Anyone who has ever been on a gig with me or traveled with me knows I love to knit. I started knitting in 2008 during a really stressful time in my life. I was out of town working, and a fellow musician took me to a yarn store. What a treat! She helped me pick out some beautiful yarn and needles, and then spent the next couple of hours sitting with me at a coffee shop, teaching me how to knit some straight rows. It was DEFINITELY not relaxing at first! I made tons of mistakes, and wasn't really sure what I was doing. But like anything, after a couple of months of practice, I got the hang of it. My first successful project was a giant scarf that I knit in a weekend when I was in Haddonfield, NJ. Since then, I've been addicted to the meditative quality of knitting. I love the feel of the yarn in my hands; the rhythm of the needles, and of course the beautiful finished product. I'll be honest, I love knitting for myself the most! But making sweet baby clothes are my second favorite things to knit. Here are some of the ones I love the most!
When I was preparing for my trip to Peru and our trek, I was obsessed with what people were packing! I had never done a trek like this before, and I wanted to have all the essentials, but without being weighed down with extra stuff.
We were VERY lucky in that it really didn't rain at all on our trek. There were some light showers the first day, but after that it was dry and clear. I had been prepared for it, but I sure was glad I didn't have to wear damp clothes, or deal with dampness in our tent. Well, except when we spilled our coca tea EVERY MORNING!
My backpack, which I really liked: Osprey Mira. It's a good sized day pack that fit a 2 liter hydration bladder.
My rain jacket, which I didn't use often, but have since found to be really great: LLBean Pathfinder
I wore Salomon hiking shoes every day, but I did take a pair of flip flops that I wore with socks at the campsite at night, and also to the hot springs on day 3. I'm really glad I brought these; my feet were tired of hiking shoes at the end of the day.
Here's my full list:
2 short sleeve shirts (from REI, nothing cotton)
2 long sleeve shirts (one LLBean half zip thermal, one Athleta long sleeve tee)
1 pair thermal long underwear. Slept in these WITH my tights. So cold.
2 sports bras/undies for every day
1 half zip fleece (LL Bean)
1 ultra lightweight down jacket (Uniqlo)
1 pair heavyweight tights
1 pair lightweight hiking pants (REI), could be made into capris
2 pair lightweight socks
2 pair mid weight socks
1 pair warm wool socks for night
1 pair handmade alpaca socks that I bought in Cusco. SO warm
Buff! For scarf, for dust, for hiding awful hair. (REI)
Swimsuit if you want to go to the hot springs-which feel AMAZING
Sun hat (bought this for about $3 in Cusco)
Poncho (bought for about $1 in Cusco)
Headlamp for camp at night. You want this if you will get up to go to the toilet
Small camp towel (REI), I found this useful for small spills, drying off my face, etc...
Face wipes like Olay, Neutrogena: you will love this at the end of the day
Baby wipes-also nice at end of day
Lip Balm with spf
Contact solution/case/eye drops/glasses
Baby powder (I used this in my hair, on my body; it was a nice little luxury)
Insect repellent. I got strong stuff from REI. I can't imagine not using it; I still got so many awful bites.
Kleenex packs (maybe 6?) I used these as toilet paper, too. Others carried a roll in a plastic bag
Ibuprofen/diamox for altitude.
Ear plugs (I'm a very light sleeper, and I still heard dogs and donkeys with the plugs in)
Saline nose spray (it gets quite dry up high)
Band Aid Friction Block! Amazing stuff. I never used a band aid. Just rubbed this on my feet in the morning.
Moleskin cut to size just in case (did not need because of Friction block!)
Ricola Lozenges (I may not have used these?)
Starbucks Via instant coffee. Another luxury. Just add hot water.
Snacks if you are particular. They provide them, but I wanted my own Clif bars and Honey Stingers.
Spiky Ball (for sore muscles) This was a hit with the entire group. Won't travel without it now.
Extra water bottle to use as hot water bottle in sleeping bed. Not necessary; a liner would have been smarter.
A tall sized garbage bag in case of rain; would have put all my stuff in it before going into pack.
Ziplock bags for toiletries/camera, phone, etc...
Battery for phone (I used my camera mostly and kept phone on airplane mode. Only used the battery once)
Soles coins-get these before the trek. You'll use them for toilets along they way; beer, snacks, etc...
Cash for tips/hot springs, snacks/beautiful textiles
And finally, a clean pair of everything for your day at Machu Picchu. It's nice to take a shower in Aquas Calientas, and have something clean to wear.
I also used packing cubes for my stuff, and the bag I used to travel to Peru was my beloved Aeronaut 45 by Tom Bihn. My friend Ann introduced me to Tom Bihn, and I gotta say, their stuff is really cool. It's like a magic Mary Poppins bag if you pack right. I even had room for lots of beautiful textiles on my way home.
I hope someone finds this helpful! Not to be too silly, but honestly, the most important thing you can pack is a good attitude, an open mind, and a sense of adventure. This trip took me WAY out of my comfort zone, but it was so worth it. I would absolutely do it again. Happy travels!