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Peru – Amazonian School Kit List


General Items

Main bag – You will need a rucksack or holdall, 50 litre minimum capacity.

Day bag/small rucksack – Needed for your field work for carrying water, paper, pens, binoculars, cameras etc.

Water bottle/platypus – A combination of leak-proof plastic bottles (total capacity 2 litres) is imperative. The ‘hydration systems’ on the market (Platypus, camelback, Ortileb) have the advantage of packing flat when not in use.

Strong head torch – Night-time opportunistic walks require the stronger Petzl headlamps. Please note that the ‘mini Petzl’ models are no good for spotlighting nocturnal wildlife such as caiman and amphibians, etc, but are excellent back-up torches. Don’t forget spare batteries!

Waterproof jacket – Rainfall is unpredictable in this part of the world, so a plastic poncho or lightweight rainjacket is invaluable. Expensive heavyweight Gore-Tex raincoats are not recommended – they are hot and may get snagged and torn.

Watch with alarm – It doesn’t have to be anything technical. A travel alarm clock will also do.

Biodegradable soap/shampoo – To minimise impact on the environment we ask all volunteers to bring ‘green’ detergents. Please bring personal soap such as lifestyles or mountain suds as unfortunately, biodegradable soap is not available in Peru.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Insect repellent – For any projects where you will be handling or in close proximity to animals (in particular amphibians) you will need a non DEET based repellent. However for other times DEET based repellents are fine. Many of our staff use Mosi-guard which can be bought from Amazon.

Sunblock – Factor 30, minimum, is recommended. Please ensure it is a coral friendly sunblock if you intend to use it in the water.

Talcum powder – This can help prevent and combat athletes foot/other fungal infections.

Sanitary pads/tampons – Please bring a supply even if you do not expect to use them.

Travel towel/sarong – Don’t bring a big thick towel as it won’t dry quickly enough. Towels are provided on the boat so it is not an essential item, but most hotels in Iquitos have a swimming pool so you may want a travel towel for this.

Latin American/Spanish phrase book or dictionary 

Binoculars – These are really useful to see much of the wildlife in the forest. 8 X 40 are the best to bring.

Camera – You will have lots of opportunities to take pictures but please bring a waterproof carrying case or zip lock bag for the camera.

European or North American plug adaptor – You will have the chance to charge electronics when the generator is running. The sockets take 2 straight flat pins, or 2 round pins.

Notebook and pencils


For the forest you should bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! Synthetic (wicking) fabric is the best as it is quick drying, but cotton is kinder to the skin. Don’t forget to buy your Opwall t-shirt from here! It is worth having a set of casual clothes that you put aside for downtime in the evenings.

Wellington/rubber boots – Essential for working in the flooded forest.
Trainers/sneakers/tennis shoes – Shoes to cover your feet and offer a steady grip whilst on boat based surveys.
Flip flops/sandals with some grip – 1 pair
Lightweight long baggy trousers – 3 pairs
Shorts – 2 pairs
T-shirts – 5
Fleece top – 1
Long sleeved shirt – 2
Swim suit/bikini/board shorts – Most of the hotels we use in Iquitos have swimming pools. However no swimming is permitted once on the expedition site.
Socks – Enough for 2 weeks.
Underwear – Enough for 2 weeks.
Sunglasses – A good pair are important to protect your eyes from the glare reflected from the water.
Nightwear/Pyjamas – You will be in shared accommodation!
Mosquito head net – There are a large number of mosquitoes on-site, especially when walking the forest transects, so a head net is recommended.

Medical Kit

Although every expedition will have its own medical supplies, and medical teams on site, you MUST carry your own personal medical kit

Antihistamine tablets
Antihistamine/hydrocortisone cream
Rehydration salts
Plasters/band aids
Antiseptic wipes
Hand sanitiser
Sea/travel sickness tablets

Prescribed medications – It is vital that you bring any medications that you have been prescribed by your doctor with you (including malarial prophylaxis).

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