While a visit to the coastal communities of the Mosquitia does not require much special gear, expeditions farther into the region do. Generally, no special equipment is needed for camping in the cloud-forest reserves. Just keep in mind it rains more in cloud forests than in the surrounding lowlands, so come prepared with rain gear, heavy boots, and a change of warm clothes kept in a waterproof bag. Tents are sometimes more practical than hammocks for sleeping because of the frequent rain. Specially designed jungle hammocks with mosquito-netting and plastic roofs are fairly ingenious devices, however, and many jungle trekkers swear by them because of the ease of finding a place to sling them and the comfort.
Machetes are not necessary for hiking the main trails in the more developed national parks, like Cusuco, Celaque, or Cerro Azul/Meámbar, but they are an invaluable tool to anyone really heading into the bush. You can pick one up in just about any ferretería (hardware store) for about US$3—and a lima (file) to keep your blade sharp for another US$0.75. Machetes are all fairly similar, with black plastic hand-grips, but vary somewhat in blade size.
Snakebite kits are a good idea, particularly in the coastal, tropical forests. Mosquitoes are everywhere in Honduras, especially in the lowlands and on the coast, so come prepared with repellent.
Canned food, pasta, and dried soups are available in local pulperías, but carry a few freeze-dried meals if you’re planning a long trip away from civilization. Running water in the upper reaches of cloud forests is often drinkable, as long as you’re definitely above any settlements or cattle-grazing areas, but use a filter or purification tablets anyway to be safe. A couple of drops of bleach in each quart of water also works to kill bacteria (but not necessarily all parasites).
White gas for camp stoves is difficult to come by in Honduras, so it’s best to bring a stove that runs on gasoline or kerosene (like the excellent MSR XGK stove), or bring your own fuel. Be aware that airlines flying to the United States are growing increasingly difficult about taking camp stoves, and they are not easy to come by in Honduras.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition