Ultimate Packing Guide for Hiking the Inca Trail

Lindsey Dukes
January 16, 2024

If you're reading this, then chances are you're contemplating hiking the Inca Trail - high five!

If you haven't already booked your trip, let me stop you here. 


Secure your spot. You won't regret it.

You're welcome, and you can thank me later.

Inca Trail Packing Requirements

This is not a photo of what I packed for the trail - you will most definitely not need a bathing suit or books.

I tend to learn lessons the hard way (trial and error), and packing to hike the Inca Trail was no different. 

Lucky for all of you, I've turned these lessons into the ultimate packing list to make your life that much easier.

You're only able to pack 3.5 kilos (about 7.7lbs) TOTAL in the duffel bag provided by the porters. This bag will have to fit everything you need for the trail - other than what you keep in your daypack. 

Sounds easy, right? 

The first time I weighed my duffle, I was CERTAIN I would be under the weight limit. I had strategically stripped my belongings down to the bare essentials. If I didn't absolutely need it, it wasn't packed. 

I proudly walked downstairs to weigh my bag.

Turns out I'd packed closer to 20lbs, and I broke the hand held scale. True story.

After re-evaluating my life and packing skills several times, I was finally successful.

Seven pounds is a hell of a lot lighter than you'd think.

As you'll notice, I left most toiletries off of the list below as you won't exactly be able to shower for four days.

I'd like to point out that this list applies only to the trail

PLEASE, for the love of all things good and clean, take toiletries with you to Peru - just not the trail.

Alright, folks - here's what you're gonna need.

Additional reading: Hiking Boots Guide - How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots

Inca Trail Hike MUST HAVES:

Health & Hygiene

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Body wipes (these will be your shower)
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Dry shampoo (if you really think you'll need it)
  • Toilet paper (you'll want to keep some in your day pack)
  • Electrolight tablets (help keep you hydrated and avoid altitude sickness)
  • Imodium
  • Altitude sickness meds (you'll need a prescription)
  • Ibuprofen (for headaches/body aches)
  • Vitamins (don't take the full bottle(s), break down daily portions in baggies)
  • Blister band-aids (just to be proactive)


  • Poncho or Rain Jacket (I'd suggest a good Gore-tex jacket that you can use for both rain and wind)
  • Wind breaker / light jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Two Sustainable bottles or a camelback + water bottle
  • Portable phone charger
  • Small inflatable pillow (porters provide one small pillow...but a having a second is money!)
  • Hiking Boots (MAKE SURE THEY ARE SUPER COMFORTABLE PRIOR TO LEAVING FOR THE HIKE - otherwise just pack tennis shoes with good grip)
  • Layers of athletic clothes - you'll want something warm for the mornings and to sleep in at night, but you warm up quickly throughout the day
  • ONE pair of light weight waterproof pants, just in case it rains
  • Socks..and extra socks. If you're going to bring extra anything, make it socks.
  • Sports Bras (one for each day if you sweat like I do...which is a lot)
  • Gloves
  • Winter hat
  • Hand or body warmers (just in case it's a little too cold at night or at the top of a summit)
  • Sandals (for wearing around the campsite)


  • Day Pack with supported hip belts
  • Packing Cubes (helps keep everything organized. Especially helpful for keeping dirty clothes separate from clean clothes in your duffel)
  • GoPro (if you have one)
  • Camera
  • Little towels to put in your day pack if you are a sweaty ass human like myself (REI's microfiber one's are the bomb)
  • Plastic bags to line duffel bags in case of rain (you can buy these in Peru before you start the trail).
  • 1 soles coins (for using the random restrooms along the trail)
  • Cash for tipping porters
  • Passport (to get your trail ticket and at Machu Picchu)
  • They give you the option to rent an extra sleeping pad and hiking poles for the trek. Opt for both. Trust me.

Additional Reading: Essential Camping Gear Checklist

Do NOT worry about packing:

  • ‍Makeup
  • Big towel for showering (your only opportunity for a shower on the trail is freezing cold water the last night. I opted out.)
  • Anything else shower related
  • Worries, fears, negativity - leave all that sh*t at home

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Under30Experiences

Hiking the Inca Trail was simultaneously one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life, and I am SO stoked for you to experience it too.

Other hiking and camping articles:

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Lindsey Dukes
Lindsey loves helping people become the best versions of themselves through her work as a fitness coach, and a U30X marketing ninjaette & occasional trip leader. She loves travel, adventure, music, deep chats, people, and all things yoga, fitness, nutrition, and human optimization.


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