The Machu Picchu hike is a popular trail among hiking enthusiasts worldwide. Also known as the Inca Trail, it is widely known that this spectacle was built for the ninth ruler of the Inca, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, in 1450, only to abandon it a century later at the height of the Spanish conquest. Now famous for its challenging trail and historical significance, this great site in the mountains of Peru draws thousands of people globally to also witness a hidden civilization marked by the remains of astounding Incan architecture.
What To Pack For The Machu Picchu Hike | Outdoor Warrior
Machu Picchu is the most visited attraction in Peru. The hike covers not just an empty route but the beautiful views of the Sacred Valley and long living culture of the Incas. A proper itinerary lasts four days passing through the Andean towns and many breathtaking nature views leading to the final trail of the Machu Picchu hike. A different route is also available for adventurers through the Salcantay trail as advised by a close friend of mine. The hike typically lasts five to eight days in this route due to ascending the 20,500 Mount Salcantay. This is definitely a must for history loving adventure hikers yet a trail that demands respect at the same time. So we’ve come up with a list of the must-haves for interested hikers out there.
The backpack is one of the most important pieces of gear in every hike. A 65-liter backpack will be suitable for a 4-day trip to the Machu Picchu. Look for internal frame backpacks for better back support.
Look for Goretex waterproof boots to prepare you for the Inca trail. Your foot needs all the support to keep you from getting injured if not for maintaining the ease of the hike. You would want to invest on lightweight boots that’s tough enough to last a 4-day hike.
3. Silk Sock liners
Silk socks reduce the friction on your feet to help prevent blisters. It also keeps your feet cool and dry that aids in the comfort of the hike.
4. Blister Kit
Every trek is different but this one needs a minor kit just in case. Make sure you have a variety of sizes of bandages, moleskin, little wipes with antiseptic, all in the name of blister care.
Gators are good for covering the opening between your leg and your boot. You can almost expect some really muddy part of the trail so this is a wise preparation to make.
6. Nylon Pants
Nylon pants are really strong and doesn’t tear very easily. A lot of things can happen in four days of hiking so you need super light durable pants that also dries up really fast.
7. Sleeveless Vest
These vests are good for layering which will keep you a little bit warmer without overheating. This is usually layered in between your shirt and jacket so as not to put too much pressure in moving your arms.
8. Lightweight Jacket
One of the worst experience I’ve had in the outdoors is not having a jacket. I couldn’t sleep because of the cold and could barely open my eyes in the morning to continue the trail. I suggest investing on a down Patagonia jacket which is super light and insulated.
9. Waterproof Sleeping Bag
Any decent sleeping bag will do for this trip, but it’s good if you can bring a waterproof one. I think everybody knows how uncomfortable it is to sleep on a wet surface.
You can bring a hand held flashlight if it suits you. A headlamp on the other hand can serve multiple uses and it allows you to use both hands while doing something in the dark.
Watch this short video of a Machu Picchu hike by National Geographic.
When you’re going on a multi-day backpacking trip, a lot of times you have to carry more stuff than you can carry yourself. But in trail hikes like these, a well-rounded crew is organized to make the hike more systematic so you don’t need to carry everything you need. This list will give you an idea about the items that keep you comfortable on the four-day trip to Machu Picchu.
Click here to help plan your gear when hiking in the Smokies.
Featured Image Via Vijay Aitha /National Geographic