What To Pack For The Lost City Trek, Colombia

The Lost City Trek in Colombia is one of the most incredible multi-day hikes you will ever do, but you need to be prepared and pack the right gear to give yourself the best chance of having an epic experience. The hike is a four-day, three-night adventure through the Colombian jungle, winding through the Sierra Nevada mountain range all the way to La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City). It is essential to pack for the conditions you are likely to face, which can include high temperatures, humidity, insects, rain and river crossings. Oh and did I mention you have to carry everything on your back? It can be a little overwhelming to plan for! So to make it easier for you, I have shared my very own Lost City, Colombia packing list so you only take what you really need.

I’ve also put together a super detailed guide to hiking the Lost City Trek here, so if you’re heading out on this adventure, make sure you read my guide first.

The Lost City Trek Packing List:


A backpack. This will carry all your gear for four days, so it is absolutely essential that it is well fitting and supportive. I highly recommend you get one which is around 20-35 litres and comes with waist straps – this is key. If you get a bag which is too large, you will be tempted to overpack, which will mean a heavier bag to carry. So my personal recommendation is the Osprey Tempest 30 Litre.

A water bladder. You will sweat in such excessive amounts during this hike that it is absolutely essential that you rehydrate properly. There are plenty of water refill stations along the trail. I highly recommend using a water bladder as this allows you to drink easier, more frequently and in larger quantities than using a water bottle. An Osprey 2 or 3 litre water bladder is a strong choice.

Waterproofs. In the jungle when it rains, it pours. So it is absolutely essential to bring proper waterproof gear with you. By that I mean a top quality lightweight raincoat, such as the Berghaus Gore-Tex Shell, and a waterproof backpack cover, like the Osprey Ultra Light one.

A towel. Due to the humidity of the jungle, it is unlikely your towel will ever fully dry, so I highly recommend bringing a super lightweight microfibre one like this. I actually took a microfibre changing robe with me instead of a towel and it came in super useful.

A sleeping bag liner. Due to the nature of the camps, bringing a silk sleeping bag liner with you is a very wise idea. You are out in the elements and even though there are mosquito nets on the beds, the bugs can still get to you. Having a silk sleeping bag liner allows you to stay hygienic and also avoid any unwanted bedtime visitors. 

Dry bags. If there is one item you need on this trek, it’s dry bags. Not only are they super useful for organising all your gear inside your backpack, but they help to contain the stench of your sweaty clothes. I recommend purchasing a few different sizes – I took a 5, 6, 8 and two 10-litre dry bags. One of which was a spare, to put my dirty kit inside.

Tech. Be extra careful with your technology, as you are in the jungle and the humidity isn’t always the most friendly to it! A phone is totally adequate for photos, so you can leave any expensive cameras at home (unless it is your job like me!). Charging is limited at the camps, so as well as bringing an adaptor and charging cable, I also recommend bringing a portable charging block too. If you are travelling with a group, then an extender cable or multi-plug adaptor may be a good idea. 

Power bank. If you have an iPhone, I recommend taking a MagSafe power bank to be on the safe side – as some iPhones react badly to the humidity and won’t allow cable charging in the jungle. (This happened to my iPhone 15 and two other people’s iPhones too).

Head torch. There is electricity at the camps, but once the lights go out you will definitely need a head torch for any middle of the night toilet trips, or if you get up early in the morning. I recommend this one from Black Diamond.

Eye mask and earplugs. Unless you sleep like a log, these are absolutely essential to block out the noise & lights of other campers. 

Snacks and electrolytes. There are plenty of snack stops along the trek and you will be well fed at your main meals, but its always nice to have some of your favourite treats with you. I took four bars, one for each day and that was perfect. I also took a small electrolyte sachet per day, to help rehydrate after all the sweating I did – which was a lot!!

Cash. You may want to buy some drinks, snacks or locally made goods along the way. Many of the indigenous communities sell handmade bracelets and bags which are a great way to support them.

A pack of cards. We went to bed super early every night at camp, but if you want to pass the evening with a game, then taking a pack of cards is always a good idea. It’s an easy way to connect with others in your group.


How much clothing you bring depends on how smelly you are willing to get. Personally, I am a seriously sweaty human so I wanted a new change of clothes for each day of the trip and I didn’t mind having to carry them. However, others in my group just had two sets of clothes for the whole time and were perfectly happy with that. It’s personal preference, but here are my recommendations:

  • A pair of sandals or flip flops. To wear around camp and in the showers. I took my Tevas and they were perfect.
  • A pair of sturdy walking boots. Ones which are well worn, well loved and well broken-in to reduce the risk of blisters. I recommend avoiding leather boots as if they get soaked in the rain, they will take too long to dry.
  • 4 sweat wicking tops. I wore the Adanola Tank Bras or Lululemon Align Tops as they act as both a sports bra and a top.
  • 4 pair of shorts. I went for these LNDR ones but I also like the Lululemon Wunder Train ones. I recommend choosing ones with pockets.
  • Swimwear. For refreshing dips in the river. One bikini, swimsuit or pair of swim shorts will do.
  • Socks. Go for your usual hiking socks – these are my favourites. Make sure you have 4 pairs, one for each day, and one spare pair to wear in the evenings.
  • A camp outfit. I brought a crop top, pair of shorts and fleece. Keep this in a separate dry bag to keep it clean and fresh for the evenings.
  • PJs. I actually just brought one pair of leggings and wore these at night with the crop top from my camp outfit.
  • A cap or hat. The sun is strong and the sweat is pouring, so a hat is a very useful thing to have. I actually didn’t take one but those who did wore them constantly. If you’re not a hat person, I would instead recommend a sweat wicking headband to help absorb it all before it drips in your eyes.
  • Sunglasses. For obvious reasons.
  • Underwear. A fresh pair for every day, unless you’re feeling super feral.


It is super easy to overpack on beauty products, but this soon adds up to a considerable amount of weight which you need to carry every day – so try to pack as light as possible!

  • Mosquito repellent. The most important toiletry you will bring. Make sure you absolutely douse yourself in a good quality repellent multiple times a day. My personal favourite is this one from Incognito, it works super well.
  • Suncream. Bring an SPF 50 for both your face and your body, the sun is strong.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and any retainers you might have.
  • Deodorant. To try and battle a bit of the jungle sweat.
  • Minimal skincare. Think face wipes or face wash and a moisturiser. That’s it.
  • Shower essentials. A mini shampoo and body wash, I also took a razor.
  • Medical bits. Any personal medication, as well as some blister plasters.
  • Hair essentials. I recommend a hair brush, hair bobbles and a mini dry shampoo.
  • Anti bac. You really don’t want to pick up a tummy bug during this experience.
  • Tissues or toilet roll. This isn’t provided so bring your own.

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Safe travels,

Zanna x