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Packing for the Rain Forest
Remember, it really does rain!

 

Pack right, feel right...

Pack a hooded raincoat or pancho. Get one that's sturdy - a $1 disposable raincoat may be lightweight, but would rip apart in minutes on a leafy jungle path. A good raincoat over a long-sleeved shirt is good for layering on cool mornings.
Camouflage outfits are a good idea if you're going after wildlife photos. Jungle animals have keen eyesight. Wearing clothes that blend in lets you get a little closer, and can make the difference between a prize-winning photo or none at all.
Definitely include a wide brimmed hat. It will protect you from the hot sun, which can be debilitating, especially if you're not used to heat and high humidity. It also becomes a mini umbrella in the rain. Last, it keeps insects from falling on your head. One episode with tree-dwelling tongaronga ants in the Amazon and you'll be glad you have a hat.
Definitely bring a swimsuit, but only swim where the natives swim. They know where the safe spots are. If a native won't go into the water in a certain area, you stay out too. Pack a suit with tight elastic legs, and don't urinate in the water. There's a tiny species of catfish that has been known to follow urine streams right up into the ureter, and lodge there - a very painful and potentially dangerous condition.
Shoes are important. Start with a pair of sneakers, and one pair of sturdy hiking boots. The Army Navy stores stock a Korean-made jungle boot for about $29 that is comfortable and dries out quickly. Finally, make sure to use cotton socks that dry fast and dry out your toes at every opportunity.
Despite all the warnings I've given you here, the rain forest is a wonderful place to visit. The intricate ecology and abundance of life is truly amazing. The blazing colors, exotic plants, and haunting sounds are an experience you will never forget.

Travel wisdom to go...

She travels grubbiest who travels light.
(Erma Bombeck)

Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.
Travel light and you can sing in the robber's face.
(Juvenal (A.D. c.50 -130) Roman satirist)

The lineaments of travel.
To travel far and often tends to make us experts in anonimity -
but never quite, for we always carry too much, prepare for too many eventualities.
One bag could have been left behind. We are too afraid of unknowns to ignore them.
(Alistair Reid, Scottish born writer and poet)

Being mobile, or able to carry everything you've got is the key to easy foreign travel. If you think you're strong, try picking up all your equipement and walking around the block.
(Paul Heussenstamm, American surfer)

Own only what you can carry with you: know language, know countries, know people.
Let your memory be your travel bag.
(Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist)

(Source: Flinging Monkeys at the Coconuts, Collected and edited by Travor Cralle, Ten Speed Press, ISBN 0-89815-575-4)


Pack Respect...

Probably the most important thing you can take on any trip is an open, cheerful, respectful attitude. The natives may be barefoot, but their IQ matches yours. Their houses may be thatched with leaves, but they rarely leak - and just try building one yourself. Even a simple looking stilt house represents centuries of design experience.
(Sandy Huff, American Travel Writer)

There's more excellent women-friendly packing advice...

Packing for a cruise
Her Disposible Biking Wardrobe

 

 

 


Back to Ecoadventures...

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