Nepal is a mountainous tropical country, which means there are climate extremes. Night and day temperature differences can vary between -10°C on the high treks and 30°C on the lower ones (14°F to 86°F), so you need to bring a variety of clothes. The key to staying comfortable on a trek is layering. Suggested items to bring include:
- Boots: the single most important item to pack, are comfortable, sturdy hiking boots which gives a good support to your ankles. Preferable are the higher models with a good profile sole.
- Shoe wax or rainproof spray for shoes
- Gaiters (recommended on tours above 3500 meter)
- Sleeping bag: needed for both camping and teahouse treks as teahouses usually only provide blankets (easy to rent in Nepal)
- Backpack: 60-70 liters with good waist and chest belt for the assistant guide* to carry your belongings in (easy to rent through 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking)
- Hiking sticks (easy to rent in Nepal)
- Lightweight shoes or sandals for changing into at night
- Socks: 2-3 pairs outer socks, 1-2 pair liner socks and 1 pair for night time
- Loose cotton trousers
- T-shirts, long sleeved shirts
- Cozy shirt for the evenings
- Thermal underclothes are a necessity
- Warm lightweight sweater or fleece
- Hat (sun and night), gloves or mittens, scarf
- Lightweight wind jacket (+trousers if tour is above 4000 meters)
- Rain gear: a simple plastic poncho is adequate to protect you from some rainfall
- Rain cover for your backpack and day backpack
- Down jacket: depending on trek and season (easy to rent in Nepal)
- Day pack with good waist and chest belt
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and chap stick
- Quick dry towel
- Flash light for midnight toilet trips and powercuts, spare batteries**
- Moisture cream for your skin and lips (we recommend factor 30)
- Water bottle with carry strap
- Water purification: filter or iodine
- First aid kit and medicines
- Camera, spare batteries**, film if needed
- 3 passport photos for ACAP (trekking) permit
Many of these items can be bought or rented in Nepal
* We look after our assistant guides and believe they should not be carrying heavy loads. Max. weight of your belongings to be carried by a female assistant guide is 10 kg and a male assistant guide is 13 kg. Our staff will have 1-2 kilos of their belongings which they will carry in your backpack.
**Green note: use rechargeable batteries whenever possible. If you must use disposable batteries, please take the used ones with you and dispose them safely in your home country.
Brief Cultural Considerations
The challenge for you as a visitor to Nepal is to respect the rights and beliefs of the local people and to minimize your impact, both culturally and environmentally. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) is working to conserve the natural and cultural resources of the area. We can all play a part in this by simply being aware of our actions and how they will affect the environment around us.
Please consider the following when trekking:
Dress appropriately: more is better. Revealing clothing in the mountain villages is not suitable, especially for women. T-shirts and trousers/long skirt are the recommended dress, but long shorts are also acceptable. Demonstrating an effort to be sensitive to their culture will enhance your experience with the Nepalese people.
Don’t encourage begging: don’t hand pens, money or sweets directly to the children. This does not only encourage begging, but also causes much conflict amongst the children. You’d rather hand your gifts or pens to a school that will distribute them amongst the children.
Please don’t take culture home with you: consider before you buy any sacred relics or endangered animals.
Leave nothing but your footprint: take your rubbish with you.
Smile: easy to give, wonderful to receive. A smile surpasses all cultural boundaries.
Tip: remove your shoes before entering a Nepali home.
There is one simple rule: don’t drink it!
Water purification tablets or a good water filter will save you a lot of money and avoids even more unnecessary plastic in our environment. Iodine pills are very convenient for trekking.One pill will purify 1 litre of water in 20-30 minutes. They are available in Nepal. Gatorade can be a healthy and delicious item to add to your water. Vitamin C (absorbic acid) or Tang powder in different flavours will remove the unpleasant taste of iodine.
Altitude sickness, also known as AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), is caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitudes (normally above 3,500m, but some may be affected at 3,000m). It occurs as a result of our bodies’ inability to adapt to a sudden increase in altitude. If given time, our bodies will adjust and a gradual ascent will decrease the possibility of altitude sickness.
How to prevent AMS
Go slowly, drink a lot of water and pay attention to the sensations of your body. If symptoms occur, you have climbed too far for the day. Resting at the same altitude will give you time to acclimatize and usually relieve mild symptoms. Mild symptoms include: headache, nausea, loss of appetite, mild shortness of breath with minimal exertion, difficulty sleeping,dizziness or light headedness, mild weakness, fatigue, a general unwell feeling. More serious symptoms include: inability to recover from shortness of breath with rest, severe persistent headache, low urine output, vomiting, confusion, delirium, loss of coordination. These require immediate descent as acclimatization will not take place at the same altitude. The best way to avoid AMS is to walk slowly, carry a light pack and just take it easy. Allow your body the time it needs to acclimatize.