As I’ve been planning, researching, obsessing and daydreaming for months over my trip to Borneo, and have amassed a certain amount of knowledge about what to take to the rainforest, I thought I would share my jungle packing tips.
It’s going to be humid, rainy, hot, hot hot, and alive with bugs! So you’ll need;
- Lightweight, breathable, quick drying shirts and trousers. I have got the Craghoppers Nosilife range, which has built in permanent insect repellent.
- A good hat. I’ve got a Trekwear one (a present from a dear friend), which is again breathable, SPF 50 and has an optional pull over mosquito net that lives in the top!
- Breathable socks (like bamboo wool)
- Leech socks (yikes!)
- Headtorch: for night treks
- Binoculars: For spotting orangutans and to ensure, if it isn’t already, that my official geek status is confirmed.
- Bikini and water shoes: for swimming in pools and waterfalls, eek!
- Good shorts: for boat rides and during the day, when the bugs aren’t biting.
- The safari colours theme isn’t just for style purposes; the guides advise against wearing bright colours as this will mean that birds and animals can see you better, so you’ll have less chance of seeing them.
…because a girl still wants to be stylish in the jungle!
Again, hot, humid, and full of mosquitoes. So loose fitting cover ups are the order of the day. I’ll be taking;
- Cotton pyjama style trousers and maxi skirts. I’m loving my new paisley ones from Monsoon – a sale steal!
- Lots of cami tops
- Long sleeved cover ups. As well as some cotton shirts, I am of course relying on kimonos for keeping those bugs away from my arms. This crochet one is from H&M and will double up as a beach cover up, and as a dressing gown.
Bugs bugs bugs!
This is an area I’ll definitely be reporting back on. I thought I would take and try a mixture of all of the recommendations on the market in the hope of building an impenetrable, citronella fuelled mosquito wall;
- 50% deet repellent: The industry standard, stinky and a but toxic but no doubt effective.
- 100% deet repellent: A bit scared of this one. Definitely for fabric only and not skin!
- Mosi-guard natural repellent: All of the reviews claim it is just as good as deet, whilst being natural and kind to skin. It is made from renewable resources, and the main ingredient is Citriodiol which is a lemon eucalyptus oil. It’s been tested in Botswana, Tanzania, and other far flung places, so we shall see!
- Avon Skin So Soft and Fresh Dry Body Oil Spray: what, you say? This is not designed as an insect repellent, but it contains citronella, and has apparently been used by the Royal Marines. It also smells pretty OK, and is nice and moisturising, so a good one for the daytime. I’m not going to be relying on it over everything else, but possibly a good extra.
- Berocca: Mosquitoes are put off by the smell of blood with large amounts of Vitamin B in it, and Berocca contains a minimum of 300% of all of your B vitamins.
….Because in my head I’m going to be looking pristine, swinging through the trees with ease, basically Jane of the Jungle. We’ll see.
With all that humidity and trekking, I want to keep it simple, minimal, and natural;
- BB Cream: I’d not tried one of these before, but after testing many a product, this one from Rimmel seemed like a winner. It is mattifying, moisturising, gives a good all over glow and is SPF 15. It also won’t break the bank.
- Mascara: I won’t wear much other eye-make up, but I can’t live without mascara and Max Factor 2000 Calorie is my all time favourite.
- Bronzer and Highligher: I’ve just bought Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights, in Baked Starburst. It is so light and shimmery, so does two jobs in one.
- Lipbalm: I can’t live without it, and Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla and Macadamia is my current favourite. Really moisturising and smells lovely.