A trekker’s checklist in Peru

I’ve been unpacking for the last day or so and while doing it, I thought it’d be nice to document what I had with me, what was super useful and what was completely useless.

Extremely useful stuff – besides the obvious, like a backpack, hiking boots and windproof jacket:

  • baseball cap and sunglasses: heights actually make the sun shinier and stronger
  • Smartwool socks: they helped with chafing on my Achillean tendon and the cold on some occasions. Gracias a lot of people for the tip!
  • vaseline: helped with chafing on one of my Achillean tendons, I used it once and got over the chafing surprisingly quick for the rest of the trek. Best tip ever! Thanks, Hardeep!
  • self-inflatable mattress: it inflated on its own, which is very useful at +3500 m (you don’t want to pass out inflating your mattress) and it kept things warm and soft on hard ground, while others complained about the foam mattress provided by the trekking company. Gracias, Marton! And when I think about the fact I almost left it at home..
  • 2L water bladder: best size for the weight you carry and it ensured I never forgot to hydrate. Will defo use it in the future!
  • ear plugs: 3M ear plugs are the best.¬†I am a light sleeper, so sleeping in some situations is difficult (nature sounds, airplane engine sounds, honking cars in Peru, everything was covered)
  • trekking poles: I would have not finished Machu Picchu if I didn’t have them. Two is great!
  • money belt: helps keep things close to you and easy to find. Your own marsupial.
  • raffia bag ūüėÄ (Romanians and apparently lots of Peruvians know). A very cheap checkered huge¬†raffia bag¬†– btw, apparently Luis Vuitton has launched a line of items made using raffia haha – that everyone was initially laughing about, but which I used to check in airports a lot of different pieces of luggage. I could group everything in one bag and when the time came, I could take everything out, fold the raffia small and carry everything on my back. Best use ever!

Completely useless for me – although recommended everywhere and maybe in some conditions, they would have been useful:

  • microfiber towels: in hotels you get towels and on treks I used wet and dry wipes
  • sock liners: they made things worse for me with chafing, actually. Plus, it was getting too hot inside my boot
  • windstopper gloves: as expected too expensive and could have lived with normal gloves
  • waterproof overtrousers: didn’t rain at all, but if it did, they would have been useful
  • sleeping bag liner: was recommended for hygiene purposes when the sleeping bag is rented. F**k hygiene when you are freezing cold and tired. You just jump in the sack and hope to survive the night (and trek)! ūüėÄ
  • 1L water bottle: if you have a bladder and buy bottled water, you don’t need anything else. Complete waste of weight and space. Left it at the hotel before going on the trek. Used it once at night!
  • Freshette: for whoever doesn’t know, it’s an …uhm “instrument” to help girls pee like boys, standing. Nope, never managed to use it properly. I was born and am defo a lady, no doubts left! ūüėÄ

Stuff I utterly missed:

  • knee support: I overestimated my knees while going down “stairs”, especially on the last couple of days of Machu Picchu

Below, my full initial list of items:

Clothes Meds Gear Food Others
Cap Sun block (aftersun) Head lamp Snacks Cash (tips)
Baseball cap/cowboy hat Insect repellant Backpack Chocolate Travel insurance
Hiking boots Immodium Sun shades Energy bars Credit card (Monzo/HSBC)
Towels (micro fiber towel) Antibiotics (???) no Backpack waterproof sack no Seeds Flappy
Fleece tops Plasters (100) Duck tape Primal Joy bars Travel insurance
Trainers Antihistamines Matress (self inflatable) Rehydration powder
 Waterproof jacket  First-aid kit Sleeping bag liner Shower gel
Polyester t-shirts Nausea pills no Sleeping bag rent Tooth paste
Base layers/thermals Ibuprofen Smaller packs of wipes Hand gel (sanitysing)
Smartwool socks Ibuprofen gel Water bottle (1L)  Nail brush (clean with gel)  no
Sock liners Throat lozinges (dry air) !! Water bladder (3 L) Travel shampoo
Windstopper gloves Knee support  no Ear plugs Toilet paper
Flip-flops Vaseline (small on folds and friction points) Wet wipes (pack of 20)
Regular socks Lip balm Garbage plastic bags
Rain coat (with backpack extension) Probiotics for travel Waterproof bags (sealable)
2 pairs of lightwear hiking trousers (zip-off) Water sterilising tablets Trekking poles rent
Down vest Battery pack
 Fleece buff Tooth brush
Waterproof overtrousers Outlet convertors
Shoe laces Shaker no
Freshette (?)
Money belt
gopro battery