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What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
35 reviews
What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

I’m going on a 4 day 3 night trip to the rainforest (Tapir Lodge) in June and am having a hard time imagining what to expect. What do you wish you had known before you went? Is there anything you wish you had brought more of (zip lock bags, granola bars, better socks, sport sandals), or not brought at all (hiking shoes, etc.)?

Any thoughts would be helpful!

11 replies to this topic
Santa Cruz...
Level Contributor
91 posts
24 reviews
1. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

We recently visited Yasuni Nat. Park and stayed at Napo Lodge. Based on our experience, I'll suggest that you won't need hiking boots. If the lodge provides rain boots, that's all you'll need. Regular boots will be soaked and muddy and stay that way if you try them. I'd definitely bring a good set of lightweight binoculars for wildlife viewing; much of what you see is at a distance or for brief periods of time, so having your own set was invaluable. If you're into photography, a good lens that can shoot in low light; as much of the best viewing is dawn and dusk. Very light weight clothing that dried quickly was great to have. Being warm and humid, I perspired a lot, so being able to give my clothes a quick rinse in the shower every afternoon and have it dry by dawn saved me a lot of luggage space. Lots of sun screen and bug spray and a wide had and sunglasses.

Enjoy!

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,442 posts
100 reviews
2. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Thanks Jeff, really helpful post.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
35 reviews
3. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Yes, thank you Jeff!

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
1,759 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

First up I didn't go to rainforest in Ecuador but did in Peru so these are my additional tips:

Long socks and a few pairs in case get wet!! I took long football socks (as in Aussie rules ones) so I could tuck trouser legs in and they helped protect shins from the supplied rubber boots rubbing them.

A head torch, i found handy for night walks but held in hand (as big things in the night fly into your face otherwise:-) plus handy if no generators etc. Hand held torch would do just as well. You may not need but I like to carry one even if small

A dry bag can be handy for electronics, I packed clothes in sets and each set in a plastic bag which kept them dry as humidity was bad, made getting ready in a dark if applicable easy and then could use to bring wet clothes out. When I went it was very hot and humid and hard to get things to dry

Ear plugs - some night noise can be loud! If they have howler monkeys at 2am...........Also sometimes the walls are really thin in huts and open at top so ear plugs handy for that too with people coming and going at different times. Looking at picturesI think you'll hear your neighbours

I took electrolyte tablets that I could add to water if it was hot or I sweated a lot.

Pale long shirts attract less mosquitos. No bright colors as these scare animals/birds. I wore long sleeves shirts and long pants at all times for mosquito protection

If you have camera take spare cards and batteries. If you have glasses or a hat a cord to keep them on in case you are on a boat.

I soaked my clothes in picardin before I went and used high strength (at least 30% DEET) regularly applied on all exposed skin

If they don't supply rubber boots then take footwear you don't mind getting wet and or muddy and can walk in while wet

Basic first aid stuff in case lodge doesn't have including any medications you may need

A poncho for rain

Hope this helps abit

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

That is incredibly helpful- thank you!! I snack a lot and am worried that we'll be out and about all day without having opportunities to eat. Do you think it would be okay to bring granola bars or something similar with me on jungle walks, or would that be weird? Also, if someone needs to "use the facilities" while on a walk, do they just go behind a tree? Not a problem, I just like knowing what to expect :)

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
1,759 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Firstly I think it will be fine to take granola bars and snacks. The key is to not leave anything behind so take all packaging and any left over food out with you. I.e. do not litter or leave any food behind that is not native to area especially seeds, nuts etc that wildlife could consume.

I never had to go while I was out as our walks or canoe trips were no greater than 3 hours due to heat but not knowing what they have planned for you and your weather I imagine you just find a tree away from water and again leave no litter behind. So take your own wipes with you and put in plastic bags after and bring back to lodge. I'd check with guide though on protocol.

If it's going to be hot it also maybe worth just taking hand held fans so that you can laze in a hammock and fan yourselves. Do they supply mosquito nets to sleep under? If they don't take with you and use if possible. Not just mosquitos it helps keep giant moths and spiders away too etc . Lastly if your rooms have any opening then put stuff away at night and lock up food in a safe etc. Where I was our lodge rooms opened to the jungle and creatures came in during night. They will move objects around and look for food. So I kept things under my fly net, or in a safe or zipped things back in my bag after first night :-) Never knew what was the culprit,macaws or monkeys or ?

Again guides and lodge staff should warn you about this if it's a problem but if your taking food it could be appetizing :-)

UAE
Level Contributor
251 posts
24 reviews
7. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Useful and timely post as I am also gathering information for our trip.

One of the reviews had said that clothes would get damp, so advised taking only what was necessary to the Rain Forest and leaving the rest if possible in the Quito hotel.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Thank you so much swptravel! This is all excellent information and I really appreciate it!

And thanks Gemcap! We will definitely look into doing that if possible

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,442 posts
100 reviews
9. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

Great stuff - thanks!

10 days out and get excited!!

Bill

Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
923 posts
292 reviews
10. Re: What do you wish you had known before trip to rainforest?

We have been to Sacha Lodge a couple of weeks ago. Here is what we needed:

- A light rain jacket. They will give you a heavy-duty rain poncho for heavy rains, but when it rains lightly you will prefer a light jacket.

- Light rainproof pants. These are must because the ponchos do not cover your legs.

- A sun hat. If it does not rain the sun is burning.

- Shorts and swimsuits. For relaxation times and swimming.

- Sandals. For walking on the lodge grounds.

- Socks? They told us to bring long socks for the rubber boots. I found short socks more comfortable.

- Flashlight. Definitly yes. A headlamp would be even better.

- Good camera with a superzoom lens. Do NOT take a SLR with changable lenses. Until you have changed the lens the animal will be gone.

- Smartphone with good camera. With your smartphone camera you can make photos through the guide's telescope. The guide will show you how it works. A regular camera will not work together with a telescope.

- Mosquitoes? At the Napo river, we hardly encountered mosquitoes (due to socalled black water). A repellent spray for exposed skin was everything we took and we were loose about it (and did not get bitten).

- Food or granola bars? We were served five meals per day. But for some people, this may be not enough...

- Camera bags. I had my regular camera bags which I kept under the poncho during heavy rain. Absolutely sufficient. Most important is that you can pull out your camera within seconds.

- Sunscreen. Mandatory.

- Medication. We had stand-by malaria medication with us, just to be safe. Did not need it, of course. We also did the cholera immunization before travelling. Very easy (you just drink it).

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