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What to Bring

Be Prepared

Critical Items:

  • Passport

  • Vaccination record

  • Prescription drugs

  • backup prescription glasses or contacts

Tip: Pack Lightly! Think of everything you might want to bring, then cut that list in half, then cut it in half again.

Disclaimer: The program is not responsible for any items that are lost or stolen during the trip. Bring any expensive electronics or gear at your own risk.


  • one or two sweaters (Quito and other cities in the Andes get quite cool at night (45 F)
  • one set of “dressy” clothing for visits to hospitals and other institutions and for events and meetings.
  • Clothing for long hikes and vehicular travel (long sleeve shirts recommended for field work; fast dry trousers & shirts recommended)
  • T-shirts
  • Hat (a good wide rim hat is a must!)
  • Rain gear (light poncho)
  • Hiking boots (comfortable, break them in before the trip)
  • Bathing suit
  • Flip flop sandals (to use around a pool or in the shower)
  • For Biologists, lab techs and microbiologists, bring a lab coat.


  • Personal first aid kit (antifungal powder, Neosporin, Band-Aids, Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol, prescription medicines (copies of critical prescriptions with generic composition)
  • Water bottle - Big enough to serve your needs, but not too big, so it will be difficult to handle. Label bottle clearly with your name.
  • Insect repellent (~20% DEET recommended; 100% DEET is NOT recommended)
  • Small notebook to keep as journal
  • Ziploc bags (mix of sizes, e.g. large one to keep journal in)
  • Please limit luggage to one medium piece that can be locked to take to the field. A larger suitcase could be stored in our lab in Quito.
  • Small backpack for vehicular travel and hikes.
  • Sun block (High PF recommended)
  • Hand sanitizer gel (in checked luggage)
  • Large garbage bags for dirty/wet clothes.
  • Travel Kleenex (can be good back-up toilet paper!)
  • An emergency pair of glasses/contacts and a copy of your eye prescription
  • Drivers License (just in case)
  • Money belt and/or concealed money/passport bag (A must!)
  • MONEY for personal use- bring mostly low denomination bills ($1 to $20) in good condition (no tears, not too wrinkled, no writing on them


  • Laptop - at your own risk.
  • Cell phone. Program staff will have cell phones for emergencies; however, many students choose to bring their own cell phones which can be used to communicate over wifi. You should check with your provider about international plans. Cell phone international plans can be pricey, but even pricier is using your phone's services abroad without activating a plan in advance.

Page updated: February 5, 2019