View Full Version : Panama Rain Forest

04-30-2009, 14:05
I didn't really know where to post but here goes. I've got a friend going to Panama for 19 days and she's never really been camping or hiking before other than your normal excursions when your young. Is there any advice or any specific's that would help her have a better time? They will be hiking 10 - 15 miles a day in a rain forest and as well as I know this girl she will not have a good time (even though she think's she will). It's a graduation thing with CofC and she'll be in a group so she wont be carrying anything of the tent's or cooking systems. Any pointers for her? I may give her a link to this site if some useful info turns up. Thanks.

Tipi Walter
04-30-2009, 14:36
Wow, this one bring back some memories. I lived near Panama City(pacific side)for two years and backpacked mostly in the Los Crucis rain forest near Gatun Lake. Where will your friends be? The area up near the Costa Rican border is fantastic, near a little town called Boquete, but I spent most of my time in the jungle not far from the notorious Darien Gap.

What can I say? Watch out for the black palm trees(a million needle sharp thorns), the bushmaster snakes(2 inch fangs), the leeches in the water and all the billions of ants calling every tree trunk home. It's good she'll be in a group. Camping in Panama makes anything done here in the States look easy.

Check out the fotogs:
Tipi by a jungle waterfall.
Rappeling down a waterfall with a rope, etc.

04-30-2009, 14:45
Thanks Tipi, she'll be in the rain forest near boquete that's about all I can tell ya. She's called me earlier and said "hey, I need to borrow some equipment" so I'm trying to figure out not exactly what she needs but what she can take that will give her an advantage. She think she needs a large flashlight, I said no, but I could be wrong. Little things like that I guess we need help with. Then she mentioned a bug net......does that mean she needs a sleeping bug net or clothing bug nets, neither of us really know she just has a sheet with these items on it which she'll be emailing me here shortly. Should I get her some gatiers? I told her that 19 days out in the rain forest will probably push her to her limits whether she's having fun or not, I'm just trying to come up with some things that will help her have a better time when it gets rough.

04-30-2009, 22:50
Great memories!

Jungle Operations Training Center(JOTC)1986.

Rain, Rain Rain and more Rain. I have never been so wet for so long in my entire life. Humidity, Sketters, Black Palm indifferent to jungle boots, triple canopy that gives darkness a whole new meaning, miles of ants on super highways carved through the jungle with leaves the size of volkeswagon's on their backs, glowing swamps, lush vegetation, monkeys, bats and snakes. It's pure beauty and hell that overwhelms the senses.

Wish I could do it again. A hikers Disneyland.. She just needs to do her homework before heading out. She will have a great time and will remember it for ever.......

05-01-2009, 00:15
I would assume that the group she is going with would have bug nets for sleeping.
I took a jungle 3 day trip in the rain forest in Bolivia about 12 years ago and it was awesome.
Tell her to take her bathing suit and have a great time.

If they are really walking up to 15 miles per day, every day, i would tell her to toughen up her feet before going by walking barefoot as much as possible in preferably sand with the shoes that she plans to wear. (running shoes?) and probably take an extra pair of shoes for when she gets done for the day as she may get sore feet.

I do a lot of deep jungle trekking here in Thailand and usually only take a water bottle, some sticky rice with mango, and my gps and cell phone. (so i can work while i'm hiking if need be)

Rain coats don't really do much good. She'll be wet most of the time anyway and hopefully can get a clean shower at the end of the day.

Other things to think about taking: toothbrush, toothpaste, a few pairs of clean shorts and tee-shirts (cotton preferred), a hat (see what the natives are using and buy it when you get there) and duct tape (for blisters)

Most of all: An open mind!
Sounds like a fun trip.

05-01-2009, 07:51
I would also tell her to take a Photon II (hung around her neck like a necklace is what i would recommend for a 1st timer) or a headlamp of some kind although the other is more practical i think.

Also, a head bug net is lightweight and cheap and fits into any spot for travelling.
Also, maybe long sleeve shirt and a long pair of pants for bugs if they get bad.
Here they can be tough after the rain stops.

The Solemates
05-01-2009, 09:28

05-01-2009, 09:39
Thanks for the solemates and all else who've made comment. I think I'm getting jealous....I may have to come up with a few grand real quick and jump on board.. . . . not. I hope she doesn't come back with the swine flu.