Incas Trail backpack and photography advice.....

Sep 9th, 2003, 06:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Incas Trail backpack and photography advice.....

We are part of a group from Tampa doing a 4 day Incas Trail hike with SAS in November. I wanted to get some first hand advice on what gear is needed---besides a daypack is it best to bring a suitable hikers pack for the items your porter carries? In regards to sleeping bags, is a ground tarp or some foam roll up worth hauling?
I was intending to shoot photos with an Olympus digital and was wondering if others had any problems with camera lense fogup?
Any other photography advice (besides bring plenty of film! would be appreciated.

ardeisfka is offline  
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi, Ardeisfka, most tour companies have a maximum weight of your kit bag (the one carried by porters), it is either 7 kgs or 8 kgs. There is a new regulation on how heavy a porter is allowed to carry in order to protect the porters being exploited.

In your kit bags, you should pack the clothes you'll need for the four days. I suggest you include some warm clothings. When I was there two weeks, the temperature fell to -7 C one night (though it may be warmer in November). Your kit bag should also include sleeping bag (at least 3 seasons), sleeping bag liner, small towel, torch and the things you don't want to carry in day sack. Pack as lightly as possible for your day sack unless you are fit and want to haul heavy sack up the steep steps which you'll encounter almost all of the trail. You should include sun protection cream, insect repellent, water (at least 2 litres), snacks, rain gear and a sweater in your day sack. Be prepared for the changing weather while you are trekking. The weather changes very quicky, one minutes you are in T Shirt and shorts, the next minute you might need sweater and raingear.

The tour company I used provided us with thermal sleeping mat so it was quite comfortable but I saw other trekker carried the foam roll. It will depend how much you paid for the tour. On cheaper (cut priced) tour, you have to carry almost everything yourself with fewer supporting staff. We have 32 support staff for a group of 16. There were these 2 girls we met, they had 9 supporting staff with them! neither of them hardly carried anything on their day sacks. They must be on the luxurious trail.

About the torch you'll need, it is better to get the one you can wear it on your head. You'll be glad that you have one when you need to go to toilet in the dark. It gets dark (very dark)at 6 pm. Pack a book about stars if you are into astrology. You'll see the most stunning night sky on a clear night.

I used a point and shoot camera and the photos came out good. Machu Picchu is so beautiful, I don't think anyone will take a bad picture of it.

The trail is tough but anyone with reasonable fitness should be able to do it. But you'll enjoy more if you are fitter. So start going to the gym now. Enjoy your trip. Oh, don't forget to tip your porters generously at end of your trail, they are poorly paid but work very hard to make your trip more enjoyable.
Naturaltan is offline  
Sep 11th, 2003, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
The earlier posting is very accurate. I did the Inca Trail in 2001 and it was great. The tour company should provide you with the kit bag the porters will carry. You will need to have a day pack for your water, jacket, poncho, camera, etc. Everything else goes in the kit bag; four days worth of sock/underwear and a change of clothes (wear the same cloths every day on the trail and change clothes when in camp for the eventing). You will leave your other luggage in Cuzco.

I was there in October and needed long johns one night on the trail and was lucky with very little rain. Also, get in shape before going. It is not Mount Everest but you are still hiking at altitude and can be tough.
SCAMES is offline  
Sep 12th, 2003, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 72

Yes, Scame,I was wearing thermal underwear plus track suit bottom, gloves and ski hat when we were camping at 3700 meters. I had a good night sleep though.

One small tip, if you don't want to bring a pair of gloves, you can wear your thermal socks on hands, they are equally effective.
Naturaltan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2003, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Great and helpful advice from all....
Some of the guys in our group, mostly in mid-30's, in fairly good athletic shape, BUT coming from sealevel here in Tampa, want to carry their own packs thus not using a porter. Is this just insane machismo or is it doable?

ardeisfka is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 72

Hi, Ardeis,

It is doable if your friends are ex-marine, young or very, very fit. I passed some young backpackers who carried their own things at early stage of the trail but hadn't seen them again. My day sack weighed only 10 lbs, but after a few hours of steep climbs, it felt three time the weight! I am a gym rat and experienced hiker to boot. Don't forget you also have the altitude to contend with.

I hope you warn your friends who want to carry their own packs that you are not going to help them with the rucksack when things go wrong. Some guys in our group ended up with two day sacks as their girl friends were having problems. They were miserable throughout the trail. They had to set off an hour earlier every morning and still an hour or more later than anyone else in arriving at the campsite in the afternoon.

As long as you are not going to be affected by your friends mood (foul)on the trail, let them do it. Otherwise put a stop to it. It is your holiday too.
Naturaltan is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Is camera lense fog-up a big problem along the trail or up at MP????

Any tips???

Ardeis in Tampa
ardeisfka is offline  

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