Throwback Thursday: Packing for the Inca Trail

Last week I wrote a post for those of you thinking about trekking the Inca Trail.  Today’s post is for those of you getting serious about undertaking the adventure!

Depending on the company you trek with (we used and LOVED Alpaca Expeditions), you may or may not have a company-supplied bag to give some of your items to a porter, leaving you only with a daypack.  We had 7KG each of items we could give the porter, so we were really careful before we left about separating out items before we left the US so we wouldn’t have to deal with reshuffling items in Peru, or even worse, at the weigh in.


In fact, we went one step further and put individual outfits/days of clothes into gallon ziploc bags and sleeping clothes in another bag.  We put these ziplocs plus most of our toiletries, extra shoes, and headlamps into the porter’s bags.  The sleeping bags and air mats we rented and pillows we were loaned also went in the bag.


In our daypacks, we had raingear, cameras, bug repellent, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, toilet paper (in a small baggie), lip balm, passports, a small bit of money, a few energy bars, gloves, arm sleeves, and caps.  I very quickly figured out a system to tie my fleece jacket to the outside of my daypack so I could take it off and put it back on as the weather changed…which it did quite frequently.  I wore a 12L daypack (the bare minimum I’d recommend), and my husband wore a 30L pack.  Both had padded straps on the shoulders and chest & waist straps.

But here’s what you really came for…..

What do you need to pack for the trek?

  • 1-2 pair zip off/convertible hiking pants (I took 1, husband took 2)
  • 4 s/s shirts (tech fabric so they don’t get stinky)
  • 1 l/s shirt (to layer)
  • rain jacket/pants
  • waterproof gloves
  • arm sleeves (I wore mine, husband didn’t)
  • thin gloves
  • fleece jacket
  • PJs– fleece sweatpants, a l/s tee, clean/dry wool socks
  • fleece jacket
  • wool hat or beanie
  • sun cap
  • sunglasses
  • 4 pr good hiking socks
  • headlamp
  • hiking shoes
  • extra shoes (nice to have, but not totally necessary)- we wore keens around camp
  • bug repellent
  • sunscreen
  • toilet paper
  • hand sanitizer
  • lip balm

What you do NOT need to bring:

  • binoculars
  • clean pants for MP (I didn’t, husband did)
  • camelbak– refillable water bottle works just fine
  • excessive snacks– Alpaca gives you two each day.
  • camping towel (unless you plan to use the nasty showers on Day 3; I didn’t, husband did)

If you hike with Alpaca Expeditions, they provide:

  • sleeping bag liner
  • daypack rain cover
  • big poncho (we had rain jacket & pants so didn’t use this)
  • pillow
  • hand towel
  • portable toilet with tp

You can rent from Alpaca:

  • sleeping bags
  • air mat
  • hiking poles

Look how cozy he is!


If you take only ONE thing away from my review, please let it be this: RENT HIKING POLES.  You will be so.glad. you did.   If you have any fear of heights or exposure, hiking poles will really help you in the steep downhill sections of the trail (of which there are many).


I won’t even bother to tell you to have fun.  You’re going to love it.

Good health and great happiness to you!


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