Trekking is a tiring but fun experience. Walking along the high hills of the Himalayas overlooking all the big mountains is something that everyone should experience at least once.
But, planning for these trips can be quite tricky. What do you pack is a question that comes across everyone’s mind. How much to pack is another question as no one wants to be carrying the excess load while climbing a steep hill at 4,000 metres.
Don’t worry. We have got you covered as we bring to you a list of essential items that you will be needing if you go on a trek, in particular in Nepal, that will last more than four days.
A good rucksack is the most important thing you will need. This is a part of your body so ensure that it is both durable and most importantly, comfortable. You do not want to carry something uncomfortable for five hours a day. A 50L rucksack will be enough for most areas in Nepal, but if you want to go on an adventure later, get at least a 70L one as it is spacious and will save you from carrying an extra bag on longer treks.
While buying your backpack, you should check its straps, if some side pockets and departments are provided and if it has a supporting frame fitted into it. If you have the funds, get a branded one. If not, get a Nepali one but be prepared for it not lasting you more than two treks.
2. Trekking boots
Shoes should be the second most important thing you buy, maybe even the most important. Given you will be walking around five hours a day on average, these should be as comfortable as possible. The boots must have a good grip, their soles a bit hard so you do not feel pointy rock and, ideally, they should be waterproof. Investing in good quality will be worth it.
Also, carry light slippers because you do not want to be wearing the shoes for long.
3. Trekking poles
Many say they do not require trekking poles, but these really help you out during both uphills and downhills. It provides stability and can act as another limb.
4. Water bottle
It is better to carry at least two litres and an extra thermos for hot water, but it is an absolute must that you carry at least one litre.
Pack only such clothing that you are comfortable in. There is no point trying to be stylish at 5,000 metres so that means no heavy clothes like jeans.
Must carry clothing are:
- Trekking pants and t-shirts
- Fleece tees and jacket
- Windproof and waterproof, padded jacket
- Down jacket
- Poncho (raincoat)
- Thermal inners
This is just as important as the shoes you wear. These woollen socks will be your lifesaver in the high mountains.
Pro tip: Always carry an extra pair.
7. First-aid kit
You never know what can happen at high altitudes in the wilderness, which is why carrying medicines for acute mountain sickness, motion sickness, fever and diarrhoea are of utmost importance. Adding to that, antifungal powder, pain relief spray, bandages and ointment for shoe bites, etc are a few of the medicines you should consider carrying in your first-aid kit.
8. Head torch
It might feel like you do not need this, but in a country like Nepal trekking without one is plain stupidity. Carry a lot of batteries; you will need them if you want to chase sunrises.
9. Knife or Swiss Army knife
It is not a must-carry tool, but it is ideal if you carry one because you never know what kind of situation you will end up in.
10. Hat and sunscreen
A cap is also okay, but a hat will protect you even more. And you look like Indiana Jones, so it is a win-win. Sunscreen is also mandatory because it gets quite warm up there and without it, you will likely get a horrible tan.
11. Sleeping bag
Again not mandatory, but it is better if you carry one as sometimes the lodge you stay in might not be the cleanest and you would not want to sleep in a bed which has not been cleaned for days. That is where the sleeping bag comes in.
12. Toilet paper
This is mandatory. Make no mistake, you will need it. Carry at least three.
13. Lip balm and moisturiser
The mountain air really dries out your skin and lips and having a little tube of moisturiser and something to protect them both will really come in handy.
One book should be enough, but if you are a reader, carry at least a couple so that you have something to be entertained on while on the trek. For this, those extra head torch batteries will come in handy. Trust us.
15. Board games
If you are a group, board games will be the way forward. Carry a fun one. Not everyone wants to sit and play chess.
This one is completely on you. The high Himalayas of Nepal is drop-dead gorgeous. Carrying a camera will be a hassle, so if you have a nice phone, use that. But, a camera will always capture more. And, the more is what you will cherish when you get back home.
Shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, towels, cold cream, toothbrush along handwashes are a few must-carry items.