We're going to be in South and Central America for 7 months from October. Can anyone tell us if it is worth while packing a tent and lugging it with us. It definitely saved us money in Africa but we have sent it home from Asia because accommodation is so cheap here and it was just taking up room in our packs!
We will be doing several treks while we're in South and Central so any thoughts on whether tour company tents are up to the job or whether it is worth bringing our own simply for those times would also be brilliant.
Thank you very much
Tracey and Dave
Hello Tracey and Dave 😊
When I was in S. America there was always plenty of OK priced guesthouses and hostels everywhere. Personally I think a tent is unnecessary bulk.
I would ask the treking and tour companies you are using if they require you to have a tent.
in Central America a hammock is usefull.....stay out of Costa Rica, it's a tourist trip from start to finish, Panama and Colombia are beautiful
I would say no. We´ve done 6 treks in South America, and in all cases the tents were included in the tour (fairly good quality too) or easy and cheap to hire when we trekked independently. I would recommend bringing sleeping bags as they are useful on treks where there are refugios or sheltered camps.
It is tough to say. I appreciate the option of camping whenever I want and so I would say having a tent is a nice luxury. However, with that being said, my tent has not been used ´that much´ really and yes, it is true that you can rent tents for most treks. I just sold my tent last week so that I could spare up a bit of room for gifts since my time here is slowly creeping to an end and honestly....I feel a tad naked without it. There are often cheaper options to camp....usually half or 1/3 the price of a hostel....and you can often find free places to camp as well if you like to hike out a bit. It depends on what you like to do I suppose. It is bulky but it is nice to have at times. There are many cheaper accomodations throughout South America so it is definitely not required....just sort of gives you a bit more freedom.
Our experience has been that we decided not to bring a tent to South America, but.... kinda wished we had. We have seen people tenting on beaches in Ecuador, out in the Atacama desert in northern Chile and lots in between. When you need them for tours the companies do rent them to you. Its a tough call!
I have just come back from 18 months in South america, did loads of trekking and when ever I needed a tent I could rent one (plus stoves, roll mats, plates and pans even and sleeping bags). I even posted my sleeping bag home after a while as it was not worth carrying it for the number of times I was using it.
If you let me know more about your destinations and intentions I could give you a more specific idea. I have friends though who used their tent more or hammocks in central america.
Thank you all so much for the advice.
We are going with the 'leave it behind' option - the extra space in our bags is too tempting!
Tracey and Dave