Planning for Peru

As I've said before, I LOVE planning trips, particularly international ones and especially when I'm going with two of my best friends and my husband (Charley's obviously my bffl but I try to separate him into his own category since he's trapped with me for eternity mu-ah-ha-ha!)Louis can't come which is unfortunate but he'll be hanging in Atlanta with Grammy and Grampy getting extra kibz and walkies.

Planning party dinner
Anyway, the four of us have booked our flights and found our guide service for the four day hike on the Inca Trail in Peru. If you haven't heard of the Inca Trail, you've probably heard of Macchu Picchu. The Inca Trail leads to the summit where the ancient city still "stands." On the last day of our hike we'll reach the peak at sunrise and see what Hiram Bingham saw when he rediscovered it in 1911. Fun fact, he was a Yale grad (like my brother) and worked with National Geographic to gather artifacts and study artifacts that have now been returned to Peru. There are other means of reaching the summit but let's face it, how many chances are you going to get to do something like this with your best friends?! Exactly. Hike the damn thing. I am beyond excited and have been reading the guide book like a looney tune, highlighting all sorts of facts and tips. So far I'm really impressed with this guide book, very down-to-business, whereas Rick Steves' are more conversational usually. 

Lou's pissed because it's taking away from him getting loved on EVERY minute of the day.
I love to travel, love to hike, love being outdoors-HATE sleeping on the ground because I never actually sleep.I'm hoping that this trip is a bit different than some of other camping trips Charley and I have done together-particularly that time he kicked the pot of chili and I, along with the rest of our campsite smelled like bear chum. FUN NIGHT. -_- 

Our guide service provides you the option to hire a porter to carry up to 30 lbs. for you-DUH. When you're hiking straight up a mountain on stairs that even Louis would find tiny, for four days straight, YOU GET A PORTER. I paid extra and got a porter and an air mattress-if all fails me, I'm packing drugs. And some sweet outdoor gear! I've got a ton already from when I worked at the Fitter but here are some new things I've gotten for the trip!

I found this bag at an outfitter near our house and the bagel shop we go to every weekend, Mountain High. If you're ever in Atlanta in the Vinings/Buckhead area, GO! The staff is super nice, very helpful and the selection is amazing. You can find anything and everything-welcome to my financial downfall. This is the Osprey Kestrel 38 which is great for light overnights and long day hikes, ie. perfect for this trip since I'll have a porter to carry all the maj stuff. Think of it like a REALLY sturdy day pack. It has a pouch for a water bladder and all sorts of ways to get to your stuff rather than just a top entry. There's also small pouches on hip belt for easy access to smaller things like a phone or a camera while you're hiking. The back support is awesome and is really breathable-if you're a sweater, you'll understand why that's such a "cool" feature (see what I did there?) Ok that was lame I know.

I'll also be bringing my PacSafe backpack for strolling through town the first two and last two days of the trip since Peru is known for serious pickpockets and thieves. I'm not going to risk getting robbed and this is more comfortable than carrying a purse that somebody could just snatch anyway. If you don't have one of these and you travel internationally a lot (or even once), do yourself a favor and invest.

This is the last bag I'm shoving in my pack too. It folds up to the size of my palm and only weights a few ounces. It's made my Sea to Summit and is about the coolest thing ever. It's a duffel (although they do come in different shapes and colors) that you can pack on any trip in case you end up buying souvenirs that won't fit in your bag (or have dirty laundry that you want to keep separate from the rest of your stuff). I found this one on Amazon for about $38. I got Charley one too but I opted for Kelly green for both of them (matchy matchy married folks, I know). They come in other colors- the purple was fun, too. We found out about these when we were out in San Diego at an outfitter and the guys there told us that these are so strong that they can handle someone standing in it and be lifted up and it STILL WON'T rip. Touche, duffel. Touche. My souvenirs will test your limits.I learned my lesson when I was coming back from Spain-always have an extra bag for the stuff you buy so you don't have to buy one of those too. It gets expensive to find extra bags/ luggage abroad. 

Since we'll be camping, I knew we'd need a lantern. However, the lantern we usually take camping weighs probably 10 lbs and I'm sure as shit not packing that thing. So once again, I scoured the internet and found this sweet little nugget, the Orbit Lnatern from Black Diamond. It's about the size of my hand and puts off some serious light. It can function as either a lantern, using the LED on top in the plastic casing, or a flashlight where the light shines out of the bottom. The sweet little D-ring on top allows you to easily hook it on your pack or on the roof of your tent. I believe this one was around $20.

As much as I'm ashamed to say that I bought Crocs, eff it, I bought Crocs. And yes, I bought this color because it was called "cotton candy." They didn't have the "tomato" color I wanted, so here we are. I love the Her Packing List blog and I've read several posts by girls who swear by Crocs for their travels so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I haven't worn them since sophomore year of high school in pottery class and I don't know why-these babies are bitchin'. They're antimicrobial and super comfortable. After a long day of hiking up a mountain in boots, these will offer aching feet some relief and you can still wear your boot socks with them. Charley opted for army green/brown ones and he shares my sentiments. 

Feel free to message me or comment if you have any particular questions for me about gear-it's one of my favorite things to talk about. If you comment, be sure to leave your email address so I can respond to you directly, otherwise just check back in the comments and I'll respond there. Happy Tuesday, y'all.

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