Equipment List for Trekking in Nepal
You must have the correct clothing and equipment for trekking in Nepal. It could mean the difference between enjoying yourself and having a miserable time. The following trekking equipment list is a general idea of the personal items that you need to consider packing for your trekking in Nepal. Please use this packing list for trekking in Nepal as a guide. The personal items are of individual interest and choice. Moderation to the list can be done according to your specific needs, interests, duration of your entire trip, a season of your trip, etc. You can find most of these items in stores in Kathmandu for cheaper prices.
In supported trekking in Nepal, we provide Icicles Adventure duffel bags. You are suggested to repack heavy items in this duffel bag which will be carried by porters or yaks and should have a weight limitation of 15 kgs. Personal belongings that you may need for the day (during the hike) like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream, a pair of cloth that you may need for the day and toilet paper, etc., should be carried by yourself in your day pack. So you are suggested to pack items in two different bags. The porters carrying your luggage will walk ahead of you and you can only again meet them at the end of the day. Extra things that you don’t need during your trek like travel clothes, extra gear, purchases, valuable things, etc. can be locked up and left with our staff in Kathmandu.
Most trekking in Nepal proceeds from warm, low altitudes to cold, high altitudes. It will be necessary for you to be able to control your comfort by adding or taking off clothing as required. It is far better to have several layers that can be changed with temperature variations, or when you stop for rest during the day. During the trekking day, you may start walking with a light sweater and tracksuit pants. As the day progresses you may feel comfortable in T-shirt and shorts, then later on you may need to put on the tracksuit, and eventually a down jacket, warm pants, hat, and gloves.
Be prepared at all times whilst trekking to experience changing weather conditions. A day that starts sunny and clear could become cold and windy as you gain altitude. It can rain or snow at any time during the day or trekking season. Remember, your physical comfort and well-being greatly influences your ability to appreciate the trekking environment. Hopefully, you may not need all your rain or cold weather gear, but you must come prepared for a trekking adventure in Nepal.
Be careful with your selection of personal clothing. If possible, take clothing that is flexible in its uses. Be aware, too, that your main kit-bag will be carried by a porter during part or all of your trekking in Nepal; whilst Nepalese porters are capable of carrying weights that would make most trekkers Blanche, this is another reason why you should carefully limit the amount of weight and clothing you bring. (For instance, instead of bringing a large container of shampoo, bring a smaller pack.)
You are limited to one kitbag (supplied by us) of luggage whilst trekking in Nepal. Be aware that your sleeping bag and duvet jacket have to fit in your kit bag. This sausage-shaped zippered hold-all style bag is 80cm long x 40cm wide x 40cm deep. For an easy pack of personal gear and easy carrying by porters, all your clothing and equipment taken on trek should be kept in this bag, other than any items which you carry in your day pack. To ensure all clothing and equipment is kept dry, line the kitbag with a strong, large, plastic bag, and, for added protection wrap major items (such as your sleeping bag and down jacket) individually in another plastic bag.
Before your trek departure, personal equipment may be checked by your trek leader. Do not risk spoiling your trek or the groups by being thrifty on the equipment list for trekking in Nepal or clothing selection.
You may wish to leave old clothing (t-shirts, socks, old jumpers, running shoes, etc.) in the country at the end of the trekking in Nepal. Consider donating these items to your porters – they will be very much appreciated.
Do not leave obtaining your equipment until the last minute. With adequate planning, it may be possible to borrow some items from friends (ie. daypack, water bottle) if you do not have them already. Please contact us if you require any assistance.
Clothing for Kathmandu:
Informal clothing is all that is required. Remember to dress modestly. Light clothing is usually all that will be required for most of the year. During the winter months, December to February, it will be chilly in the early mornings and evenings. A warm fleece or similar jacket will be required. Do bring along a swimming costume as our hotel in Kathmandu has a swimming pool.
Gears you need During Trekking:
- 4 seasons Sleeping bag (we provide one if you need but is to be returned after the trek)
- Duffel bag or Rucksack (70-80 liters) (we can provide one)
- Down Jacket (we provide one if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)
- Daypack (25-30 liters)
- Socks: 4 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or Capilene, 3 pairs heavyweight socks (woolen) to be worn over liner socks
- Trekking Boots: 1 pair of light trekking shoes or sneakers. Good for around the camp/lodges and in Kathmandu. Remember it is your feet that will be doing all the work. We recommend a good quality boot with a hard lug-cleated sole. Boots should be sturdy enough to tackle rough terrain. For this trek, a mid-weight leather or Gore-Tex/Cordura style is an excellent choice. If you are buying boots for your trek, make sure that they are well broken in before leaving home.
- Gaiters (seasonal): 1 pair of hiking gaiters, good for keeping dust and rocks out of your shoes/boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary. Highly recommended for keeping snow from getting inside your boots. They will also help keep the bottom of trousers clean on muddy trails. They can be bought cheaply in Kathmandu.
- Sandals (optional): A pair of running shoes or sandals will be very useful for wearing around the lodge after the day’s trekking.
Lower Body – Legs
- Hiking Shorts (2): Quick drying type, not cotton!
- Trekking Pants (2), preferably that zip on/off at the knees so they double as shorts
- Lightweight underwear – Capilene or other synthetic.
- Softshell pants – synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable.
- Hardshell pants. Waterproof/breathable, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best. Should zip from the top and bottom – this makes it easier to put on over boots without getting undressed should the weather change once you are underway for the day.
- Cotton pants or (loose jeans/khakis).
Upper Core Body
For lower altitudes and on warm days a baggy cotton T-shirt or cotton shirt is a practical item. Highly recommended are synthetic T-shirt styles that wick away moisture from the body. They are particularly useful above 2500m when, even on warm days, you chill quickly when stopping for rests.
- Thermal Underwear
Synthetic polypropylene long johns and long-sleeved vests are essential for trips departing November through March. Highly recommended for other months. They also make ideal sleeping gear.
- Waterproof Jacket. Quality waterproof clothing is essential. A proofed nylon or Gore-Tex jacket with a hood is required. Ensure that it is about mid-thigh length, with large pockets, and has a full-length zip light and expedition weight thermal tops.
- Fleece jacket or pullover.
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional).
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket.
- 2 women sports bras, Synthetic
- Swimsuit for women (optional)
- 1 pair liner gloves, thin wool or synthetic, useful alone on mild days or as a layer inside other gloves/mitts for additional warmth.
- 1 pair of warm gloves (heavier fleece or wool).
- 1 pair of shell gloves or mitts; Gore-Tex is preferred for keeping hands dry.
- Instant hand warmers are always nice in a pinch, but really shouldn’t be necessary on the trek. Bringing appropriate hand protection as recommended above, should be sufficient (optional).
Head / Ears / Eyes
- Shade hat or baseball cap – some people drape a bandana down the back of their head and then put a baseball cap on to hold it in place. This can be a flexible alternative while keeping the sun off your ears and neck.
- Warm wool Hat or synthetic hat that covers your ears.
- Balaclava – lightweight, thinner variety.
- Glacier glasses-100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo or Cebe). This is to protect your eyes from the stronger rays of the sun due to the thinner atmosphere which can cause a painful condition known as snow blindness. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient. If you wear prescription glasses, speak to your doctor about prescription glacier glasses, perhaps with transitional lenses.
- Headlamp: Black Diamond and Petzl both make several good ones. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they are lithium batteries so that they will last in colder temperatures. These are indispensable for getting around at night, reading, etc. so, don’t go cheap here.
- Ear Muffs (optional): Some people like ear-muffs; These are optional; a good hat, balaclava, and hooded jacket should really be sufficient, but this is a personal choice for some people.
- A neck warmer (optional): is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it
Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However, we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude-related headaches.
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
- Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
- 1 small personal-sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as moleskin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
- Quick-drying towel (medium-sized)
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap/handwash
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes
Miscellaneous, but essential!
- Valid Passport
- Passport size photos (2 + copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and provide us one just in case if you need to change the date of your flight).
- Luggage Locks (2)
- 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) Refillable water bottle
Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
- Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
- Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
- 2 bandanas.
- 1 pair adjustable trekking poles. Although these are listed as optional, these can be of great assistance to people who may think of themselves and generally clumsy or with bad knees, ankles, etc, especially when going downhill
- Favorite snack foods, no more than 2 pounds
- Reading materials, games (cards, chess, backgammon, scrabble, etc) music, and chargers (there are a couple of stops where you could recharge. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function. Remember, keep these items lightweight
- Camera, film/memory cards, spare batteries (you must keep the batteries warm when not in use)
- Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
- Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen, Pencils and small notebooks
- Extra contacts or glasses
- Pillowcase (if use lodge provided pillows) or can use your own stuff sacks as a pillow(s)
- Sleeping bag liner
- Hydration bladder with drinking tube and tube insulator
- A pee bottle for men and a pee funnel for a woman to avoid that chilly late night trip
- 1 small stainless steel thermos
Please Note: Tight fitting, figure-hugging clothing, such as those made with Lycra can often be offensive to locals, especially to women. If you find these items comfortable as a base layer, please pack something to wear on top of them.