So sorry about the cell phone quality images – I didn’t want to leave my DSLR outside the lodge, exposed to the elements, for four hours.. kinda wish I did though. Headed to Ecuador? Here’s what I packed.
I’m finally sitting down, sifting through photos and beginning to mentally unpack the year I’ve had thus far. An experience I keep coming back to is that of the Andean sweat lodge in Ecuador. I had never participated in a sweat lodge ceremony before and I had no idea what to expect before entering the small tent where the ceremony would take place. Once I saw how squat and confined the lodge was, I certainly felt a twinge of apprehension, but after spending a few moments in the tent with our ceremonial leaders, I felt at ease.
In all cases, the sweat experience is intended as a religious ceremony. Participating in a sweat is likened to entering earth’s womb, it’s a prayer for healing and should only be undertaken with experienced leaders or elders who know the language, songs, and traditions of the sweat lodge otherwise the practice has a potential to be dangerous to both your physical and spiritual being. Entering into a sweat lodge should not be taken lightly. It’s a sacred space of respect and ritual.
Howdy! Nine days until I fly to Ecuador and I can tell you, I’m not ready! I’m just beginning to pull out my backpack and lazily toss things inside. I’ll be in Ecuador for about two weeks. The first week, I’ll be attending and working at a yoga retreat. The second week, I’m planning on climbing a couple mountains. While packing, I always think back to this article and while I can’t pack quite as light as that couple, I’m really going to try to take only the bare minimal on this trip. I’ll need some equipment for trekking and a few gadgets for my photo work, but otherwise not much.
Here’s what I’m taking:
- yoga mat
- hiking boots
- black Nikes
- Undies + bras
- 2 pairs hiking socks
- 3 pairs regular socks
- 2 tank tops
- 2 yoga pants
- fleece-lined pants
- elephant pants
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 tee shirts
- 1 wool longsleeve
- 1 maxi dress
- 1 down jacket
- North Face rain jacket
- 1 balaclava
- 1 scarf
- 1 beanie
- pair of gloves + mittens
- camelbak hydration system
- digital camera, SD cards, battery & charger
- film camera, 6 rolls of film
- phone, charger & portable battery
- headphones, headlamp, batteries
- wallet – credit cards, cash & passport
- book & pen
- toiletries – (face oil, brush, deo, toothbrush + paste, chapstick, sunscreen, hair ties, etc)
- sleeping bag, space blanket, life straw, compass, survival cards, lighter
- electrolyte tablets, hand warmers, tea
That’s it for now. I plan on taking my hiking backpack and a small shoulder bag to carry everything. I’ll also pack everything inside big plastic bags for protection. Am I forgetting anything?