Craghoppers put to the test: The Inca Trail


After 10 years of dreaming of trekking the Inca Trail and seeing Machu Picchu, It had finally come around!

Some friends and I decided to plan and allow our adolescent conversations become reality. We had booked the trip a year in advance which gave us plenty of time to prepare what we will need for the four day hike.

Higher up in the mountains, the climate can change very quickly. This means that a light but effective waterproof jacket is necessary when exploring.

In quite humid conditions, we were aware that there was going to be insects (mosquitoes in particular), so wearing clothes with anti-insect technology was going to prove very beneficial. Craghoppers got in touch with me and provided me with a jacket, polo shirt, and a pair of shorts. All of which came with a range of different integrated technologies.

The Nosilife Nemla Short-Sleeved Polo Shirt is a comfortable piece of kit which enables you to stay cool in a humid climate. Having worn it whilst hiking and rowing in Plitvice National Park, I found it to be extremely lightweight and ideal for long days of walking. Aesthetically, it is considerably smart considering the amount of technology which is packed into the making.

I found that the shirt could be easily washed and dried, without the need of any ironing because of its material composition. Prior to wearing it, I had stored it amongst my other clothes and had stuffed it into my Rucksack, yet when I came to wear it, there were minimal creases to be found.

The Nosilife Cargo Shorts came into great use whilst trekking in the warm climate in Cusco and the Inca Trail. The elasticated waistband made them tighter where they should be, and the general comfort was great with a full range of movement whilst walking. I found that the NosiLife insect repellent feature in the shorts did work, and I was only bitten a couple of times on uncovered areas in comparison to my fellow trekkers – who suffered significantly more!

Dead Woman's Pass
Dead Woman’s Pass

The Reaction Lite Jacket has so far been another great addition to my kit

The jacket’s design is stylish yet practical, which is what was needed for walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Luckily, we hadn’t seen much rain. However, on the third day of the trek, we were hit by a flash storm which gave me a perfect opportunity to test out my jacket! It managed to keep me dry throughout the downpour, and after the rain stopped I hung it from my day pack to dry. The inside pocket of this was very useful, allowing me to ensure that my camera/valuables and other non-waterproof items could be stored away without any niggling worries that they might get water damaged.

Dead Woman’s Pass is the highest point of the Inca Trail and considered the toughest point to reach. Reaching an altitude of 4,200 meters (13,779 ft), day two was the most challenging of the trek.Once at the top, we all got the opportunity to admire the stunning views of the Andes mountain range and pose next to the sign which proved we had got this far. We waited for the group to all round up together and had a good break, it was time to descend back down towards our camp.

peru 4,200m
Dead Woman’s Pass

Reaching the Sun Gate (Intipuncu) and seeing the first glimpse of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu felt like the hard earned reward for the four days of trekking and (what felt like) endless planning and excitement. We all celebrated in our groups before going down to the city to explore Machu Picchu and enjoy some down time.

It was a fantastic way to finish such an enjoyable trek. The Craghoppers gear really stands out from the competition with the Nosilife and Solarshield technology. I found the clothing very comfortable with a  full range of movement which was essential for the trek, and not suffering from pesky mosquito bites was a clear bonus!


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