Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chirripo National Park

Chirripo National Park….wow, what an amazing place; Costa Rica’s highest peak, the country’s most scenic cool weather hiking location, and quite possibly the  country’s most beautiful  park. I just returned from a 3 night trip to Chirripo, and I am still mesmerized by its natural beauty, however instead of going on about the gorgeousness of our tallest peak, allow me to give you some tips on what you should and should not take up there, since packing right and light is crucial to enjoy this adventure.  Here is my packing list for Chirripo:

  • ·         55 L backpack with waist belt and camelback capacity (and water bag of course), loaded this will hopefully weigh less than 12 kg (be sure its not huge, it will be heavy, bulky and uncomfortable)
  • ·         Backpack rain cover
  • ·         breathable synthetic trail running shoes
  • ·         trekking poles
  • ·         camera
  • ·         compact stove
  • ·         2 pairs of light fabric zip off cargo pants (Columbia for example)
  • ·         3 lightweight wool trail running socks
  • ·         3 pairs of breathable synthetic  t -shirt
  • ·         Capilene long sleeve shirt
  • ·         1 fleece sweater
  • ·         beanie
  • ·         hat, even a baseball cap will jacket
  • ·         1 pair of long thermal undies for sleeping
  • ·         Weatherproof  insulated jacket
  • ·         Gloves
  • ·         4 or 5 freezer zip lock bags (for camera, or anything, there always handy)
  • ·         Sunglasses with straps
  • ·         LED headlamp with fresh batteries
  • ·         Sleeping bag
  • ·         Crocs or slippers to relax in base camp after hiking
  • ·         Pillow bag (stuff it with your clothes for sleeping)
  • ·         Bandana
  • ·         Pack towel
  • ·         Sunscreen
  • ·         Lip balm
  • ·         Bug spray
  • ·         Reading material, should be light and compact, maybe even photocopies
  • ·         A compact and light board game or deck of cards, so that you can have fun at night too
  • ·         a little duct tape
  • ·         a few zip ties for shoe repair and other things
  • ·         Compact first aid kit including: ace bandages, latex gloves, moleskin, band aids, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, bicarb sode (Sal Andrews), adhesive tape,  compact CPR mask, Imodium, Neosporin, gauze pads, sanitary tampon, Tums, tweezers, Cofal, emergency blanket, scissors
  • ·         Any special medication you might need such as salbutamol, insulin, etc
  • ·         Your toiletries (be as compact as possible)

You don’t need: your swimsuit, any chargers, cell phones, laptops, pot and pans, silverware, any formal clothes, blankets, sleeping pads, pillows, jeans, binoculars, books, passport (a copy will be fine), extra shoes.