Ecuador, your premier adventure destination

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Adventure Travel Preparation

Physical Conditioning
Our adventure trips in Ecuador are "off the beaten track". The type of terrain varies considerably. When trekking and/or cycling over 2450m (8000ft.), you must also consider the effects of altitude. It is important to be in good physical condition. Prepare for your adventure by working on cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility and core strength.

Health
Most travellers to Ecuador land in Quito, which is 2850m (9348ft.) high. It will take you a couple of days to acclimatize. Stay well hydrated, eat light, small meals and get plenty of rest, then gradually increase your activity level. All of our trips allow for plenty of time to acclimatize, therefore you should not worry about the effects of altitude.

Water/Food
While in Ecuador, drink bottled water. Make sure the food you eat is well cooked. Avoid eating from street vendors. Peel fruit before eating. Use common sense when choosing your meals.

Clothing
You should use a layering system for intemperate weather. The first layer is next to the skin. This should be made of wicking fabric to keep the skin dry. Next a synthetic shirt or light fleece for the upper body, and synthetic long underwear or light fleece pant for the lower body. For your outer layer, you will need a wind proof, water proof jacket with a hood and rain pants.
For trekking in warm, moderate weather, long pants with zip off legs are an excellent choice, along with a light t-shirt. A brimmed hat to protect you from the sun, and a warm toque are essentials for your head. We also suggest to bring a bandana, which comes in handy for a variety of things. Windproof gloves are important for higher altitudes.

Foot Wear
We recommend a leather boot as it conforms to the foot and can be water proofed by waxing it. A full grain, leather boot will last for years, if you look after it. A good leather boot will provide the stability and protection from the elements that you need.

To ensure the proper fit, try several pairs on and compare. Walk around the store for a while. Your heel should be firmly in place, while the toes should have lots of room to wiggle. Your toes should not hit the toe box when on a decline, kick something solid, the toes should not hit the front of the boot. The boot should be big enough for you to wear a light wicking sock with a thicker hiking sock over top.

Day Packs
You will need a day pack to carry your personal items while trekking, such as your sunglasses, hat, rain gear, fleece jacket, snacks, sun screen, camera, water, etc. Choose a 30 litre pack that is comfortable to wear, with side pockets that hold 1 litre water bottles. Some packs have a build in rain cover. If this is not a feature of your pack you can purchase a separate rain cover. Try the pack on in the store with some weight in it, make sure that it has a padded hip belt that fits comfortably. Other important features are; a sternum strap, compression straps, convenient storage and access, sturdy stitching.
When packing your pack, put everything in plastic just in case it rains.

Sleeping Bags
There are synthetic and down sleeping bags. Down bags are highly compressible, warm and light weight. Your bag should fit your body. If the bag is too wide, it will be drafty, if it is too tight, you will compress the insulation and it will be colder. The bag should be long enough for you to stretch out in. Bags come in different widths, shapes and lengths. Try out several bags to find the right one for your body. Bags are rated for warmth. For the majority of the treks in Ecuador, a three season bag should be ample. You may also wish to purchase a liner for your sleeping bag. This prolongs the life of the bag, keeps it clean and provides additional insulation. Silk liners are light weight and comfortable.

Food
On your trip, most of the main meals will be included as per your itinerary. You will need to bring snacks for between meals. Choose easily digested light snacks, such as trail mix made up of assorted nuts, raisins, dried fruits, fruit leathers. Avoid snacks high in refined sugar.

10 Essentials

1. Map & compass
2. Water and food
3. Extra clothes
4. Sunglasses & sunscreen
5. Pocket knife
6. First Aid & Emergency Shelter
7. Whistle
8. Waterproof matches
9. Headlamp/flashlight & extra batteries
10. Fire Starter