Clothing and Equipment
Equipment to Bring
Being properly equipped in one of the keys to a successful trek. Most of the things on the list below are available for hiring or purchasing (for a fraction of the price of most Western countries) in Kathmandu (Only for treks starting and finishing there).
For information to help you select the best type of clothing and equipment for your trip. Please see our Clothing and Equipment guide . In addition see our Links page for details of specialist retailers who will be able to offer further advice and assistance with purchasing new clothing or equipment.
Clothing and equipment is very much a matter of personal choice and preference. The list below is general and is intended for guidance only. If you have any queries, please contact us.
Clothing & Footwear
The most important point to remember when packing your clothing is that, with the exception of your set of smarter clothes for the town, all the clothes for your trek should fit in your kit bag. If you can’t get it all in, you have too much! Pay particular attention to airline baggage weight limits, both on international and domestic flights, and to your trek weight allowance.
Walking boots – Probably the trickiest part of all. We strongly recommend walking in good boots. Trainers, tennis shoes etc. do not give the ankle support afforded by a decent pair of boots. Many people now trek in the lighter weight Gore-Tex or leather boots sold under the brand names ‘Karrimor KSB’, Scarpa ‘ Trek lites’ or similar and these are usually satisfactory. When combined with ‘Yeti’ gaiters, which actually clip into the soles, they are excellent even in bad weather. They have the advantage that they take little breaking in. The slightly heavier traditional leather boots are also good. Ideally, visit a specialist ‘outdoor pursuits’ shop that will offer advise, and resist the temptation to buy ‘fashion’ footwear, which give little support. Above all your boots must be well broken in and comfortable. We do not recommend borrowing or renting boots. It is a good idea to carry your boots in your hand luggage on international flights or wear them – should your luggage be delayed, your well broken in boots are the one thing, which will be irreplaceable. Gaiters are useful to keep snow out of your boots.
Lightweight shoes or trainers, and sandals or flip-flops – Useful around camp, in towns and when traveling.
Long Trousers – For everyday walking, light cotton trousers are the most suitable. Knee length shorts are acceptable in the remote areas, but to avoid giving offence in the villages, you should cover up with trousers. Although comfortable, leggings are also unsuitable as they cause offence to local people. Jeans are no recommended, as they are often difficult to walk in over longer distances and become cumbersome when wet.
Down Jacket – After sunset, temperatures can fall below freezing. A down jacket is the lightest and most convenient way of keeping warm when the temperature drops.
Waterproofs – Breathable waterproofs not only protect against rain but also stop you from overheating. They ‘breathe’ and avoid condensation, which you will experience from nylon waterproofs. Rain during the trekking season is rare but can be heavy when it does happen.
Gloves – Especially useful in the mornings and the evenings at higher altitudes.
Socks – It is best to wear a pair of liner socks under a pair of thick loop stitch socks. This helps to protect your feet against blisters. Avoid nylon socks, they are abrasive, don’t breath well and cause blisters. 3 pairs thick socks, 3 pairs thin socks.
Thick jumper/Fleece jacket – A thick jumper or fleece jacket is necessary, as it can be very cold at altitude. Make sure that your waterproof jacket is loose enough to wear over your sweater or fleece.
Track suit – Comfortable around camp and much more practical (and warmer) to sleep in than pajamas. Alternatively, thermal underwear is good.
Thin Shirt/T-shirt Thick
Shirt or Thermal Vest Long sleeved shirts – prevents sunburn on your arms and keeps airborne biting insects at bay.
Fibre pile/Fleece jacket – useful with zip pockets, or warm jumper.
Underwear – thermal underwear
Warm headgear – beanie Swim suit
Shorts – Please note that short shorts can be offensive to locals.
Casual clothes – for air travel and in cities.
Please note that tight fitting, figure-hugging clothing, such as those made with Lycra can often be offensive to locals, especially on women. If you find these items comfortable as a base layer then please pack something to wear over the top of them.
Small Day-sack 20-30ltrs -Small lockable suitcase / bag for leaving clothes in the hotel while on trek.
Water bottle – Water along the trail must never be considered as drinkable. You can ask for boiled and filtered or bottled water at the lodges we stop. However we strongly recommend boiled water, as empty bottles are not taken care of properly in the mountains of Nepal. 1 litre is the minimum size suitable.
Penknife – Swiss army type with tweezers and bottle opener is useful. Do not pack in hand baggage.
Sunglasses and retainers – Sunglasses are easy to lose or break, so bring a cheap spare pair. Contact lenses can cause problems due to dust. If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair.
Personal first aid kit – see suggested list below.
Head Torch with spare batteries and bulb. Useful for reading and keeping your hands free.
Plastic bags – If you pack bits and pieces in plastic bags inside your kit bag they will stay dry in case of rain and can be easier for you to sort through in camp. Remember, the less you have to unpack in the evening, the less you have to repack in the morning! A bin liner to pack inside your day sack is also a good idea.
Torch/Batteries/Bulb – A small torch is essential for finding things in your room, going to the loo in the night etc. Petzl head torches are particularly useful. Remember that in most developing countries only a limited selection of batteries is available so bring spare batteries and bulb. The most common are pen cells (or AA size) and SP/HP2 (D size)
Sleeping Bag – As you do not carry it yourself this may be synthetic or down, but it must be 4 season. As most treks pass through a variety of climatic conditions, a long zip is a good idea. A cotton/fleece liner helps keep your sleeping bag clean. Good sleeping bags are expensive but can be rented easily and cheaply in Kathmandu (Only for treks starting and finishing there), so if you don’t have one you could consider this option. Details can be dealt with at the briefing.
Toiletries – Try to keep heavy cosmetics etc to a minimum. Essentials are toothbrush/paste, biodegradable soap, small towel, small nailbrush and toilet rolls! ‘Wet Wipes’ are great for a quick clean up in your room, so bring a pack of those (non-perfumed to avoid rashes!).
Sun Hat, SunCream/Block & Lip Salve – Choose a high factor suncream (Factor 20 or stronger) to protect your skin against the sun at high altitude. A combination sunblock/lip salve is ideal for facial protection.
Personal First Aid Kit – You should have your own supply of plasters, aspirin, diarrhea tablets and also a comprehensive blister kit. (Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the trek leader.)
Telescopic ski poles – greatly reduce fatigue in legs and aid balance on rough terrain. Iodine water Sterilization Tablets
Money belt – or neck purse, alternatively zip-pockets. NB. Even bum-bags are becoming a temptation for thieves in some cities.
Calculator – useful for currency conversion.
Travellers’ cheques and cash, Credit card, US Dollars Travel Insurance Certificate.
Wash bag – biodegradable shampoo and soap, flannel, toothbrush and paste, comb, small towel.
Repair kit – needle, strong thread, scissors, safety pins, rubber bands. etc.
Waterproof boot polish
Reading material Writing material – paper, pens, envelopes Cards – or chess, dice, travel scrabble, travel monopoly, etc. Address book – for writing those all important postcards.
Umbrella – not essential but useful for sun and rain! Buy in country before start of trek.
Therm-A-Rest/Karrimat – Gives comfort and insulation ensuring a good night’s sleep. Thicker 3/4 length type is the best. (you will be provided with a mattress but the quality varies from country to country).
Blow-up pillow – useful for long flights, road journeys and in your tent. Clothes pegs – safety pins and nylon cord for clothes line.
Lighter – for candles on trek and burning toilet paper.
Travel wash – for clothes (please use the 100% biodegradable type). Glucose tablets, sweets, personal ‘goodies’ – snacks will be provided by the trek leader.
Binoculars – A lightweight pair will add greatly to your enjoyment.
Personal Stereo Spare batteries – For all your electronic equipment.
Earplugs – Very useful for ensuring a good night’s sleep when near villages with noisy dogs.
In order to minimise your expense outlay for trekking and climbing equipment, we are usually able to offer a range of equipment for hire/rent. Equipment availability and prices are provided to clients upon booking or are available on request. Please note we are not usually to arrange the hire/rent of mountain bikes. Contact us if you have any further queries. We would be happy to help you.