Here is some trekking gear list which is essential during trekking for trekker’s safety and security. You can add some other trekking equipment as per your requirement and trekking season. These trekking gear list will be your checklist at the time of backpacking.
- anti-leech oil for monsoon treks (available at some pharmacies in Kathmandu)
- base layer, long underwear of polypropylene, nylon, wool, or silk
- camera and photographic equipment including extra batteries and memory cards
- earplugs, more than one pair (homes and lodges can have remarkably thin walls, buses often have blaring stereos, and unruly dogs howl deep into the night)
- elastic bands, nylon line (parachute cord): for lashings, hanging laundry, makeshift shoestrings, or for wrapping around the sole of shoes for traction on slippery trails
- feminine hygiene materials: women may consider bringing an ecological, reusable menstrual cup (eg, Mooncup) that collects menstrual fluids, as an alternative to carrying disposable tampons or other materials
- flip-flops, sandals, or other lightweight foam/rubber footwear: for use after the day’s hike is over, around the room, lodge, and village; especially useful in toilet and shower areas
- footwear that supports the ankles
- handkerchief or bandanna (more than one), used as a face mask, or to dry cups, plates, hands and more
- hat with the brim, and warm hat
- headlamp or flashlight
- high-energy snacks
- insect repellent, including essential oils of eucalyptus or citronella
- makeshift shelter: emergency blanket (aluminized polyester)/plastic sheeting/bivouac shelter
- matches or lighter
- pack cover (ones made in Kathmandu are a good value)
- pen or pencil and journal
- personal first-aid kit (see Staying Healthy section for recommendations)
- plastic bags, especially useful for keeping gear dry in wet weather
- plastic sheeting for covering porters’ loads and other uses
- pocket knife
- portable music player
- quick drying pants
- rain poncho or cape large enough to cover self and pack
- reading materials
- rechargeable batteries, charger, and universal adapter
- skirts, mid-calf to above the ankle for women
- sleeping bag sleeping bag liner or sheet for use between unwashed sheets/blankets
- Socks, several pairs
- spare eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them
- sunglasses (UV-protective; be aware that inexpensive sunglasses might do more harm than good by dilating pupils and allowing more UV exposure)
- sunscreen and lip balm, ayurvedic sun block cream is available in Kathmandu
- sweater (aka, jumper)
- toiletries, including biodegradable soap (ayurvedic soap is available in Nepal)
- umbrella if traveling in warm sunny lowlands or in the monsoon
- universal adapter for recharging batteries/electronic devices
- water bottle; at least 32-ounce (1-liter) capacity per person
- water-purification materials
- windproof jacket
Nepal’s trails are steep and every addition to your load counts! Review your gear list, and pare down items beforehand.
Second-hand camping and mountaineering equipment used by other trekkers and climbers on Himalayan expeditions are often available for sale or rent in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Namche Bazaar, and waypoints along popular routes. You may even find new gear that went unused on expeditions. The road forming the southern border of Thamel in Kathmandu has shops with expedition kit, and do not be surprised if the owner of the shop with whom you are bargaining is a prolific climber.
Prices vary from cheap to outrageous, and quality is not uniform. Some trekkers sell equipment by means of notice boards in restaurants, hotels, and at KEEP. Packs, jackets, and other items are locally manufactured and often carry a counterfeit label. Such gear might only last one trek if that, but some are more durable. There are now genuine outlet stores along Tridevi Marg in Thamel and Durbar Marg, the road that leads from the former royal palace, now the Narayanhiti National Museum. Some people are able to pick up everything they need in the city, but it is safer to arrive at least minimally prepared. If buying or renting in Nepal, be aware that quality is variable and a sleeping bag with an advertised rating of —20°C will not likely match expectations.
Hiking Nepal’s steep terrain can cause a swift buildup of body heat, especially carrying a loaded pack up a sun-drenched hill. Conversely, in high altitude areas, the temperature will drop rapidly, especially in the shade of the mighty Himalaya, when the sun has set or is behind the clouds, and moil so if your clothes are wet and cold from sweat. It is important to have the ability to remove or add items to adjust quickly to conditions. Clothes made of an all-cotton material, though comfortable, are not the best choice as cotton absorbs and holds moisture. The first layer of clothing should keep you dry by wicking moisture away from the skin to the next layer. There are many brand specialties in this area. Long thermal underwear is necessary at higher altitudes, especially during the winter months. Thermals made of polypropylene, a petroleum-based synthetic, might be a good inner layer, although it has a reputation for quickly becoming foul-smelling. Nylon is durable. Silk is lightweight yet needs extra care and might easily come apart at the seams. (There are now silks on the market that do not rely on the mass killing of production caterpillars. These include ahimsa silk, also known as peace silk and vegetarian silk, and tussah or wild silk.)
The next layer should provide warmth. Wool clothing is traditionally chosen for the cold because it stays warm when wet. A sweater or synthetic fiber-insulated fleece (pile) jacket works well in wet weather and also dries quickly. Underarm “pit zips” allow ventilation if not the removal of entire sleeves. The outer layer should add warmth and keep you dry as well. A waterproof, breathable shell that is soft and light works well. Aim for something either with a zip-out liner or large enough to cover a sweater or fleece jacket. Check to ensure that the seams have been properly sealed.
Many well-designed packs are available. Choose one that feels comfortable when loaded allows easy access and can expand capacity when necessary. Carry a spare plastic buckle at least for the waistband (keep buckles engaged while not wearing the pack to protect them from being stepped on and possibly broken). Equipment and supplies that porters carry can be packed in sturdy, bright-colored (for recognizability) duffel bags, preferably ones that can be locked.
Your route and preferred style dictate whether you need a tent. If you prefer to camp or desire privacy where there aren’t lodges, a tent is necessary. Generally, one large enough to sit up in and to house other people such as porters in an emergency is best. Weight, seasonality, and ease of setting up are factors to consider. A three-season tent with ventilation and rain fly over the openings is versatile enough for most trekkers. Make sure the seams are properly sealed. Check out setup instructions, and practice before you depart and do not forget a groundsheet to keep gear clean and dry and prevent dampness from being wicked up from the ground.
A lightweight “emergency blanket” (aluminized polyester), bivouac shelter, or plastic sheet can be carried for emergency shelter.
Gear is available in Kathmandu. Regulations require those trekkers and their porters, cooks, and guides are self-sufficient in national parks. Trekkers should use stoves powered by kerosene, propane, butane, or other fuel rather than wood, especially in high-altitude areas and conservation areas. Kerosene is the only fuel available in the hills, although some shops on popular routes may have mixed-fuel canisters (eg, Primus) for sale. It is better to buy canisters at trekking shops in Kathmandu that also sell stoves capable of using both portable canisters and kerosene. However, the kerosene available is often impure and clogs up most stoves necessitating frequent cleaning of the fuel jet. Become familiar with stove operation before the trek and carry spare parts of critical components.
A down or synthetic-fiber sleeping bag is usually necessary for comfort at temperatures below freezing. Many lodges have quilts, comforters, and blankets, but you cannot always rely on their presence, adequacy, and cleanliness, especially during busy times.
Many trekkers along the popular routes manage without a sleeping bag, but going without one is not advised on high-altitude routes. In lodges along popular trekking trails, mattresses and pillows are available, but not everywhere, especially during high season when late arrivers sometimes have to sleep in a dining hall. Although most lodges will have foam padding, those who are camping might need an air mattress, foam pad, or inflatable pad for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Sunglasses should absorb ultraviolet light and sunglasses that do not can do more harm than good by opening the pupil and exposing the eye to potentially damaging UV rays. A visor to shade the eyes from the sun is an ideal addition. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring a spare pair and a copy of the prescription in the event replacements are needed. If you wear contact lenses, do not neglect regular cleaning. Infections are more prevalent in Nepal. Use water that has been boiled. If you do not want to bother with cleaning, bring disposable extended-wear contact lenses with less risk of infection, although the packaging can be burdensome to carry out.
Perhaps some people will use Nepal’s trails as an opportunity to strengthen the eyes naturally by going without glasses and contacts, and training the eyes to focus alternately on things far and near and in differing light conditions. Keep in mind that of injuries and infrequent deaths of trekkers, falling off the trail is a leading cause.
Each person should have a water bottle of at least 1-quart (liter) capacity. Plastic and lightweight stainless-steel or aluminum containers can be found in trekking shops in Nepal. Stainless-steel or aluminum bottles can be ideal for storing water that has been boiled and is still hot. Encasing the bottle in a clean sock or hat or wrapping another item of clothing around it will make a source of heat that can be kept close to the body or even placed in a sleeping bag for added warmth.
OTHER TREKKING GEAR LIST
Footwear that supports the ankles is highly recommended as well as lightweight foam or rubber sandals that can be ideal to change into at the end of the day.
A Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife gadget combination can be useful but unnecessarily heavy unless the multi-functional tools are needed. Often a simple pocket knife will do if anything at all.
Umbrellas can be used not only against rainfall but to protect against the sun on hot days and for privacy while answering nature’s call. Collapsible ski poles and walking sticks (Lauro in Nepali), often made of lightweight bamboo, can help ease the load and impact on the knees.
Bring several handkerchiefs or bandannas. A bandanna can be useful as a makeshift face mask in windy, dusty areas and during vehicle travel, and to dry cups, plates, and hands. You can keep a separate bandana for a usual runny nose that accompanies colds and upper-respiratory infections—or learns to blow your nose Nepali style, covering each nostril in turn and blowing out the other. Petroleum jelly, ChapStick, and lip balm are good for cold-weather to prevent or treat chafing.
For women, a reusable menstrual cup (eg, Mooncup) is an ecologically sound alternative to tampons and sanitary napkins, ideal for travel and lasts for years. It is recommended that you become familiar with using and cleaning before relying on it during a trek.
Pack biodegradable soap, a washcloth or towel, and a toothbrush. Bring a headlamp or small flashlight (torch) and spare batteries (lithium is best), especially to power the modern camera. Outside of the main trekking routes, good batteries will rarely be available in the hills. It is better to have rechargeable batteries and to carry extra charged battery packs. Make sure to bring a universal adapter. Electricity averages 220 volts/50 cycles in Nepal. As Nepal becomes increasingly electrified, there are more and more places along the popular routes to recharge. Entrepreneurs might sometimes take a fee to charge batteries. Carry spares and keep in mind that less-frequented trails might offer only solar power without the accessories to fit recharging devices. There are no battery recycling facilities in Nepal, and it is considered environmentally ethical to bring spent cells back to your home country for proper disposal.
Consider earplugs (several pairs, as they are easily lost) for noisy hotels, buses, and the occasional obstreperous dog in the depths of night. It is wise to have at least a Global Positioning System (GPS) device or compass for high mountain travel. A GPS can be unreliable in sections of Himalayan drainages where steep gorges diminish satellite reception.
Insects are not usually a problem in the high country, and malaria is very rare in trekkers to Nepal, but visitors traveling extensively in the lowlands during the warmer months or during the monsoon might want to use insect repellent and a mosquito net while sleeping. Repellents with picaridin and deet (or N, N-diethyl meta-toluamide) are effective against mosquitoes or try natural repellents such as citronella or eucalyptus oil-based repellents. Insecticide sprays and powders (those containing pyrethrins or permethrin are safest) may help in the sleeping bag and can be applied to the netting. Anti-leech oil can be found in some Kathmandu pharmacy shops for monsoon treks.
A supply of duct tape can serve as an all-purpose, temporary fix for various situations. Several feet of tape can be wound around a flashlight handle or water bottle to store for future needs.
If you play a portable musical instrument, consider bringing it along. A harmonica, recorder, or flute can quickly ease communication barriers. Consider other social and entertainment skills that you might share, for example, portrait drawing or simple magic tricks. Most trekkers carry reading matter and writing materials, and hotels along the popular routes often have paperbacks to sell or trade. A pack of cards or miniature versions of popular board games (such as Scrabble) can be a good way to pass time and liven up a restaurant as well as get to know fellow trekkers.
It’s a good idea to have a particle mask, to protect you from dust and fumes in cities and on bus journeys. They can be found in Kathmandu pharmacies.
LEAVE NO TRACE
- Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out)
- Leave What You Find
- Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others, Local Customs and Traditions
The Minimum Impact Code of conduct for model trekkers as suggested by ACAP and KEEP and includes the following suggestions:
- Encourage lodges and trekking companies in their efforts to conserve environmental resources.
- Campfires and hot showers are a luxury, especially when locals use fuel only for cooking.
- Use washing and toilet facilities provided, or, if none are available, make sure you are at least 30 meters (100 ft) from any water source. Bury excreta at least 15 cm (6 in) and use biodegradable toiletries.
- Limit your use of non-biodegradable items and pack them out.
- Respect religious shrines and artifacts.
- Please don’t give money, sweets or other things to begging children.
- Taking photographs is a privilege, not a right. Ask permission and respect people’s desire not to be photographed.
- Dress modestly, in line with local custom and avoid outward displays of physical affection.
- You are a representative of an outside culture and your impact lingers long after you return home.
Along with popular trekking trails, you might see garbage bins outside lodges and shops. Usually, the contents, including noxious plastics, are burned and metal discarded. Often, litter is pitched off the back sides lodges and shops or piled in a site nearby. Talk to the lodge owners and operators about your preferences for disposal. You can influence them because they want your business.