Gear list: Tropical weather

[note]Note: the Gear List series are provided as a starting point meant to give you general advice and ideas on what to take on different types of adventure. Everyone is different and of course the lists should be adapted to you and the place you are going to.[/note]

The typical tropical weather is hot and humid day and night with heavy showers. But contrary to what you could believe at first, waterproof gear is not always the best choice.

In the jungle, you will get wet whatever the level of waterproofing just because of your own sweat. And waterproof gear will generaly take much longer to dry than other type of equipment. The smartest choice is often to go for the light and higly breathable kit:

  • Lightweight shoes, trail running type or walking sandals. Avoid waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex (see above). A pair of leech socks can also be a good addition if you are heading to the jungle.
  • Extra socks, lightweight.
  • Loose fit shirts/t-shirts, long sleeve to avoid bug bites. Travel shirts like the Columbia Silver Ridge we reviewed are great.
  • Lightweight hiking trousers, ideally convertible. Again, long to avoid bugs but with the convertible you can always make yourself comfortable in urban areas.
  • Bug repellent, works to some extend but the recommended for tropical climate are very aggressive to the skin and wont avoid 100% of the bites. Keeping your body covered is much more effective.
  • Bug net. This however works and will keep at bay mosquitoes as well as any unwanted cockroaches and other spiders.
  • Light hammock, to stay of the ground when in muddy areas.
  • Travel towel x2, one for the eventual shower, one to carry with you all the time to wipe your face, arms and protect your neck from the sun.
  • Waterproof pouches to keep the dry kit you’re not wearing, well, dry.
  • Flip-flops/sandals to dry your feet and let them breathe when not hiking.
  • Hat or other head protection.
  • Poncho or very lightweight waterproof jacket if you mind the rain.
  • First aid kit.
  • Sun cream.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Water purification tablets.
  • Waterproof travel pouch, to keep important papers and potentially malaria treatment safe.

This list is subject to change and some elements may be added or removed following your comments, so if you have something to say, feel free.