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What to Pack for the Inca Trail

No matter what time of year you choose to hike the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, Guiding Peru suggests some basic, essential items for you to pack. Knowing what to pack for the inca trail will minimize your exposure to the elements, keeping you warm and dry as you set foot on this amazing experience. Here are the top 10 essentials pieces of equipment:

#1 Hiking Boots

Good quality, comfortable, mid-weight hiking boots with medium to high tops to support your ankle. The sole should be made from rubber with mid-to-deep lugs for traction. The outer membrane should be waterproof and the laces should incorporate speed hocks that provide additional ankle support.

#2 Socks

Trekking socks made of merino wool, preferably, as they allow for breathability and wicking moisture away from the foot.

#3 Layered Clothing

Layering is essential for optimal comfort during the changing weather conditions throughout the day. A base layer for cool mornings and evenings made of merino wool will do the trick. Pack both a top and bottom for this purpose.

#4 Convertible Trousers

Convertible hiking trousers and shorts are the ideal solution when planning on hiking the Inca Trail. They are easy and quick to change.

#5 Jacket

A mid-weight fleece jacket or parka is an essential clothing item to bring to Machu Picchu. A 200 Polartec fleece will provide optimal warmth and comfort.

#6 Water Proof Shell

You should pack a water-resistant and wind-proof jacket shell layer that is light, warm and sturdy.

#7 Poncho

A poncho is another must-have as no matter what time of year you are trekking, you can be assured of at least a small amount of rain.

#8 Rucksack with Rain Cover

A 30-35L weather-resistant rucksack with a urethane coating is beneficial. Adjustable straps to insure the perfect fit for your body size with well-padded shoulder straps and hip belt is a must. Purchasing a rain cover for your rucksack will reduce the risk of your items getting wet.

#9 Water Carry

Keeping hydrated on the Inca Trail is of utmost importance and you should be drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. Use two 1litre bottles or a hydration bladder that holds between 2-3 litres. It is advisable to bring your own water treatment tablets and an isotonic powder for additional energy and better taste.

#10 Accessories

Other important accessories are a lightweight sun hat with an adjustable neck cover, bandana, fleece beanie or headband, sunglasses, headlamp, lightweight breathable and waterproof gloves, wool socks, and lightweight trekking sandals.


These are just a few of the recommended packing items Guiding Peru suggests you should bring with you on the Inca Trail to optimize your enjoyment. A more detailed list of equipment can be found within the details of our individual tours.

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