Pico Duarte Packing List



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Trail Tested "Gems" from the Ol'Timers

on Fabrics, Footwear, Fitting Your Boots, and Care of Boots

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1
Transport: North Coast to Jarabacoa to La Cienega de Manabao [4.5 hours]
Trek: La Cienega de Manabao to Los Tablones [2.5 miles, elevation 3,280 ft
to 3,940 ft]

Day 2
Trek: Los Tablones to La Compartición [11 miles, 3,940 ft to 7,710 ft]

Day 3
Trek: La Compartición to Pico Duarte to La Cienega de Manabao [17.5 miles,
7,710 ft to 10,230 ft to 3,280 ft]
Transport: La Cienega de Manabao to North Coast [4.5 hours]

Packing List

You will need at least two backpack/bags:

1) a day pack, small backpack, or fanny pack (you will carry this on the trek)

2) a larger pack or duffel bag for clothing and personal items (carried by the pack mule)

3) (optional) sleeping bag does not have to fit in larger pack/duffell as it can be packed separately on the mule

Clothing and Gear - To make the most of your Pico Duarte hike, please follow the suggestions found in this clothing and gear list. REMEMBER!: raingear is essential for any outdoor vacation - it's your "travel insurance."


  • sunglasses
  • hat & gloves (optional)
  • prescription lenses / contact lenses (plus backups)


  • 2-3 t-shirts (inner layer)
  • 1 pullover/long sleeve shirt/sweatshirt (middle layer)
  • RAIN JACKET (shell layer)


  • 1 shorts
  • 1 pants


  • sturdy shoes or hiking boots (already worn in-no new shoes!!)
  • extra laces
  • 3 pairs of light wool or synthetic material socks (we recommend that these be used in conjuction with wicking liner socks
  • camp shoes or sandals  


  • sun block (minimum SPF 15)
  • bug repellent
  • 2 1-liter personal water bottles
  • bandana / scarf
  • small/médium-size towel
  • camera & film (plus extra batteries)
  • flashlight / headlamp (plus extra batteries)
  • personal first aid kit
  • personal toiletries
  • hand sanitizer
  • pocket knife
  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping mat


  • copy of picture page of valid passport
  • health / travel insurance (copy of policy, insurance card, phone numbers of providers)

Helpful Packing Hints

    • Average temperatures in the Armando Bermudez Park, where Pico Duarte is located, are between 12 degrees and 21 degrees Celcuis (53 degrees and 75 degrees Farenheight) most of the year. In the winter, December and January, temperatures may drop to minus 8 degrees Celcius (17 degrees Farenheight) at dawn. While it never sticks, snow and frost have been reported at the summit.
    • Yearly rainfall in the Armando Bermudez Park is between 1000 and 4000 millimeters (39 and 156 inches).
    • Pack everything in plastic bags so they stay dry.
    • Take more film than you think you need.
    • Pack light.
    • Raingear fabric that "breathes" helps to prevent you from overheating.
    • Wearing layers makes it convenient to add or remove clothing, as the weather and elevation changes.

IMPORTANT: You main pack should be just large enough to hold all your clothes. Line the inside of you pack with a plastic garbage bag to keep your clothes dry, or put clothes in smaller individual bags. Zip Lock bags work well. Please do not bring a pack with a metal frame as we cannot pack them on the mules. We can pack your sleeping bag in our packs if you don't have space in yours.

ALSO IMPORTANT: You must bring a small day pack which you will carry all the time. This day pack is to be used only for your rain gear, personal water bottle, warmer middle layer, sunscreen, insect repellent, camera, and snacks (provided by Tours Trips Treks & Travel). REMEMBER, you have to carry it, so keep it light!

Trail Tested "Gems" from the Ol'Timers

...notes on Fabrics, Footwear, Fitting Your Boots, And Taking Care of Them


A wool, pile, or polypropylene hat thatcan pulled down over your ears is essential, since most of your body's heat is lost through your head. Putting on and taking off a hat makes a surprisingly big difference in how warm you feel.

It is vital to your comfort and safety that all your clothing be both quick drying and warm. Wool is a favorite of outdoors people because it keeps much of its insulating qualities when it is wet. Sythetic materials, such as polypropelene and pile, work the same way, and many find them more comfortable next to the skin. Don't let the fact that we are in the Caribbean fool you. There will very likely be frost on the ground when when we awake to push the summit!

Down and cotton, especially denim, are not recommended for clothing. Both are useless when they get wet. If you have ever noticed how long it takes for jeans to dry in the dryer, imagine how long it takes while they sit in your backpack. For these reasons, we do not recommend 100% cotton materials...until we are back at the park headquarters (nothing feels better!) Polyester-cotton blends are much better. In general, fine rather than course materials are preferred. All of your cloting should be loose-fitting and comfortable.


FIRST, never. Yes, we said, NEVER! Attempt a multi-day hike in remote wilderness in footwear that is not already broken in. Period.

The proper footwear is necessary for your safety and enjoyment on the trail. There are a tremendous amount of options available on the market, and it can be quite confusing. The best boot for the purposes of Pico Duarte is a light to medium-weight boot with above-the-ankle support and a hard rubber sole. Quality is not limited to a specific brand, and you should be able to find good boots from US$35 to US$100, although you can certainly spend more! Take this information with you when you go shopping, and ask the salesperson LOTS of questions.


Unfortunately, you are unlikely to judge within the first five minutes your are walking around a store if your boots have the propper fit. Some stores will let you buy boots with the understanding that you may return them if they are not comfortable after wearing them aroud the house for several hours.

When you go to try on boots, wear the socks that you will have with you on the trail. Experiment with lacing the boots in different ways for what feels the most comfortable. Ask the salesperson for his or her recommendations. Following these tests will ensure a propper fit.

Socks: A light, wick-dry (polypropelene, sheer wool, nylon, or silk) sock next to the skin, with a light to medium wool sock over it, provides both cushioning and protection from friction.

TEST 1: With the boots unlaced, and your toes touching the front of the boot, the boot should be large enough to place your forefinger between your heel and the heel of the boot.

TEST 2: With the boot laced, your heel must be firmly lodged in the heel cup with practicially no lift when you walk.

TEST 3: The boot should fit snugly around the ball of your foot so that when you twist your foot, it does not move or slip inside the boot.

TEST 4: When on a steep incline, your toes should not hit the end of the boot - or - When tapping the front of your boot against the floor, your toes should hit the end of the boot on the third tap.


Breaking boots in. Begin wearing your boots well before your first multi-day hike, especially the 3-day Pico Duarte. Walk around town and at home in them as much as possible, every day for several weeks. Broken-in boots have walked at least 30 miles on both level and rough ground. If you start feeling "hot spots" on your feet, treat them immediately with moleskin, available in most drug stores. Blisters are a hiker's worst enemy (and low blood sugar). Be kind to your feet!

Waterproofing. After you are sure they fit properly, your boots should be waterproofed. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for boots with Gore-tex or nylon uppers. If they are leather, use three to four appliations of Sno-Seal, Bee-Seal, or other waterproofing paste.



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Fax. (206)600-1700
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Most photos credited to "Open Shirt' Mike Gussak at unkmonk@hotmail.com