01) Camp Footwear - ONE PAIR of sneakers or sturdy, comfortable shoes.
02) Socks - FOUR PAIR SOCKS made of synthetic materials or wool blend. Next to the skin, some people like thin polyester or polypropylene socks to transport perspiration from the foot to the outer sock.
03) Long Underwear (tops and bottoms) - One pair. Should be made of CoolMax, polypropylene, or other synthetic (no cotton blends).
04) Underwear - FOUR PAIR, synthetic (no cotton blends).
05) Bra/Sports bra - TWO, synthetic (no cotton blends).
06) Shirts - TWO, 1 short and 1 long sleeve.
07) Fleece Pullover and pants – ONE each. These will be worn at night around camp.
08) Jacket - One warm jacket, down filled or Hollofill or any similar high loft insulation.
09) Pants – TWO PAIR Some people like the kind that you can zip the legs off of to have shorts for warm afternoons. This is a good idea; it saves space and weight. Please, no cotton jeans.
10) Shorts - ONE PAIR Most Asian cultures feel it's an insult to expose large areas of the body, so when buying shorts make sure they are a longer style. Instead of shorts, many women trek in skirts. Wearing a skirt allows you to change bottoms without much trouble, and if no bushes are around it gives you some privacy.
11) Gloves - warm gloves are needed for evenings in camp.
12) Headgear, a.k.a. Hats - During the day you¹ll need a hat with a brim to protect your face from intense sun, and at night a fleece or wool hat for warmth.
13) Bandana – One or two
14) Sunscreen and Lip Protection - One of each, you should carry these with you during the day. We recommend that you purchase sunscreen that doesn’t come off when you perspire and the highest rating you can find.
14) Baby Wipes - Amount depends on time traveling. Average one large container will last 2 weeks. These can also be purchased in Kathmandu, so if you're going in and out of town during your trip you can restock. These work great for cleaning up after a long day!
15) Camp Towel - ONE, LARGE this will be for drying after showering. The brand I use is called "Pack Towel," and can be found at EMS retail stores. These must be washed before use, so check out the directions.
16) Toiletries - Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, dental floss, lotion, etc. Try to find organic brands that won¹t hurt the environment. Women must remember to bring sanitary napkins or tampons. The sun is intense in Tibet so bring at least a level 30 sunscreen.
17) Flashlight or Headlamp - Remember to bring extra batteries.
18) Duffel/Travel Bag - One bag that holds 6000 cubic inches. Bring one extra bag (small) that can be left in Hotel with street and travel clothing. Your bag shouldn’t have wheels or any other metal or plastic parts.
19) Trash Bags - (4) - 32 oz. garbage bags. These can come in handy to cover your daypack during a downpour or for dirty clothes.
20) Sleeping Bag – Your bag should be rated zero degree F. Don’t bring an old worn out bag, they loose their rating after being used for many years. It will be cold at night while camping at base camp.
21) Ear Plugs - Good for blocking out barking dogs or a snoring room mate (OPTIONAL)
22) Waterless Hand Cleaner/Sanitizer - (1 SMALL BOTTLE) Carry it with you during the day. Most people assume that if they get "the Nepali two step," it was because the cook didn¹t wash his hands before preparing dinner. Or was it the water? But much of the time, it was their own hands that made them go running for the bathroom.
23) Personal Prescription Drugs & First Aid Kit -Your guide will be carrying an extensive medical kit; but if a whole group gets ill, a full course of antibiotics for each person would involve carrying a lot of drugs. So, when you get inoculations for the trip, ask your doctor to write a prescription for a full range antibiotic, like Cipro or Noraflaxin. Common illnesses include sinus infections, strep throat and intestinal problems. All these drugs can be purchased in Kathmandu at any pharmacy without prescription. The costs for drugs in Nepal are very very low and it might be less expensive to wait and purchase them in Kathmandu.
Also pack together a sampling of non-prescription drugs for headache’s, stomachaches, diarrhea, and blister kit. These will be for your own use during the trek.
****Mountaineering climbs, trips or treks that reach altitudes of over 12,000-ft: you might want to talk with your doctor about the use of Diamox a prescription drug used to help with acclimatization to extreme altitude. Diamox has been shown to help the body adjust to altitude, but will not mask the symptoms. The suggested dose is 125mg twice a day after 11,000-ft and increasing the doze as you gain altitude but not to exceed 500mg twice a day. If you cannot take sulfa drugs, then you will not be able to take Diamox.
24) Camera – Now that most people are carrying a digital camera you won’t need film. But if you film can be purchased in Kathmandu. If you have a camera that has rechargeable batteries you might bring an adapter and a share battery. Batteries can also be purchased in Kathmandu.
25) Books, Tape Player, Journal, Cards, etc. - On this trip there will be time to read, listen to music, and reflect on your day. One of the highlights of many treks is spending time getting to know our Nepalese staff with a game of cards. (OPTIONAL)
26) Passport - Should be good for at least 6 months after your return date for home and should have at least 4 empty pages. Also you should carry at least 2 photocopies of your passport. You can use a photocopy of your passport in Kathmandu to change T.C. and for ID while on the trip. A photocopy of your passport does not replace having to bring your actual passport on the trip.
27) Passport Photos – 4 photos you’ll need one to get your visa if traveling to Nepal without a Nepalese Visa and it seems that someone always needs one for something.
1. Synthetic materials such as polyester based are better than cotton (which absorbs and holds onto water). Always try to buy clothes that wick sweat away from the body.
2. Lighter colours reflect sunlight better than darker shades, and are therefore cooler.
3. Layers are good for controlling temperature.
4. Comfort - if it isn't comfortable, be it boots or rucksacks, don't buy it. You won't use what you don't like. Try everything on in the shop before parting with cash.
5. Nothing is waterproof.
Gore-Tex (membrane technology) is good but only if there is a heat differential between you and the outside - otherwise it is not as breathable as you may think. If your body is a fast breather (i.e. you sweat lots and easily) maybe you should sacrifice your pursuit of waterproofness for breathability.
A very good alternative to using membranes is Paramo (see link below, or click here to visit the official website).
Seek advice based upon who you are, where you're going and what you're doing.
Look after them. Membrane lined boots are lightweight and effective but beware - when a hole wears through the membrane at a pressure point they become an expensive pair of canvas boots. Keep leather boots clean and waxed.
Always line with a strong plastic sack.
The kit lists given here are comprehensive lists for low level, 3 season mini-expeditions lasting 2 - 7 days. Other kit may be required for specific outings eg: an expedition involving mountain bikes or kayaks. In addition you may need to deviate from the lists given below when in higher altitudes and colder climates.
knife, fork, spoon
waterproof coat and trousers
2 x wickable shirts
1 x trousers
3 x pairs of socks
1 x walking boots
1 x sandals
1 x hat
1 x gloves
2 x water bottles
water purification treatment
light weight towel
personal 1st aid kit
2 x bungees
6 x clothes pegs
sense of humour Per Tent Group
stove, pots & pans
matches and lighter
scourer and washing up liquid
map and compass
pack of cards
*not essential but good to have
Per Tent Group
stove, pots & pans
matches and lighter
scourer and washing up liquid
map and compass
pack of cards
Suggested Personal First Aid Kit
1 x sunscreen
1 x insect repellent
1 x antiseptic cream
2 x sterile dressings
1 x crepe bandage
1 x eye patch
10 x plasters
1 x roll of zinc oxide tape
1 x packet second skin / moleskin
1 x triangular bandage
2 x safety pins (nappy ones)
4 x pieces of Melolin
1 x packet of aspirin
1 x packet throat lozenges
1 x packet Imodium (or equivalent)
1 x packet oral rehydration salts (12 sachets)
4 x Dumbel sutures
1 x tweezers
1 x needle
Equipment List for Trekking
1 cotton t-shirt, and 1 cotton long sleeved shirt
1 cotton sun hat and 1 cotton head scarf
2 pr. cotton socks, 2 pr. cotton underwear briefs
1 cotton walking shorts and 1 cotton long trousers
1 pr. sandals for use in hotel
1 bathing suit/swimming costume (you never know)
1 polypropylene warm but light thermal long shirt
1 fleece balaclava or very warm hat
2 pr. med. polypropylene thermal socks
1 polypropylene warm but light thermal leggings
1 pr. sturdy, 100% leather, top-quality trekking boots ("broken-in" please) You will use these boots to climb to camp 2 on Ama Dablam.
You will use these boots to climb to camp 2 on Ama Dablam.
1 pr. trainers, lightweight running shoes for trekking on flat, easy trails.
1 pr. boot gaiters
1 pr. fleece/pile/trousers, 1 fleece jacket
1 wind/waterproof jacket with hood
1 pr. wind/waterproof trousers
1 pr. warm poly thermal gloves, with plastic wind shell (the latter is optional)
1 telescoping ski stick/pole (3 section)
1 head torch with extra battery
1 pr. glacier sunglasses (with leather side shields). For eyeglass wearers, prescription glacier glasses are best and are available inexpensively in Kathmandu with your prescription and a week's notice.
available inexpensively in Kathmandu with your prescription and a week's notice.
extra prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
1 liter water bottle, 1 bottle water-treatment tablets
2 tubes lip sun cream, 1 tube skin sun cream (min.factor 15),
1 skin blister repair kit
Medications are inexpensive and readily available in Kathmandu with no Doctor's prescription.
1 bottle anti-diarrhea pills (inexpensive and available in Kathmandu),
1 bottle anti-headache pills (inexpensive and available in Kathmandu),
1 bottle cough and/or cold medicine, Antibiotics for chest infection (inexpensive and available in Kathmandu)
1 bottle anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox, Acetylzolamide. (inexpensive and available in Kathmandu)
1 bottle stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. (inexpensive and available in Kathmandu)
Do not bring sleeping pills. They are a respiratory depressant.
1 bar soap/1 small towel,
female or male hygiene supplies
1 set earplugs
1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing repair kit
1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box matches
1 compass, 1 small multi-purpose knife
1 battery powered alarm clock/watch
1 camera and film
2 kg. personal snack/energy food (chocolate bars, etcetera are now readily available in Kathmandu)
1 medium backpack (40-60 liters, can be used for airplane carry)
1 large kit-travel bag with lock (80-100 liters for checked bag)
1 goose-down (duvet) sleeping bag (-15 degrees Centigrade)
1 closed cell foam kari-mat or inflatable foam mattress
4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks.
passport, 2 extra passport photos, flight ticket, flight itinerary,
separate photocopies of passport and relevant visa pages, proof of insurance,
Pounds or Euros cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts,
Credit cards (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.
* This is not an exhaustive list. Please submit other equipment concerns and suggestions. Thank you.
Equipment List for Mountaineering and Glacier Travel Mountaineers and Climbers: Please bring the equipment from this list; in addition to the items from the "trekking" list, which you shall find below. Thank you.
1 pr. warm fleece mitten liners,
1 pr. wind/waterproof mitten covers. Gloves alone are not adequate for Himalayan climbing. Please bring mitts as well.
Gloves alone are not adequate for Himalayan climbing. Please bring mitts as well.
1 pr. lightweight poly-liner gloves. These will be worn when knot tying, but not inside your mitts.
2 pr. heavy polypropylene (or woolen blend) thermal socks.
1 expedition weight thermal shirt
1 pr. expedition weight thermal leggings
1 additional extra warm hat,
1 face mask for wind and cold
1 pr. Snow-wind goggles.
1 mountaineer's climbing harness (alpine or rock for Ama Dablam).
2 locking carabiners,
4 plain carabiners.
1 20 centimetre ice screw,
1 descender/abseil device, (“figure-8” is best. “ATC” style is not good),
1 ascending device (Petzl “large size” is best).
2 small and 1 large prussic loop,
1 webbing sling.
1 55-60 centimetre ice axe,
1 pr. plastic double boots (enough for Ama Dablam and Pumori), or “Millet Everest One-Sport” boots (for 8000m peaks and Everest). Please do not plan on climbing in single-leather boots. They are not adequate for the Himalaya. Millet Everest One-Sport boots are available in Kathmandu for $380 buy pre-order.
1 pr. Crampons, with adjustment tool. They must fit your boots *perfectly prior to departure*.
1 pr. Overboots (not for Ama Dablam, but often used for 8000m peaks, if no One Sport boots)
BEWARE of poorly fitting crampons with overboots
1 goose-down (duvet) jacket with hood -- MANDATORY
1 pr. Goose-down (duvet) trousers (optional for peaks below 7600 meters), or, for 8000 metre peaks, you may prefer a down/duvet suit.
2-5 additional Kg snack/energy food. Granola-Bars, chocolate bars, etcetera (now readily available in Kathmandu).
Specialty imported items such as “Freeze-Dried-Food”, or sausages and cheeses
1 additional litre water bottle, additional water purification supplies
1 urine bottle, additional sun creams
1 additional sleeping bag for basecamp (good to -15 degrees Centigrade, or 0 degrees fahrenheit)
1 additional closed-cell foam karimat (inflatable mats suffer from cramponing, and are not recommended for climbing)
1 additional locking travel kit duffle bag, with lock.
4 additional large, waterproof, disposable bin-liners or rubbish sacks.
2-3 additional head torch batteries, extra torch-bulb
There are a few things that you should have with you every time you are miles out in the woods, whether you are backpacking or not.
Be able to carry at least 3 quarts, and more in some collapsible container if you'll be without water at night. If you are on a budget you can use empty coke bottles, but carry an extra one or two if you are out for more than a weekend because they are likely to break. Otherwise, Nalgenes are the standard because they're nearly indestructible.
See the next section.
Yelling is difficult when you are injured or panicked. A whistle is small, lightweight, and can save your life. If you get lost or need help, stop, take a deep breath, and blow your whistle.
A topographical map is ideal, but you should at least be able to see all of the trails you'll be on, water you'll cross, distances, and roughly where the hills are. Bring one for every 4 people.
This will make your map a lot more useful. I'll teach you a little of how to use it in a later section. Bring one for every 4 people.
Essential in a survival situation and otherwise more useful than you would think. Bring one for every 3 people.
Matches or Lighter
If using matches, "strike anywhere" matches are best. I've never found waterproof (wax-coated) matches to work at all. When I pack my matches I carry two sets of them, put them in separate ziplock bags, and then put both of those in a third ziplock bag.
A nylon poncho is cheap and works well in anything but high wind. Even in high wind it works ok if you tuck it under your backpack straps. If you need to, you can improvise a shelter from a poncho and some sticks.
The single best thing to do to warm yourself up is to put on a hat. That's where you lose most of your body heat.
Bandanas are some of the most deceptively useful things you can have on a trail. You can use them to keep the sun off your neck, keep dust out of your nose and mouth, keep sweat out of your eyes, make a sling for an injured arm, make a brace for a twisted ankle, look stylish, keep your head cool with cold lake water, give yourself a bath, wipe grit off of your hands, clean your glasses, blow your nose, make droopy origami swans, and much more.
First Aid Kit
Your personal first aid kit should contain moleskin (for blisters), band-aids, antibiotic, pain reliever of choice, antacid, antidiarrheal, and any personal medication.
A flashlight is essential for backpacking, but take them on day hikes too. Even with the best planning, you can end up hiking in the dark if you lose your way or take longer than expected. Any flashlight will do, but try to bring a lightweight one, and bring extra batteries. If you want to spend money get an LED headlamp. I use a Petzl Tikka, but there are probably spiffier ones now than when I bought mine. LED headlamps use so little power that you don't need to bring extra batteries for a short trip.
In addition to the outdoor essentials above, you'll need some additional items.
See previous section.
You'll need something to cover your pack when it rains. You'll leave it leaned up against a tree outside overnight, and you may end up hiking in the rain.
Spoon or Fork
I'm not sure if they still do this, but McFlurries used to be made with a sturdy plastic spoon that they would attach as the blender head. You'd eat it with the same spoon, so that saved them from having to wipe off the blender. I've been using a spoon from a McFlurry for the last 6 years.
Cup and Bowl
Anything lightweight will do, but I've found Orikaso stuff to be awesome. They are just flat sheets of plastic that fold into a cup and bowl. They are cheap, compact, lightweight, and so far durable.
Extra Zip-Lock Bags
You'll need these for trash and other odds and ends
Extra Garbage Bags
You can pack your sleeping back and clothes in these to keep them dry. You can keep your boots out of the muck using these as a doormat. If your rain fly starts to leak you can drape one of these over the offending area to keep most of the drips out of the inside of your tent. If your boots freeze you can line them with garbage bags to keep your feet warm.
Pen and paper
See next section.
Use Polar Pure for summer, Water filter for winter. Don't take chances with this, and be meticulous about treating your water. The consequence of not doing this is frothy, burning, green, uncontrollable, explosive diarrhea for 3 months. Bring 1 for every 4 people.
Toilet Paper and Trowel
Bring 1 for every 4 people.
Bring 1 for every 4 people. Bring more fuel than you need and a windscreen.
Tarp with Stakes, Rope, and Maybe Poles
If there's any chance of rain, you'll want something to cook under.
Bear Keg, or Burlap Bags and Rope
Some areas legally require this, but it's a good idea in general. Chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, bears, marmots, et al. would all love to gorge themselves on your food, and will tear open your pack to get it. This also applies to toothpaste, bugspray, sunscreen, and anything else with a scent to it. If hanging a burlap bearbag, pack your food in ziplock bags to keep it dry.
Camp Suds, Scrub Pad, and Strainer.
If you are backpacking for more than a weekend you'll need to thoroughly clean your dishes to avoid getting sick. There are particular ways of doing this to minimize your impact on the wilderness that you can read about in the "How to Camp" section.
Deck of Cards