What to Pack for the Amazon

What to pack for the amazon...

It's so hard to come up with this list. My friends asked me multiple times to create this guide because we were so worried about not being prepared. So this list is born out of a lot of research!

When I packed for the Amazon, I used many different sites to create a list that I felt like would cover everything we would need for 3 days there. We visited in the DRY season during their winter (June/July). However, it was still in the 80s and rained everyday because, well, it was the Amazon Rain Forest! I can only imagine what it was like in their summer! Here is the list I ended up with for the Amazon.

See my previous post to see the kind of Amazon trip we took. We were definitely roughing it - no electricity or running water, hike in and out. Here is a video of what it was like hiking through the rain forest.

I worked as hard as I could to plan ahead and here is what I came up with for our trip and a few things we wish we would have brought...

  • Head lamp and a flashlight for night
  • Bug spray with 100% deet
    • we tried other sprays - they didn't work
  • Malaria medicine
    • must get before leaving from a doctor
  • 3-4 t- shirts (at least 1 long sleeve)
  • Long pants for walk  - loose so bugs wont bite you
    • I bought Colombia dry fit pants and they were the best decision ever. They dried quickly and were loose so mosquitoes couldn't get to my legs. They also rolled up to capris. Here's a link to the kind I bought.
  • 1 pair of pants for each day
    • I brought yoga pants - easy to roll up and comfy
    • Mike and Shafiq brought hiking pants like the Colombia ones I bought
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • Rubber Boots
    • we bought cheap ones at Target, wore them on the plane
  • Flip flops
  • Raincoat (I brought a poncho that was super light weight and could dry fast)
  • Water bottle (refillable)
  • Blister pads (important when you are always wearing rubber boots)
  • Citronella soap
  • Pedialite, instant coffee packets from Starbucks, and propel to have something to drink other than water and juice + stay hidrated
  • Itch cream
  • simple first aid kit (bandaids, ibuprofen, antibiotic cream, immodium)
  • Dryer sheets to keep in clothes
    • Tide dryer sheets actually help repel mosquitoes - see research here
  • 2 sleep outfits (sleep pants, sleep shorts, 2 tops)
  • Go Pro
    • I got a Go Pro specifically for this trip (I have the Hero 3+, it is about $250 right now)
  • Extra battery packs
  • Phone
  • Waterproof case for all electronics
  • Hiking stick
    • there are compressible hiking sticks that are easy to pack - our tour provided them for us, but we were VERY thankful we had them. Definitely recommend.
  • cards, book to read, games to play
  • journal to write in

    Most importantly... Bring a spirit of adventure!

NOTE: We had to carry our entire packs in and out so packing light was key. We had large backpacking backpacks that we used for the  full two weeks. We also bought smaller packs that we could carry while on this shorter trip and left our big packs at the hotel. I bought this bag from REI for $30 to bring as my short term back. It worked out great.

We were nervous about having to pack and go into the Amazon knowing how difficult it would be to get anywhere else, but it ended up being such a great time. We loved it!

What else would you pack for the Amazon? Let me know!

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  • This is super helpful. I’ve pinned this for future reference for when I make it to the Amazon. Thanks for the info.

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Thanks Mike! Glad the article was helpful! 🙂

  • Valerie

    A couple of things I’ve learned from your cousin Joey about packing for rainy areas and hiking may be helpful – 1) duct tape works great for hotspots on feet, plus it has many other uses! You can put the tape around and around your water bottle so you have plenty when you need it. If you barely start to feel a rub, just tear off a strip and wrap up your toe/heel, whatever. Plus, it’s cheaper than band-aids; 2) Icebreaker wool t-shirts – dry quickly, don’t hold odors. They even have undies you can wear for days! (I won’t tell).

    And a question: did you have a ball cap with a bill or hat with a rim to keep rain out of your eyes? I’m wondering about spending the day in the rain with eyeglasses on….

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Great tips! It’s definitely really hot in the Amazon so wool might be uncomfortable. To answer your question, yes! A hat would be a good idea! I wore a hood on my rain jacket and that was fine for me, but a hat would work as well. I also recommend contacts when you are hiking in case glasses fall off or break.

  • Haha, yes even “dry” season in a rainforest means rain. Great packing list. Natural fibers and fast drying fabrics are the best for rainforests. The Amazon is on my travel wish list!

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Yes! So important to have quick drying clothes! You should definitely go! It is amazing. Thanks for reading!

  • We really need to learn how to pack our stuff well as we suck on that aspect – you shared some lovely tips and i am sure next time we plan a trip, we’d be more careful! 🙂

  • Hey there,
    Just to be sure, what malaria medecine did your doctor prescribe you? There are various kinds and also various opinion on them… so I you could let me know. Thx a lot

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Hi Ariane,
      I’ve taken anti malarial medicine a few different times. I took Larium once (you only take it once a week) and then I took Mefloquin this past time. I didn’t experience side effects with either one, but it really depends on how long you will be there, your medical history, etc. I liked Larium better simply because I didn’t have to remember to take it every day. However, I didn’t use it this past time because the price had gone up and insurance didn’t cover it so it was expensive. Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have other questions!

  • thanks for the tips. I have never heard of citronella soap I take it that’s to keep the mosquitoes at bay I might look into getting some of this as I tend to get eaten alive

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Yes! Just like citronella candles! It worked pretty well. I bought it at REI, but I know they sell it at lots of outdoor stores. It really came in handy!

  • Congrats for taking one particular subject and focusing on it like a laser. Most packing lists are way too generic–one has to focus on a location and the climate, so cheers to you.

  • Amazon! I have seen many documentaries on the National Geographic! It seems to be a great challenge! And you’ve made it through! Congratulations!

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Thank you! It was exciting and also very scary. Definitely recommend going!

  • Veronica

    This blog post is just right on time! I am planning a trip to Iquitos soon.
    Were there any side effects from malaria medicines?

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Oh awesome! So glad it’s helpful. I didn’t really experience very many side effects but it depends on how long you take it and the type. I have used two different types before – Larium and Mefloquine. Larium was nice because you only take it once a week, but it was going to be over 100 this last time when I went. It also caused me to have very vivid dreams (I was on it for 5 weeks). This time when I went to the Amazon, I took Mefloquine daily. It was fine as far as side effects go, but I am forgetful and always trying to remember to take it at the right time. So no real side effects just lots of factors to talk about. Ark your doctor about options!

  • Absolutely love the last item on the list which you suggest to pack for the Amazon trip…a spirit of adventure. Amazon is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I’m sure it demands a lot from the traveller, but as they say, the most difficult roads lead to the most beautiful destinations.

  • George

    This post is absolutely amazing, thus I’ve always wanted to go to the Amazon. I’ll definitely go through your blog to find more posts on this cause it’s rarely I come across someone who has! Thanks for sharing this!

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Thanks so much! Of course. Let me know if you have any more questions – happy to help! 🙂

  • Also maybe some salt as well for the leeches. I heard Amazon rain-forests are full of them esp the swampy areas.

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      We wore rain boots the whole time and so we didn’t have any contact with the water directly. Would definitely recommend keeping your boots on to aviod leeches/whatever may be in the mud and water.

  • blair villanueva

    These tips are very helpful! I have a friend who likes going to jungle, forest and this could be a great help for him.

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Thank you! Happy to help 🙂

  • This is a very useful post for any tropical destination. Glad you made a note of all the important things to be carried along when you head here. Bug spray is just so essential. And then the full sleeved ts and trousers…with socks …very essential.

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      Thank you! Yes! So essential! Long sleeves are also definitely a must – good idea.

  • Fascinating and helpful post, Meghan! I am looking forward to seeing this beauty of place.

  • Thanks for helpful post!