I'm happy to report that I nailed it!.....mostly. Between Military Friend and myself we didn't really need to buy anything other than our treasures to remind us of our trip, but there are a few things that would have made our trip a bit smoother.
Peru was a bit warmer than I anticipated. I would have traded in a pair of long pants for a pair of shorts or capris. I might even invest in a second pair of hippie pants (those are those ones that the bottoms zip off into shorts), long pants were often wanted in the morning, but shorts in the afternoon. I still wouldn't have given up my puffy jacket though. The few hours that I wore it were amazing! Weather changes very fast, layers are an absolute must! Also don't skimp on the rain gear, we were lucky and didn't get rained on until our last day of vacation, but I can tell you a day of hiking in rain like that would have been miserable.
Wool.....its where its at! After 4 days of hiking, sweating and not showering more than a tub of warm water at the end of the day, I'm pleased to say wool served me well....I wasn't the smelly kid in class to terribly bad and I stayed nice and dry. So I would have packed more wool pieces including another pair of socks or two, wool lady garments and an extra wool shirt.
The little things make a difference....the little things that I would throw in if I were to hike again:
- collapsable walking stick - I bought one of these for about 15 soles. I attached it to my pack most of the time, but used that thing going downhill down millions of stairs.....lifesaver!
- safety pin - to pop blisters, luckily I had a knife to perform surgery
- portable battery charger - I borrowed one of these from a friend and I will say I will be purchasing one of these, super handy!
- Watch - we were hiking for 4 days and on the ocean for 5 days....we weren't carrying our cell phones charged up and ready to go all the time. We hardly ever knew what time it was. We made it, but it would have been nice to have a watch.
- AND the biggest thing I would do differently...pack less snacks. I mean like what I thought I would need and cut it in half....at least. Snacks are heavy and Condor Travel kept us WELL fed. Don't get me wrong, I ate a ton, but I didn't need to bring so many of my own.
My other big piece of advice to those who are going to take on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. And please don't think me to gross, but for the love of all things nature and hiking, before you go to Peru learn to use the restroom outdoors and practice your aim! Boys, you aren't exempt from this advice either! Squatty potty, thats as good as it gets on the trail.
Overall, this trip was amazing. I loved everything about it and it was a dream come true!