The Ultimate Packing List for a Trip to Nepal
- December 26, 2022
- Jiwan Bhandari
We recommend you take only essential items. Remember to pack light, and follow these tips:
- You will need layers. Your base layer should be a synthetic T-shirt, or a quick-dry, thin thermal shirt. If you’re sensitive to the sun, wear long sleeves
- Pack clothes that are light, with fast-drying fabric and good breathability
- Wear comfortable shoes – preferably ones that you have already worn in
- Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect you from the sun
- Do not forget the small things: gloves, a fleece hat, sun cream, and a microfiber towel.
If you are reaching higher altitudes, you will need more layers. Bring thermal shorts or trousers, a fleece jacket, and a light-down jacket with a hood or down vest.
The outer layer is very essential and has to be wind and waterproof. A light membrane or softshell jacket with a hood is your best option.
If you are doing short hikes or treks below 3,500m, wear light, quick-dry trekking trousers, and a T-shirt. Be prepared to put on more layers like a windproof jacket and trousers when the sun goes behind the clouds or as it gets windy.
Temperatures will drop below freezing in the mountains, even at an altitude of 3,500m, so make sure always have a second (or third) layer with you.
If you are trekking below 6,000m, you have got two opinions for footwear.
Mid/High Trekking Boots
Mid/High trekking boots will provide great ankle support. Get a pair with a steel cap and a solid, non-flexible sole.
Make sure these are the right size for your foot and are comfortable to walk in. Remember, you will be walking in these for 5-7 hours a day during your trek.
Sky Running Trainers
Some people say hiking in heavy shoes that keep your ankle stable isn’t very good, as the body loses the knowledge of keeping balance.
They recommend using lighter and softer shoes, or trainers for sky running.
If you choose to wear these, you will need ankle support in the form of special bandages.
Light Trainers or Sandals
When you reach a teahouse/lodge to stay overnight, you will definitely want to take your shoes off and to give your tired feet some rest.
So, you need also to bring a pair of light trainers or sandals (better with the covered tip) and let your boots dry overnight.
Whatever shoes you decide to use for trekking, make sure that the sole is not slippery, and has a good grip on the rocks and slippery trails.
Trekkers who choose to take the teahouse trek route and sleep in lodges can easily sleep without a sleeping bag. Most of these teahouses/lodges will provide pretty warm blankets.
However, your own can be beneficial, because:
- It is more hygienic.
- The teahouse/lodge may be short of blankets during the high season.
- At night when the temperature drops in the mountains, you might want to use both your sleeping bag and a blanket.
Backpacks and Important Accessories
A 30-40L backpack will be enough for you to pack your jacket, snacks, documents, thermos, and a bottle of water which will be carried by our porters.
Find a backpack that will ergonomically distribute the load. It should have a solid frame and waterproof material to keep your back and belongings dry.
Hiking/trekking poles will also come in handy, and provide great protection for your knees when you are walking uphill and downhill.
What to pack vs what to Buy There
Hundreds of gear shops in Kathmandu (Thamel) and Pokhara (Lakeside) will be happy to equip you with all the necessary gear, so no worries if you arrive unequipped.
However, the products available in Nepal are made locally and will not last forever, it is likely that you will leave most of them thereafter your trek.
There are a number of outdoor clothing shops on Tridevi Marg in Thamel, Kathmandu where you can purchase real-deal, top-quality branded gear, including fleece and Gore-Tex jackets, down jackets, and shirts. Mountain Hardware, North Face, Marmot, and Black Yak is the major branded shops available on Tridevi Marg in Thamel.
We would highly recommend you to buy your trekking shoes well in advance and choose a trusted brand, and start wearing your shoes sometime before coming to Nepal to do a trek or a mountain climbing expedition.