- Is the clothing quick drying?
- Does it protect me from insects, plants and the sun?
- Is it lightweight and comfortable?
A wide brimmed hat is extremely useful for keeping the sweat off your face and providing protection from the sun. If your not a fan of hats then I have used a Buff bandanna in the jungle and this worked well too, it also makes for a handy sweat rag when things get really heated during a trek!
When in the thick of the jungle long sleeve jungle shirts are the best, most importantly they are lightweight and don't hold moisture, they provide protection from sharp and poisonous plants and protect you from insects. They are also very practical as they have chest pockets which allow you to store items that you might need regular, easy access to whilst trekking.
During days where trekking was in the dense jungle I opted to wear a jungle shirt, but when the environment was a little more open i wore a Helly Hansen collared t shirt as I found them to be more comfortable and quick drying.
Without a doubt Craghoppers Nosilife Trousers are the best for jungle trekking. I used one pair for my whole trek and I couldn't say a bad word about them and at £30 you can't go wrong! Craghoppers even provide you with a little dry sack which attaches inside the leg pocket, ideal for any items that need to be kept dry but are needed throughout the day.
Jungle footwear is very specific, Gore-tex or any form of waterproofing is utterly useless in the jungle as no matter what you do the water will get into your boots and then they will never dry, trekking up rivers makes sure of it! The ideal jungle boots have drainage wholes near the arch of your foot to allow the water to flow freely out. Another important feature is deep tread on the sole of the boots to provide grip when trekking over the loose, wet and extremely muddy terrain that is so common in the jungle.
I used the Altberg Jungle Microlite boot and would recommend this to anyone planning on trekking in the jungle. I opted for the more 'all round' version that has a less aggressive sole, I travelled out of the wet season so the ground was more consolidated, if I was trekking in the middle of the wet season then I would have purchased the Altberg Jungle Panama, this boot has a much more aggressive, jungle specific sole. Other cheaper options are the Welco and US Army issue jungle boots
Finally it is vital that you carry two sets of clothing, one wet and one dry. The wet kit is used for the days trekking and the dry kit is used for sleeping in (don't forget to put your dry kit in a tough dry sack or it won't stay dry for long!)