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What To Pack For a Himalayan Trek in Nepal

Updated on February 17, 2020
Surya Shrestha profile image

Founder of Himalayan Trekking & Tours (P) Ltd, a privately owned adventure outfitting company founded in Nepal in 2003.

Gear for trekking in Nepal
Gear for trekking in Nepal

Trekking is never a spontaneous decision. When it comes to trekking in Nepal, adventure and fun are followed by potential risks. You cannot just throw stuff into your suitcase and say "Let's go trekking!".

However, what you need to pack depends entirely on the weather condition.

So, are you planning for a trek? Great!

It’s not very uncommon as you would think to pack too much. It’s a common mistake that people make and there’s also another one – buying climbing gear. Let's be clear, you don't have to! Not unless you trek too often. You will easily be able to rent the essential gear and equipment for trekking.


Let's see what you actually need to pack to get started with your trek.


Clothing Essentials You Need To Pack

  • Waterproof Jacket - 1
  • Down Jacket - 1
  • Fleece/soft shell Jacket - 1
  • Long Sleeves Shirt (light-weight); not cotton - 2
  • Short Sleeves Shirt (light-weight; not cotton - 2
  • Waterproof Breathable Pants - 1
  • Trekking pants - 2
  • Shorts - 1
  • Long Thermal Underwear, briefs Sports Bra (for Women) - 1
  • Brimmed Hat - for sun security
  • Wool or Knitted Hat - for warmth
  • Warm Waterproof Gloves

Backpack is a MUST.

Basically, you will want to carry a backpack with a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, windproof wears, and so on. Or then again, you can leave your important things at your hotel room while trekking. There are numerous hotels and lodges that offer lockers.

It is extremely necessary that you bring your personal gear for trekking. In case your luggage is heavier than you have anticipated, you can definitely hire a Porter.

However, I recommend you make sure your baggage is as light as possible. Around 10 to 15 kg will suffice! You don't want to slow yourself and others down during the trek.

General Rule for Backpack Weight

Types of Trek
Ideal Backpack Weight
Short
7kg
Medium
10kg
Long
15kg

It is important to note that trek gear differ significantly from summit gear. Mountain summit requires weeks of climbing, most of which is acclimatization. The temperature and weather conditions are extremely different at high altitudes and so are the equipment.

Proper knowledge of what to pack for what occasion will definitely give you the upper hand.

Trek Equipment vs. Summit Equipment

Equipment
Trek
Summit
Torch/Headlight
YES
YES
Harness
NO
YES
Padlock
YES
YES
Map
YES
YES
Mobile Phone
YES
NO (No signal)
First Aid Kit
YES
YES
Ice-axe
NO
YES
Trekking Poles
YES
YES
Ascender
NO
YES
Prusik pulley
NO
YES

There are in fact, a several options for a wonderful trek in Nepal. In this article, I will list out all the essential gear that you should carry with you for a safe and convenient trek. You will be able to purchase or rent them in a local trekking gear shop.


Full Gear / Equipment List

Footwear to pack

  • Hiking Boots + spare laces - 1
  • Trainers (to wear at camp) - 1
  • Socks (warm and thick) - 3
  • Sock Liners (thin and tight; worn under socks to prevent blisters) - 3

Accessories for convenience

  • 1.5 – 2 liter Water Bladder (Platypus type suggested)
  • 1-liter water bottle - 2
  • Shades
  • Towel
  • Knapsack Cover; waterproof (not mandatory)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Headlamp + additional batteries
  • Trekking Poles (If required)
  • Duffel pack - for porters to carry your equipment

Other Gear/Equipment

  • Camera, tripod, lenses
  • Solar chargers (high-quality) / Power bank
  • Multi-socket; in case you have many devices that need charging
  • Personal Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, and so on)
  • Individual Prescriptions (malaria tablets and so on)
  • Sunscreen/Lip Balm
  • Moisturizer
  • Pen/Notepad
  • Maps - for keeping you on the right trail
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Insect Repellent
  • First-aid Kit
  • Hand Sanitizer/Wet Wipes

Have You Ever Done Trekking?

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What You Need Not Pack!

Even experienced trekkers seem to carry some very unnecessary things. There are some accessories which are the strangest things to come across on a trek.

So, AVOID packing them because you simply don't need them!

To list a few, here are some of the things you should leave at home:

  • Laptops/Tablets - First of all, you will be making your backpack heavier and also increasing your power needs which you really don't need during a trek. Take your pen and notepad for research work, otherwise the impact of altitude on electronic devices are not pleasant.
  • Shaving Kit - It is just a matter of a few days or weeks. No one is going to complain about your facial hair!
  • Hair Dryer - I don't need to tell you how it sounds. Just, leave your hair dryer home.
  • Makeup Kit - Like shaving kit for men, Ladies, there is no need to pack your makeup kit unless you have a photo shoot in the Himalayas.
  • Solar showers - Besides saving some money on a shower at your stay, you will have no significant use and place for these on your gear. It is best to shower locally.
  • Gas Stove or pans - Even if you carry these, you will have to buy foods from the place where they sell cooked foods. So, why bother? You might however, have a use of a gas stove for camping. Certainly, not recommended for a simple trek.

Do I Need To Hire a Porter?

It entirely depends on your trek duration and purpose. If it is a simple trek, then you won't require a porter to carry your stuff. Remember to carry just enough that you need and carry for a simple trek.

For example, if you have a photo shoot or want to record the trek with your camera equipment, it would be wise to hire a porter to carry your stuff.

If you are traveling with a guide, they will certainly help you hire a porter. In fact, porters charge half of what your guide does.

You might need the help of a translator as most porters don't speak English. The extent of your responsibility for your porter needs to be discussed prior hiring them. That means, you might need to pay for their food and accommodation.

There is a lot to know about hiring a guide in Nepal. My suggestion is take your time to choose the right companion for your journey.

Safety and Comfort First!

Physical comfort obviously is the first priority. You have to prepared at all times due to the unpredictable weather conditions at such high altitude. It can even rain or snow during the trekking period. So, pack accordingly!

There you have it!

I hope this article will help you check all the essentials you need to pack for your trip. Just remember, you can never be too careful when it comes to traveling.

So, pack right and travel the right way!

© 2020 Surya Shrestha

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