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Packing Lists for Inca Trail Treks

The trekking gear you choose to take with you for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will depend on what type of trekking you plan to do and which route you plan to take.

A key principle is to stay as light as possible.

A lot of gear can be rented from trekking agents or bought in the city of Cusco.

Nonetheless, there are some mandatory trekking gear requirements which we think you should rather bring with you – we have briefly set these out below. Please read our detailed trekking gear article for more information, reviews and gear recommendations.

  • HIKING BOOTS: First off you will need a good pair or well worn-in hiking boots. Do not arrive in Cusco – Peru with badly fitted boots or brand new boots. You will undoubtedly get sore feet and blisters.
  • SLEEPING BAG: A very warm (protection up to -10 degrees Celsius), mummy-shaped sleeping bag. This you can rent in Cusco.
  • CLOTHING: A selection of layered trekking clothing, from next-to-skin base layers, to fleece second layers and a water / wind proof shell jacket and trousers. Also bring trekking socks, thermal socks, warm gloves and warm headwear.
  • TREKKING POLES: Adjustable trekking poles that are easy to store and sturdy under pressure. This you can rent in Cusco.
  • SUNGLASSES: High UV protection sunglasses that can deal with the sun intensity and glare in Cusco.
  • DAYPACK: A light-weight daypack to carry your essentials gear.
  • HEADLAMP: Good quality, LED headlamp
  • OTHER ACCESSORIES: Water bottles / hydration bags, water purification tablets, general medications, snacks and toiletry supplies (although these can be purchased on most routes but increase in price as you get higher)

Physically prepare yourself

For the Classic Inca Trail or other treks in Peru, is important that your body is adequately prepared for the physical challenges of trekking. It is thus important that you assess your own condition and train accordingly. In general, the fitter you are, the easier it will be for you to handle the rigors of the trek. A well-rounded training program would include strength training, aerobic cross training, and hiking (ideally at high altitude but not necessary).

Mentally prepare yourself

The mental preparation is often overlooked. You should always keep a positive state of mind, but not ignore the signals your body sends you. Your mental stamina will, without a doubt, make the most difficult parts of the trek achievable.
We will keep the packing list update as new equipment becomes available.  If you have reviews or suggestions please send us an email.