The 10 things you will need to survive on the Inca Trail!

A good rule of thumb is if you have to think about when you’re going to use an item, you probably don’t need it. Less is more. 


10. Ultra Light Backpack

Ultra Light Backpack

Most people make the mistake of getting a heavy duty backpack. You’re not hiking for a month! Get a lightweight backpack at any REI store and you won’t regret it. If you have sherpas, this is the bag that you can hand over and not worry about it going over 15lbs.

9. LED Cap


Everyone recommends that you get a flashlight or clip on light but honestly those aren’t helpful if you’re holding walking sticks. The most useful product is a cap for the Inca Trail. You can turn your head to the direction you’re walking and it’s hands free!

8. Small Pack for Your Water

Small Pack for Your Water

If you’re one of the lucky ones that have a sherpa or someone to carry your belongings then you can give them your large backpack and just carry a small pack for your 2L of water. For the trail, I bought a 2L water pack with a magnetic clip. The only other thing I would carry were 2 chocolate granola bars. One to eat before lunch and the other for an extra boost of energy. That’s all you need!

7. Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping Bag Liner

It is chilly at night in the Andes! Unless you’re a guy with excessive body heat, you will need a silk sleeping bag liner. Silk is cool in hot weather, warm in cold weather and you’ll sleep a lot better. Just don’t forget the earplugs!

6. Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes

Are there showers on the Inca Trail? Yes on some campsites. Will you be using them? Probably not because it stinks. The best alternative is baby wipes. Also don’t forget hand sanitizer!

Some of my friends used dry shampoo but very few shampoos actually work.

5. Mosquito Repellent, Sunblock, Hand Sanitizer!!!

Mosquito Repellent, Sunblock, Hand Sanitizer!!!

These products you obviously need! The mosquitoes are vicious and the sun will burn you. Don’t forget your shades too!

4. Comfortable Shoes

Comfortable Shoes

Some people like to get heavy hiking boots. I recommend wearing light sneakers that you’re comfortable wearing (even better if it’s waterproof). Even though it’s a trail there are a lot of steps and you want to make sure you’re not wasting energy lifting heavy shoes.

3. Waterproof Clothes

2. Snacks for the Altitude!

Snacks for the Altitude!

You shouldn’t be snacking on too much sugar on the trail. Everything in moderation but I do recommend buying coca candy and leaves to help with altitude sickness. It’s also great to share them with your guide and the crew members who are carrying all the gear.

1. Crisp Clean Bills

10 Things You Need To Survive The Inca Trail To Machu Picchu!

The most important thing you need is obvious, money!! But make sure they are crisp and clean with no rips. Everyone will inspect your money even if it’s $1 because of all the counterfeiting going on in South America.