What to pack for the Inca Trail
If you want to make the most out of your Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the preparation including making a good packing list is essential. When it comes to making a good Inca Trail packing list, some items are pretty obvious, while others might not be so readily apparent to the novice trekker.
All official tour operators in Cusco normally include in the price the camping equipment and the mattress.
Packing list Inca Trail
Here is a suggestion of what you should pack for your Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu.
- a small backpack* (max. 35 litres) with your clothes:
- Underwear (ideally four sets)
- long pants/shorts (min 2 of each)
- Tshirts that you can layer
- Jacket, fleece, sweater,
- four pairs of socks (wool or synthetic; no cotton)
- waterproof hiking boots or trekking shoes and sandals
- a hat or (fleece) beanie* to protect you from the sun and cold
- gloves and a scarf
- a sleeping bag
- a (head) torch*
- batteries*/ battery charger
- pocket knife
- Rain gear* and plastic bags (especially from November to March)
- A water bottle* and purifying tablets or drops to make the water safe to drink
- Sunblock* and insect repellent
- a (trekking) towel
- Toilet Paper* and hand sanitizer*
- Snacks* (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate bars, cereal bars, dry fruits)
- Swimsuit (optional)
- Cash money* for souvenirs, drinks, tips
- Personal medical kit (face moisturiser, personal medications, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, general meds, soap)
- Your original Passport* and student card (only if you have booked with a student discount). You need to show this at the checkpoint on day 1; if you don’t have it access to the trail will be denied.
Opt for an extra porter
Make sure you carry the items marked with * with you at hand during the hike! This is especially important if you have opted for an extra porter to accompany you to help you carry your stuff. In this case, you will only carry your day-pack, and you can give a duffel of maximum 7 kilos to the porter. In the duffel, you can put your sleeping bag, your mattress, some extra clothes and other things you only need at the camp. Remember your sleeping bag and the mattress will be approx 3 kilos, so that leaves 4 kilos for clothes and others.
Read more about the porters of the Inca Trail
Missing items once in Cusco?
Most of the items of the packing list can be bought or rented in Cusco in case you haven’t brought it with you from your home country.
Examples of items you can rent with most official operators:
- Sleeping bag (approx $ 20 pp per trek)
- Air Mattress (approx. $ 20 pp per trek)
- Walking poles (approx. $ 15 pp per trek for one pair)
- Personal tent (approx. $ 35) (check availability, for single travellers only)