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Packing List for the Amazon Jungle

My backpacks
My backpacks

Tomorrow, I fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado in Southeastern Peru for my first foray into the Amazon.

While the Amazon is a new jungle for me, I have spent some time in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Belize.

In the latter, I stayed at an adventure lodge with no electricity.

I am expecting this experience will be similar, especially if the Howler Monkeys have anything to say about it.

This packing list for the Amazon jungle takes into account advice from Rainforest Expeditions, as well as the following:

  • I'll be in a boat 7 hours (each way) to get to and from the lodges
  • It'll be hot and humid, with unpredictable rain showers
  • No electric lights at night (only kerosene lamps)


According to the trip notes, luggage* will be hand-carried at various stages en route to/from the lodges, and it's recommended that the weight per piece not exceed 15 kg (32 lbs).

My regular pack weighs in at just 10 kg, and I plan to reduce this weight even further by leaving behind some non-essentials at the company's Puerto Maldonado HQ before we board our first boat.

  • Large Gregory Chaos backpack
  • Regular size daypack

*It should go without saying that it's easier to carry a backpack than a wheeled suitcase for a trip like this.


  • GoLite rain jacket
  • GoLite hoody (in case the nights are cold, also suitable for mosquito protection at night)
  • Mountain Hardwear short sleeve base layer
  • ExOfficio short sleeve t-shirt
  • 3 cotton t-shirts
  • REI long sleeve base layer
  • 1 pair of lightweight, REI convertible pants/shorts
  • Volcom board shorts (on the off-chance we go swimming with alligators)
  • 5 pairs of ExOfficio boxers
  • 2 pairs of SmartWool socks, 2 pairs of low-cut cotton socks
  • Merrell hiking sneakers
  • Baseball cap (sun protection)
  • Bandanna



  • Binoculars (unfortunately I don't have a pair, but they make a huge difference for wildlife and bird spotting)
  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Sea to Summit dry sacks
  • MSR Packtowl
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent (30% DEET)
  • Optional:  Your preferred pills for Malaria prevention (it's present in Tambopata, but “extremely rare”)

Documents and Money

  • Money Belt
  • Passport and any required entry visas
  • Immunization yellow book (Yellow Fever shot is required)
  • Proof of travel/health insurance
  • Cash – small denomination bills for incidentals, alcohol, souvenirs, and tips
  • Debit card
  • Credit card (back-up)


Disclosure: This tour is in partnership with Rainforest Expeditions. As always, any opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Lima Travel Guide

Dave's 160-page, all-original Lima Travel Guide is now available for Kindle.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:


Monday 15th of July 2013

would you add anything to your list now that you've gone or not bring anything? Did you go to the TRC? Seems like it.. I'm going in two weeks and would love more advice! Thanks!


Wednesday 17th of July 2013

Yes, I went to the Tambopata Research Center for 3 nights. It's great. You can see some photos of two of their three lodges here.

Here's another article to give you a feel for the first day/night.

Have a great trip!

Tito Puente

Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

Man, you're forgetting your Wii or Xbox.


Thursday 5th of July 2012

I've never owned either. I was surprised to find the Wi-Fi was working for a few hours in the morning, in addition to the evenings. A luxury in the jungle!

Kevin Post

Friday 29th of June 2012

I am highly against cotton in humid environments. Cotton is extremely hydrophilic and can absorb more than 20 times its weight in water and in humid climates is almost impossible to dry. Cotton socks lead to blistering over time, take up weight, space, comfort and they smell bad after one day of use. Better to go with light weight breathable materials that keep you dry, allow for sweat to evaporate in order to keep you cool and can be worn comfortably without washing for days (if not weeks) at a time.

The Amazonian basin is a tricky place and overall I think that David brought a good list in order to maximize his experience in the Peruvian Amazon.


Friday 29th of June 2012

Thanks Kevin. I thought there was no way I'd end up wearing my Smartwool socks, but because we had to wear rubber boots for all the hikes (on account of the mud), I did. And because they're thicker hiking socks, I think they made the boot-wearing more comfortable. Of course they got wet from the sweat and humidity, and I was never able to fully dry them, but it was only for 5 days.

Diane Lynch

Monday 25th of June 2012

The information in this blog is incorrect about Yellow Fever. Peru does not require any immunizations for entry . It recommends vaccination against Yellow Fever but does not require it.

Destination Mike

Thursday 21st of June 2012

If you plan on going on any night walking adventures searching for jungle critters and animals, you might want to bring a handheld flashlight in addition to your headlamp. The flashlight makes it easier to spot the eyes of all the otherwise hidden creatures of the night.


Friday 22nd of June 2012

I do plan to do a night walk, and I never considered having a flashlight as well, but that makes sense.

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