If you have never done a multi-day, Peru is the best place to go, you have rivers of different styles and levels of multi-days from class 3 to 5. Everyone has their tricks and their essentials, these are mine:
- Money $$ (soles) is always very important for the entrance and exit of the river … one never knows what can happen. While you are travelling through Peru between multi-day trips, hostels are the most comfortable places to stay in and are not very expensive, you just have to find a good place as it is normal is to pay from 10 to 20 soles per night depending on the town you are in … to have a clear idea 1 euro is approximately 4 soles. If you also want to eat cheap, you have two options: go to the markets where they prepare a dish (tallarín saltado, soup, chicken with rice …) for approximately 6.50 soles or go to a restaurante de menus where they have menus from 10 to 15 soles.When you want to hire a taxi or a van to go to a river it is very important to ask the local kayakers for an approximate price and to recommend a driver, if you do not follow these tips it is very probable that they try to charge you a lot more than they should.
- First aid.
- Fire – I usually carry a lighter and a little bit of paper but the Peruvian rivers normaly have dry wood you can make a fire with. You generally will not have any problems with starting a fire, the only place where I would recommend you take a camping gas is if you are going to kayak on a river near the jungle or in the jungle.
- Head lamp.
- Tarp – by many of the Peruvian rivers, tarps can provide good shade from the sun and shelter from rain as it may rain at any moment, especially overnight, so it’s best to be prepared!
- Thermals and a wooly hat keeps me warm, and since sleep is very important, I always wear thermal pants, a shirt and a hat.
- Rain jacket – sometimes you are cooking and it starts to rain or at the end of the river you have to sit in the back of a truck for six hours who knows … this jacket always saves you from one or another and weighs barely anything.
- Two-piece paddle – one or two members of the group should carry one of these as rivers in Peru are in very isolated places and travel many kilometres inside canyons. If you get to lose your paddle during a swim or you break it, you might face a three-day walk-out in some places.
- Sleeping bag and mattress – sleep well and you will paddle better the next day. There are long days in Peru, the temperatures vary a lot because of the heights but rivers are generally a good temperature, and you only need to carry a sleeping bag that reaches five degrees if you want, you do not need one for colder climates. I usually also wear my Tsangpo suit and some socks because otherwise you get bitten by many mosquitoes. Normally the camp sites are on sandy beaches so you do not need to carry a very thick mattress but that depends on each person.
- Water bottle – a must-have, don’t worry if the river water is fine to drink or not, especially if there is water coming from tributaries from the top of the mountain. If not, you can always use filters or chlorine tablets. We do not normally carry chlorine tablets or iodine, we take the water from the small tributaries that fall on the sides of the canyons so I cannot really give a personal recommendation, but if you want to buy chlorine tablets or iodine they are available in Cusco or in other large cities.
- Watch – it’s good to know what time is it in Peru, it gets dark at 18:30, so you need to have a good camp site before that hour.
- Cookware and utensils knife, bowl, pot … all you think you need to make a good dinner, bring it and share it with the whole group.
- Food – my ideal food to take on a multi-day trip in Peru is some vegetables, oats, milk powder, coffee powder, chocolates, energy bars, tuna, Mexican pancakes, sliced cheese, pasta, minced meat, coca leaves to make tea.
- Rechargeable battery – on many multi-days, sometimes the batteries do not last and there are always good things to take pictures or record until the very last day, so you always have a back up plan.
- Sunglasses – there are many long shots and if the sun is good, I always bring them just in case.
- Extra batteries.
- Notebook and a pen to write or draw, which helps me relax at night.
- Soap – you might find a place to take a shower … you know always clean ;)
These were what I thought were the most important items for a multi-day in Peru, I hope you liked it. If you think I forgot something, just leave a comment and tell me what you think.