Ultimate Female Packing List for the Inca Trail (+ What I Wish I Left Behind)

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I can’t believe it’s already been a couple of months since we were in Peru!

I decided for this round up I’d just write about the items I packed for Peru, but if you have questions about what Sam packed, just comment below!


THE ULTIMATE FEMALE PACKING LIST FOR THE INCA TRAIL, LARES TREK OR SALKANTAY TREK


Please note that the quantities are what I brought for a four day trek! Definitely adjust quantities (especially for clothing) based on the time you will be on your trek.

Clothing

1-2 Sports Bras

4 Pairs of Underwear

Lightweight, Water-Resistant Hiking Pants

1 Pair of Leggings - I saved these for my final day so I’d have semi-clean clothes in Machu Picchu. I also wore these to bed when I was freezing and desperate for an extra layer.

1 Long Underwear Set (Top and Bottom) - Amazing to sleep in and layer under other clothing.

3-4 Quick-Dry Shirts - I personally brought 1x long sleeve moisture wicking shirt and 3x short sleeve moisture wicking shirts.

2 Microfleece Sweaters

1 Lightweight Down Jacket - I didn’t bring this but I wished I had since we had such terrible weather!

1 Rain Jacket

1 Poncho - It sounds silly to pack this plus a rain jacket, but just trust me on this. It covers much more than a jacket would and if it’s raining out there you want any help you can get to stay dry and warm.

Beanie & *Two* Pairs of Lightweight Fleece Gloves or One Waterproof Pair of Gloves - Have I repeated enough about how cold it can get?? After almost freezing my hands off in a blizzard after my gloves were soaking wet from the rain earlier, I really wished I brought a second pair of gloves. Note: I suggest not wearing your gloves when it rains heavily, and saving them for when it is cold but dry in the mornings (or when absolutely desperate in a crazy snow storm)!

4 Pairs Trekking Socks - Invest in high quality, moisture wicking socks that suit the ankle of the shoe you are wearing.

1 Pair of Extra Warm Thermal Socks - I loved sleeping in these and changed into them right away after arriving at camp and cleaning up via wet wipes.

Sun Hat - This is perfect for sunny days but also for when your hair looks like you’ve been living out of your van.

Sunglasses - At high altitude (over 4,000 meters) UV rays are more intense and can be damaging to your eyes. I packed cheapo glasses just in case they got lost or wrecked and they did! Mine got crushed in my bag on Day 2 *insert sad emoji*

Waterproof Hiking Boots - Buying an amazing pair of Hiking Boots was hands down the best packing decision I made leading up to the trek! Read a more detailed review of my boots here.

Equipment

Day Pack - Ideally, the size should be between 20-28L if you have a porter to carry your camping equipment. Test out your pack well in advance of your trek. Does it have comfortable straps that fit your frame? Does it have good back ventilation? If not included, use a backpack cover to keep your belongings dry.

2L Water Bladder - I say two litres because, honestly, as important as it is to hydrate this stuff gets heavy. So it depends on how much you hydrate regularly. Luckily, my backpack came with a bladder built in so I didn’t have to worry about buying this separately.

Sleeping Bag - While you can rent sleeping bags from your trekking company, I wanted to bring my own just because. If you are trekking June-August it’s winter in Peru and it will get VERY COLD at nights in the mountains. Take the hit on weight in your duffle and make sure you have a bag that’s rated for -7 degrees Celsius, but ideally under 2kg.

Head Lamp - I highly recommend a head lamp instead of a flashlight since you will be hiking in the dark on Day 4.

Poles - You will be able to rent poles from your trekking company, but if you plan on doing lots of other treks than buying an adjustable carbon fibre pair that are going to be solid might be a good investment. Using trekking poles is pretty much a must-do on the Inca Trail, especially with such uneven ground and the thousands of steps up and down. They help with balance and can reduce impact on your joints by up to 25%!!

Toiletries

Toilet Paper - Lots of places in Peru won’t have toilet paper in the washroom, especially on any treks in the squat toilets! Bring at least enough toilet paper for the amount of days you will be trekking.

Small Pack Towel - Our guides gave us warm water (“Aguas Calientes”) each day when we arrived to camp to wash up. There is also an option to have a cold shower on Day 3 if you’re desperate.

Diamox (for altitude sickness)

Other Medications - Advil, Ginger Gravol and Immodium are the must haves for any trip.

Bug Spray - Look for high deet content.

Sunscreen - Trekking the Andes is not the time to get a California tan. Wear at least 30 SPF that’s oil free and sweat resistant.

Wet Wipes - These were the best thing to use to wash off sweat, dirt and grime after a day of trekking!

Hair Brush & Hair Elastics

Mini Deodorant

Mini Dry Shampoo

One Large Ziploc Bag for Garbage - Any waste you create on the trek you have to take with you!

Lip Chap

Contacts - Dailies made the process hassle free each day and my eyes were never dry!

Hand Sanitizer - For every gross toilet stop, before every meal, etc.

Mini Neosporin Spray - For any cuts & blisters along the way.

Blister Bandaids - Trekking 4-9 hours a day can result in some nasty blisters if your feet aren’t used to it. Note: please break in your shoes before doing your trek!

BB Cream & Waterproof Mascara - I didn’t bother wearing makeup until Day 4. This girl wanted photos where I wasn’t repulsive at Machu Picchu!

Extras

Cameras, Memory Cards & Batteries - We vlogged our trek with one Sony a7Rii and I shot much of our travels on 35mm film on a Canon EOS 1V. Packing the mirrorless camera was a great alternative to my DSLR because it’s massively lighter!

Gorilla Pod - great for time-lapse shots or slow shutter speed night shots.

Journal - Take the time to document this adventure, whether it’s via a vlog, photos, or journaling. You will forget the details so quickly and these memories will be some of your most cherished!

Small iPod & Headphones (+ the most pump-up motivational playlist you can find for Day 2).

Nuun Hydration Tablets - If you are particular about the taste of boiled water, these are great distraction and will help replenish electrolytes.

Portable Charger - You will be without outlets/power for the entire trek. Bring what you need. ‘Nuff said.

Snacks - Our tour company provided us with snacks at the beginning of the trek, but I’m so happy I brought extras and carried them in my day bag. I packed:

  • 4 Gluten Free Granola Bars (the Lemon Luna Bars are my favourite)

  • 2 Bags of Jerky

  • Coca Candies

  • Additional snacks provided by G Adventures

Note: Eat the heaviest snacks or perishable snacks first!!

*Reward Snacks* - Sam and I both packed mini chocolate bars, one for each night we would arrive at camp (3). When you are 6 hours into a savage hike, dreaming of a Mars bar might help push you through.

Cash for Tips & Toilets - On Day 1 there will be a few homes that have offered their washrooms for trekkers for 1 Sole. On Day 3 you will be expected to contribute tips for your porters/chefs. On Day 4 you will want to tip your guide(s).

Kindle/Kobo - As tired as I was at the end of each day, there were definitely a few moments when I was happy I brought my Kobo.

Passport - Might be an obvious one but make sure you bring your passport on your trek instead of checking it in the bag you leave with your hotel. You will need your passport to enter the trail!

Insurance - I rested easy knowing that if for some reason something bad happened to me abroad, that I would be taken care of without being in massive debt.

What We Should Have Left Behind…

Female Urination Device - I bought one of these on recommendation from a few blogs and, to be honest, if I wasn’t a camp girl that’s used to squatting in the woods I would have found this handy. I’m sure some more prude travellers would love this but to me, it was an extra hassle and I preferred to just find a private spot off the trek and quickly do my business before porters or other hikers came by.

Swimsuit - Totally unnecessary unless you are staying in Aguas Calientes after your trek and heading to the hot springs.

Flip Flops - Although I did use these once upon getting to camp, I still could’ve saved the weight and left these at home.

Don’t forget!

This might be obvious, but if you don’t plan on doing laundry after your trek make sure you bring extra warm, clean clothes that you’ll leave behind during the trek! I wish I brought an extra nice sweater and extra warm pyjamas for when we got back from the trek!!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small mission for any purchases made after clicking through. I only recommend products that I own and love and I am not getting paid to promote any item.

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An Aussie and a Canadian sharing our home renos and adventures abroad. 

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