On Sumatra, there really isn’t a defined, predictable wet and dry season. This is a tropical rain forest after all, so always expect and be prepared for rain. Thankfully, things usually clear up quickly, and very rarely are there days where the rains never cease.
- Thanks to their high elevation, forests in the Kerinci area are generally cool at night (15°C or below, depending on how high you are), so you’ll want to bring a rain jacket (which will also be handy to have when it rains), and even a warm beanie.
- Waterproof hiking shoes are essential. Even if it doesn’t rain, there are often muddy parts and most treks require the crossing of shallow streams. You can buy green, knee high rubber boots in town, but only if your foot size is less than a European size 43 (about size 10 US). However, these are not the most comfortable of footwear.
- We also recommend merino wool socks, or their artificial equivalent. These, possibly more than anything, go a long way to keep your feet dry and comfortable, and help prevent blisters and sores.
- Always wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts in the jungle. Also, cotton gets really heavy when wet and takes forever to dry, so in the rainforest, it’s better to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants made from lightweight, quick dry materials made for hiking (like nylon).
- Maybe a little too much info, but boxer briefs help to keep down chaffing when taking long multi-day treks!
- Sunscreen. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.
- Remember that insects/animals can’t see red spectrum, so a headlamp with a red light setting can be nice for keeping the bugs from being attracted around your eyes when you’re walking through the forest or sitting around the camp at night.
- For multi-day hikes, it’s usually best to wear one set of clothes during the day for getting mucked up, then switching into a second set of clean clothes inside the tent. In the morning, switch back into your dirty day clothes. It can be uncomfortable putting them on at first (hopefully they’ve dried a bit), but it definitely helps to conserve the amount of clothing you pack (and weight you have to carry).
- Tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment are included in the cost of the trip.