Packing for the Rainforest

 

Getting prepared to head into the rainforest on an expedition where you’ll be sleeping in lodges requires just a little bit of planning. To participate in our expeditions, you will need to bring the items listed below (once you are booked on an expedition, we will send you an expedition specific packing list as well).

 

The rainforest will be hot, humid and full of bugs that might want to take a bite of you. The general advice is to always wear long trousers and long-sleeved outdoor shirts all day, every day. These garments should be in light colours (mosquitos tend to avoid light cloths while being attracted to dark colours) and in mosquito proof material. A wide brimmed sunhat is also strongly recommended as the sun is very strong at the equator. When we are out on treks rubber boots is the only option, note that most lodges can lend you these.

 

Being prepared for insects is important. Consider both chemical and passive protection (using mosquito proof clothing and face net). Treating a couple of your shirts and trousers in clothing spray with permethrin can be a good idea as this will reduce likelihood of bites. Always use insect repellent on exposed skin, except for face.

 

Consult your doctor or travel clinic whether or not you need to get any vaccinations or prophylaxis well before you are set to travel (some vaccines can take several weeks to reach full strength).

 

Items marked * in the list below are mandatory equipment.

  

Equipment

  • Backpack of around 35-40 litres, should fit all the gear that you will need for a day trek, make sure you have tested it before and that you can carry it comfortably all day *

  • Dry sack that can hold your camera equipment and any other electronic (we might get exposed to a torrential downpour – it is called the rainforest for reason…) *

  • Head torch (with spare batteries), or normal torch – at least 200 lumens *

  • Small pocket knife

  • Sunscreen (SPF 50 or above) *

  • Sunglasses *

  • Snacks for the days of hiking – e.g. dried fruit, nuts and bars

  • Water bottles with a capacity of 2l, you’ll be able to fill these up at the lodges (due to environmental concerns we will not be distributing single use plastic bottles) *

  • Personal First aid kit *

  • Binoculars are indispensable in the rainforest, waterproof, 8x42 is a good size for the poor light conditions in the forest.

 

Camera Gear

  • Camera – with manual settings, such as a DSLR, mirrorless or analogue.

  • Lenses – ranging from wide angle around 16mm to long tele around 600mm (FF equivalent), but remember that you’ll have to carry what you bring so be strategic. On forest walks 70-200mm is the most useful focal length, when in canoe or in blinds focal lengths up towards 400-600mm is recommended. Image stabilisation is very useful on all lenses due to the low light situation in the forest.  If you’re into macro photography, then this is the time to pack the lens!

  • Tripod – for those beautiful long exposures in the morning and evening, but also at night to try to capture the stars and the milky way! Light weight travel tripod is the way to go as you will mostly be shooting handheld.

  • Flash can sometimes be useful in the forest.

  • Remote shutter release or timer

  • Filters – circular polarizer and ND being the obvious ones

  • Lots of memory cards and batteries for the entire trip – it is possible to charge at the lodges

  • Rain cover for the camera equipment when in use - Op/Tech Rainsleeve is an inexpensive option that works great.

 

Books

  • Birds of Ecuador by Robert Ridgely

  • Neotropical Rainforest Mammals by Emmens and Feer

 

Clothing

  • Hiking trousers – quick drying, synthetic material (e.g. we don’t recommend cotton), in light colours – Mosquitos tends to avoid light cloths while being attracted to dark colours.

  • Hiking shorts – quick drying, synthetic material (e.g. we don’t recommend cotton), in light colours – Mosquitos tends to avoid light cloths while being attracted to dark colours.

  • Outdoor shirt (long sleeved) – quick drying, synthetic material (e.g. we don’t recommend cotton), in light colours – Mosquitos tends to avoid light cloths while being attracted to dark colours.

  • T-shirt and underwear for active use (synthetic or wool)

  • Fleece or wool sweater (lightweight)

  • Rain jacket or poncho *

  • Hiking socks (wool or synthetic) - at least 1 pair of socks for each day. It is very easy to get fungi or athlete's foot in the rainforest

  • Neck warmer / Buff *

  • Wide brimmed hat that cover the ears.

  • Comfortable evening clothes (long sleeved)

 

Footwear

  • Hiking boots (above the ankle) – these should be comfortable, sturdy, well worn-in, water resistant and have good grip *

  • Rubber boots (the lodges can lend you these for most sizes, however if you are above UK 11 / US 12 / EU 46, then it is better to bring your own as they might not have your size!) *

  • Sneakers/trekking shoes for everyday wear

  • Sandals for everyday wear

 

Electronics

  • Power surge protector - power fluctuations and lightning storms can ruin your equipment

 

Insurance

  • You can’t really pack the insurance, but having an insurance is very important if you’re unlucky! All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for travelling in Amazon, such as travel, medical, repatriation, cancellation, etc. *

 

 

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

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