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Thread: Thermal Top For Machu Picchu Trek?

  1. #1
    Mini Goon
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    I am after a little advice from those that know a lot more than I do (that's all of you then) about lightweight thermal tops.In September we are going on a trip oflifetime, 12 days in Peru that will include the Inca trail and maybe a few nights in the jungle. I'm trying to put a kit list together but as its the first time either of us have done a trek I need a bit of guidance. We need a decent smock / small jacket to wear in the evenings once we've stopped walking. Some articles I have read recommend a fleece whilst others suggest ski jackets.I generally use (but obviously its only been this country so far) abase layer, micro fleece (Craghoppers Corey) and either a non branded softshell or a wind/waterproof layer on top(sometimes a full jacket or sometimes a Monatane featherlite top). I think I would be wise to a take a thermal layer that will replace the softshell (or softshell and micro fleece) as I need something that packs down very well. I still intend to take my waterproof jacket. I really not sure on budget, the less expensive lower brand name kit has suited me well so far but I want something that performs well for the money (or two of them otherwise the girlfriend will be pinching mineā?¦).

    Thanks in advance,

    Craig.

  2. #2
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    We went to Machu Picchu by the Salcantay trail that goes higher than the Inca trail, nearly 5000m. At that height it was hot in the sun and relatively cold in the shade and at night. We had good weather and I remember little wind. I do not remember needing very warm clothes. For lightness and packability we carry down clothing for what you are talking about. I have a Rab gilet I probably took that. I wear amicro fleece like powerstretch and then as much down clothing as is needed for the trip. Most of the time you will be too hot. Think sun hat and UV protection.

    So I agree with what you have read: a fleece or synthetic fill jacket or down jacket. My preference the down. It is not humid up high and if it rains you will be dry quickly so the only advantage of synthetic or fleece is cheapness. As it is not that cold cheap would be fine.

    I assume you are going with a guided group as the Inca trail is almost impossible to do by yourself, due to permits and booking hurdles. That is why we did the Salcantay trail. If you are with a guided group you get most of your stuff carried on a mule so weight may not be so important.

    You know heavy rain washed out the return railway and road from Agua Calientes a few weeks ago. It will be repaired by the time you get there.

  3. #3
    Widdler -reece-'s Avatar
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    I did the Inca Trail in August 2006 and just took a lightweight sprayway waterproof jacket,a poncho,2 pairs of lightweight craghopper zip off trousers,a fleece a couple of base layer tshirts,and also 1 thermal top i bought in Cusco.

    I did it as part of an organised tour and carried my own kit.The company i did it with Llamapath run by a very nice welsh woman hired out sleeping bags and roll mats.I tend to feel the cold at night but i was fine with what i had.

    Didnt see any mules carrying peoples kits as the sherpas carried unbelievable amounts of stuff for other people.

  4. #4
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    perhaps mules are not allowed on the inca trail. I was on the Salcantay route. I know they wanted people who used poles on the Inca trailto put rubbercovers on their pole tips to avoid damage to the paving so it would make sense that donkeys with steel shod hooves would not be allowed.

  5. #5
    Goon
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    I did the inca trail in Oct 04. I was fine with long sleeved tops, a micro fleece and a waterproof. Oh I also had a long sleeved shirt with a collar that was very useful to stop sunburn. Also wide brimmed hat useful. Now that I own one I would have taken a synthetic fill lightweight top for the evenings. I'm not convinced down is a good idea as when not on the tops its pretty humid, especially if you go down to the jungle.
    I would strongly recommend a thermarest, or even inflatable mattress plus closed cell mat as the campsites are all rocky as hell.
    I found the cocoa tea very good to combat altitude sickness, and a wadd of leaves in the side of my mouth got me over dead womans pass, so worth picking some up in cuzco.
    Trail shoes would have been fine if your used to them, but I used full boots as I wasn't sure before going. Trekking poles will need rubber feet on them.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I am doing it as part of an organised trip with GAP. The porters will be carrying gear, a max of 15kg per person, but I can't see us getting anywhere near that weight and we'll be carrying our own day sacks anyway.

    It sounds like I just need a top to replace my shell jacket and to take my usual micro fleece and waterproof jacket.

    I think the sleeping mats are provided but I will double check on things like that.

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