The packing list
While rummaging on the internet you are going to find dozens of equipment pqcking list for trekking in Nepal. So I’m not telling you any groundbreaking news at this point of story. For us, the right choice of equipment was important, because we were hiking up to icy 5.500 amsl, through tropical and less tropical conditions and also wanted to paraglide during our travels. In between our journey sections we had to repack our bags several times, relocate and transfer from guest house to bus to guest house. Everything had to be as light as possible, compact and comfortable to carry as well. Every now and then we were inspired to look like “normal” people without being forced to run constantly to the next laundry service.
Travel bag(s): we had both trekking backpacks as well as our paragliding backpacks on the packing list. In addition, we had somehow to stow away the rest of our clothes. So we trusted on plain 100 L travel bags from Semptec.
Padlock: we secured our bags with padlocks. For the trekking we carried on a bigger one to close up the guest house door – unnecessary, because most guest houses provided locks for the doors.
Travel cushions: those inflatable cushion were worth gold on long bus rides and the long flight.
Mobilphones: it really is a must-have. We used a iPhone 7and a iPhone SE not only for communication but also for taking pictures and navigation. We also acquired a Nepalese Simcard for staying connected and cheap calls to Europe.
Charging cable: for the celly, for the camera and for our powerbank.
Headphones: in need of motivation, music will be your best friend.
Socket adapter: you need the Type M. We only hard type M, but sometimes they also use type D in some guest houses. But it is not a huge problem, with a little MacGyvering you will charge your stuff anyway. We did not carry on an extension lead and did not miss it.
Photoequipment: Sony Alpha57 with two objectives and two additional batteries. The battery is a piece for saving weight, because we were able to charge everywhere. We also left our tripodat home and did not regret it. We had a GoPro Hero 3+ at at hand, but well, it is definitely possible to do without.
Accessories: Micro-SD-cards (all over 300 GB) with adapter, two Li-Ion-Powerbanks (with each 5.000 mAh, which is enough to charge a phone up to 3 times).
Solar charging device: we carried on our RAVPower 16W solar charging device, but in the end the infrastructure is good enough to go without.
Backpacks: Before hissing the sails I tried on the typical trekking backpacks from Deuter , they were very comfortable but had a pretty uncomfortable pricing. Since we usually get along with our paragliding backpack I didn’t want to invest the money. Instead I trusted an Asian producer: Ameiseye with a total volume of 50 L. Alex took an old backpack from our storage room, which is at least 15 years old with a volume of 60 + 10 L. In the end, the old boy was much more comfortable to carry, while I had trouble with pain in my back. So, whoever is trekking or hiking frequently should pay the money for a good backpack. Another rule is: don’t overestimate your needed volume. Less is more.
Shoes: we swear on trail-running shoes, that is why we both had Salomon Speedcross Pro shoes on our feet. The pro version is more robust and have a harder sole in comparison to the ordinary Salomon Speedcross. Beware of blisters in the running-in phase. For the first days of our trek and paragliding I was wearing Teva-sandals and Alex had some classic Birkenstock knock-offs. I was able to shower with my sandals, so I didn’t need additional flipflops.
Trekking poles: Leki Micro Carbon. Super-light, super small packed size.
Headlamp: Alex used his old Silva XTrail I, while I depended on a Silva CrossTrail III. In general, both lamps are decent, but we achieved to destroy them both since the robustness is approvable. Alex had a wire break. Some plastic parts from my lamp were broken, too, so I could not use it with the head harness. So, take care at packing your backpacks.
Sunglasses: snow goggles are too much, but you should pay attention that your glasses also close up at the side of your eyes to prevent dazzling. Alex is depending on corrective glasses using some old Oakley Racing Jackets, while I got Adidas Tycane glasses. Those sunglasses are ok, but I would say they fit my nose about 80 % and they steamed up quite fast.
Drinking bottles: KleenKanteen forever. In the sum, we had three drinking bottles. One I got as a souvenir form Kilimanjaro, and two KleenKanteens with 0,9 L and 1,9 L volume. We tried to avoid buying plastic bottles and were filling up at safe-drinking waterstations.
Knife: I am trekking with a small flick-knife from a local hardware store with a wooden handle. It is pretty useful for cutting fruits or if you have to repair something.
Rope: A must-have on any trekking tour. Since you won’t be able to wash your clothes constantly, at least give them some air by hanging them in the wind. In the rooms you rarely find any hangers, so help yourself with this little utensil.
Sleeping bags: we discussed the topic of sleepings bags with high intensity. Forth and back between synthetic and down, which fell into disrepute. Finally, we decided for a “home-grown” product from Poland (I am from Poland): Cumulus. Those products have a excellent workmanship and the polish down is reknown for its qualiy. Compared to Germany and other European countries, in Poland live plucking is forbidden by law. The perfect warmth-weight-ratio is provided by the Panyam-series. I took the 600 filling, while Alex tried to be positive by investing into the Panyam 450. We didn’t felt cold in any second of our trip and are very happy with our convenient sleeping bags!
Travelsheets: just for hygienic reasons we carried on travel sheets made of silk or a synthetic Thermolite Reactor.
Stationery: notebook and pens.
What else: Plastic bags.
Undies: we were able to wash our clothes in warme regions by ourselves, and used laundry service in Muktinath (500 NRP/kg in Muktinath, 70 NRP/kg in Pokhara). That is why 5 knickers have to suffice. Girls need to carry on sports-bras, I had three.
First Layer: each of us had 3 shirts/tops, 2 long sleeves and a long john. It is possible to reduce the amount of first layers. As stated earlier, put down your hygienic standards for a while. And above 3.500 amsl alls fashionistas will give up anyway…
Socks: 2 pairs plus a pair of merino socks plus a pair of water-resistant SealSkinz. 2 Paar plus ein paar Merinosocken plus ein paar wasserdichte Socken.
Second Layer: we both love our Arcteryx Cerium Hoody and this light down jacket is worth every penny! Additionally, we had a fleece jacket and thicker trekking pants in our backpacks. You should consider taking short pants, but thinking of the solar radiation on high grounds maybe it’s better to leave them at home. I used a long tight instead.
Third Layer: Rain jackets or hardshell jackets are indispensable to protect yourself from rain and wind. During the packing I had an eye on rain pants, but looking at the local climate I left them at home. Good decision.
Hat: A cap to stay safe from the sun as well as a warm wooly hat.
Gloves: we took a thick pair, which was used for trekking and paragliding. In the middle of the trek, the thick ones were to thick and without the mit got a itsybitsy cold. Maybe take another thin pair with you.
Buff: this little multifunctional clothis perfect to put it in your face, your head or neck.
To state a fundamental consideration, wo/men tend to pack too much clothes, because we are used to change our set of clothes daily. Being a trekker, who is carrying every tiny bit of luggage on its own back and being far away from the next washing machine, just be satisfied with less. It’s not that bad. The trek is horrifyingly dusty, so it really does not make any sense to change your outer layers that often. The most important thing is: keep at least one set of clothes dust-free, which you want to put on after taking your most enjoyable shower and in which you want to hop in your sleeping bag. That is enough, trust me.
Biological degradable shampoo (as harmful to the environment, as the Nepalis tend to live, a normal shampoo will have a marginal influence, if at all. But the conscience…).
TP: Normal toilet paper, wet wipes (biological degradable), kleenex. It is possible to buy TP one the trek, but it costs around 200 NRP. Kleenex is not biodegradable, so please only dispose in the wastebin.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Moisturizing cream for a scrawny face
Microfibre-towel : for one person take a towel for showering and another one for your hands.
Feminine hygiene products: Take anything from tampons to whatever from your local drugstore, it’s hard to find anything in Nepal.
Decorative cosmetics: you can, but I cannot without
Sanitizer: I’m loving it.
Soap: such a simple thing and such a rare occurrence in Nepal.
Insect repellent: weh ad some, didn’t needed it, so leave it in your cabinet.
Sun screen: 50 LSF
Lip protection: with LSF and/or moisturizer
First aid kit: band-aids, small bandages, mylar blanket, steril-strips
Ibuprofen: 600 mg (for acute pain/inflammations), 200 mg (for symptoms of altitude sickness)
charcoal-tablets: it may happen to anyone. We didn’t have any inconveniences (veggie food only).
Eye-drops: it is very dusty, so the drops helped with eye irritation (natriumcromoglycate).
Asthmaspray and antihistamines
Lozenge for a scratchy throat
Thomapyrin Intensiv: the mix of ASA (Acetylsalicylic acid = Aspirin) and Paracetamole + Coffein helps with everything
Magnesia: supports regeneration of muscle
Vomex: bad food or altitude sickness, that’s the cure
Effervescent tablets: Multivitamine, sports-electrolyte, magnesia…whatever flavor you like
Micropur Forte/chlorine tablets: take them, just in case you should need them. We didn’t.
Acetazolamid: also known as Diamox. In Europe you will need a Doctor’s prescription to get Diamox, whereas in Nepal you can purchase is for little money in any pharmacy. Pay attention to get tablets instead of capsules, so you will be able to easily adapt to dosage to your needs.
Plane tickets: I created an excel sheet to calculate the most efficient travel dates (travel days vs. vacation days vs. ticket price). It’s just a spleen. We booked the ticket in the end of april with Turkish Airlines (they publish their new schedules around this season). We paid attention to a short journey time (MUC – IST – KTM) with less than 12 hours and it c ost us around 800 Euros per person. The total trip took 32 days – check your visa provisions! The connecting flight from KTM to POK we booked with Buddha Air separately. In comparison to Tara Air the luggage allowance is much better.
VISA-Card: Using a mastercard you won’t be able to withdraw any cash in Nepal. Try your luck with VISA credit card. Living in Germany it is profitable to be a customer of DKB, since withdrawal is free of charge (at least from German side).
Passport: of course it won’t be possible to enter Nepal without a passport. Check the validity of your docment in advance.
ACAP: The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit you will obtain with little effort in Kathmandu or Pokhara, it costs 2.000 NRP. You have to fill out an application fee and leave two passport photos. If needs be you can make some passport photos in the office.
TIMS: the application for the Trekker’s Management Information System is mandatory for every trekker and may also be applied for in the ACA-office after paying 2.000 NRP. You will need another pair of passport photos.
Flight Permit: There is not much control, but in case of an accident the police will check your papers. If you cannot provide you will be in the soup. You will get the papers in selected paragliding schools (Babu’s or Blue Skye) for iffy 6.500 NRP. You will need passport photos, an insurance certificate and a paragliding licence.
Passport photos: 8 pcs
Vaccines: Hepatitis A/B, typhus, rabies, cholera, enzephalitis. I actually got bitten by a monkey.
Certificate of insurance: take a copy from your health insurance, a copy of a additional travel insurance certificate and a copy of an insurance covering rescue costs.
Copies: copy your passport and credit cards
Maps: it is much cheaper to buy maps in Nepal, but we didn’t need them. A navigation by phone was fairly enough.
Travel guide: well, that is definitely something to not take on the trek, but it might be useful for stationary use (deposit)
Backpack: Kortel-Kolibri-Backpack and SupAir Delight. Both backpacks are very light and offer enough room for a +2 day-trip incl. sleeping bag.
Paraglider: twice Nova ION 4. Simple, safe und uncomplicated. Well, the handling characteristic in turns is pretty inefficient, but it’s, which mills through the air like a battle ship with almost no feedback.
Harness: Kortel Kolibri. Very light, even lighter and less voluminous without the foam protectors.
Security: Ultra Cross 100 kg.
Vario: XCTracer I and II. I am not a fan of using my phone for tracking – but it was a gift, so I’ll get along.
Gloves: thick leather gloves and some active coal handwarmers for emergencies.
Helmet: Black Diamond Vector is very light and functional, but initially made for climbing.
Clothes: Nothing special, everything as mentioned above.