Clothing & Equipment

Your trek outfitter will normally provide two person waterproof tents, foam mattresses, and all cooking and eating utensils. You will need your own warm clothing, walking shoes, sleeping bag and personal equipment. During the day you will carry your camera, jacket, and water bottle in a rucksack. The rest of your equipment, including your sleeping bag, will be carried by porters. All hiking will be on trails. You will not need any climbing equipment such as ropes, ice axe, or crampons at any time during the trek. The equipment check list that follows details the equipment you will need for your trek. Most of these items are available for rent or sale in Kathmandu, but all trekking equipment in Nepal is either used equipment that was sold by other trekkers or mountaineering expeditions or locally made reproductions of internationally known brands. The local rucksacks, duffel bags and rain ponchos are inexpensive and will usually stand up to the rigors of a trek or two. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you are getting a brand name item, however; most new looking rucksacks available in the bazaar are made in Nepal from imported Korean nylon.

In Kathmandu casual clothes are the rule, unless you get invited to a formal Nepal government or embassy reception.

Equipment Check List

  • Jeans or slacks
  • Towel and toilet kit
  • Underwear
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Sleeping bag, warm to 20 degrees F, either down or fibrefill (or you can rent one in Kathmandu)
  • Parka, down or fibrefill; a ski jacket is ok
  • Sweater, wool shirt or acrylic pile jacket.
  • Duffel bag, canvas or nylon, without a frame (for porters to carry)
  • Daypack or rucksack, waterproof, for you to carry
  • Water bottle 1 litre or 1 quart; be sure that it does not leak.
  • Flashlight
  • Walking shoes: either boots or strong tennis or running shoes, well broken in. As there may be rain, mud or snow; boots are sometimes necessary therefore you should bring them despite the extra hassle. Many times the entire trek can be done in tennis shoes, but if there is snow, you run the risk of frostbite, or at least cold feet if you do not have boots. If your feet are small (size 10 or less), you can rent boots in Kathmandu.
  • Hats, one with a brim for sun; one wool for cold weather.
  • Sunglasses or goggles – very important for travel above 12,000 feet. Absolutely essential for Everest treks, optional for Annapurna treks (though they may be necessary in December and January when there is snow).
  • Shorts – it may be warm during the day, especially near Pokhara. You will probably not wear shorts on Everest treks. Women should wear skirts instead of shorts.
  • Socks – two pairs thick wool or wool/nylon.
  • Shirts – three are recommended: two T shirts and one long sleeve shirt.
  • Pocket knife (Be sure this is packed in your checked baggage to avoid hassles with airport security).
  • Rainwear – a poncho; or you can buy an Indian umbrella in Kathmandu for about $2.
  • Slippers or sandals for campsite wear. Rubber “shower shoes” are available in Kathmandu for about $1

This list is suitable for most 8 to 10 day treks. Although you can wash clothes during the trek, you may need extra socks and shirts etc. for longer treks. If your trek goes above 3500 metres (about 12,000 feet) for more than one day you should pay particular attention to warm clothing. If you are trekking to higher elevations or during the cold season you should carry both a pile jacket and a down or fibre fill parka.

The weight limit on treks and domestic flights is 15 kg (33 pounds); make an effort to keep your baggage within this weight limit.

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