What to Pack? Getting The “Moist” Out Of Your Jungle Trip

Getting-the-Moist-Out-of-Your-Jungle-Trip

Packing For the Jungle is a bit different than other trips.

You're gonna get wet and its going to be great, It's just a Jungle thing.........but these tips will help-a lot!

We have traveled to the tropical rainforests in Honduras and Costa Rica. Your gear will vary if you are camping/hiking on your own, or staying in a lodge.  Either way, you can't go wrong with these tips.

LET'S START WITH CLOTHES.

I don't want to be a NAG, so I will say this once, no COTTON, it is so hard to dry in the jungle.

If you are shopping online for any of these items below,  just type in Moisture Wicking, then the item.

It may cost a little more, but worth it! 
Just know, climates and personal situations and reactions to the elements will be different.

TIP: If its your first trip OR you are on a budget, to GO TO YOUR LOCAL THRIFT STORE ! I have found some killer deals there, some items still have tags!
Even estate sales (my preference) or garage sales, if you have the time. If you don't own a suitcase without wheels, this would be a good place to get a large duffel bag or old suitcase. Luggage wheels don't work to well in the jungle.

Okay, moving on...............

  • Shirts: Light colored seems to help keep mosquitos away during the day, at night, your out of luck, just get under some mosquito netting. When you hiking, long sleeve, definitely! Loose fit. I bring short sleeve too when I am out of the jungle.
  • Raincoat jacket: Waterproof, did I really have to point that out? Poncho's are hot, leave them at home.
  • Shorts/Pants: We did see a few people wearing shorts on the trails, I personally think that is crazy man! (lady!) Insect bites will happen on bare skin - even through shirts sometimes. You will be tramping through grasses; thorny vines, leaves, nests, ant fields, puddles filled with the leftovers of a good rain, and dung.
  • Socks: Take at least three pairs (also depends on your length of stay), moisture wicking is preferred or even merino wool. I did wash out some of my clothes in the jungle and they did dry, in about two days.
    Leech socks?? Well, yes, if there are leeches. If you are heading to jungle areas in Thailand or Malaysia, you might want to invest in some. Just research your location.
    Leech socks are different from gaiters, as they are put on like socks and come up over your lower legs, then closing tightly below the knee.
    Some gaiters have grommets ( holes where the laces go through) and those slippery; slimy wormy things can go right in.
  • Gaiters: We have used gaiters, but not for our Jungle trips. If I was going on an extended trip, I would definitely consider these. They help to protect from creepy crawlers; crap and moisture around the top of your shoes. They should be waterproof; breathable and tear resistant.
  • Shoes/Boots: Obviously waterproof. Gore-Tex or Nova Dry are great. It really comes down to personal preference, type of terrain and the duration of the trek. After living most of our lives in Colorado, we have a variety of hiking boots, but those are best on hills and snowy patches and too heavy for the jungle (my opinion) I like to wear lighter trail shoes ( best described as a cross between a sneaker and boot) with great gripping tread. This type of shoe can be worn for other activities, like horseback riding-one of my favorites!
    Try not to head out with brand new shoes, break them in first, walk around a week, see if you have rubbing anywhere. You might even get a half size bigger than you normally wear, to avoid blisters.
    If you are staying at lodge, they may want you to use rubber boots that they supply. Just check ahead for that. In Honduras, they did give us high boots, we hiked right through a river (thank goodness it was low at the time).
    Second Tip: Make sure at night, you have some shoes, like Croc's or knock-off's to those, so your feet get dry a bit, but still be protected. Even if your lodge has lighting, or you have a flashlight, its usually not great and slippery, so protect your toes!
  • Bandana: Yeah bring one! Moisture Wicking-if you can.
  • Hat: We LOVE Outdoor Research hats! There is a variety to pick from, ours fold up and most are waterproof. We use on hikes, running in the rain, horsebacking riding, whatever you are doing active! I suggest getting a hat with a draw string.
    You can see us HERE in our Honduras story wearing our hats. We have had them over 10 years!! Here a link to Outdoor Research if you like to take a look. HATSANDMORE.

ON TO SOAP.

Hey folks, its gotta be Biodegradable in the tropical forests.
Whether you go to a lodge (as fancy as they might be) or you're camping, you need to bring biodegradable soap so you don't pollute the water and soil in and around the delicate Rainforest bio-sphere. This includes shampoo and conditioner.

Why?

Phosphates, which are found in most soaps, cannot be broken down in the soil by natural bacteria, therefore they may end up in the natural waters and eventually can kill plants and animals. Keeping the "natural" balance is so very important for sustaining these wild and wonderful areas. If you are in a lodge, please use their drains, even for the biodegradable soap. The deposits still should be away from water sources.

If you are camping, the dish soap needs to be biodegradable and the waste water should be poured into a shallow hole at in the soil at least 200 feet from any water source.

Here is a biodegradable soap we love!  LINK

OTHER REALLY GOOD "STUFF" TO BRING.

  • Extra pair of glasses- drop; break; lose, sh**t happens, and for me it's usually at the beginning of the trip~Urggh
  • Compass- might be good to know where you are.......
  • Money belt- always good on any trip, besides, you know, those monkeys...........I kid.
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    Swim suit- waterfalls, oceans........
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    Drybag for electronics- if you read our Costa Rica Story (LINK) you know our camera "crashed and burned" at the beginning of our trip. That ain't happen-in again. Here is a Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack that my best friend LOVES! We will be purchasing before we head to the Amazon. SACK LINK
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    Earplugs- Might not help, but sometimes it does............the jungle is a busy and noisy place day and night.
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    Headlight - A must must must, if you decided to stay at lodges or camp in the jungle, here’s a GREAT one
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    Small Body Sponge- If you use a wash cloth at home, just know you probably won't have one available in the jungle, so I bring these little face sponges ( you can buy at Walmart or the drug store) and use them for my entire body. Love them!
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    Gloves- UP to you, but I found them helpful on hilly hikes, if you start to slide, you might be grabbing a Tarzan vine for help.
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    Day Pack- Lightweight and waterproof for the day hike into the jungle, better yet, if you have a "better half", let them lug it.
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    Binoculars- Cuz you want see it. Let me tell ya, those trees are high and those monkeys are climbers.
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    Insect Repellant with DEET- A bit stinky and sticky, but It works, remember to use before you head to the Jungle, not in the jungle AND if someone can tell me ( all of us) about a all natural repellant that works as well as Deet, I am all Jungle EARS!
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    Water bottle- Water is your friend.
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    First Aid Kit- A must! In love with our First Aid Kit, weird huh, but it has come in hand on every trip. If you need some ideas, see my list for first aid items in this article HERE . We just modify it according to our activity and length of stay.
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    Travel clothesline or light weight rope- We ALWAYS take this, I'm not proud, and can wear clothes a couple of times If-not-too-stinky, but I do wash out my clothes on every trip- except at Mom's house. See the link above for biodegradable laundry detergent (or use biodegradable dish soap). Elsewhere, here is my favorite travel detergent.

AND BRING..................................

Excitement, Open Heart And Mind - If you can bring it, you certainly with leave with it!

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Let us know what your favorite items are, for the Jungle!  Share the Jungle LOVE! Please comment below. 


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