Once your Inka trail is booked, packing for the trek may be challenging. We are here to help you out, give you all necessary and best information and feel prepared for the trek. As long as there are so much information which you may find unnecessary or tiring, after comprehensive search and years of experience we carefully prepared for you a packing list to be fully ready for Inka Trail.
This trek takes you over stunning paths of massive stones with ancient locals made stairs in the steeper parts, going through valleys, high passes and tunnels. You will cross by mountain range for you to experience the magic hint of the Machu Picchu citadel below.
We are happy you chosen Inka Trail with Tour in Peru to escape your life for few days to experience the magic and mystic trek.
Clothing packing list for the Inka Trail
The key to pack clothes and all the rest staff for the Inka Trail is to pack a variety of conditions while keeping the weight to minimum, it is very important, because in a high altitude every kilogram feels much heavier than really is.During the days you will deal with the intense of the heat and the cold mountain nights spent on the Inka Trail. Best way to deal with weather differences is to dress using few layers of clothing.
Underwear and base layers for Inka Trail Packing list
Very important to keep warm and dry from the first layer of your clothing. Pack a pear for each day and two extra in case. Base layer underwear and clothing will save you from cold nights and chilly mornings at the camping.Pack at least one to make sure you going to have a comfortable and warm night sleep.
For woman we advise take at least two pairs of sport bras for your comfort.
Comfortable Trousers and shorts for trekking the Inka Trail
Pack 1 or 2 pairs of most comfortable trousers you have, hiking ones are ideal, but what is most comfortable for you is more important! Woman may pack yoga pants if they feel more comfortable with those.
Also pack one pair of trekking shorts, or same-comfortable option for you. Days may get pretty sunny and hot and you may want have a nice tan, and feel more fresh.
Long/short sleeves to pack for Inka Trail
On a colder parts of the Inka Trail you should add on your packing one lightweight fleece jacket. The Polarity materials are great, as its light and keeps you warm without feeling uncomfortable. Avoid cotton materials for any clothing, as it takes longer to get dry. Also one long sleeve shirt it’s a great staff for the chilly mornings, you don’t want to ruin your mood being cold first from early morning!
On a safe side and if there is still space left in your bag you should also have a water-resistant and wind proof jacket. But option is have one jacket for all situations. Don’t pack winter jacket for Inka Trail, but make sure it still will keep you warm and secure. In addition to your water-resist jacket we recommend below taking a poncho or rain gear.
Packing shirts we recommend to have 3 or 4 short sleeve shirt. One shirt per day is enough, and have one clean one for the night at camping for your comfort and better rest. Do not choose heavy fabrics like cotton, make sure the fabric is breathable, lightweight and quick-drying.
In the end you can never predict 100% what weather is going to while you on Inka Trail. Poncho is good just in case rain would appear, and it’s always better be prepared. One of the biggest benefits is lightweight and compact, it won’t take much space in your whole packing for Inka Trail, and you won’t feel the weight, but if rain comes, you will win a lot! Dry body and your backpack.
The best rain poncho is not only waterproof, it should be also breathable, the material should be strong enough to withstand some rough conditions like trekking through jungle, for that nylon is ideal.
Packing list for hands and walking on Inka Trail
We would like strongly recommend two mandatory items for you which may safe your trek, these are for your hands and help for legs.
First for your hands-waterproof, lightweight gloves. On the Inka Trail you are not going to experience blazing cold environments that require seriously protected, heavy gloves, but you will likely appreciate it on the higher passes and in the mornings and evenings. A pair of lightweight, breathable and waterproof gloves what a built for trekking will provide you some warmth in cool environments.
The second item we also highly recommend is trekking/walking poles. These are very essential tool for hiking the 4 days Inka Trail. You will be trekking along rolling landscape for up to 5-6 hours per day for 4 days. Your leg joints, knees will be thankful, especially if you had or have some issues with those parts. Studies have shown that walking poles reduce muscle wear and knee strain and also helps a lot with balance. There are some very steep parts on Inka Trail and those may help you out a lot.
Your trekking poles firstly should be eco-friendly! Without needle in a bottom, as those damages the surface along the Inka Trail. Choose lightweight, adjustable, aluminum or carbon-fiber with a water-resistance grip (cork is most durable).
You can bring your walking poles or choose rental option.
Prepare your footwear for the Inka trail
What footwear you are wearing on Inka Trail is one of the most important pieces of gear in your packing list. The right pair will help you glide down the trail with a smile on your face, while poor-quality shoes will have. You gritting your teeth with every step. Do not start your trek with brand new boots that you haven’t worn before the trek-it may cause you uncomfortable blisters and sore feet!
When it comes to selecting the shoe for you, the points of selecting shouldn’t be how it looks, numerical sizes or flashy features. The issues you should consider are comfort, durability,stability,weight,warmth, and water resistance. Most important thing in getting footwear for trekking is to get a good fit, with a snug fit at the heel and wiggling room for your toes in front.
To test good fit in your boot or any should you choose for Inka Trail, place your finger inside the boot with a sock on. Push your foot all the way forward. Take you index finger and insert it between your heal and the back of the boot. A perfect fit if your finger sits softly in this gap, if not the boot is too small for trek.
After hours trekking during the day, your feel deserved some rest, but don’t forget you are still on the trek, so trekking sandals would be ideal to free and air your feet. It’s better if you would pack basic trekking sandals that you could slip into with socks, that way you will stay comfortable and warm.
If you don’t feel like taking trekking boots and you feel more comfortable in running shoes, that is not a problem, but keep in mind if you have weak ankle, better have support for it during the trek, or choose running shoes with the ankle support. As a recommendation, take some paper or newspaper to dry your shoes in case. Paper absorbs very well the moisture.
Head gear packing list
During the on Inka Trail days will get pretty hot and sunny, it is very important to protect your head and face, as sun is much stronger in higher altitude than normal, and even its a bit cloudy, sun still can hit you strong. So we recommend you to add a sun hat or headband which you can also use for sleep in a camping.
Sunglasses are very useful on the Inka Trail too to protect your eyes from strong sun and be more focus on the trek then on avoiding it.
You must have sunscreen and lip balm with SPF protection.
A very useful thing to add in your Inka Trail packing list. Headlamp or torch will be used in and around the camp when it will get dark, and you can easily move around. In case you arriving later to the campsite it’s a great back up to have!
Trekking bag and day packs on Inka Trail
Trekking bag size depends on if you are hiring a support for your other items, like sleeping bag, extra clothes and other camping materials.
It is recommended to hire a porter who will carry up to 7kg of your belongings. Keep in mind that items useful during the day (information below) will be with you in your day pack, and extra which porter carries you will be able to access in the end of the day, as supporters are in front of you to prepare the campsite before you arrive.
When you arrive in Cusco, it’s advisable separate your none trekking gear and leave it safe in a hotel until you will be able pick it up after your trek.
The ideal size backpack for the Inka Trail is a 30-35L lightweight pack. These can carry around 10kg, if you will hike without porters support, then choose bigger bag 40-50L. It’s ideal if your bag is waterproof if not don’t forget your rain gear or poncho.
Choose a most comfortable bag with well-padded shoulder straps and hip belt which will regulate the weight on your body you will carry.
Day pack for Inka Trail
During the day you will experience different temperatures and landscapes it is important to carry most necessary items in your day pack for you to refresh yourself quickly or take a moment and take pictures of stunning views. Below we give you short day pack list which should help you out:
*Passport- you will need it to check in at the Inka Trail entrance
*Cash- have cash to tip porters and guides, you will also need cash to pay for some of the toilets on the Inka Trail.
*Sun cream, lipstick with SPF
*Insect Repellent (make sure to get a reliable one that has a high Deet content at least 90%)
*Dry plastic bags
*Water bottle-you must keep well hydrated during the Inka Trail. Water is supplied by trekking crew at the beginning of each day, and we would kindly ask you use the reusable water bottle. As water on the way it’s expensive and prevents an unnecessary waste and pollution on the Trail.
*Snacks- energy bars, chocolate, mix nuts or what you like and what gives you energy!
A good quality and warm sleeping bag is a must on the Inka Trail. We will try to provide the most necessary information for you to look for in a sleeping bag which suits you best.
You can rent a sleeping bag in Cusco, but we advise you to bring your own, as rented sleeping bag may not be a great quality or have questionable standards of hygiene.
In case you are about to rent the sleeping bag for the Inka Trail it worth to bring along a sleeping bag liner, for extra insulation and hygiene.
Duck or goose down sleeping bags are lighter, warmer and better quality.
Synthetic sleeping bags are also good quality but be careful choosing one, it may weight more for lower temperatures.
Obviously first option sleeping bags are more expensive, think how often you going to use it after, then we recommend would get a better quality sleeping bag for future hikes. If Inka Trail is only one hike in a high altitude on your plans, then a good synthetic one will suffice perfectly.
Depending on season, nights can get pretty cold on the Inka Trail. We recommend a four season bag for all year round for rating of -10C°.
As you or your porter will be carrying your sleeping bag as lighter as better. Try get sleeping bag weight no more than 2 or 2, 5 kg.
Best sleeping bag shape called “mummy shape” sleeping bag, it will cover whole body including head, and also zipper s from both sides are advisable.
Ear plugs and inflatable pillow
These items are only for your comfort, there is always a possibility that your neighbor in next tent may snore loud and you are a sensitive sleeper.
Optional extras for the Inka Trail
Here we provide you few extras which are optional on your needs, just a tips in case you would think these are things would help you enjoy more the Inka Trail
*flip-flops- useful in a shower
*binoculars-should be small and lightweight
*universal or S. American plug adaptor
*Spanish or Quechua dictionary
*maps and tour guide books
*playing cards, journal and pen, reading materials.
*multi-voltage external battery pack
*lighted travel-size mirror
*First aid- Up to your needs if you have any issues with your health. Basic first aid kid with plasters, black charcoal capsules first help for your stomach, aspirin and pain killers may be useful.
What to avoid to bring for Inka Trail
Sometimes with all the packing craziness for Inka Trail you can pack things you won’t need, and we are here just to remind you about items probably won’t be used on the rail.
Avoid to pack too much clothes, follow the clothing packing list for Inka Trail, too much will waste space in your bag and brings extra weight for you or your porter. Don’t wear or take with you jeweler or as much as its on you only.
Now after many Inka Trails were done, we heard that camera cases takes lots of space, so it’s an advice to leave it in your suitcase in a hotel and have camera close with you.
Hair Dryer or your iPad, things will take lots of space, and you won’t use it probably.
Stay healthy while traveling Inka Trail
To start Inka Trail you first will visit Cusco, city in 3.400 m above sea level. Once you are in a city you are likely to find yourself struggling on walking up the hill or stairs to the first point to you accommodation. For this reason it’s recommended you give yourself time to acclimatize to the thin mountain air before you start the Inka Trail.
One of the most common ways to combat altitude sickness in Peru is by chewing cocoa leaves. Cocoa leaves are easily obtainable and considered as best treatment for altitude sickness.
Make sure you are hydrated properly, avoid alcohol before your trek, eat small portion and avoid spicy food, get properly rest and you will be fully prepared for the Inka Trail!