Trekking Equipment Requirements

Your trekking equipment needs will vary on where and when you are trekking, but here is a general guide for a reasonably long trek.

Carrying your own back-pack independently on a tea house trek budget $US 25/30 per day for living costs, though it’s difficult to spend even this on food, accommodation, teas etc. Or you can purchase an all inclusive package for about $US 55/60 per day including accommodation & food, a guide and necessary porters.

Your trekking guide will make sure that you are properly equipped, but here is a list of what you may need.

Approximate costs for equipment rental:

Down jacket US$ 0.75 per day
Sleeping bag US$ 0.60 per day
Snow boots and crampons, only normally required for trekking peaks and high altitude treks US$ 6.00 per day

Anyone travelling independently in need of a recommended well-priced equipment rental place could check out Sports Wear International on Thamel Marg (see Thamel map).

Stuff you may need to buy in Kathmandu and approximate cost;

Raincoat – must be light, breathable, easily wrapped up into a small space and can cover your day-pack as well as your body and head. US$  8
Gaiters – waterproofs over your boots and socks for above the snowline US$  2
Thickish (outer) upper fleece US$ 20
Thin (inner) upper fleece US$ 15
Pair of long johns (lower body fleece) US$ 10
Balaclava/headwear US$ 10
Sleeping bag inner US$  7
Waterproof kit-bag US$ 10
Pair of waterproof outer gloves US$  3
Quick dry towel US$  6
Sunhat US$  2.50
Walking stick US$ 10
Water bottle with an insulation cover (that can magically be turned into a hot water-bottle). US$  1
LED head torch plus spare batteries and bulb – avoid the cheapest and practice switching it on in the dark US$ 15
Snacks and nutrition; we specially recommend ‘trail mixes’ with nuts, dried fruit and coconut shreds, and chocolate US$ 10
Ties for sunglasses as you don’t want to lose them US$  0.5
A detailed map of the area you are trekking can be very interesting US$  6
A compass helps you orientate your map US$ 3

Stuff you might bring with you, but you could buy in Kathmandu:

A pair of trekking boots — these should be bought in advance to wear in (this is very important), though good cheap boots are available in Kathmandu. Under no circumstances do you want to develop blisters, especially early in the trek.
A pair of trainers in case unworn-in boots are giving you trouble.
A thick all-weather brightly coloured jacket to keep you warm, especially in the evening.
Two/three pairs of thick socks for time spent at altitude.
Two pairs of medium thick socks.
A pair of thin socks per day at lower altitudes.
A pair of sandals or slip-on shoes for post-trekking/camp-site wear.
A pair of warm inner gloves.
Two pairs of shorts (and a belt for when you lose weight).
Thickish long trousers.
Lightweight long trousers.
Underwear/handkerchiefs.
Wash kit with shampoo sachets, (liquid) soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
A pair of sunglasses with hard protective cover (and better to carry a spare).
Day-pack/small rucksack to be carried on your back with a waistband and big enough to carry a jacket, raincoat, gloves, balaclava, torch, camera, binoculars, snacks and odds and ends during the day.
Camera plus charger, spare battery, film (if you’re still pre-digital) etc. NB Do not rely on recharging camera batteries outside big towns.
Binoculars? If you’re interested in wild-life they become an essential day-pack requirement.
Books with high swappability (though there are good English language book shops in Kathmandu) or an e-reader.
Plastic bags or other to compartmentalize your belongings in your kit-bag.
Money belt or other stash place for your valuables.
Candles and matches (optional).
Cigarettes and lighters if you smoke.
Notepad and pen (optional).
Ear-plugs in case you share a tent or room with a trekking partner who snores!

Food as you walk rations; will depend on your taste, but ask your guide to arrange for a boiled egg to be carried by you and munched if you’re short of energy, a tiny packet of salt if you’re prone to cramps from sweating, packets of nuts (already shelled) or ‘trail mixes’ (see above) and/or a bar of chocolate and/or an energy bar. Snacks can give you an energy boost if you’re running on empty.

Food on camping treks; chutneys, dried Thai curry packets, oxo cubes, peanut butter, honey or any other portable personal faves to lighten up the monotony of the food if you’re opting to do a cheap no frills camping trek.

You should also bring clothes separate from your trekking gear to wear in Kathmandu and Pokhara (including a jacket for the evening between September and March), though new clothes can easily be bought in Kathmandu.
Passport photos (four will do) for your visa on arrival and trekking permits.

NB Do not let your clothes get wet; number one cause sweating, number two rain or snow, number three stepping in boggy ground and number four walking in the snow without gators.

If you’re not travelling with a responsible company, like you would through us, then make sure your porters have suitable boots, warm clothes, gloves and sun-glasses – they should have with a reputable company.

Money; please see the page labelled Money. But don’t forget to carry large amounts of small rupee notes when in the countryside.
Medikit; please see the page Medical.
Insurance; please see the page labelled Insurance.