Beyond The Amazon: Packing for Peru's Western Wilderness (part 3)

First Nights Campfire First Nights Campfire Photo by: Kathy Wills
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CAMPING GEAR

An important consideration is the camping gear we expect to use. Heading into remote areas is a challenge. There are specific demands made of our equipment when camping in the rainforest or in the mountains. Each location presents unique challenges to our gear. Because of weight considerations we have to choose our equipment carefully. Every piece we bring must adapt to our current situation.

For example, in the jungle locals place huge banana leaves on the ground and build a fire to keep away creatures of the night. Their campfires do little to fend off mosquitoes, ants, centipedes, scorpions, and other nameless creatures crawling or flying around. If it rains (and it often will) they have no protection from the elements.

In the mountains we need protection from ticks, mosquitoes, scorpions, and biting fly’s. There is also the potential of rain, high winds, and occasionally frost or snow. Locals usually never sleep outside, and the buildings they find shelter within can have lice or fleas present. The floors are always dirt. It is not uncommon to find dogs, Guinea pigs or chickens living indoors with them.

Regardless of where we stop, our PahaQue tent, Hennessy Hammocks, sleeping bags and clothing are chosen because they easily adapt to our surroundings. We are protected from the elements and insects. Each item is sprayed with a treatment of permethrin, a non-toxic natural insect repellant, a few days before we leave home. Permethrin lasts for two weeks whether the item becomes wet or remains dry. Insects will not crawl onto you, your tent, or come near your sleeping area.

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