Preparing for Forays into the Jungle

Anything you bring to the rainforest is in danger of getting wet so take that into account when choosing your clothing and packing your gear. Many of Tabinís most attractive habitats are around rivers, streams, waterfalls and other water-bodies and you tend to work up an honest sweat as you trek through the jungle so things can get wet even when there is no rain. Here is a list of essentials, useful items and tips:

  • A good set of boots or shoes. For long treks and overnighters it is useful to also bring along a good set of sandals or light shoes that can serve as camp footwear.

  • The boots should be accompanied by good socks and you will be provided with ďleech socksĒ if you are squeamish about these little creatures. Loose, comfortable clothing greatly enhances your travel and cotton fabric is especially suitable.

  • For longer treks it is useful to bring both long and short pants as well as long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts.

  • It is useful to pack some light rain gear and a good bandana or hat is essential for protecting your head from sun, rain and falling objects such as the leaves that constantly drop from the forest canopy.

  • Covering up and using leech socks helps to reduce or eliminate leech attachment. Leeches tend to latch on if you brush bare skin against shrubbery during damp weather.  Since they donít do you much harm, many experienced jungle trekkers simply dress comfortably in shorts and detach leeches from time to time by using a dab of salt, a shot of pepper sauce or the touch of a lit cigarette.

  • Bring some swim wear for dips in those jungle pools or showers under the falls.

  • A good waterproof torch, bedroll or sleeping bag, ground sheet, mosquito net and small tarpaulin are useful for overnight trips. A small mountain tent or hammock/tent puts you close to the lap of luxury.

  • Bottled water is essential. Insect repellent, a basic first-aid kit, some personal toiletries and a small towel can also make your day more comfortable.

  • A good set of binoculars or a telescope is necessary if you want to get a close look at most animals and a decent camera will always find plenty of use.

  • Some people also like to bring along a tape recorder to pick up those jungle sounds and some like to bring along a hand held GPS and/or compass.

  • Last, but not least, make sure that you have a comfortable, compact backpack. Bring the necessities but donít impair your enjoyment by packing too much. Thereís no joy in hauling around a lot of gear that you donít need.