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Imagine. Witness. Explore.

Published: 22-Jul-2017

Written by: Jessica McKelson

There is nothing more exciting than heading into the unknown! The nerves, anxiety and wonder that fulfil you when you’re getting ready for your next adventure.

My first time into the jungle was thrilling, but I was also scared to the hilt with what may happen. Mostly it had to do with packing my bag! How much time and thought do we put into packing our bags for overseas travel? Then when you get there, you realise not all the items are actually required.

Now that I have mastered the art of packing (and even now my backpack is ready to go) for day trips and also up to a week in the jungle, I wanted to share with you what I usually pack. Now having been into the Indonesian jungle more than 50 times, I can weed out the unnecessary items which will make your journey expensive and also heavy to trek with!

You may or may not want to take some of these items, but I find it helpful as a first time traveller to be prepared, not overweight, but comfortable for the adventure ahead.

Day Trek:

  • Small day pack
  • Small first Aid items – 1 x sachet gastrolyte (in case your energy levels drop), band aids x2, small betadine lotion, tweezers, alcohol swab, water purifying tablets. Place in small zip lock bag to avoid bulky items.
  • No more than 800ml water bottle. Water can be boiled (water purifying tablets can be added)
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Plastic bag / zip lock plastic bags to place your valuable items in, so they don’t get wet. Eg. phone, camera, small notepad and pen for rainforest sightings)
  • If you are worried about the rain, a poncho which is small and light will be enough.
  • Mosquito spray/DEET lotion for leeches and other bugs.

Week trek:

  • 3 x long sleeve shirts / t-shirts
  • 1 x set clothes to sleep in (leggings and one of the long sleeve shirts is always helpful in case it gets a little cool at night)
  • Undergarments
  • Shorts and t-shirt to bathe in (river / under waterfalls etc) these will always be wet, so you may as well get back into them wet each time.
  • Sarong – Can be used to bathe in or as a sleep sheet.
  • 2-3 x long pants
  • Hiking boots
  • Socks x 3
  • Thongs to walk around camps etc
  • Small hotel size toiletries (these are the heaviest and most frustrating to bring. Keep it simple!)
  • Yoga mat to sleep on
  • Small towel
  • Sleep sheet
  • Medium size backpack – can be used as a pillow at night too!
  • Head torch and one packet extra batteries
  • Basic first aid kit (small size)
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Plastic bag / zip lock plastic bags to place your valuable items in, so they don’t get wet. (Eg. Phone, camera, small notepad and pen for rainforest sightings)
  • If you are worried about the rain, a poncho which is small and light will be enough.
  • Mosquito spray/DEET lotion for leeches and other bugs.
  • Sunscreen (small tube)
  • Very small daypack if you intend in staying in one position each night for the week – then you can head out on day trips with your day pack.
  • Notepad and pen (small)

Luxury items :

  • Advanced first aid kit – Too bulky!
  • Large toiletry items (not really necessary)
  • Small thermos to bring coffee.
  • Snack bars, protein supplements etc
  • Singlet tops to wear under the shirt.
  • Walking stick
  • Small seat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hat / sunglasses etc

This list is prepared for those that have hired porters, guides and cooks that will carry your food and set up tents or other items you may not expect. So no food is entered into this list / nor sleeping accommodation.

Is there anything more you would add to this list?  What do you pack when heading off into jungle adventures?


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