November 12, 2012
A trip to the world’s largest rainforest is, if nothing else, a great adventure. Many travellers from around the world have this destination on their travel bucket list and they come from far and wide to visit. It most certainly is a fascinating part of the world, but the Amazon Jungle is just that, the jungle. There is a certain amount of preparation that should be made before stepping foot in the Amazon Rainforest.
Read below for some advice on preparing for your jungle adventure. There are a few important items you really can´t afford to travel without.
In a previous article we discussed how to get to Manu National Park, which explained exactly how remote this region is. When you arrive you will quickly realize how far from civilization you have travelled: hours to the nearest town, there is no corner store, what you bring is what you’ve got. Pack some sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, even toilet paper.
While your Jungle lodge may be equipped with common items, if you are out for the day on a hike spotting wildlife, you may not have any facilities nearby. You may not be able to wash up before lunch, and these things can come in handy. At the same time, it´s important to make sure whatever you take in, you also bring out with you.
Medications and Prescriptions
If you have personal medications, consult with your doctor prior to visiting and make sure you have enough of your meds to last during your visit into the jungle. It can be hours to the next town, and even then, a pharmacy still may not have the items you are looking for. It´s important that if you are running low on any important medications, that you stock up somewhere like Lima or Cusco prior to visiting. The Jungle is a remote place and you need to prepare accordingly. What if you are unexpectedly stuck there a couple extra days due to bad weather? Did you plan ahead? We hope you take a bit of extra time to do just that.
Most people expect that at night, some form of light is needed, however a head torch is by far the most useful of portable lights. Many of the trails throughout the jungle are narrow and uneven and you may need your hands for balance. In addition, it´s always difficult to grab something out of your daypack when you just have a hand held flashlight. A headlight leaves your hands free allowing for you to reach for other things while not losing focus or balance. A handheld flashlight is always a good backup.
Rain in Manu – Rain Poncho
It seems obvious that you will need something for the rain when travelling in the rainforest, but again, the type of equipment you bring makes all the difference. Many travellers buy expensive rain jackets and pants for travel in the jungle. While they are a good idea, if you are caught on a hike during an afternoon downpour, after a while, your equipment is going to become soaking wet. Bring a plastic poncho, which you can roll up and fit in any daypack and bring it out when the rain comes. Given they are plastic, the water is never going to pass through and most ponchos will go over your daypack protecting it from the rain as well. Ponchos are inexpensive, lightweight and practical. Best of all, you don´t need to hang it out to dry like you do with your expensive rain gear. If the sun is not out for a while, it´s going to be difficult to dry your clothes as the environment is constantly humid and damp.
Water Bottle and Water Purification Tablets
Most Jungle lodges provide safe drinking water for convenience and safety. This is great for when you are at the lodge, but at some point, you will most likely want to venture out into the jungle and explore. In these cases, it´s important you have enough water with you for the day, but it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how much water will be enough, especially in the heat of the jungle. If you are lucky, your guide will have packed a little bit extra, but if not, you may find you have drank all your water and have a significant amount of time before you get back to the lodge. In the jungle you should be drinking a lot of water and in this climate and it´s very easy to become dehydrated quickly. Luckily, you are in the rainforest and there is lots of water all around you. This is where you´re water purification tablets are useful. If you are ever caught in the jungle without water, you may have to take the risk of drinking from a nearby stream. Add your purification tablets to the bottle after getting water from the stream and that will most certainly keep you hydrated until you reach your base.
Every year international travellers come to experience the Amazon´s raw beauty. Before you get here, take some extra time to follow our advice and plan for your adventure accordingly. It could make the difference between an enjoyable vacation and an extremely uncomfortable one.
Which way would you prefer to remember it?