In Hindsight: Packing for the Amazon

Yeah, I’m a city girl through and through.

Now that i have 200 mozzie bites all over my body, i thought you would appreciate this: ‘THE THINGS I SHOULD HAVE DONE (AND NOT DONE)”


  1. Only brought shorts & short-sleeved shirts for Brasil’s summer
  2. Bought cheap sunscreen & repellent lotion (in my defense… i’m a young, penniless college student. i get to make mistakes like this)
  3. No boots & no long socks
  4. Shivering in my hammock because I was too lazy to stumble around while in the dark and under a mosquito net


  1. Booked a value-for-money hostel perfectly located on a main road
  2. Swapped shorts for a pair of pants. I love clothes-swaps at flea markets, but exchanging clothes with the Brazilian teen on a neighboring bunkbed was a first! Still, i now had long pants!


  1. Long, Loose Pants with lots of Pockets = Keeps the mozzies away, and allows for hands-free hiking. Trust me, you’ll want to stuff sunscreen & repellent spray in your pockets.
  2. Wetwipes
  3. Hat & Sunnies = the equatorial sun is a vicious creature
  4. Hiking boots = people who say trainers are sufficient are lying.
  5. Long, long socks = some Colombian dude I met at Nilson’s lodge had at least 50 stinging red bites all over his ankles and calves. No one – not even the guides – knew what they were. He claimed to not feel them till he saw them. They were big & round, like bright red keloid scars. So tuck your pants into your socks!
  6. Hair bands = if you have a head full of thick hair like I do, your non-sweaty neck will thank you.
  7. Flipflops
  8. Waterproof jacket = it gets cold on rainy nights! yes, i have pathetic cold-weather tolerance.
  9. Neutral colored clothes = bright colors scare animals away, and you won’t see them, and you will be sad. Rule #9 mandates avoidance of most sports stores, given the strange propensity of Nike, Adidas, Columbia, Northface etc to manufacture neon-colored clothes.
  10. Flashlight = get a good one. My R$30 headlamp couldn’t spot a caiman’s red eyes even if it were right next to me.


Ever made a silly mistake yourself? Let me know PLEASE so i’ll know better next time, lol.



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