• Best Hat for the Amazon Jungle and Andean Mountains

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  • My partner is going to the Amazon for anthropological research in two weeks and she hasn’t found a very good hat for the field. I have seen hats on Cool Tools in the past and was wondering if those remain the best out there or if there is one particularly suited to her situation. If nothing else, I will be recommending she wears what the locals wear.

    Basically, she will be trekking through the jungle, rivers, and the Andean mountains for a time. My guess would be that she needs a hat that would be crushable so she can squeeze it into her bag, give her some cover in the rain, keep out insects, and not look silly to make her a joke among the locals.

    And while we are at it, if there is any other gear you would deem essential, please let me know.

    I appreciate any suggestions.

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    Question by anthrovisual

Tilley Hats remain up there with the best. A few benefits include that if you ever lose the hat they'll replace it for life, which, given the toughness of the Amazon might actually be worthwhile.

In terms of other essentials, make sure that she has a water impervious case for any important electronics. Pelican cases are a favorite, not only because of their lifetime warranty but also because they come in a plethora of shapes and sizes.

Does she know where she'll be sleeping? If not, I know hammocks are the preferred method in the jungle, and I believe Hennessy Hammocks are still up there in terms of beginner hammocks (although, the market has expanded significantly in recent years).

If she is going to be doing a lot of backpacking/hiking/trekking I HIGHLY recommend checking out the infinitely more knowledgeable folks at Backpacking Light. The forums are accessible, and they really do respond to any questions. Last week they published a piece that evaluated all the gear used by a couple who have been travelling for two years (you have to be a subscriber to get access to the piece, but it and other articles makes it worthwhile) that might be helpful as they spent a lot of their time in South America, including the Andes.

Answer by Oliver Hulland
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