Before traveling to any places or doing any activities whether it is indoor or outdoor, we must acquire information regarding the weather, climate, temperature, and environmental factors. According to this, we can estimate the items or gears carrying during the trip.
How to prepare a backpack?
It is the major aspect to decide the gear or clothes item to carry while traveling to the new destination. The things we need to carry will depend on the type of activities, duration, traveling season, altitude, and the environment of the destinations.
- Choice of Activities
If you are trekking, you will need more clothes, special backpacks, more gear, and items of good quality. From a sewing kit to Down Jackets, you need to prepare for the trekking. Compare to trekking, you will need fewer items for the tour. Most of the tour activities are organized in the hilly and Terai region of Nepal which is at lower elevations below 2000m. Thus you don’t need a special type of clothing.
- Travelling Season
If you are trekking in the summer season, you will need quick-dry clothes, shorts, and lightweight clothes. During the summer season, the days are hot and warm whereas, the nights are chill. Although the season is hot, you may need long-sleeved clothes or warm clothes if you are going to a higher altitude.
If you are trekking in the winter season, you will need warm clothes because the weather is extremely cold and the temperature at night will be below than freezing point. Thus, you must be fully prepared for warm clothes and other gear such as a pair of crampons while walking on snow.
The best time for trekking in Nepal is the Spring season (April-June) and Autumn Season (October-December). The weather will be fine but the frequent changes in the weather, the humidity will make this season hot or cold. Thus, you need to pack your bag according to the season.
The altitude will vary in the duration of the trek, temperature, and the environment. Thus you need to pack gear and clothing according to the altitude you reach. All the teahouse lodges at a higher altitude at not fully facilitated. So you need to bring your personal gear and items by yourself. Higher altitude may require warm clothes than the lower altitude treks or tours. Raining and snowing are depended upon the altitude.
It is recommended to wear clothes in layers. The innermost layer should be water and sweat-resistant so that your sweat dries out faster. For this is better to avoid cotton. This will prevent you from catching a cold or fever along the way. Then you can layer with a windshield jacket or a down jacket depending on the weather or season. While walking, you may feel hot, up to the second layer will be fine for hot days.
It is not concerned with any limitations during the trip, but the policies in the different sectors will be altered. The baggage allowance on international and regional flights will be fixed, so it will be good if we carry necessary items for the trip considering the above major factors.
What are the considerations of a backpack?
Before choosing any gears or items, we need to consider the above-mentioned factors. With reference to this, a traveler must choose items or gears in such a way that the weight should be compatible as much. During the tour, it will be fine to pack on a suitcase or other Baggage. While on the trek, it should be packed on a rucksack or Duffel Bag, which will be easy to carry by the trekker themselves or the helping staff.
- Prepare a list of items
A checklist of the items will help to remember the things you need for the trip. The list will include the things that you require from the morning to the night, during flights, or any other situation. Toiletries items, Technical gear, Clothing, First aid Kit, Gadgets, etc. are mentioned on the checklist.
- Don’t overpack
This is the major consideration of Backpacking. While you are on the trip, you must carry only the necessary items and avoid over-packing. Do not pack unnecessary items which are not used during the trip or avoid the items which you can easily get during the trip. Expensive jewelry, heavy clothes, any other one-time used gears should be avoided. In the context of Nepal, a trekker can hire Down Jackets, Shoes, Rucksack, Sleeping Bags, etc. from Thamel of Kathmandu.
- Check the baggage policy
When you choose a flight in any part of the world, you must be aware of their Baggage Allowance Policy. Many budget airlines may charge for the checked bags and charge for overweight with a high rate. Before traveling, you can weigh your baggage or leave the stuff in a safe place. For example, you are allowed to carry 25 kg on the flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. But, from Pokhara to Jomsom or vice versa, you are allowed to carry 15 Kg. While you are traveling inside Nepal, you can leave unnecessary items on the luggage at the hotel in Kathmandu or hand them over to the tour organizing agents. On returning to Kathmandu, you can collect the items. Not only on flights, when you are using porters to carry baggage on trekking a porter will carry a maximum 30 Kg weight (only the baggage of 2 people, i.e. each of 15 Kg).
- Keep valuables Items in a hand carry
It’s always a good idea to keep essential items like your house keys, wallet, Passport, expensive jewelry in a carry-on. During trekking in Nepal, you can hand over your essential items like a passport, keys to the agencies. During the trekking, you can carry a small trekking bag to carry your frequent-needed personal items, water bottles, personal medicinal kits, camera batteries, etc.
What to carry for Trekking in Nepal?
Before starting the trek, we need to choose the bag to carry the stuff required for trekking in different areas. The duration of the trek and the type of trekking is directly related to the choice of bag.
- Duffel Bag
If you are trekking in an organized group with the services of porters, you can choose a duffle bag. These bags are provided by the trekking organizing company. If you bring a suitcase or any other luggage, you can pack trekking essentials in this bag and can leave your remaining stuff at the hotel or company until you return.
- Rucksack with waterproof cover
If you are trekking independently or wish to carry your baggage in trekking to any region, a rucksack will be more useful. But choose this with waterproof cover in order to protect from rainwater and snow. Furthermore, you need to choose the capacity of the bag according to the length of your trek, elevation you reach, and kind of trek too. Mostly, it’s better to choose a bag with a capacity of 60L+. Higher the elevation, the more clothes you need. Trekking gears and equipment for the Camping trek will be more than the teahouse trek.
- Day pack
While trekking, your heavy baggage will carried out by porters and you may need some items frequently. So you can carry a small trekking bag of 20-30L to carry your frequent-needed personal items, water bottles, personal medicinal kits, camera batteries, etc. Such a small backpack will be good for hiking too. Choose the day backpack with a good waist and chest belt.
- Hat or Cap
To protect face and hair from the sunlight, carry a comfortable and light wide brim hat or cap. This will help to prevent sun heat. This is suitable for warm days and short hiking.
- Woolen Cap
If you are trekking at a higher altitude or in the winter season, the woolen cap is essential to cover the head and ear and protect the head from cold. This will provide warmth on higher elevations.
- Neck Warmer or Buff
In order to keep the neck warm cover the neck from sunlight, you can carry a neck warmer or buff. Neck warmers are required for the winter season and on higher altitudes. For the lower altitudes, a buff, bandana scarf will be good to cover the neck and mouth from dust. Even if you feel colder, buff can be used to cover the head.
- Insulated mask or balaclava
When you are traveling above 3,500 or in the winter season, there are high chances of Khumbu Cough or Altitude sickness due to low humidity and temperatures at day and night time. To prevent such risks, you must use an insulated mask or balaclava which covers your head fully except your eyes part.
- A pair of Sunglasses
A pair of 100% UV-protected Sunglasses of good quality is recommended during trekking. You will be exposed to high intensity of UV rays in higher elevations and need to walk over snow too. Thus, this will prevent you from headache, dizziness, snow blindness, eye infections, etc.
- Spare glasses or lenses
If you are using spectacles or power lenses, it is recommended to carry spare glasses or contact lenses that are also UV protected and suitable to walk in sunlight or snow zone.
The streams and rivers flowing near to the teahouse lodges can cause a disturbance at night time. The hotels or lodges near the highway or motorable roads will be affected by the noise. So, a pair of earbuds will help you to sleep without any such disturbances.
3. UPPER BODY
A mix of long and short sleeve t-shirts are good for trekking. Although the days will be warm, the nights become colder. Thus you need a mix of both long and short sleeve t-shirts. Long sleeves will protect you from cold too. Synthetic t-shirts are more comfortable and suitable for trekking in the daytime rather than cotton ones. Because synthetic will absorb moisture quickly from the body.
- Inner Thermal Set
A good quality thermal vest as a base layer will provide warmth during cold. Prefer the synthetic one. Both top and bottom are good for the trek.
- Fleece Jacket or Pullover
Fleece Jacket or Pullover remain above the base layer and act as an insulating layer for wind. Thus it provides warmth. It is a lightweight casual jacket made of polyester synthetic wool such as polar fleece. Choose the Fleece Jacket with a full zipper in the middle.
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
The waterproof breathable shell jackets are best for the outer layers during trekking in Nepal. Such jackets provide warmth during high-altitude treks. This layer protects the trekker from dust, heat rain, and snow, mostly from the freezing temperatures in the high altitudes.
- Down Jackets
Down jackets are usually for trekking above 4,500m during the early spring or late autumn season. Good quality down jackets is windproof which prevents cold or freezing temperature. You can hire in Kathmandu too. Light down jacket will be suitable for trekking to altitudes below 4,500m in the spring or autumn season. Frequent changes in weather will affect temperature. Thus packaging of down jackets will prevent from cold.
- Women Sports Bra, Synthetic
Sports Bras made up of synthetic fabrics will make you comfortable on trekking and keep you dry. A good-quality sports bra will absorb all the moisture from the skin and pass through other layers of clothing.
4. LOWER BODY
- Under Garments
Breathable undergarments made out of synthetic fabrics are a good choice for trekking in Nepal. This fabric is high-wicking, quick-drying, and best for long and strenuous treks too. But, choose a flexible one that reduces friction. It is recommended to invest in a pair that is durable and maintains its structure after regular use. It is not necessary to carry on a large amount. You can re-use it after washing and drying at night time.
- Nylon hiking shorts
Hiking shorts are more flexible and comfortable on hiking during sunny days. You can replace trekking pants with hiking shorts on a day’s walk. But prefer the quick-drying one or nylon, rather than cotton.
- Trekking Pants
Good choice on trekking pants will help you on smooth walking on trekking. Lightweight nylon pants which are air permeable, quick-dry, and have UV protection are recommended for trekking. You can have convertible ones as it can get hot in the afternoons.
- Fleece pants
Fleece pants will be useful in the winter season or on the higher elevation where the temperature fluctuates. You can wear fleece pants in the evening time around teahouses or for sleeping rather than on walking.
- Waterproof shell pants
Waterproof shell pants are suitable for the rainy or winter season which will keep us dry from rain and snow. Such pants are windproof which provides us warmth too.
- Liner gloves
Liner gloves are the first pair of gloves that should be lightweight and quick drying. Even in moderate temperatures, you need to wear gloves just to protect your hand skin from wind at a higher elevation. Such gloves facilitating touch screens will be more beneficial to use a smartphone or touch screen cameras.
- Woolen Mitten Gloves
The woolen mitten gloves are useful for a winter trek. This will protect you from frostbite and keep your hands and fingers warm.
- Heavyweight gloves
The heavy-weight gloves will provide extra warmth in the colder region. It the waterproof and durable which will protect you from wind, rain, and snow. This will deal with the low temperature and protect hands and fingers from frostbite and extreme cold.
- Pair of trekking boots
If you choose longer treks, prepare a pair of trekking boots that you have worn for few times before the trek. Choose comfortable shoes with full ankle support and waterproof to walk in the rough and rocky trail, streams, etc. New, unworn shoes will impact heavily on your trek and make you uncomfortable during your whole journey. And even it may give blisters on feet. So we recommend you wear the used ones.
- Flip flop slippers or Sandals
A pair of sandals or flip flop slippers will be good for walking around the teahouse lodges or campsites or can be used in camping activities like having a shower. Wearing trekking boots for a longer time will affect your feet. So this will give rest to your feet too.
- Thin Inner socks
Thin inner socks will wick moisture and keep your feet dry and comfortable. The thin socks will support the hiking socks as well. Good hiking socks need to be breathable, so it’s better to avoid cotton.
- Normal Trekking socks
Good quality trekking socks will be best for trekking at normal temperatures. This should keep your feet dry and comfortable too. A fresh pair of trekking socks will be good for each day. You can reuse it after washing and drying at the end of the day.
- Thick woolen socks
Thick woolen socks are suitable for high-altitude treks or trekking to cold places in the winter season. Such socks must be high wicking and quick drying. You can wear them while sleeping, but make sure for the loose elastic. Tight socks will irregulate the blood circulation at night time. It’s good to take around two pairs for short treks and 4-6 pairs for long treks.
- A pair of hiking gaiters (Optional)
While walking during monsoon season, the hiking gaiters will prevent water, mud, dust, and tiny rocks from getting into your boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary. If you have waterproof shoes and gaiters, you won’t need a shoe cover to prevent rainwater.
- Crampons (During winter above 2500m)
It is recommended to carry a pair of normal crampons during the trek in winter season above 2500m and on the high altitude treks above 5,000m especially while passing high passes and walk over glaciers. Crampons under the shoes will be more comfortable while walking on snow. This will minimize the accident on trekking.
7. SLEEPING ACCESSORIES
- All season sleeping bag
Especially in the mountain area, the temperature inside teahouse lodges and tents at night will be below the freezing level. The blanket provided on lodges may not be enough. Thus, it’s better to carry a four-season sleeping bag with suitable labels for high-altitude treks or winter season treks. For higher altitude treks, you may need inner liners too.
If you need a pillow, then an inflatable pillow will be the best one. This will make you sleep easy and comfortable for the head and neck.
8. OTHER ESSENTIALS
The headlamp will help you walking in the nighttime in case of any delay on a trek, or while roaming around the camp or teahouse lodges. Moreover, this is required while walking to the viewpoint early in the morning for a sunrise view. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they will last in the colder temperatures.
- Re-usable Water bottle with water purification tablets.
To stay hydrated, you must carry a water bottle of 1 L capacity. On the trek, you can refill water at the teahouse lodges or the local tap. But the water is not free from bacteria enough. Thus you need to use water purification iodine tablets. One tablet will be perfect for 1L of water. You can drink water after 35 minutes.
Carry a good quality raincoat to prevent rain, snow while walking. The frequent changes in weather can cause rain, snowing. Thus to protect you and your belonging, it is good to keep a raincoat while trekking. Umbrella is not recommended for trekking, because, you need to hold it with one hand which will be more difficult while walking. Wear a raincoat and walk freely is the best option.
Choose a good product of sunscreen to protect your skin from sunlight, wind, and snow. Sunscreen with SPF 30+ with 100% UV protection is recommended for trekking in Nepal. Mostly, it is necessary for the facial part, hand, and legs if you are wearing shorts. Before purchasing and using sunscreen, please consult with your doctor about the perfect sunscreen for your skin.
- Durable Wallet/Pouch
You can carry a waterproof and durable wallet or pouch to keep travel documents, money, and passport, passport size photos (6 copies), flight tickets, etc.
- Trekking Poles
A good pair of trekking poles will support you in walking over a rough and rocky trail. This will keep your body on balance while walking downhill and uphill. They’re great to help prevent aches and pains on the trail.
- Camera Gadgets
Don’t miss capturing the sunrise view over mountains and the landscape photographs and videos. Good quality of the smartphone, Go pro, DSLR can be used for photography and videography. If you are professional videographers and photographers and like to use the drone, you need to take permission from the local authority or security officers before visiting any region. You must follow all rules and regulations regarding this. Furthermore, carry extra batteries, accessories of cameras, chargers and other equipment.
- Socket Adapter
During the trek, you may need to charge smartphones, cameras, or any other gadgets in Teahouse Lodges. Most of the power sockets in Nepal are of two-pin, three-pin with circular in shape. Thus, it is very useful to carry a socket adapter for charging. Most of the teahouse lodges in the mountainside have charging facilities in the dining hall in common because of the low power supply.
- Stationery Items
If you love to read, you can carry a book and read in the evening time. Similarly, carry a small and lightweight diary, pen, pencil if you want to write your travel memories or anything else. You can carry any gaming items like Chess, Ludo, a deck of playing cards, etc.
- Zip locks or Pouches
To carry documents, toiletries, first kits, and snack foods, chocolates, zip-lock plastics are best. Along with this, carry some pouches to keep wet clothes during the trek. This will save other items on the bag too.
- Solar Power Bank or Charges
Most of the trekking routes in Nepal have a low power supply in teahouse lodges. They are provided electricity by solar power or mini-hydropower. So, you can carry a solar power bank or Charges to charge your smartphone or any other gadgets.
- Luggage Locker
The luggage locker is more useful during traveling on flights and on the trek. This will protect your belongings from being theft, fallen, etc.
9. OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES
If you are a bird lover, you can carry binoculars for bird watching whether on hiking, trekking, or jungle safari. For jungle safari in Chitwan, Bardiya, most of the jungle lodges will provide Binoculars. But having own will fulfil your desire of Bird watching at any places.
- Hydration Bladder
If your bags have space to keep hydration bladder inside, you can carry this with a drinking tube and tube insulator. This will be easy rather than carrying a bottle, but it may be heavy to carry.
10. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
- Toiletry kit
Toiletry kit contains especially morning and night essential products. Always choose the items that are smaller in size. A small pack of toiletry kits will be lightweight and occupy less space in a bag. Before packing any items please check their quantity and choose for sealed one and avoid the restricted items like flammable liquid cosmetics and avoid the bottled items larger than 3 oz. You can purchase a toiletries kit in Kathmandu as well. It is recommended to keep these items in a toiletry bag.
Some essential Toiletry Kit is as follows:
- Medium-sized quick-drying towel
- Toothbrush (Foldable)
- Mini toothpaste/ Dental floss (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Small sachets of shampoo (prefer dry one)
- Mini Deodorants
- Facial Cleanser
- Moisturizing creams and lip balm
- Female hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Small Hairbrush or Comb
- Wet wipes/hand wipes
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Hand sanitizer spray
- Small Sewing kit (Safety pins, needle, and different colors of threads)
- Medicines and First Aid Kit
The trekking organizer team will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. Recommend you to bring your own personal first aid kit and personal medicines as well. For the details on first aid kits, medicinal uses, and first aid treatment, please click here.
- Map or Navigation Tools
If you are trekking independently, then we recommend you to carry map and navigation tools to find out location or direction, so that you won’t miss the route. Before trekking to any region, a detailed study of the map is essential. Although you are in an organized group trek, carrying map and navigation tools are useful to mark your location during trekking and find out the nearby places. Navigation tools include an altimeter, compass, etc.
Things to avoid on Trekking
- Cotton clothes while trekking above 2,500m. You can wear these while sightseeing tour.
- Leather dress or items like belt, purse, and shoes. Leather items are unacceptable while entering religious places in Nepal.
- Expensive Jewelry items.
- Laptops, Tablets, iPad, etc. while you are trekking.
The above-included items are basic guidelines for organized teahouse trek and also for camping treks (Camping gears are not included here). Moreover, if you are thinking to purchase trekking gear or want to hire from the shops in Kathmandu, I request you to add trek preparation day next to your arrival date. You can also combine it with a half-day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu City as well. For any trekking gear, please visit Thamel in Kathmandu where you will find hundreds of trekking shops and get your needs at reasonable prices.
‘Check before you commence Trekking to the Himalayas’