What To Pack For El Yunque Rain Forest Camping

Do you want to know what to pack for El Yunque Rain Forest camping? There´s no other rain forest in North America, and from it´s top you can see almost all the island of Puerto Rico. That is reason enough to go camping and hiking there, but also there are many other reasons, like the amazing wildlife and the wide variety of plants and trees.

What you need to pack for El Yunque rain forest camping is:

  • A waterproof tent.
  • A tent footprint.
  • A shovel.
  • A breathable sleeping bag.
  • Insects repellent.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A water filter.
  • High heel trekking boots.
  • Several pairs of socks.
  • Convert pants.
  • A rain hat.
  • A mosquito net.
  • Sunscreen.
  • A backpack.
  • A swimsuit.
  • An El Yunque National Forest camping permit.
  • An El Yunque National Forest topographic map.
  • A GPS.
  • Extra batteries.
  • A hand compass.

The steps to pack for El Yunque rain forest camping are:

  1. WaIf you will be hiking a lot and carrying your tent, pack everything and carry an extra backpack cover. Even if it does not rain, air moisture is so high in the El Yunque region that all your gear will be soaked if you don´t cover it.
  2. Pack every part of your gear in separate waterproof bags. Clothing, food and equipment will be exposed to high levels of moisture.
  3. Carry insect repellent in two separate places. This is a vital part of your equipment that you can´t afford to miss when camping at El Yunque National Forest.
  4. Drinking water is available throughout the Park. Even though that, carrying a water purifying system will definitively make your life easier.
  5. Get a waterproof camera bag. If you´re planning on making pictures and do not have a water resistant camera, get a bag to be able to use it.
  6. Pack heavier goods towards the bottom of your pack. This way you will avoid back pain caused by side loading.
  7. Use a smaller backpack. This way you´ll have a space limitation that will induce you to pack light.
  8. Get a pair of waterproof shoes with a lot of sole thread. Most of the hiking at El Yunque Rain Forest is on wet, muddy terrain. No matter how waterproof your shoes are, your feet will eventually get wet. This is when the extra socks come into play.
  9. When setting your tent, choose a high spot within the camping area. 
  10. Dig a five inches deep trench forming a V on the upward slope two feet away from the side of your tent. If you´re not positive as to which is the high side, then surround your tent with the trench.
  11. Make the ground as even as possible and place the tent´s footprint. The footprint will keep most of the moisture on the soil away from your tent.
  12. Set the tent as tight as possible. With the fabric at full tension water will easily flow downwards, helping the waterproof capabilities of your equipment. Remember that a Rain Forest has that name for a reason.
  13. Pack the small thing you may need along the way close to the top of your backpack. Insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat and a pair of socks should be in the first layer, but always protected from the rainfall.
  14. Plan ahead and make research and reservations. A couple of things to think about when planning a trip to El Yunque rain forest are local holidays and rainfall patterns. Reservations for camping in the El Yunque National Park must be made with a couple of months time.
  15. Get a topographic map of the El Yunque National Park. Get some navigation skills if you don´t have them yet. Thick fog is a constant in the El Yunque area. Don´t rely only on your GPS. An electronic failure may make the device useless; don´t be lazy and get some traditional navigation practice.
  16. Have a set of dry clothes waiting for you in the car or the hotel. Whenever your excursion finishes, chances are that all your clothes are soaked, so have a full set of clothes waiting for you down at the parking lot.


  • Remember to consult your physician for specific instructions regarding vaccination and special care needed in tropical environments, and drink lots of water.
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