Packing List for
This Machu Picchu Packing List was prepared by expert mountain guide Glen Young.
You will need to have a passport to travel internationally.
· You will get a visa upon entry. There is no cost as a US citizen.
Personal Spending Money
· You will need at least $500 USD for the trek in case of emergencies, to purchase snacks & souvenirs, and for a suggested tip of $30 per day.
Trekking Pack (can double as a day pack)
· 35-65 Liters
· A pocket for a hydration bladder (camel back) is helpful
· Deuter, Black Diamond, Arcteryx, Osprey, Mammut
· Should have a good waist-belt for carrying a small load
Duffel Bag/Luggage Bag
· 80-110 Liter
· Made from water repellant fabric is helpful, but not necessary
· Shoulder straps helpful, but not necessary
· Marmot, Gregory, North Face duffel or standard luggage bag
· Will be used to store clothing and equipment in Cusco that you do not need
for the trek.
· One waterproof pack cover big enough to fit over your backpack when it is full
· Two contractor bags (stronger than trash bags) to further
waterproof your gear inside backpack.
· 2 to 4 Liter capacity
· MSR makes very durable and light water bladders as well as hydration hoses that
attach to these bladders (sold separately).
· Will be used while trekking to maintain proper hydration
· These may freeze at higher elevations, making it preferable to use Nalgene-type water bottles when temperatures are low in the morning.
· 1 liter or greater capacity
· Weight matters less than durability/seal
Kleen Kanteen or Nalgene waterbottles (3)
· One liter capacity
· For most portions of our hike, it is advised to carry three liters of water.
This can be accomplished by using a 2 L hydration bladder or a water bottle.
· Stainless steel or Hard plastic water bottles
Will also be used as hot water bottles to be placed in your sleeping bag at night.
· 800 fill down bag rated to 0 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
· Should not be too large, as this will allow cold air to circulate around your body
· Marmot, Northface, Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends
Compression Stuff Sack
· Light weight, waterproof, compressible stuff sack for sleeping bag
· Outdoor Research, Sea to Summit
Machu Picchu Packing List for the Inca Trail
· Packable, light colored, with a dark under-brim is best, but any will work
· Outdoor Research (OR)
· Fleece, wool, or synthetic.
· Be sure it covers ears well, and will not easily blow away.
Silk/Nylon Neck Gaiter
· A tube of fabric with open ends.
· Light color
· Will be used as a light-weight balaclava, for keeping dust out of nasal passages and for sun protection
· Bright, spot-light setting, and low, economy setting
· LED is longer lasting than halogen
· Black Diamond, Petzl, Mammut
Batteries (2 sets for headlamp, 3 sets for camera)
· Lithium will give you longer lasting performance in cold temperatures. Be sure they are compatible with your headlamp, and bring two sets. Don’t forget extra camera batteries! I recommend 3 to 4 camera batteries, depending on how much you shoot.
· Full UV protection
· Dark, mirrored lenses preferred
· Julbo (brand)
Gloves (1 pair)
· Windstopper fleece and waterproof
· Black Diamond, Outdoor Research
Trekking shoes/Hiking boots
· Sticky rubber sole that works well on rock is nice, but not necessary
· Comfortable for the trek (more than 30 miles)
· Comfort is the number one priority. Stiff, heavy backpacking boots are not
necessary with the light loads we will be carrying.
· Trail runners are OK if you are comfortable using them while carrying a small pack on broken terrain. Goretex is best for added warmth and waterproofing.
· High tops or incorporated gaiters are nice if snow is encountered along the route.
· 2-4 pairs of mid-weight hiking socks (wool) to be used while hiking.
· 1 pair of heavy-weight mountaineering socks for sleeping
· 2-4 pairs of liner socks (optional) for those who have problems with blisters
· Smartwool, Bridgedale
· 2-4 synthetic t-shirts (running shirts work great).
· A light color is good for reflecting the sun, but not essential.
· As light weight and packable as possible
· One shirt can be used as a towel after showering
· Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Marmot, Adidas
Long underwear tops (2)
· One medium weight, one expedition weight
· Light color is good, but not essential
· Synthetic or wool
· Will be used for layering, as well as for an outer layer while trekking
Loose fitting long-sleeve button-up shirt (optional)
· The purpose of this shirt is to protect us from the sun.
· The secondary purpose is to give us a “town shirt”
· Should be a light color and cool. Cotton is fine.
· To be used as a highly breathable but warm layer when hiking up snow covered terrain
Synthetic fill or down jacket/sweater
· A hood is a big plus, but not essential
· To be used as part of your layering system when temperatures are just above freezing, but don’t warrant using a warmer coat
· Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Rab
Down Vest (optional)
· Used as an additional layer for those who get cold easily
· Best if can compress into a small stuff sack
· Pac-lite Gore-tex, e-vent, or another light-weight waterproof/breathable fabric
· Chest pocket is nice to have so you have pocket access while wearing your pack
Choose light weight over heavy (often more expensive) alternatives
· Be sure the jacket is roomy enough to accommodate several layers underneath
· If the jacket is not new, use Nikwax or a similar product to renew the waterproofing.
· This jacket will be used to shed snow, wind, and light rain.
· Mountain Hardware, North Face, Outdoor Research, Helly Hensen, Millet,
Mammut, Arcteryx, Rab
· Small, light, and cheap. If the poncho is a “one time use” product, bring two.
· Plastic/PVC/silicone impregnated nylon
· Do not bring heavy rubber ponchos
· This may not get style points in drizzly places like Seattle, but in places where rain means drops the size of ping-pong balls, this is the only thing other than a roof that will keep you dry.
Underwear (2-4 pr.)
· Some men (and women too) opt not to wear underwear. Bring at least one pair for times of gastro-intestinal distress.
· Synthetic, fast drying, with few seams to prevent chafing.
· Women may want to bring more
Long John Bottoms (1)
· One pair medium weight
· Synthetic or wool
· Should be able to be used for hiking
· Light weight, packable
· Synthetic and fast drying
· Light weight and packable
· Cargo pocket with a zipper is a plus
· Nylon canvass or other synthetic material
· Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Research, Millet, Arcteryx
· Used for sleeping, or for adding an extra layer under overpants on particularly cold days
· Goretex, e-vent, or another waterproof, breathable fabric
· Side zips
· At least one pocket is helpful for storing camera, sun screen, or snacks
· Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research, Arcteryx, Patagonia
Machu Picchu Packing List for the Inca Trail
· Simple, small, and durable
· Pliers, a knife blade, and screw-drivers are handy
· The knife can be used for food prep, and the screw-driver for fixing trekking poles
· These are knee saving, and excellent for the approach
· Black Diamond Expedition Ski Pole
Personal medical kit and Self-Care
Eyeglass case or similar hard case
· This is used to store your medications and prevent pills from being crushed after
they are packed tight in your pack
· 2, one gallon bags
· 2, one quart bags
· Will be used for organizing and waterproofing
· Supplements, pain relief, loperamide, pepto
· Diamox/Acetazolomide– this is a sulfa-based drug and interacts with aspirin and many sedatives.
· Personal medications in a 14 day supply (14 days to account for flight time and
any unforeseen extensions)
· WARNING: If you generally take sleeping pills/sedatives, please consult your doctor. Some of these medications interact dangerously with medications such as acetazolomide which are used to help speed the process of acclimatization, and some may slow acclimatization even in the absence of other medications.
Iodine (30 gram/3oz bottle)
· An eye-drop bottle of iodine.
· Used for wound care and water purification.
· Bring contacts, cleaning solution, or eye glasses as needed
· Duct tape (small roll)
· Second Skin (one package)
· Mole skin (one package)
· Band aids (a variety of sizes)
· Antibiotic ointment (one tube)
· Cloth tape (one roll)
· Trauma shears for cutting tape
· If you have a history of ankle or knee pain- even if it is not current- please bring a brace
· Ace wraps are an excellent back-up in case anything unpredicted happens.
Oral thermometer (optional)
· This can help determine if you have a bacterial infection and its severity.
Toe nail clippers
Bar soap/liquid soap/handi wipes
· A 10 oz bottle is enough for the amount of skin that will be exposed.
· If you prefer a particular brand/type, bring it.
Lip balm (2)
· Should have sun protection
Tooth brush and Paste
Feminine hygiene supplies
· Bring supplies for the 2 week long trip, plus a little extra (works great for
wound care too).
· If you bring disposable supplies, tin foil works well to wrap-up the waste and then place it in a plastic bag until the next available trash receptacle. Just remember to bring tin foil and extra zip-locks.
· If you use a reusable device like a diva-cup, be sure you are able to wash your hands and supplies with filtered, boiled water. It can be a little more time intensive, but easy to do with the resources available.
Personal Grooming Supplies
· Hair-brush etc.
Water Filter (optional)
Toilet Paper (1 roll)
· An extra lighter or box of matches for burning toilet paper if you have to go while on the trail. To be placed in a plastic bag with a roll of TP and hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer (1 bottle)
· To be used before every meal, and after every bathroom stop.
Wet Wipes (1 box)
· For ‘wet-wipe baths’ before bed, cleaning of feet, and other self-care functions.
Duffel Bag locks/keys (2)
· Can be used if you want to make sure your gear that is stored in Cusco is safe also at the airports.
These are optional items that others have found useful.
International plug adapter kit.
· Lithium batteries last longer in cold weather, but even lithiums don’t last as long as they do in warmer climates at lower elevation
Digital Camera Batteries
Extra Camera Memory Card
Battery bank for cell phones
These might seem like an arbitrary addition, but due to the affects of high altitude, exertion, a new diet, and intestinal illness, these can be a saving grace. When selecting foods, keep this in mind: You will be somewhat dehydrated, and at altitude your body has difficulty digesting fat and fiber. Citrus tasting, salty, and sweet foods are high on the list of cravings- as are crunchy foods for reasons we haven’t quite figured out.
· Please repackage your snacks in bags that are unlikely to result in spilled food.
Sports drink powders
· Poweraid powder, Gaiteraid powder
· Getting enough digestible protein into you is tough. Even tougher for vegetarians.
It’s helpful if you are able to eat eggs.
· For non-vegetarians, I recommend bringing Beef jerky
· Eggs, cheese, and other dairy will be in daily meals if requested
· For vegans, lentils are in no short supply. But other sources of vegetable protein are scarce. You will want to bring your own stash if you have a favorite (nut butters for instance).
· If you are not strictly vegetarian, and are willing to eat gummy bears, you have found a decent source of protein that you will likely crave. Gelatin is high in the essential amino acids (and delicious in bear form).
· Peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed butters
· Choose a bar that you think you could eat while you are on mile fifteen of a marathon. Bars that are oily or fibrous tend to be difficult for the body to handle at altitude.
We will provide all meals. However, we don’t have all your favorite foods on hand. To help you get the nutrition you crave, you are welcome to bring your favorites with you:
· Rice-noodle based stir-fry and soup dishes- like Taste of Thai.
· Unsulfated dry mangoes
· Salted Nuts
· Tamari almonds
· Beef Jerky
· Whole-wheat pretzels
· Sour patch kids
· Gummy bears
· Black licorice
· Unsulfated dried figs, peaches, pears, apricots
· Chocolate covered expresso beans
· Bagel chips
· Dehydrated vegetables
· Vegetable chips
· Home-made cookies
· Home-made granoloa bars
· Organic soup mix/miso soup
· Baked pita chips
· Dried Edemame
· Cake mix in a box
· Brownie mix in a box
· Jello cheese cake mix
· Muslei cereal
· Sundried tomatoes
· Pine nuts
· Cous cous
Foods available in Cusco (we will have time to purchase these at a store before we leave):
· Dark and milk chocolate bars
· Candy bars
· Pringles chips
· Flavored crackers (salty crackers are usually craved more than sweet varieties)
· Cookies/sweet crackers
· Trail mix with dried fruit and coconut
· Hot chocolate
· Flavored Juice drinks
· Glucose drink powder
· Ramen noodles