Andrea Romano
April 19, 2018

If you’re headed to the Sacred Valley, be sure to pack the right essentials.

Travelers with their sights on Machu Picchu, located high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, are in for plenty of challenging trails, gorgeous views, and fascinating historical sites.

The 15th-century fortress, considered the most famous icon of the Inca civilization, is about 7,970 feet above sea level. The high altitude makes it important to not only pack the right supplies, but to not pack any more than what you need to keep your pack light.

To start, always begin with the right trail bag. Something light, durable and supportive will help you get through the day without weighing you down or making you tired. If you need a suggestion for a specific bag, the video above has a great recommendation: the REI Co-op Flash 65 Pack.

Inside your bag, you’ll also want to efficiently pack only what you need on the trail while also planning for all kinds of weather and situations. Some tour operators may provide camping basics, but more personal supplies are up to you.

Remember to always have a good pair of hiking shoes with good traction and support. In your bag, keep a pair of sunglasses, a hat (for the sun) and sunscreen to protect your skin from damage. For colder or unpredictable weather, also pack a thicker, knit hat and gloves, long underwear, flannel, a long sleeve thermal, a light down jacket, a rain jacket and a rain cover for your bag. You can get stuff sacks to save space in your bag for all these items.

It’s great to pack layers, so also bring one or two T-shirts and your hiking pants. Bring a swimsuit and flip-flops, too, for bathing and potential swimming opportunities. And, don’t forget lots of socks (we like Darn Tough). Hikers always have to take care of their feet.

Campsite essentials include a camping pillow and an ultra-warm sleeping bag, a dopp kit for toiletries and a headlamp (because no one wants to get stranded outside in the dark).

Throughout the trip, remember to stay hydrated with a special pack, which is easier than carrying a water bottle, too. Don’t forget your medications or passport as well.

Once you get to the site, you’ll have to store your large, hiking bag somewhere safe. But, in order to carry your daytime essentials, bring a small day bag. Bring your camera and portable chargers as well, because you’ll want lots of pictures.

If you’re worried about carrying all this stuff, don’t worry. Keep heavier items low in the bag and daily essentials packed in the front. As long as your bag is under 25 pounds, you’ll still be comfortable on the trip.

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