (most can be bought in Peru)
- Gel / soap to wash
- Shampoo with conditioner – a small bottle
- Toothpaste – a large tube
- Dental floss
- Sunscreen that is at least 50SPF (the sun in Peru, especially in the Andes, is very strong. Remember to lubricate every 2 hours, or else you put yourself at risk, especially if you have sensitive skin.)
- Small mirror
- Sanitary towels, tampons
- Small hand cream
- Manicure instruments (if you use them)
- Vaccination book
- Airline tickets and reservation number
- Travel insurance documentation
- Credit card
- Color photocopy (2 pieces) of passport and vaccination book
- Emergency pocket money ($100)
In the article, things worth doing before your trip to Peru, you will find some advice on what you should do before coming to Peru. This advice is also useful towards any other long-term journey you are planning useful also in any other journey you are planning (not only to Peru).