15 Essentials for Camping in the Costa Rican Rainforest

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Trail in the Osa Peninsula Rainforest, Costa Rica

1. Dry Sack: It’s called the rainforest for a reason. It’s wet and moist all the time here, a dry sack will keep all of your valuables protected.

2. Waterproof Jacket: It’s lightweight and works well against light to heavy rain. It will dry quickly which is important.

3. Baby Powder: Things tend to mold in the jungle, I used baby powder for everything, I put it on my bags to draw out moisture, and mixed it in with my clothes to prevent them from smelling.

4. Water Bladder: Hydration is essential in the rainforest, it is hot and if you are volunteering or taking hikes, it’s easy to get dehydrated.

5. Baby Wipes: I used these for everything! Most places don’t have toilet paper, and these come in handy if you need a quick clean for your hands or any other parts of the body.

6. Deet: If you don’t want to be eaten alive by mosquitoes strong Deet is a necessity. Although you don’t have to worry about diseases, being covered in itchy bites can disrupt your day.

7. Head Torch: I used this every night. It gets very dark very quick at night and there is no electricity. Using this for night walks,to go to the bathroom, read a book, or pretty much do anything at night this will be extremely useful.

8. Swiss army/Leatherman: I brought a good Leatherman with me and found it to be very useful, all different things you can use in one handy mechanism.

9. Rain Boots: Leave your hiking boots at home if your coming to the rainforest, Trail in the forest and general camp life require waterproof boots that go well past your ankles. The mud is thick and you often have to cross over rivers. These are very important.

10. Zip Lock Bags: I sorted all my clothes, dirty/clean/underwear and kept them secure in zip lock bags, Things get quite moldy quickly and it is hard to get it out once its started. This keeps things safe and dry.

11. Biodegradable Soap: Since most people visiting this region are environmentally friendly, it is recommended to use biodegradable soap since there is a well-preserved ecosystem here. You can buy great smelling shampoos and body washes at The Body Shop.

12. Reading Material: During the rainy season, reading material can be very helpful, since there’s not much you can do when it rains. I brought a bunch of books with me for a month of jungle living.

13. Iodine: Cuts can be dangerous in an atmosphere like the rainforest. The thick and moist air makes it difficult for cuts to dry and heal properly. Iodine keeps the wound clean and prevents it from getting any worse.

14. Water Shoes or Crocs: I personally found water shoes to be quick and useful. Many wore flip flops when just walking short distances, but I found water shoes to be more supportive and easier to walk on rocks and through rivers with.

15. Camera: Your best accessory in the jungle. With 2 percent of the world’s biodiversity, there is always something new and exciting to see. You won’t want to miss out on a good photo opportunity of swinging monkeys, colorful birds, and tons of interesting insects.

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