What to pack for trip to Panama

Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:59 AM
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What to pack for trip to Panama

We're gonna be in Panama City, San Blas, Bocas del Toro, and David. Hiking, snorkeling, bird-watching, exploring the city.

People have mentioned bringing your own snorkeling equipement, but what else is useful?

Thank,
Jenny
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Weather is extremely hot this time of year, so bring lite clothes , better if 100% cotton. There should be hardly any rain.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:07 PM
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We did several jungle hikes and I really am thankful I purchased really good waterproof hiking boots (they look like glorified tennis shoes) from REI, plus good, sturdy hiking/walking sandals. We also brought those light-weight pants that wick away moisture to keep you cool and they zip into shorts as well. I used those all the time. Plus I had a long-sleeved t-shirt style wicking shirt that really did work in keeping me cool while on these hikes, as they recommend long pants and long sleeves. I think the long pants part is for sure. The long sleeves...I'm not so sure. A sun hat is a must, as well as good sunglasses. We brought our own snorkel gear and am glad we did. A beach coverup to throw on over your swimsuit. Oh yes, good thick sox to go on those hikes. For San Blas and Bocas, get lots of $1 bills (we probably went through $20 in $1 bills just in San Blas), also, don't have much over $20 bills, because most people will tell you they have no change. Also, for San Blas, I brought along snack foods from home--beef jerky, corn nuts, peanuts--fruit rollups, anything flat, and they were a big hit because sometimes our kids and my husband didn't care for the meals they fixed us. Most important too is a light-weight collapsable carry-on bag for those trips to San Blas or Bocas because you're only allowed 25 lbs./person on those flights and they are quite strict about it. They don't count large purses or backpacks or snorkel gear that you carry on the plane, but bear in mind, you just may be carrying all your carry-on in your lap in a very small seat, as in-cabin storage is quite limited. And bring a guide book or at least notes you've taken about what to see and do. Enjoy. Panama is an absolutely fantastic experience!
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:11 PM
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I forgot one more thing that I purchased for myself and loved it...It was like a semi-backpack or glorified fanny pack (again at REI) that you could wear around your waist, yet I could stuff a towel, and money, etc., as well as clipping on a water bottle (I purchased inexpensive water bottle carriers with clips) and my back didn't get all hot and sweaty like everyone else did with regular backpacks. That was probably one of the best purchases I made for the trip. Used it almost every day!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:42 PM
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If you do go birding in Boquete (about an hour from David) you might want to have something a little warmer. As you get up higher it will get cooler.

I just bought a pair of Solomons Tech Amphibian shoes from REI after 2 people recommended them. They used them exclusively for hiking and water activities. I have been wearing them all day with no socks and they are very comfortable. Lands End has some shoes that are similar but not quite as heavy duty.

Have you talked to the lodges you will be staying in in Bocas and San Blas? There has been some pretty bad flooding near there. We were going to try to get to Boquete Panama from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica but have had to rearrange our trip because the roads are in bad shape over there.

Those large fanny packs are so much cooler when hiking than a backpack. Ours has two water bottle holders as well as a large pocket.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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3 M's Ultrathon if you'll be in the Humid forests.
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