Clothing and Equipment list for trekking in Nepal, Bhutan, India, and Tibet.
Being adequately equipped is one of the keys to a successful trek. Most of the list below are available for hiring or purchasing (for a fraction of most Western countries’ price) in Kathmandu (only for treks starting and finishing in Ktm).
Please see our Clothing & Equipment Guide for information on how to select the best type of clothing and equipment for your trip. Also, look at our Links page for details of specialist retailers who will offer further advice and assistance with purchasing new clothing or equipment.
Clothing and equipment are very much a matter of personal choice and preference. The list below is general and is intended for guidance only. If you have any queries, please contact us.
Clothing & Footwear
The most crucial point to remember when packing your clothing is that, except for your set of smart clothes for the town, all the clothes for your trek should fit in your kit bag. If you can’t get it all in, you have too much! Pay particular attention to airline baggage weight limits, both on international and domestic flights, and to your trek weight allowance.
- Small Day-sack 20-30ltrs – Small lockable suitcase/bag for leaving clothes in the hotel while on the trek.
- Water bottle – Water bottles are essential on the trek. We recommend 1 litre or bigger capacity bottle size. Camelbaks are ideal as the straw can be pulled to your mouth without taking off your backpack. Always ask for boiled and filtered water at the overnight lodges or buy bottled water. However, we strongly recommend boiled water, as empty bottles are not properly taken care of in Nepal’s mountains.
- Penknife – Swiss army type with tweezers and bottle opener is useful. Do not pack in hand baggage.
- Sunglasses and retainers – Sunglasses are easy to lose or break, so bring a cheap spare pair. Contact lenses can cause problems due to dust. If you wear glasses, carry a spare.
- Personal first aid kit – See the suggested list below — Head Torch with extra batteries and bulb, useful for reading and keeping your hands free.
- Plastic bags – To wrap your bits and bobs in the kit bag; so that they stay dry in case of rain and to make it easier for you to sort through your belongings in the camp. Remember, the less you have to unpack in the evening, the less you have to repack in the morning! A bin liner to pack inside your daypack is also a good idea.
- Torch/Batteries/Bulb – A small torch is essential for finding things in your room, going to the loo at night, etc. Petzl, along with Black Diamond head torches, are particularly useful. Remember that only a limited selection of batteries is available in most developing countries, so it is advisable to bring spare batteries and bulbs. The most common are pen cells (or AA size) and SP/HP2 (D size).
- Sleeping Bag – As you do not carry it yourself, this may be synthetic or down, but it must be four seasons. As most treks pass through a variety of climatic conditions, a long zip is a good idea. A cotton/fleece liner helps keep your sleeping bag clean. Proper sleeping bags are expensive but can be rented easily and cheaply in Kathmandu (Only for treks starting and finishing there), so you could consider this option if you don’t have one. Details can be dealt with at the briefing.
- Toiletries – Try to keep heavy toiletries and cosmetics to a minimum. Essentials are toothbrush/paste, bio-degradable soap, a small towel, a small nail brush, and toilet rolls! ‘Wet Wipes’ are great for a quick clean up in your room, so bring a pack of those (non-perfumed to avoid rashes!).
- Sun Hat, Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve – Choose a high factor suncream (Factor 30 or stronger) to protect your skin against the sun at high altitudes. A combination of sunblock/lip salve is ideal for facial protection.
- Personal First Aid Kit – You should have your supply of plasters, aspirin, diarrhoea tablets, and a comprehensive blister kit. (Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the trek leader.)
- Telescopic ski poles – Greatly reduce fatigue in legs and aid balance on rough terrain.
- Iodine water Sterilisation Tablets–Ensures the water you are drinking is safe.
- Money belt – Or neck purse, alternatively zip-pockets. NB. Even bum-bags are becoming a temptation for thieves in some cities.
- Cash, Credit or Debit card, US Dollars
- Travel Insurance Certificate.
- Washbag – Biodegradable shampoo and soap, flannel, toothbrush and paste, comb, small towel.
- Travel plug – Once out of major cities, few basins or baths have plugs.
- Repair kit – Needle, strong thread, scissors, safety pins, rubber bands, etc.
- Waterproof boot polish
- Alarm clock
- Reading material
- Cards – Or chess, dice, travel scrabble, travel monopoly, etc.
- Address book – For writing those all-important postcards.
- Umbrella – Not essential but useful for sun and rain! Buy in the country before the start of the trek.
- For camping treks – Therm-A-Rest – Gives comfort and insulation, ensuring a good night’s sleep. Thicker 3/4 length type is the best (you will be provided with a mattress, but the quality varies from country to country). You will be sleeping on lodges most of the time for Nepal, so no need for Thermarest / Karrimat.
- For camping treks – Blow-up pillow – Useful for long flights, road journeys, and in your tent.
- Clothes pegs – Safety pins and nylon cord for a clothesline.
- Toilet paper – Flat or small pack.
- Lighter – For candles on the trek and burning toilet paper.
- Travel wash – For clothes (please use the 100% biodegradable type).
- The trek leader will provide glucose tablets, sweets, personal ‘goodies’ – Snacks.
- Binoculars – A lightweight pair will add significantly to your enjoyment.
- Personal Stereo.
- Spare batteries – For all your electronic equipment.
- Earplugs – Handy for ensuring a good night’s sleep when neighbouring villages with noisy dogs.
- Photographs/postcards – Your house and family share with the guides and locals of your town or village.
You can rent sleeping bags and down jackets in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Your trek leader will help you with the rentals or take you to outdoor shops to purchase the required gear. However, equipment such as a sleeping bag and down jackets are personal gear and an investment for future use. The choice is yours on whether to buy or rent this equipment.