In just under two weeks, my boyfriend and I will be embarking on a 16 hour journey across the world to Peru, home of the famous Inca Trail and one of the Seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. I am unbelievably excited (and have been since I booked it in January) but so curious as to whether the reality is going to be like I’m imagining. We have booked our trip with G Adventures, who seem like one of the best in the business and also believe in sustainable travel, so at least morally I’m covered. As well as being excited, i’m also a bit nervous as i’m not quite sure what to expect. I am probably most concerned about our second day of hiking the trail, which covers dead woman’s pass, which I have heard is the hardest part of the trek. I am also excited to experience the Peruvian culture as I have never been before and South America has always interested me.
So, this post is about how I have prepared for it so far, what I am going to take and what I’m expecting. I feel as though I have read up quite a lot on what I need to take with me, but obviously everybody is different and will have unique experiences. Therefore, I think it will be really interesting to read back over this post when I’ve completed the trail, and see what I did ‘right’ and what I did ‘wrong’ – for example, pack unnecessary items or leave essential ones behind.
In terms of physically prepping I have been trying to maintain my fitness level, which is not of the highest standard, but I like to believe that it’ adequate (let’s hope anyway). Additionally, my boyfriend and I have done several day hikes in the ‘mountains’ near where we live, and we also recently conquered the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. Although I’m sure the Inca Trail will be harder due to the altitude, it at least gave us a taste of hiking with day packs on and for several hours at a time.
In terms of what I am going to take with me, obviously the main components are hiking gear. I have bought myself the Berghaus Arrow 30 Rucksack, due to the fact that it has side compartments and so it will be easier to find things on the trek rather than having to search though my entire bag all the time. It is also fitted with a hydration system so I sip on water throughout the day without having to carry a water bottle. I have also purchased some zip-off walking trousers as I have heard that the weather can change very quickly and so it will be easy to swap from shorts to trousers and vice-versa whilst on the go. I have decided to take walking shoes instead of walking boots as they are lighter in weight and so will be less of a burden in the high altitude.
My packing list so far (as suggested on G Adventures website)
Vouchers and pre-departure information
Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
Thermal base layer
Sleepwear – thermals as the temperature drops at night
Windproof rain jacket
Small travel towel
Reusable water bottle
Watch and alarm clock
Cash, credit and debit cards
First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent)
I will also be hiring a sleeping mat, sleeping bag and walking poles once I have arrived in Cuzco. Again, I am so incredibly excited and will be writing blog posts aplenty about it when I return. Wish me luck!
Have any of you ever done the Inca Trail? Do you have any useful tips before I go?