After deciding where, how and when to go trekking, the next most important thing is to determine what gears are required to conquer that particular feat. Surely, trekking in Nepal isn’t easy. Well, there are easy ones but why take the easiest option when the hardest is the most fruitful one; in terms of scenery, challenges, and life-changing experience.
Taking necessary things with you can only make your journey a hell lot easier. The easier you feel, the better it is for both of us as you’ll enjoy the trek and our paradise-esque country. We definitely don’t want you to struggle whilst on the route, so with this in mind, we have come with the gear checklist; what you should bring from the home and what you can buy in Kathmandu.
Both branded items and local take on branded items are available in Kathmandu. It is totally possible to get everything and anything you will need for a trek here. A word of cautions about local products though: Being labeled North Face or Mountain Hardwear, as most local products are, doesn’t bless them with durability. However, there are good fakes and bad fakes and most are okay for the price. If you spend some time checking and rechecking the stuff especially the zippers, it will provide the service for at least one trek. Or you could just stick to one of the branded outlets in Thamel.
However, bringing some stuffs from home will save you time in Kathmandu and will also buy you peace of mind. Perhaps, you can get around Kathmandu via bus, rickshaw, taxi etc. Also, if you don’t know, the dress code for the mountains is layers. And avoid cotton inners at all costs.
Below is the list of things that we recommend you to bring from home or else Thamel, Kathmandu will take care of it but mind you, you might be in for a bit of a headache if you don’t like hassle and bustle.
Bring from Home:
Trekking Boots– Lightweight, waterproof, ankle support, some toe room and most importantly broken in.
Daypack/Rucksack with pack cover– If you plan on hiring porters, a 30 liter bag should be enough. Otherwise, look for a 70 liter one.
Passport size photos– 5-7 should be good.
Sunglasses with straps– Straps are important as sunglasses happen to be the one thing that people misplace most often while taking pictures or resting.
Spare glasses/lenses– If you wear glasses or contact, having a spare is very important.
Inner Thermals– Both top and bottom will make your trek that much more enjoyable.
Fleece– Great for layering with wind/waterproof jacket for walking.
Wind/Water Jacket– Make sure it is breathable and is waterproof.
Down Jacket– Mornings and evenings can be pretty chilly. Will make your stay at camp and short excursions that much more comfortable.
Fleece pants– So you can remain warm and feel clean during the evenings.
Wind pants– Waterproof breathable is recommended.
Gloves– Make sure it is at least windproof.
Underwear– 4-6 should carry you through a two-three week trek.
Flashlight– Look for LED head torches.
Camera with an extra battery– One extra battery should be good as charging can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. Also, you cannot charge if you don’t have a charger. Do not forget that.
Socket Adapter– Many sockets in Nepal are of Type C, that is they have circular pins. It will be handy to have an adapter just in case.
Water filters or Water purification tablets– To give you peace of mind and protection when you aren’t sure of the water. Water filters are amazingly small and efficient these days.
Bring from Home (Optional):
Vitamin supplements– One thing that you will be short on during a trek is Vitamin C. Supplements are always welcome.
Zip locks– Useful in oh so many different ways, for first aid kits to toiletries to documents.
Running shoes– Great to keep your feet comfortable in treks like ABC, Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu in which a sizeable portion of the trek goes through a low country.
Swiss Army Knife– Pack it off in your luggage if you don’t want it confiscated at airports.
Binoculars– Consider small and light ones, unless watching wildlife is your main purpose.
Books– A trek is the perfect time to catch up on reading. However, it would be tough to finish more than 2 books in one-two-three week trek.
Tablet computers– Entertainment at evenings.
Gaiters– Keeps your feet dry and warm, if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Get in Kathmandu:
Trekking trousers– 2 pairs. Lightweight and loose.
Trekking shirts– 2 pairs. Collared ones are better. Avoid cotton.
Woolen cap– It’ll protect you from suffering from severe headaches.
Trekking poles– Your back and legs will love you for these, especially in downhill stretches.
Water bottle– Get 2 with a wide mouth opening, which can store hot water.
Sandals– Great for giving your feet a breather during the evenings.
Buffs– 3 Can be used as a neck gaiter, head wear, to cover your face, to tie your hair and a whole bunch of other ways. One of the best use, however, is to cover your nose and mouth at high altitudes to hydrate your breath and avoid the cold dry mountain air. Make sure to keep it rather loose around your nose though and your lungs will love you for it.
Sleeping Bag liner– A light silk liner is good enough rather than the heavy fleece ones. Its main purpose is to protect you from lodge blankets that are washed at most twice a year.
Socks– 3 pairs are more than good enough. Make sure they are thick woolen ones. For treks that go through a low country like Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Circuit, you might consider getting 2 more pairs of lightweight socks too.
Sunscreen– SPF 30-50 will be good enough. There is little point in going over that. However, make sure it is rated, UVA in addition to UVB.
Lip Balm– Moisturizing and SPF 30 necessary.
Toilet paper– 2 rolls should be good enough.
Shower Gel– Travel size or sachets ideal as you won’t be showering as much during a trek.
Shampoo– Travel size of sachets is ideal.
Towel– A small one will be more than good enough.
Moisturizing cream– That cold dry mountain air will take its toll on your skin.
Plastic Bags– 2 large ones 3 small ones. Comes in very handy to put in your dirty laundry
Snacks– Carry some chocolate bars and nuts for a quick munch before lunch. Don’t carry too much as you can find them in lodges all along the trails.
Get in Kathmandu (Optional):
Sun Hat/Baseball Hat– Great for protection from the sun when it is still warm enough.
Neck gaiter– A buff can be used in place of this. But this one comes in handy.
Deodorant– Your partner will love you for this.
Diary– You really want to note down few things.
Pen– Carry some spares.
Kit Bag and lock– If you plan to hire a porter a kit bag comes in handy. Make sure you get a lock too. Combination ones are easier.
Now that we gave you the essentials, it completely depends upon you, how you pack your bag.