Packing list

Here is the complete list of what I’m taking to Peru and Ecuador. It is more than I like to carry but the only significant reductions I could make would be to reduce the one-month supply of shampoo, sunscreen, etc., or leave the binoculars. However, this seems like a binocular trip of a life, so I won’t do that. (UPDATE: In the end, of course I tossed in a few extras like another book, pens, pencils, etc. Still just one backpack plus one shoulder bag. LATER UPDATE: I had also added a second pair of zipoff pants, thinking that N would use them when we´re in the Galapagos. However, I certainly needed them in the jungle.) ANOTHER UPDATE: I am adding some comments at the end of the trip, in blue.

One observation at the end of the trip is that clothes quickly get sorted into 3 categories:
1. Clean and dry (relative conditions, of course)
2. Dirty or wet
3. Special weather (fleece, rain, bathing suit)


  • Zip-off pants with document pouch pinned securely inside (used 2 such pouches since I needed to carry a lot of cash at times – many places won´t take credit cards, or charge 6-10% for them)
  • Small change purse for daily cash
  • T-shirt
  • Long-sleeved button-up over shirt
  • Walking shoes

Over the shoulder bag…

  • Camera and instructions (tossed the instructions after awhile, but that was expected)
  • Travel book
  • Notebook, pens, pencils, eraser, tape, small ruler (just in case I need to measure a snake or something) (Should check pens in advance for emptiness, and take retractable ones to avoid staining)
  • Novel (to be discarded)
  • Spanish dictionary (Won´t take next time – my Spanish is good, and this little dictionary didn´t have most of the words I needed to look up.)
  • Crossword puzzles (Tossed)
  • Kleenex and hand wipes
  • Gum
  • Phone
  • Spare eyeglasses

Backpack (40 L; will carry on plane)…

  • Top pouch has 2 plastic garbage bags, partial roll of toilet paper, some paper towels, handwipes, bar soap, elastic cord for clothes line (useless; rubber plug would be more useful), tiny sewing kit, plastic knife fork spoon and cup, 2 cotton neckerchiefs. (Next time take tiny can opener, metal knife, corkscrew in a checked back.)
  • Clothes 1 (in cotton shopping bag with zipper closing): black fleece zip jacket, black longsleeved shirt; maroon shawl. (This makes a good pillow for the airplane or airport.)
  • Clothes 2 (in 2nd cotton bag with zipper): white shirt with zip-off long sleeves (good to keep mosquitos off in jungle!), black pants (never wore, but would be good when not in jungle or on boat), 2nd pair of zip off pants, sleeveless shirt, 1 t-shirt, 3 underpants, 3 pairs socks, long underwear (pants and top, mainly for sleeping), bathing suit. (This bag can be pulled out of pack to rummage around without spilling underwear on floor.)
  • Hat
  • Rain jacket; stretchy gloves
  • Binoculars (wouldn´t take again – too heavy given my limited interest in birds)
  • Sandals
  • Bag of electronics, etc: phone and camera chargers, adapter, USB cable, small flashlight & batteries, compass (I really have no excuse for bringing this, but I like the idea.)
  • Microfiber towel
  • Cosmetic bag: comb, mirror, nail clippers, toothbrush and paste, floss, nail file, handwipes, moleskin for blisters, bandaids, regular medication, ear plugs (take many), safety pins (excellent for many purposes)
  • First aid (various bandages, tape, latex gloves, antibiotic ointment) and medications (for malaria, diarrhea, altitude, motion sickness, headaches)
  • Plastic bag for airport inspection: toothpaste, shampoo, hand sanitizer, hair gel, skin lotion, sunscreen, laundry soap, insect repellant (Enough small containers to last a month – for most trips, I wouldn´t take so much)