Essentials for Volunteering in the Rainforest!

Essentials for Volunteering in the Rainforest!

Posted by Michael Starbuck on 30th Jun 2016

The rainforest is one of the most popular destinations for our travellers as it offers the chance to see incredible animals in the wild and also experience something nothing like home, and as such we are often asked what essentials are needed when visiting a rainforest. We have therefore put together a list of rainforest essentials, some you may never have thought of and some helpful hints on those that you have.

1. Mosquito repellent with Deet

Mosquito Spray

In most rainforests mosquitos can be a big problem, especially if there is a medium or high malaria risk. Therefore good mosquito repellent is absolutely crucial. We recommend a mosquito repellent which is 50% deet or more. This being said nothing is 100% effective and so we also recommend wearing trousers and long sleeved shirts and always sleeping under a mosquito net. Specific brands of mosquito repellent that are widely recommended include ‘Jungle Formula’ (approximately £9) and ‘Bushmans’ (approximately £5).

2. Quick drying clothes and towel

Microfiber Towel

These can often be overlooked but are some of the most crucial items on a packing list to the rainforest. While there is a wet and a dry season in most tropical climates it is important to know that it rains nearly every day in the rainforest, even if it is just for 10 minutes, and when it does, everything you have with you can become soaking wet. If this wasn’t frustrating enough, due to the high humidity of around 90%+, clothes, towels and other fabrics can take a long time to dry and that is why we recommend light quick drying clothes and a quick drying towel so you don’t have to be constantly a bit damp when in the rainforest.

3. Waterproofs

Poncho

Continuing from the above, waterproofs can be a saving grace. However, whilst a lot of people visiting a rainforest will take water proof clothes a lot forget a waterproof bag protector. This is important for obvious reasons and can often be cheaper than buying a fully waterproof backpack. Also an easily accessible poncho that you can have on in a matter of seconds can be beneficial as really high quality waterproofs can make you sweat more which will not help you stay hydrated and they can also double as a waterproof bag protector!

4. Day pack

Dry Pack

Rainforests can often consist of varying terrain and slippery surfaces and primary rainforest in particular can be very dense making it hard to navigate through. This is why we recommend taking a day pack with you so you do not need to carry your main backpack with you each day when embarking on jungle treks, but instead, can carry the essentials with you safely and easily.

5. Re-hydration sachets

Water

Another crucial item to pack. The climate is very humid and water is not always quick and easy to locate, therefore rehydration sachets can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding dehydration and restoring natural salt levels. These can be bought for approximately £3 for a pack of 6 which makes them an inexpensive yet handy item to have in your pack. Of course the best way to avoid dehydration is to ensure you always have water with you and this is why we recommend always carrying a re-useable bottle of water with you in your day pack and informing your group if you are running low!

7. Boots

An obvious essential in everyone’s bag when visiting the rainforest! However, what type of boot should you take? For most the answer is a good solid pair of hiking boots. These will have good traction in drier conditions and can give your ankles strong support making them a very popular choice. However, one issue with these is that they can lose grip when the ground becomes slippery as they are more often than not, not waterproof and therefore, an alternative maybe aqua/water boots.

A lot of people do not even consider these but they work well in the rain as water can move freely and are designed to offer grip on wet and slippery terrain. They can also be a lot cheaper than hiking boots, costing from approximately £10+ which is great news, especially if you are only in the rainforest for a short period of time and don’t want to spend a small fortune on boots you may only wear a few times.

Optional Extras

1. Silica Gel Sachets

Finally, something which most people almost never take: Silica gel sachets. These very small and cheap sachets absorb moisture and offer a great way to help protect any electrical devices you may have with you. Put a few in a camera case or phone case and they will help protect these items from mould growth and potential equipment malfunction.

2. Inflatable pillows

Depending on where you are travelling and the type of accommodation you will be staying in, an inflatable pillow can offer an easily transportable added comfort.

3. Sleeping bag liners

Again, depending on where you are travelling and the type of accommodation you will be staying in, a sleeping bag liner can act as your own bedding and may seem a home comfort when staying in particularly remote parts of a rainforest.


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