Jungle Trekking in Bukit Lawang: What To Pack

Keep it light!! Five kilos on your back may not feel like much at the beginning, but by day two trudging up the steep jungle terrain in heavy humidity, your bag will feel more like five hundred kilos! You can leave your main luggage in the guesthouse/hotel and just bring a backpack for your hike.

What Clothes to Pack

Don’t waste precious weight and space in your backpack by packing an excessive amount of clothes. Accept you will be filthy for these three days and deal with it.

I wore the same long lightweight pants for two days. They were dirty and ripped by the end of the trek and I had no problem throwing them away afterward. I brought a spare tshirt for day two, and washed day one’s tshirt in the river to wear again on day three.

I brought a second pair of lightweight pants to relax in in the evenings and I also slept in these too. Bring plenty of socks and a few changes of underwear as well. I wore a sports bra for the three days and swam in it also with a pair of small sports shorts. Don’t bother bringing fancy underwear, it’s not an “Instagram” kinda place!

Also, pack a light rain jacket, perfect for sitting around the camp in the evenings when it gets cooler.

My rain jacket, with our clothes drying on rocks in the background.

Hiking Boats – Do You Need Them?

Hiking boots aren’t totally necessary but are definitely a plus to bring. Good sports shoes are perfect, but don’t bring your fancy Nikes if you expect them to come back in the same condition! I bought a decent pair of cheap trainers in Target. They did me for the hike then I threw them away afterward.


Only bring the essentials: toothbrush and toothpaste obviously, and wet wipes are good to have to keep refreshed. As you will be in the jungle for three days, nature will call eventually so be prepared! A small pack of tissues or toilet paper will do to keep in your backpack for when the time is right!

Darren washing his face and teeth in the river.

A good deodorant is in my opinion a must as you will sweat like you’ve never sweat before!! If you wish you could bring an eco-friendly shampoo/body wash to scrub yourself in the river after a long day of hiking.


A big water bottle is so important to bring. I brought a 2 litre bottle and wish I was able to carry more. There is nowhere safe in the jungle to refill your bottle until you get to camp in the evening, so bring enough to last 6/7 hours in the jungle humidity.

A light dryfit towel/sarong should be brought to dry off after washing in the river at the end of the day.

A portable battery pack to recharge your phone or camera as you don’t want to be metres from an orang-utan and no camera to capture the moment!

A little torch to use at night is a handy little thing to have for moving around the camp in the dark and any late night bathroom emergencies that might arise.

And last, but certainly not least (actually may be the most important in my opinion!!) bring plenty of MOSQUITO REPELLENT!!! I cannot stress enough the importance of repellent in the jungle! The mosquitos are a constant presence so be prepared!


Keelin Riley
Keelin Riley

Keelin is an Irish travel writer with a degree in journalism and a background in the Irish media. Keelin’s travel writing has been published in various media publications, and when she’s not off gallivanting around the globe, she enjoys keeping Sun Scribes up-to-date for all those fellow budget travellers out there!

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1 Comment

  1. May 9, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    It sounds like such an amazing experience. I will definitely add this to my list.

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