General travel tips

Hiking

A GPS was handy for some of the trips we did. Not strictly necessary, but often the maps are very large scale so it can be handy. While you can use a smartphone, having a dedicated device was good, especially one you can change batteries in. I use a Garmin G2. If you do get one, consider subscribing to their satellite imagery it can be useful when the maps & tracks really don't exist. For most places you can get Open Street Map data in GPX format for free. Just Google for it, or this was one site I used a bit.

For cooking, we used a whisperlite international. It's good to have the international version as finding white fuel can be hard. The international will burn petrol, kerosene etc. In retrospect I think I would have got the MSR Dragonfly International now, but the whisperlite was fine. There's a handy link of white fuel transaltions here if you get stuck.

We got Primus ETA pots. I got the 1L and the 1.7L pots. They stack together, they have a heat exchange system so use significantly less fuel, boil in minutes on the MSR, are non-stick and have a built in strainer (should you need it). Very happy we bought them.

APPS

  • OSMAND+. This is an interface to Open Street Maps for android. Absolutely the app I used the most on the travel. It allows you to have offline maps. Yes Google Maps allows this, but maps only stay current for a while, they take a lot more space and you can't' use navigation. So yes, OSMAND+ was amazing. For example, you can download all of Colombia for 70megs or so. Also you can get Wikipedia content so you can often get little snippits of info when you're in places which don't have great translations.
  • AirBnB handy for finding a nicer place. Often as cheap as a hostel!
  • Google Translate. This thing is amazing. You can download the languages for offline use again (godsend!)
  • XE currency exchange. Just a handy way to see what things cost in your own currency.
  • Hostelworld. Just an app interface to the website. Handy for finding hostels