Best Rainforest Clothing and Packing Guide for Borneo

Chilling at Damai beach

Traveling to any new country always adds to the excitement and imagination, and more so if a trip to an all-enveloping tropical rainforest in Borneo is high on the agenda. The fascinating environment provides for an excellent opportunity to explore and be up close to nature in its most resplendent form. So in order to prepare yourself for your memorable odyssey it is best to do some research and planning to ensure you have proper rainforest clothing and gear.

One thing in the rainforests is that the climate can change anytime and the weather is quite unpredictable. Plus, in a place like Borneo, where there are jungles, mountains as well as beaches – there is so much to do, see and explore. Hence, you MUST be prepared for everything.

Even after all your packing is done, you need to find some extra space to pack the essentials you will need in the jungle. There are no clear cut rules, but since you will be toting your bags long distances in unfamiliar and rugged terrain, it is best to take less.

bako national park trail

Some of these packing tips for your eager rainforest experience, will help you travel with enough  confidence, by knowing that you are well on the way to have an amazing holiday.

What to Pack for a trip to Borneo?

Ideal Rainforest Clothing

The days in the rainforest always tend to be hot and the near 100% humidity levels, at times, can drive you through the roof. Since you will probably be sweating it out a lot, come rain or shine, it is sensible to carry fabrics which can dry out as quickly as possible.

Items that can not only be reworn but are breathable as well will come in handy. A comfortable long sleeves, to keep the mosquitoes at bay and an airy poly blend pair of impenetrable pants to safeguard your legs from bugs and insects is a must.

A microfiber travel towel is a god sent in these conditions as it dries out very quickly. This towel is specially designed for such trips as even a large one folds very well and can fit in easily in the pack.

Last but not the least, do not forget your sarong. When in the rainforest, you will discover that it is the most versatile piece of your holiday kit. It can be used as a skirt, shawl, scarf, beach mat,towel, dress, coverup and even as a curtain to keep out the light.

Click here to buy some cool sarongs at discounted rates

Leech socks

Most people are not bothered by leeches or care for them, but unless you want to prevent these wrigley revolting creatures from crawling stealthily up your legs, these socks are highly recommended. You are certain to encounter these bloodsuckers on a humid jungle trek, and sometimes inside your clothing too, without you being even aware of their presence. Buy a pair NOW!

Waterproof Footwear

My kick ass new waterproof footwear

My kick ass new waterproof beach espadrilles

While it is essential to  always have on comfortable and good trekking shoes, a pair of flip flops or waterproof footwear for the beach and showers need to be on hand.

Flip flops would also come in handy within the camp confines to keep the feet airy. Good hiking socks that can keep your feet dry and comfortable in the hot climate are also suggested.

Buy my choice of beach espadrilles at SeaStarBeachwear.

A post shared by Jyotsna Ramani (@wanderwithjo) on



For any vacation, which involves trekking, taking a soft sided rucksack is more practical than any hard piece of luggage. Try and use packing cubes to reduce the volume. Add a folding daypack to carry your essentials, especially when you are trekking during the day.


Carrying the right medication in the right forest is vital, as even a innocuous looking bite can get infested rapidly in the heat and humidity. Calamine lotion and antiseptic ointments are a good idea. An anti fungal cream or powder will come useful when you take off your shoes and your soaking wet socks at the end of the day.

Other Rainforest Packing Essentials


Sunglasses are my number one item to pack no matter where I go. In Borneo, it is even more important to carry a pair as the sun can be very bright and you would definitely be heading to Damai beach, which gives you another reason to carry your favorite pair.

Chilling at Damai beach

Chilling at Damai beach

My favorite sunglass option for the beach is this swanky and stylish piece by Ralph Lauren which I got for a steal at VisionDirectAU . Ensure the glasses you choose MUST be polarized!!

ralph lauren

My swanky new Ralph Lauren glasses – Jealous much?

If you can’t be bothered to choose, just pick these awesome black and gold cat eye framed Ralph baby by clicking here.

Waterproof bag

I always keep a waterproof bag handy in the rainforests. You can never be sure of the climate and its important to keep my camera, phone and money safe and dry .

Mosquito Repellent/ Lotion

Its the rain”Forests” so don’t forget the forest part and keep repellent handy for when the mosquitoes come after you. Applying once is not enough and you should carry it along and reapply in couple of hours.


Preferably a wide brimmed one to not only keep the rain off your face but to prevent sweat  and sun from getting in your eyes.

sun-protection sunscreen and hat


Sometimes due to dark clouds you don’t feel the sun but its’ there! So its very much required to apply generous sunscreen in this tropical climate even if you don’t see the sun!

Head Torch

Do not forget extra batteries and a head torch is a must for those night walks/ treks in the jungles. You need to be extra careful as to not spend on venomous snakes, spiders or frogs! So a torch can be a life saver in the bush.

Nature books

Rainforests are a mecca for wildlife and nature lovers. You simply cannot leave home without a good guide book with you. You will hear many bird sounds and animal noises in the jungle. You may not be able to see all of them, but your guides will come up with some names which you can look up if you carry a local bird/animal book.
Misc items like water bottle, travel adapter, hand fan and liquid sanitizer can also come in handy anytime. 

Remember, you will find a rainforest to be quite different from any urban environment, not just because of the weather, but also due to limited facilities. With a few practical adjustments and proper packing, you can easily make your stay comfortable and a lot more fun.

Have you been to Borneo and did you have proper rainforest clothing at hand? Tell me what you would be packing if you are off to the rainforests. If you aren’t headed that way, this article will surely inspire you to visit.

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