Everything I Need to Hike the Inca Trail in Peru 

The inca ruins of the lost city Machu Picchu during daytime with tourists visiting the site near the city of Cusco, Peru, South America.

When I first decided to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, I had little idea what I was getting myself into. 

Overnight treks require good planning, lightweight gear and having a suitable fitness level, but for this experience, most of the logistics and legwork will be taken care of by our tour operator, Alpaca Expeditions

Porters will help us carry our gear, food and shelter over the four-day, three-night trek that hits 4,200 metres above sea level. My biggest worries are altitude sickness and blisters. 

Hiking boots

For the past 10 weeks, my hiking buddy Keturah and I have been training, testing gear and planning what to pack. With the help of Alpaca, I’ve expanded and then narrowed down my packing list. 

I feel confident in everything I’m bringing to hike the 40-some-kilometre trail with approximately 1,000 metres of elevation gain. 

Alison Karlene Hodgins poses for a photo while hiking

Here’s what I’ll need for this iconic hike in Peru: 

Personal Items: 

  • Passport 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Peruvian Soles, USD 
  • Snacks 


Layers for the Inca Trail

Gear and Accessories: 

Gear for the Inca Trail
  • Sunglasses 
  • Book 

Medical Necessities and Toiletries: 

Gear for the Inca Trail
  • Altitude illness medication: Diamox 
  • Medication: Gravol, Imodium, Tylenol 
  • Deodorant 
  • Travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • Toiler paper  
  • Hand sanitizer 

Rental Gear Provided by Alpaca Expeditions: 

  • Tent 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Air mattress and foam pad 
  • Hiking poles 
  • Backpack rain cover 
  • Plastic rain poncho 

Alpaca Expeditions provides a thorough packing list. Without the personal porters, who will carry up to seven kilograms (15 pounds) for each of us, I highly doubt I’d be able to complete this multi-day trek. I am so thankful for the people who will be helping me complete this once-in-a-lifetime journey. 

Alison and her friend Keturah as they train for the Inca Trail

I’ll update this list when I’m home if there’s anything I wished I brought or added last-minute. I can’t wait to experience Machu Picchu, trekking into the 15th-century Incan society at sunrise. 

Have you hiked the Inca Trail? Leave your tips, stories and comments below! 



One thought on “Everything I Need to Hike the Inca Trail in Peru 

  1. This is one of the supreme hikes in the world. Less stuff makes for a more relaxed hike. Look over your list and think about what can be shared or borrowed from your friend such as mosquito repellant, deoderant, headlamp etc.. Forget about rain pants and rain jacket. the provided poncho is all you need. Include baggies for packing wet or dirty clothes in your pack.
    Have a great trek.