The following is a comprehensive list of all you will need to go trekking in Nepal. We feel it is relatively complete, but of course you could keep thinking of things you’d like to bring. However, we feel that this is all you need for a comfortable trek.
Please remember that when trekking ALL of your bags will need to be carried. We do have porters to carry your main bag for you, however we limit the weight of all bags to no more than 10kg, as they will often be carrying multiple bags. You will be responsible for carrying your day bag, and we suggest you keep the weight to a maximum of 5-10kg.
Sherpa Spirit Treks will supply you with a waterproof duffel bag at the hotel, and you will need to repack your bag into this. Any remaining luggage that you have that doesn't need to be taken with you for your trek can be stored at the hotel or in our apartment while we are away. We prefer to use these bags, as our porters can tie them together as they need in order to carry multiple bags at once. These bags are tough and waterproof, so they can take a bit of a beating and keep your belongings dry through all kinds of wet and snowy weather. Please ensure that you don't pack anything that can be broken or damaged in these bags. We will brief you on this before you repack your bag. This bag will be yours to keep at the end of your trek. If you would like to carry your own bag and don’t want us to provide you with a porter or a duffel bag, then please let us know at the time of booking.
Any of the gear we have listed below can also be worn during your time in Kathmandu, while you aren’t trekking. However, if you would prefer to wear something else on those days (e.g. jeans), please feel free to pack them. We recommend that you leave these things in storage with your main luggage at the hotel or in our apartment while we are trekking.
Please note that you have the option of bringing all of your gear from your home country, or purchasing/hiring gear locally in Kathmandu (e.g. a down jacket and sleeping bag, which will be provided for you for your trek). If you intend to do this, please note that this will take a bit of forward planning, which is why our trek itineraries provide an additional day in Kathmandu prior to your trek departure. This can be a great way to get the things you need, but know you won’t use again, cheaper than you would in your home country. We can also help you to rehome these items at the end, by donating them to people in our village.
We have marked gear you can purchase/hire in Kathmandu, with the following key (although in reality, nearly everything on this list can be easily purchased in Kathmandu or on the trail):
^ = hire
* = purchase
Main luggage bag (x1; This bag is for transporting your belongings on your international flight and holding any additional belongings you have while not trekking. We will be leaving these bags at the hotel while we are trekking. We recommend a backpack, rather than a luggage bag with wheels, as the streets of Kathmandu aren't really roller bag friendly!)
*Day pack - 20-35L (x1; You will be carrying this bag EVERY DAY that we are trekking. Make sure it is comfortable with a padded hip belt. You may be going in and out of this bag multiple times a day, so ease of access is always a good consideration.)
Bag liner (waterproof; for keeping your gear dry inside your daypack)
Pack cover (waterproof; for keeping your whole bag dry if it rains)
Stuff sacks/compression sacks (waterproof; for organising your gear, and keeping your gear dry)
Ziplock Bags (very handy for storing items and keeping things dry - please use responsibly)
Laundry bag (to stop the rest of your bag smelling funky when you're transporting your dirty clothes)
Sports Bra/Crop (x2)
Singlets/Tank tops (x2)
Hiking T-shirts (x2-3)
Long sleeve hiking shirts (x1-2 - depending on season)
*Fleece or Merino Jacket (x1)
^Down Jacket (x1; provided by Sherpa Spirit Treks, but you are also welcome to bring your own)
*Long Trekking Pants (x2; no jeans)
*Trekking Shorts (x1; zip off pants work well)
*Merino Singlets (x2)
*T-Shirt and/or Long Sleeves (x2)
*Long Pants (x2)
*Rain Jacket Shell (x1)
*Rain Pants (x1)
Warm lightweight sleepwear (x1 set; thermal layers work well)
*Beanie or warm woollen hat
*Whistle (attached to daypack if possible)
We recommend a good quality, comfortable pair of lightweight trekking boots that are waterproof, have a good sole, fit correctly, and support your feet and ankles. We don’t recommend running shoes, sneakers or sandshoes. Make sure you take the time to break these in prior to trekking.
Wool socks (x3)
Sock Liners (x3)
*Crampons or Traction devices (if unsure, check with us to see if these are necessary on your trek)
*Gaiters (for stopping things running down into your boots!)
*Sandals or sneakers (for around camp at the end of the day)
Spare boot laces
Blister Kit (see First Aid & Medical)
Not all of the teahouses that we will stay in will have adequate bedding, therefore we HIGHLY recommend using a sleeping bag. We understand these can be expensive to buy, especially if you’re only going to use it this one time. Therefore, we provide a sleeping bag for you! We recommend having a thermal sleeping bag liner, which is not only going to raise the temperature rating of your bag to help keep you warmer at higher elevations and in colder temperatures, but it will also help to keep your bag clean. These are generally very thin, and very lightweight, but incredibly warm. Great as a sheet during warmer weather too!
^Down Sleeping Bag (provided by Sherpa Spirit Treks, but you are also welcome to bring your own. If so, make sure it is rated for extremely cold temperatures -4C to -10C).
Sleeping Bag Liner (x1)
First Aid & Medical
Our Sherpa Spirit Treks team always travels with a first aid kit, however we do recommend that you also carry a small, personal first aid kit with you. At the very least, ensure you have the following:
Bandaids or plasters
Tape & scissors
*Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
*Diamox (Altitude Sickness Medication; available in Kathmandu without prescription)
General antibiotics (check with your doctor or travel clinic for their recommendation of the best antibiotics to carry when travelling)
Other personal medications as required
Our personal preference for keeping hydrated is with a LifeStraw water bottle. It allows you to fill your bottle from local water sources as you go, while also providing water filtration and purification. It can be filled and used immediately without the need to sterilise the water and without the addition of chemical water purification tablets. However, we always recommend having a backup as well (extra stainless steel or aluminium bottle + water purification method: Steripen or Aquatabs)!
Please note: if you would prefer to use a Camelbak or water bladder to carry water, this is your choice. However, please bear in mind that you need to be able to treat the water that you add to your bladder. You may also want to consider the size of bladder you carry, as this will all equate to extra weight in your day pack. We would always recommend having a stainless steel or aluminium bottle as a backup, in case your water bladder springs a leak!
*Main water purification method (e.g. LifeStraw bottle, bottle with Steripen/Aquatabs)
*Water purification tablets (e.g. Aquatabs)
*Additional reusable water bottle (stainless steel or aluminium)
Toiletries & Personal Care
This one may be a bit personal, but in general, you'll find the following are your essentials. Travel sizes are always the way to go when trekking. If you'd prefer, buy your regular larger sizes, and then fill up travel sized bottles. You can buy most of these items in Nepal, however if there are certain brands that you prefer, we recommend purchasing in your home country. Where possible, we always recommend choosing soaps and detergents that are environmentally friendly, and biodegradable.
*Toothbrush & toothpaste
Sanitary napkins/tampons (disposable or reusable)
*Suncream & chapstick
Small face washer or wet wipes (a quick drying reusable face washer is more eco-friendly!)
Contact lenses (if required)
Alarm clock (optional - we will always be around to wake you.)
*Head Torch (some teahouses won't have reliable electricity, so you will need this for those night time toilet runs, or to read your book while your roommate sleeps!)
Chargers/cords for your electronic devices
*Spare batteries for anything that is battery powered
*Solar power bank (optional, but very handy!)
Hand warmers/pocket warmers (check out the reusable options!)
Journal & pen
*Personal entertainment (book, cards etc)
Nepali phrase book
*Passport sized photos
Copy of Travel Insurance
Money/Cash for Entry Costs (Minimum of US$150 for your entry visa, and other initial expenses after arriving)
Money/Cash for Personal Expenses while trekking (we recommend carrying a minimum of $200 with you while trekking. Tipping & Gratuities are an optional but culturally expected extra - see our Travel Guide for more information)
ATM card / Traveller's Cheques / Traveller's card (to obtain the money you need for additional personal/medical expenses while trekking - we recommend having a minimum of US$500 available in case of emergency)
Details of your emergency contacts
*Photocopies of important documents
Contact details of your embassy in Nepal
Medical certificate for any medications you are carrying with you
What NOT To Pack
There are certain things that you don't need to bring trekking in Nepal with you. We have listed them below. We understand that these may be things that you feel very uncomfortable travelling without, but we encourage you to trust us on this, and allow yourself to let go of some of the comforts of home. This is an adventure, after all!
Electric shavers, razors, shaving cream, aftershave
Computer, laptop, iPad or tablet (unless you're using these for the Kindle app! But otherwise, take this time to disconnect and enjoy your adventure!)
We hope this packing list is of use to you. If there is anything you would like to purchase or hire in Nepal, please let us know so that we can do our best to arrange this for you prior to your arrival, or on your day of trek preparation.
Please note, this list is not exhaustive and there may be other necessary items you can think of packing. If there is, let us know so that we can update our list!