Here your packing list, and go over what is helpful, and what is a waste of money and backpack space.
2 bags, 1 day pack, and 1 large backpack to hold everything else. Your guides will carry up to 5 kilos for you each day, so if you have 2 packs, you can divvy up the weight pretty easily and only keep on you what you need.
1 sleeping bag –which you need... hands down, it gets really cold at night, so is recommend a bag that can handle -10 degrees Celsius.
Hiking boots. When you walk as much as you do on the trek, and go through waterfalls, and up and down mountains, extra support and coverage can really be a lifesaver.
5 pairs of underwear, 6 pairs of socks. It is nice to have a couple of extra pairs of socks to change into at night when you’re not trekking. Also, We recommend bringing both really heavy hiking socks, and lighter socks as well. The weather is all over the place, so you want to make sure you’re not too cold or overheating.
2 pairs of long underwear, 1 super thick, 1 capeline midweight–which is perfect
2 pairs of pants, 1 hiking, 1 cotton–which is just enough. Please spray both pairs with an insect repellent spray the clothes before the trip.
2 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts. Actually you will stay in a hostel in Machupicchu village and for sure you will get a long shower, and you will need 01 more t-shirt for your Machupicchu day.
1 hoodie, 1 fleece jacket, 1 fleece shirt for layering, 1 vest, this items will be good for a cold person. Other people on the trek definitely will get away with less layers, the layers help.
1 rain jacket, 1 warm/winter jacket. The first night the temperature can be as -10 degrees Celsius and the second day you go up close a snow covered mountain, so the big coat is a must. The rain jacket can be helpful, cause there are raining days (even if we are dry season!)
1 Cocoon sleeping bag liner. It is super light weight and easy to pack, and definitely does its job.
Snacks, gum and lozenges–which are needed. The trek is long and we don`t take many breaks. So if you keep a bar or some nuts in your day pack, they will really help you keep going.
CASH–Few places in Peru accept credit cards, and in the mountains, you’re not going to find an ATM. about 500 soles, and we would recommend bringing at least that much in case something goes wrong or you need help.
Travel-sized tissues and wet wipes.The air is cold and damp, so your nose is going to run a lot. Everyone seemed to run out of tissues by the end of the trek. Also, most bathrooms do not have toilet paper (if you even get a bathroom), so wet wipes are key.
1 bathing suit–which came in handy. The third and fourth nights are near hot springs, so if you plan to go, bring one. A lot of people bring towels, but you don’t need them. You can rent towels at the hostel or hot springs for 1 or 2 soles, which frees up a lot of backpack space.
1 pair of flip flops–which are nice, you can wear them to the hot springs, and in the shower at the hostel.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.–which you need, but pack light. You’re going to be filthy and gross, so you don’t need shampoo and soap and all of that. Pack the day to day minimum.
Bug spray with 30% DEET in it–which you need, but it doesn’t work very well in Peru. The issue with Salkantay is that most of the bugs are not mosquitoes. They are these small flies you can’t even see that leave weird bites that first look like you pricked your finger, and then blow up into itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, these bugs seem to bite you no matter what kind of spray you put on.
A head lamp–which is useful. If you don’t have one, at least bring a small flashlight.
A camera... to take best photos at the time you are in Peru.
Iron tablets and pills for altitude sickness. Several people on the trek have varying degrees of altitude sickness, and both of these remedies (in addition to the coca tea) are very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
A watch with an alarm. You don’t need it, but there are a lot of early morning wake up calls, and on the last day to get to Machu Picchu, you need to wake up on your own. Also, the guide talks time a lot (meet at 6, dinner at 7, etc.) so a watch would be nice to have.
Sun screen, there are days where the sun gets really hot.
Imodium AD or something for your stomach. Some people get an upset stomach at one on the trek, with 8-10 hours of hiking each day, you need to get over whatever the day throws at you quickly, so bring some meds.