What clothing and equipment to take is normally caused for more consideration than any other aspect of preparing for an adventure travel trip. We regularly receive reams of advice and suggestions, good and bad, as to what equipment is needed for our trips. However, since being suitably equipped is the single most important consideration contributing to your welfare, we have provided the following information which we ask you to examine in a flexible manner, adapting it where you feel necessary to your own outdoor experience or preference.
There is a fine balance between taking too much and too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for all extremes of climate. Over the years we have seen all extremes, from trekkers who have brought everything but the kitchen sink, to others with the bare minimum.
The following equipment list is suggested and necessary for both camping & tea house trekking in the Himalayas. Use this list as a guideline; some of the equipment can be hired in Kathmandu as well. Also bare in mind trekking gear can be bought in the many adventure shops in Kathmandu, the majority of gear is locally manufactured (hence a lot cheaper) although it is becoming more common for gear to be imported from China and therefore of better quality.
The following basic checklist should help you with your packing for any of our trips. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your clothing equipment down to a minimum. Your packed trek bag, should weigh no more than 15 kilograms (33 pounds.) Please remember this is just a checklist and you do not necessarily need to bring everything that is listed below. Use your own experience and judgment to make your decision.
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof shell jacket (preferably breathable fabric)
- Lightweight thermal gloves
- Underwear (4)
- Shorts (2)
- Lightweight cotton long trousers/pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Sun hat or scarf
- Warm fleece hat or light balaclava
- T-shirts (2)
- Thin, lightweight (inner socks) (4)
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
- Head lamp (eg Petzl) spare bulbs & batteries
- Small padlock to lock trek bag
- Basic First Aid Kit (see First Aid Medicine below)
- Plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag
- Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
- Camping mattress, eg thermarest pad
- Water bottles (2)
- Small wash towel
- Footwear appropriate to the trip
- Waterproof shell trousers/pants (preferably breathable fabric)
In addition to the items listed in our general checklist you will need to take the following on your trekking trip:
* Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
* Down vest and/or jacket (optional)
* Fleece or wool trousers/pants
* Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces
* Thick, warm wool hiking socks (4)
* Footwear for around camp, eg running shoes and/or sandals
* Gaiters (optional)
* Telescopic trekking/ski poles (optional)
In addition to the checklists for general and trekking equipment above, and depending on the trip you have chosen, various items of mountaineering equipment may also be required, eg:
- Plastic boots and crampons (preferably step-in bindings) with front points.
- Mountaineering harness.
- Mountaineering ice-axe (60-75cms long – depending on your height and personal preference.)
- 120cms (4ft) climbing sling and two locking carabiners
- Telescopic ski-sticks (optional)
- Prussik loops
- Climbing helmet (optional)
Most if not all of this equipment will be needed for any of our trip that crosses steep, snow-covered ground, or which includes sections of glacier travel. Our recommendation that you take no more than 15 kilos (33 pounds) of trekking equipment does not include your plastic boots, ice axe, crampons or harness/carabineers. (During the trek, climbing hardware will be carried separately from your personal trek bag, in group bags until needed).
First Aid Medicine
- Bandage for sprains
- Iodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin – for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/paracetamol – general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhea stopper (Imodium – optional)
- Antibiotic for Giardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox (altitude sickness – can be bought in Kathmandu)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- For more details please see our staying healthy topic.