Trekking Mt. Rinjani was not a planned activity for us. To be completely honest, it was not even a totally well thought out activity. No, trekking Mt. Rinjani was an impulse on the ground decision. The kind we chose tactfully not to tell our parents about until after we were back on level ground. It was our first overnight trek, our first time in any Asian country, and the second week of our around the world trip. To say we were scared of Lombok volcano trekking would be like saying pizza in Naples is just ok: a gross understatement. After a few days of complete relaxation down in Kuta, we felt very unprepared for making this decision.
So we turned to the internet in an attempt to ease our fears and found…almost nothing. A few reviews on the trek, the companies who ran tours, and then, crickets. Considering the popularity of the climb, we were surprised. In response, we wrote a detailed comprehensive guide to the 2D1N trek we chose afterward but we felt like we weren’t done with providing resources.
Enter our newest piece, a packing list for exactly what you will need if you decide to hike Mt. Rinjani. While we tested this out only on our trek, I would imagine it would also work for overnight treks in similar climates. If you’ve read our Mt. Rinjani guide, you know that the porters from our tour company carried everything we absolutely needed for the trek, the below are the additional items we packed, all of which we ended up using and being grateful for.
Trekking Mt. Rinjani is still the best memory we have of our entire trip. We want to encourage anyone and everyone who visits Indonesia to do it and hope that this Mt. Rinjani packing list eases the nerves a bit beforehand. We left the rest of our gear in our hotel and only brought what we felt was necessary and some comforts.
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What to Bring When Trekking Mt. Rinjani:
While we did not necessarily need to bring anything extra, we were glad we did. We only needed daypacks, but also needed them to be comfortable considering how little our bodies were used to this kind of exertion. We used these same daypacks for our entire trip and they held up amazing under the abuse of constant, long-term travel. The biggest complaint would probably be that the side pockets are not big enough to hold a full water bottle, a pet peeve of ours, and there is no laptop sleeve.
What we wore for the trek:
The climb up and down Mt. Rinjani is challenging mostly due to the combination of a very steep grade and sandy ground that gives way beneath your feet as you get closer to the rim. Avoid bruised and bloody feet, hiking blisters and gross discomfort by investing in the perfect pair for you. We both love our hiking boots (Alicia has had hers for SEVEN years!), have worn them through hikes of all types and sizes, and can’t recommend them enough.
Quick Dry socks & underwear
Hiking up a volcano in Indonesian humidity is not a dry affair, be prepared to sweat a lot. Like dripping down every part of your body and soaking through your clothing, a lot. Think wearing underwear and socks for 10 hours straight of this and I think you can imagine the dire need for those items to be able to resist moisture and dry quickly.
Avoid extreme discomfort by buying your own pair, click here to see ones we love.
Waterproof Hiking Pants
At Mt. Rinjani’s elevation, there is always the chance for extreme weather. No one needs a rundown of the chaffing that can occur when you are rubbing your legs and arms against each other for long periods of time in wet clothing. If you’ve never experienced it, bless you, and trust us in that it should be avoided at all costs. Quick dry clothing is your best friend in the event of an unexpected downpour, or see above for gross sweating description as to why waterproof pants are so important.
We prefer pants specifically designed for hiking because the design and materials used tend to be the most comfortable for long treks. These have lots of pockets for quick grab frequently needed items and rolled up for air on the ankles when insects weren’t a problem.
UPF button-down shirt over a UPF Shirt
Sun exposure is crazy on this trek. Essentially the last half on the way up and first on the way back is in full sun. We chose to protect ourselves even further by wearing UPF shirts, one short and one long sleeved, both quick-dry (should be obvious at this point how we feel about this topic).
A button-down is great for easy off and on while walking, you can buy one here.
Another fighter of sunburns is the trusty hat. It’s also useful for keeping the sweat streams from running down your face and into your eyes. There’s no need to buy anything special for this, but if you want to this is the one we used.
What we Brought in our packs:
Change of clothes & extra layers for colder temperatures
This is not a necessity and added extra weight to our packs, but the feeling of putting on clean, warm, pants and shirt after peeling off the disgusting layers of the day was about as close to bliss as we’ve ever experienced. In addition, it gets cold at night on the Mt. Rinjani rim. One pair of warm pants to sleep in, a shirt, warm socks, a knit hat, and warm top layers came in handy when temperatures dipped into the 40s F while we slept.
Bags for TP and garbage
Pack in, pack out. This is a huge problem on Rinjani. The “bathrooms” that line the trek are squatting spots straddling overused toilet paper. Aside from the obvious sanitary concerns here, there is a much more upsetting moral issue at play. Mt. Rinjani is hands down one of the most stunning natural landscapes we have had the pleasure to witness. It was heartbreaking to see the complete disregard for it by visitors. There is no excuse and no reason for this four tourists. Whatever you take in you also take out, and the less disposable material involved the better. For dirty toilet paper, bring a sealable bag so it does not mingle with the rest of your pack items. No if’s, and’s, or butt’s (tehe).
So maybe we’re divas, whatever. Another item that we are well aware is about as far from a need as you can get in this environment was a kindle. However, when Alicia could not sleep late into the night it was a helpful distraction from the aching legs and noisy neighbors.
A simple point and shoot that takes excellent pictures. Neither of us claims to be photographers, but we really appreciated the size and versatility of this camera for this trek. It captured some beautiful sunsets and blues in the crater lake that we were not expecting. (For a more thorough rundown of cameras we used and use see our essentials for travel list).
This is probably the only thing we brought that we did not use. I am not sure if this is normally a problem, but we were not bothered by bugs of any kind on this trek. And Joe hates bugs, so he would have said something if they were a problem.
Aside from playing the part of the overprepared tourist to the tee with our long pants and multi-layered outfits mentioned above in humid heat, we kept the stereotype alive with sunscreen and chapstick. The chapstick is especially important here as windburn gets pretty serious the further up you climb.
We used waterproof SPF 70 sunscreen, click here to see the exact one.
Trail Mix, Granola Bars
Snacks were not needed either. Our tour company provided way more than enough for us to snack on. Our love for Tim Tams knows no bounds now.
4 Extra 1L Bottles of Water
We read stories of people running out of water after being guaranteed by their tours that they wouldn’t so we took no chances. This was a very heavy addition, and our tour did bring a lot of water, but we like to make an attempt at being overly hydrated for these things if possible. We did end up drinking each one of our large water bottles.
Thanks for reading through our Mt. Rinjani Packing Guide, we hope it helps ease the nerves before the big climb. Have you done this or a similar trek? Is there anything you wish you had brought or were so glad to have?