What to Pack for the Amazon Rainforest

What to Pack for the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is an exotic place full of beauty and wonder. However despite its appeal, there really isn’t a lot of information out there about what to pack when traveling to this beautiful jungle. That’s where we come in, here you’ll find a complete list of everything we recommend to pack for your once in a lifetime trip of the Amazon Rainforest. While our trip consisted of visiting the rainforest of Brazil, you’ll find this pack list both helpful and relevant regardless of which part of the Amazon (or jungle in general) you visit.

The Ultimate Packing List for the Amazon Rainforest

Below is a list of everything we packed for our 5 days in the Amazon Jungle. If there are only 2 things you take away from this list. Let them be:

1. Don’t wear tight clothing. It’s hot and humid so tight clothing is going to get uncomfortable very fast. Not only should you be worried about the heat, but the mosquitoes in the Amazon bite through clothing – but loose fitting clothing will help.

2. Use 100% Deet repellent. That was the only thing that worked on the mosquitoes.

If you want to learn more about exploring to the Amazon check out our tips and must knows about traveling to the Amazon Rainforest.

Bags & Camping

1. 32L Backpack – To carry all my gear for our adventure, I chose a backpack since it’s easy to tote around. I would recommend against any rolling style of baggage since you’ll inevitably be dealing with mud. I used an ultralight style backpack from Gossamer Gear because it’s lightweight and has plenty of room.

2. Daypack – Once you’re in the jungle you’ll be going on little outings, so you’ll want a daypack to carry anything you want to keep on you (water, jacket, mosquito repellent, etc). I used my Osprey Daylight. It was a perfect bag to bring because, not only is it super light but it also has no internal frame which made it easy to pack away when I didn’t need it.

3. Water Bottle/Hydration Reservoir – I prefer to carry my water in a reservoir for easy drinking access. You’ll want to have at least 1.5L of capacity (2L is better). Whether it’s 1 big bottle or reservoir, or 2 smaller bottles, make sure you have this.

4. Waterproof Pack Cover – It can rain quite a bit in the Amazon so it’s a safe bet to make sure to bring something to protect your entire pack from the rain. We used these pack covers by Sea to Summit since they’re durable but lightweight. Make sure you have one for each backpack – it rained while transporting our big bags, and it also rained while we were out on our day trips. Also be sure to keep them easy access, so if it does start to rain suddenly – you’ll be ready.

5. Dry Bags / Garbage Bags / Ziploc Bags – A pack cover wont guarantee your stuff will stay dry if there’s a major downpour. In that case you’re going to want an extra layer of protection to keep your stuff dry. There are a number of choices from pack liners (which can even be a simple garbage bag) to keeping all your stuff in compartmentalized dry sacks. We used these waterproof stuff bags by Sea to Summit because not only are they waterproof but they keep your stuff organized. We also brought a couple garbage bags (for wet stuff) as well as a number of ziplock bags for any small items we needed to keep dry (like money, batteries, etc).

Shoes & Clothing

9. Trail Running/Hiking Shoes – You really don’t need heavy hiking boots. Get something comfortable that works for you. I used these shoes from Merrel (Women’s) (Men’s) because not only are they comfortable and lightweight, but they are also waterproof. Choose something you won’t mind getting muddy. Some people wear tall rubber boots when going in to the jungle – we did not and were fine. But the advantage is they go higher up your leg (snake bites) and work well in the mud. You can buy these boots when you’re there.

10. Sandals/Flip Flops – When you’re not in the deep jungle, it’s perfectly fine to hang around in flip flops or sandals – especially when you’re on the boat. Watch out for that sandal tan though!

11. Merino Wool Socks (4 pair) – I highly recommend merino wool socks for any sort of traveling. They don’t get smelly nearly as fast as cotton but they are just as comfortable. You can usually wear them multiple times without washing and are also great at moisture wicking. I used these ankle socks (Unisex) to keep my shoes from rubbing against my heels.

12.Shorts (2 Pair) – It’s nice and warm in the Amazon, so you’ll appreciate walking around in shorts. Shorts are usually most desirable when you’re cruising around on a boat/canoe. That being said, when you go into the deep jungle – do not wear shorts! You’ll regret it every second.

12.Long Pants (2 Pair) – The mosquitos in the jungle are almost unbearable (and that’s fully clothed while wearing 100% deet). Pants are going to be a must have anytime you’re going into the deep jungle. I absolutely love these pants by Outdoor Research (Women’s) (Men’s) they’re a little more expensive because they’re rock climber’s pants, but incredibly worth it. They’re comfortable, flexible, water resistant, and don’t get dirty easily. There’s a lot of mud in the jungle and even after just a few days all your clothes will be borderline filthy (covered in mud, sunscreen, and repellent).

Avoid tight clothing – most of the bites I got were where my clothing fit tightly across my skin (upper legs and back).

13. T-Shirts (2) – Just make sure they’re not cotton and you’ll thank me later. Cotton doesn’t wick moisture, it dries slow, gets smelly fast, and is often not great at heat/cold management. Merino wool, or anything that’s a blend will serve you much better.

14. Long Sleeve Shirts (2) – The mosquitos are terrible in the jungle. They’ll even bite through your clothing. Sometimes sacrificing being a little extra warm to keep the mozzies away is worth it.

15. Warm Jacket – At night it can get a bit chilly (or during the rain) so it’s worth bringing a lightweight fleece. You don’t need anything super warm since the temperature there is usually fairly warm.

16. Waterproof Jacket/Poncho – It rains a lot in the Amazon – I guess that’s why it’s called the rainforest. I brought my incredibly lightweight and easy to stow Outdoor Research Helium jacket (Men’s) (Women’s). I kept the jacket in my pack’s side pocket for easy access, which proved useful because the rain can start with little-to-no warning. And in the jungle, you’ll be going out rain or shine – so you definitely don’t want to forget this.

18. Pajamas – Bring something you’ll feel comfortable sleeping in, that you can keep clean. You’re going to get dirty (and feel icky) so it’s nice to have something to slip into at night.

19. Underwear – I recommend using travel underwear, my favorite being from Exofficio. But anything works really – just know things take forever to dry in the Amazon.

20. Hat – Ideally you want a hat that has a full brim (not just a baseball cap) to keep the sun off your neck and face. I personally just used my Buff Headband (Unisex).

21. Sunglasses – You definitely don’t want to forget these!


22. Camera + Memory + Charger – This is an adventure of a lifetime! You definitely want a way to capture all the amazing sights along the way. I personally love my Sony RX 100 ii because it’s a small point and shoot with the power of a DSLR (without the tediousness of carrying one). Whatever you do, make sure you have something. And be certain to bring extra memory – I had 2 64GB sticks with me as well as 3 batteries (and a charger).

23. Flashlight/Headlamp – I prefer headlamps over flashlights – it’s nice to go hands free sometimes. Either way, these come in handy at night time when you’re at the camp sites an you’ll need them to go to/from the bathroom.

24. Sunscreen – You’re at high altitude – the sun doesn’t forgive – don’t forget this! I recommend a minimum of SPF 35 (we used 50)

25. 100% Deet Insect Repellent – The mosquitoes in the Amazon are unreal. Easily 3 times the size of a typical city mozzie, not to mention the black mosquitoes that look more like beetles and bite hard. When it comes to the jungle – 100% DEET is the ONLY thing that works. Most of the bites I got were through my clothing and not on my exposed deet covered skin. Deet is terrible, yes – but the mosquitoes are far worse.

26. Brush/Hair Ties – Hot and humid, r

27. Deodorant – You may be roughing it, but you don’t have to smell!

28. Toiletries – Odds are pretty good you’ll be staying somewhere with a shower. Even out in the jungle if you’re in a lodge, there’s running water. We spent one night camping (no shower) but just showered when we got back in the morning.

30. Toothbrush/Toothpaste – There was not a single day where we didn’t have a chance to brush our teeth.

32. First Aid – It’s always nice to be prepared. Basic things to cary include aspirin, ibuprofen, cold medicine, throat lozenges, antacids, bandaids, Neosporin, and moleskin. You’ll also want to bring your traveler’s diarrhea medication.

32. Anti-Malaria Pills – Don’t forget them!

33. Earplugs – I didn’t use them – but if you have a hard time sleeping through noise the jungle can get pretty loud with all the animals. I like the sound of nature, but I’ll put this on the list just in case. 😉


35. Your Passport – You’ll need it to get in and out of the country.

36. Brazil Tourist Visa – if you’re going to the Brazilian Amazon you will need this. If you’re going to Peru’s Amazon, no Visa is required. Please note this Visa takes a while to get and is quite the hassle. Learn more about getting your Visa to Brazil.

Leave a Reply