My Tentative Packing List for 16 Days in Ecuador and Panama
I'm traveling to Ecuador and Panama in early 2014. In Ecuador, we'll be staying at between 4-9k feet in the cloud forest for 6 days, in the tropical jungle on the Rio Napo for 5 days, and 5 days in Panama at Gamboa Preserve at sea level.
It may seem early to generate a draft of packing list, but if we need more super lightweight clothing, now is the time to buy.
So, my main carryon includes:
Teva Sandals and trail shoes (also wearing a pair of trail shoes on plane)
2 pr. Smart wool socks (plus wearing a pair on plane)
4 ex oficio undies (plus wearing another pair)
2 bras (plus wearing one)
2 convertible pants REI (plus wearing one)
Smart wool long sleeved base layer, microweight (wearing)
Long underwear bottoms
Lightweight wind breaker (wearing)
1 breathable, waterproof rain poncho
3 long sleeve shirts, breathable, qwik dry from REI
1 qwik dry capris from REI
1 fancier short sleeve shirt qwik dry
1 nightshirt qwik dry
Please bear in mind that qwik dry takes more than a day to dry in tropical jungle and I'm not excited about wearing wet or super damp clothes, hence one more long sleeved shirt and one more pair of convertible pants than I would normally take. Ditto on the trail shoes.
First aid and medical kit
Clothing care kit
Bug and sun kit
Mini ipad OR Kindle
Noise cancelling headphones
Personal (wallet, passport, travel docs, glasses and extras, meds, blah, blah, blah)
If you have travelled in this area of world, I would really appreciate your feedback and comments. Also, comments on how you packed, in what bags, and how this worked for you.
Off on another adventure...and this planning part, for me, is just as much fun as the travel.
Agree and it is nice to have a place where one can vicariously enjoy others planning!
Originally Posted by monkeylady
I have not been to your destinations so can't comment but sounds like a wonderful trip.
I haven't been to Ecuador or Panama, but have traveled to Asia and Micronesia a number of times. You're on the right track with long sleeved shirts and everything quick-dry. I hate convertible pants, they're bulky to pack and dorky looking, just my opinion on the latter. I travel with sleeveless tanks, long sleeved shirts that can be worn as a jacket over the tank or buttoned up, and capris. Insect resist tops and long pants are a MUST, Columbia and Ex Officio are good brands there. I love my Abeo H2O water shoes with built-in arch support. I use one pair of flip flops for only inside the room - keeps the floor clean.
Don't forget the following: camp soap or those laundry "leaves" sheets, insect repellant sticks, equal number bras and underwear, fingernail brush to scrub mud out of shoe soles, exfoliating bath gel to get feet clean, a couple of clip hangers and regular hangers for laundry, and clothespin hangers for UW drying. The last must would be 1 or 2 hats, my favorite brand is Sunday Afternoons, the brand includes several water and travel hats. Get hats with mesh in the crown for cooling.
Sounds like a great trip, have fun!
Last edited by FunNut; 07-23-2013 at 07:35 AM.
Reason: Add a couple of must-haves to list
Heh, FunNut! Thanks for the feedback. If I didn't already own so many pairs of convertible pants I would buy more non-convertible ones. I hear the mosquitoes are quite voracious in the Amazonia region of Ecuador and that I would be well advised to wear long sleeves and long pants day and night. I will take some capris for daytime in the mountains and then for Panama. Several folks have told me that the area we're visiting in Ecuador (Amazonia) is quite wet and muddy, that the lodges supply boots but they are ill-fitting and hot, and that an extra pair of trail shoes was recommended rather than wearing the boots. Ird of think the boots may be more necessary at night because of the snakes and the protection to not only the feet but the legs below the knee. We'll see. I'll check out your Abeo H2O water shoes. Never heard of them...are they something REI carries do you suppose? We have to use bath gel provided by lodge due to eco concerns, but I'll be sure to pack my light plastic surgical brush for foot cleaning. (They're available through Lee Valley Garden Supply, BTW, or probably through medical supply. I use them for scrubbing nails, feets, and slug slime off my body after a day of gardening.)
Exactly one million years ago, I spent four months on Ponape, doing a graduate internship for the College of Micronesia. I stayed across the river from Sokehs and near the Kapingamirangi village. Ponape was still a very sleepy place then, only open to tourist traffice for five years when I went there. (I told you it was one million years ago.) None of the roads were paved. At the end of my internship I spent some time on Truk, then Guam (far less exciting). Overall it was a wonderful experience. Sometimes the highlight of the day was hanging out at the airport for the arrival of the one flight a day from either Guam or Honolulu. So where did you travel in Micronesia?
Abeo shoes are a proprietary brand only sold by "The Walking Company," which has stores in many locations. There are 3 stores in the Seattle area and 1 in Tacoma. I have very bad feet and need orthotics in all shoes I wear, so finding any shoe brand with great arch support is like locating nirvana. I used to just wear Tevas when jungle walking, but since discovering Orthaheel and Abeo I have much better choices.
You could check the relevant forums at Lonely Planet for Amazon walking shoes suggestions, I feel not qualified to comment.
I worked for Continental Airlines in the seventies and early eighties. My trip to Micronesia was only two weeks, on the Air Mike island hopper. We spent time in Ponape (at The Village), Saipan, Guam, and Palau (at Carp Island - fabulous). We wanted to see Truk, but there was a cholera outbreak there and no one was allowed to visit. On the way back we got bumped at Majuro and the next flight was 3 days later. The water pumping plant was broken, so no running water at the fleabag hotel where we had to stay. We had to dip water out of the village well with a bucket on a rope. I much lamented the demise of the peppercorns plantation on Ponape, best pepper in the world and I guess it's not available anymore. Yes, everywhere we went the arrival of the plane was the island's social event. Loved those open-air hut "terminals" and the excellent people watching there.
BTW, this is the best time of year for buying the type of clothing you need for your trip. Keep an eye out for great discounts.