Packing for Ecuador

Old Nov 11th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Packing for Ecuador

I am really determined not to over pack on this trip. But I'm thinking it's going to happen!

We are going on a 2 week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos. We'll also be spending time in Quito, Otavalo and Cotapaxi.

I hate being cold but don't want to take more than is needed especially for the high altitudes. If needed we can do laundry (or send it out).

Anyone have a good packing list?
Minooka1145 is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Hi, there. I haven't been to South America but I'll paste my Central America packing list below in case it well get you started, originally posted in the FAQ thread of the Thorntree forum. Don't know about extra layers needed for higher altitudes but others can advise you on that. is a great pack light site if you want more motivation and information. Have a great trip!

I can pack everything I need for an extended trip into a carry-on sized bag by choosing clothes that layer. I have a carry-on sized conversion pack (straps tuck away as needed) that has an attached day pack. I pack valuables and some personal items in the day pack and most of the clothes (that I'm not wearing) in the main compartment. Here's what I'm planning to take to Honduras next summer to accommodate 2-3 weeks inland with high altitude mountain hikes included and 2-3 weeks of beach time:

3-4 wicking-type t-shirts
1 light weight long sleeved shirt
2 pairs of light weight convertible (zip off to become shorts) long pants
1 sarong (skirt, swim wrap, doubles as towel or sleeping sheet)
1 bandana
1 sunhat with strap
1 light weight sleeveless nightgown
2 swimsuits
1 light weight fleece jacket (liner type that can be worn alone)
1 light weight goretex rain coat
uns and socks (incl. 1 neoprene pair I wear under Keens for hiking and under fins for diving/snorkel’g)
flip flops for beach and showers
Keen water shoes for everything else (they have great support and a rubber toe protector)

Cash, ATM and VISA cards, passport, etc.
Flight and lodging reservations, emails, receipts, etc.
Small medical kit and sewing kit
Cheap watch with alarm
Toiletries and prescription meds
Sunglasses, spare glasses, disposable contacts for diving/rainforests
Sunblock and bug stuff (Cactus Juice and Sawyer's Time Release Deet Formula, baby oil for sand flies)
Lip stuff
Water purification pump or UV purifier (I'm a budget traveller)
Collapsible drinking cup
LCD headlamp
Camera, etc. (and underwater bag or 1-2 underwater disposables)
Camera storage card reader
Smallish waterproof binoculars
Guidebook and copied map pages
Laminated plant and animal i.d. cards
Journal/writing materials
Reading material
Small gifts for kids and hosts
Small dice and yahtzee papers
A small, flexible disc (like a frisbee)
Various ziplocks, cable ties, small bungie cords
3-4’ of duct tape wrapped around a waterproof marker
String and a few clothespins
Half a roll of t.p. removed from core and flattened

I buy water and reuse the bottle and usually pick up an inexpensive pocket knife when I get there.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Cotapaxi can be very cold and windy such that you will need gloves and a hat or hood that cover the ears (besides a jacket). We were there in August and were planning to do a hike around one of the lakes and we only went part way - it was just too cold (and I had a hood and gloves). That said, if the wind isn't blowing and it's sunny, it can be very pleasant, however it is frequently cloudy (especially in the afternoon) around Cotapaxi. And if you are hiking up to the refugio, you might just be hiking into the cloud level.

In Quito and Cotapaxi, the sun is very strong, due to the elevation. . If the sun is out, you will generally be warm and sometimes in Quito, downright hot. But let the sun go in for a while and it will feel much colder. A sunny 68 degrees can be incredibly hot if you are in the sun in jeans and a dark colored shirt, but if it's cloudy and windy you'll want a jacket.

Layers - wear and bring layers that are easy to peel off, put on and carry about. When the sun starts to set, you will definately feel much colder.

The first time I was in Quito (July 2006) I brought way too many warmer long sleeved garments and not enough lighter short sleeved ones.

The next year when I returned, it was generally colder than the previous year and I hardly wore my short sleeve apparel at all (and didn't have enough long sleeved garments based on the experience of the year before) That said, this past summer was unusually cold by Quito's standards.

If you are worried about packing space, remember that in Quito, at the indian market in the Mariscal section, you can buy an "alpaca" sweater for around $5-7 to keep yourself warm. ( The alpaca is in quotes because I have my doubts about the provenance of the yarn - it may be llama, it may be part synthetic but at $5 it a good way to stay warm. )

Hope this helps

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Old Nov 16th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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If you are going dec- jan it is the summer in ecuador it will be hot in some areas i was there last new years and it was 100 in guyilquil dress in layers in the higher altitudes check online or go to your dr to see about medication for altitude sickness you must take this medication prior to travel so it gets in your system or get names of medication so you can purchase it in a local pharmacy bring lots of small bills with you $1 $5 $10 its better for purchasing . they have the american dollar bills are the same but the change is diffrent back to Altitude sickness sometime you will have a very very strong headache that only will seem to go away when you are no longer in High Altitude and also Altitude sickness you think you ate something that made you sick but it is the altiude drink gatorade or bring Some gatorade powder to mix in your bottled water to keep you hydrated also (kids) pedilight work well to altitude sickness will make you vomit like you never did before have a great trip
Italiano is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Argh! My problem isn't the clothes. I have those down to a pretty sparse selection even though still need to add something to wear to a nice dinner at night and something for xmas dinner.

My problem is all the drugstore stuff! Toiletries, meds, earplugs, contact stuff etc. It takes up more room than my clothes do! And I'm not really willing to toss anything out. My makeup itself will only be 2 small zippered bags. If I leave the imodium I'll need it. If I leave the laxative, I'll need it(love travelers constipation, no?). If I leave the antibiotic ointment, I'll have mega huge blisters.

It's all neatly packed in baggies but still... thank goodness I'm not trying to climb Mt. Everest but I want to get it all easily into 1 piece of luggage. I'm taking a large duffel bag to fill if we buy anything at the markets. Plus another bag just for our snorkel gear.

I vaguely remember doing europe on 1 duffel bag. what wild and crazy days those were!
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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When are you going?

We went in Nov/December and it was tough - the Galapagos was hot, and we hiked to the snow on Cotopaxi.

Here is a review I wrote with a bunch of tips and packing tips -

Also if you'd like photos, don't hesitate to e-mail me... i have LOTS!

manichol [@]
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Buy 1-2 oz. plastic bottles. You can take loads of your usual toiletries by downsizing into bottle appropriate for just 2 weeks.
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