Nepal is a place of extreme environments and extreme weather which can change at any moment. What to pack for Nepal varies depending on where you plan to go. Therefore it’s always a good idea to do some research before you travel to Nepal to ensure you have the right gear on your packing list.
If you are planning on trekking The Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Langtang Valley, Annapurna Panorama, Poonhill, Mohare Danda, Upper Mustang, Around Manaslu, Helambu, Tilicho Base Camp, Namche Bazaar Trek and Solu Khumbu this Nepal trekking packing list is perfect for you.
Depending on where you are going in Nepal you might need a lot of gear or might need very little as there are so many contrasting climates, amenities to charging points for electronics, etc. Hanging around in Kathmandu and Pokhara then a standard travel/backpacking packing list is fine.
Expected temperatures per region in Nepal:
Kathmandu has a relatively stable climate with temperatures dropping to as low as 1 degree Celsius in winter while the warmer months see temperatures push the high 30’s. A rain jacket is a must in Kathmandu with unexpected down pours of rain. If you only stick around the areas in Nepal, you can go by with a standard backpacking packing list.
Chitwan sees a lot of rain in the monsoon season along with decent all year round temperatures with the lowest temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius in the cooler months and high 30’s during the warmer months. Definitely add a rain jacket to your things to bring to Nepal list, it will be your best friend in Chitwan for sure.
Pokhara has the best all year-round temperatures with beautiful summers ranging from 22 to 35 degrees Celsius. In the winter temperatures can drop to -2 to 15 degrees Celsius. Planning on just hanging around Pokhara? A rain jacket and jumper are a must on your Nepal packing list, warm winter clothes are not really recommended.
Everest Base Camp
Given the altitude of Everest Base Camp, temperatures in the colder months can plummet to as low as -20 degrees Celsius. At any time of the year, it can snow at EBC so cold weather gear is a must. A Nepal trekking packing list looks slightly different as you can endure extreme temperatures.
Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is a lot like EBC so expect freezing cold conditions all year round. Cold weather gear is always needed here. I did the Annapurna Basecamp trekking in 2013 and at the highest point I was wearing all the clothes listed in this packing list for Nepal! LOL :)
Temperatures at this Nepal off the beaten destination are much milder than the popular ABC and EBC treks. In June 2019 I did the Langtang Valley trek and brought most of the things listed in this Nepal packing list.
What is needed to travel to Nepal?
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months upon entry then you are basically sorted! All European countries, USA, Canada and Australia can enter Nepal with a visa on arrival ranging from 15 to 90 days.
Do you need vaccinations for traveling to Nepal?
There is no need to show anyone that you have specific vaccinations when you travel to Nepal, but it is recommended to have the standard shots for childhood diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Mumps, Measles and Rubella. Injections against Hepatitis A and B are recommended, but not necessary, the same for Rabius.
Is there Malaria in Nepal? Yes officially there is and you will find some tourists that take Malaria pills when traveling to Nepal. The risk of getting infected with Malaria is very small and almost non-existing especially in the tourist destinations in Nepal and the major trekking areas in Nepal. Therefore I would not recommend you taking Malaria pills.
So far I have spend 6 weeks traveling in Nepal and have been twice. My first time in 2013 and my second time in June 2019. Nepal is one of my favorite countries and also one of the best places to backpack in the world.
Travel insurance for Nepal
Check below for a free quotation for you trip to Nepal.
Buy a local Nepal sim card
If your phone is unlocked you can buy a sim card in Nepal. This way you have a cheap data connection. Click the link to read the full article for finding the best local Nepal sim card or read this for buying a sim card at Kathmandu Airport. If your phone is locked or buying a sim card is too much effort then I can strongly recommend you to buy a TEP Wireless portable Wifi device. For a couple bucks you can get unlimited internet in more than 100 countries around the world including Nepal.
Hiring a guide/porter
Having a guide on your trek proves to be a lot better than without one. Guides provide extra knowledge on the area, the mountains and can translate with ease. Although a guide will cost extra, it will be worth it at the end of the day.
Having a porter isn’t necessary but if you want to enjoy your trek without the hassle of a weighty bag, a porter may be of use. Just remember porters are people and can carry a maximum of 15 to 20 kilograms so please don’t carry items that will be of no use on your trek.
46 Things to bring to Nepal
To organize your Nepal packing list I divided all things to bring into 6 categories:
- What to wear in Nepal
- Toiletries and medication packing list
- Travel essentials for Nepal
- Electronics for traveling to Nepal
What to Wear in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal is on everyone’s bucketlist and I often get a lot of questions about what to pack for a trekking. At any time of the year, I recommend you to bring these things for trekking in Nepal:
1. Hiking Boots
A quick word of advice on hiking boots, I think they are overrated! :)
Hiking in the Nepal is seriously tough on your feet and the last thing you will want to do is wear a pair of cheap hiking boots that you just bought in Thamel. At least that is what everyone says! But then look at me… trekking in Nepal in flipflops!
So who am I to tell you that hiking boots are one of the Nepal travel essentials? :)
Anyway 99% of the people that go trekking in Nepal bring hiking boots, totally understandable! Ideally it’s best to have worn in your boots 2 to 3 weeks before setting out on the trail. This ensures that your feet become accustomed to the materials in the boot while adjustments can be made with sock thickness and size.
Most of my trekking friends go with these hiking boots.
2. Running shoes
When traveling to Nepal be prepared to walk a lot. Even if you don’t go trekking in Nepal you will walk a lot. Visiting temples in Kathmandu or Pokhara it is best to have a pair of good runners on you. On my packing list for Nepal a pair of Nike Running shoes is always present.
If you decided to go trekking in Nepal Traveltomtom style you save a lot of space, because hiking boots are not part of my packinglist for Nepal.
One of my favorite backpacking essentials. That was already clear when you saw the photo above right? Yeah whenever I can I walk on flipflops. I am now full time traveling around the world since 2012 and my flipflops are always with me. Especially when you travel to Nepal in summer, Havaianas are on of those things you want to bring to Nepal.
Make sure to put this first in your suitcase when packing for Nepal. This country is known for being dusty as hell along with polluted skies often brought upon by winds from India. A buff is basically a bandana that is worn over the nose and mouth to filter out all the bad stuff like dust or ash. Definitely an essential Nepal travel item.
When buying a buff, make sure the material is breathable as the last thing you will want is a buff that is not breathable.
Bring good sunnies! Apart from sunglasses stopping dust and light from hurting your eyes they are also great in cold and windy conditions especially at altitude. The higher you go, the more intense U.V (ultraviolet) light will be on your eyes and this is where sunglasses come in very handy. Make sure you buy proper sunglasses with UV filters before you travel to Nepal.
6. Down Jacket
A down jacket might be the most expensive item on this list but it will damn sure keep you warm! Down jackets are basically filled with feathers or a puffy material that acts as an insulator to keep out all of the cold air. These jackets are waterproof and an essential item on your Nepal trekking packing list.
7. Wind Jacket
Wind jackets are perfect for those cold and windy days trekking in Nepal. The material on a wind jacket is designed to bounce off wind and keep you a bit warmer however, make sure you have another layer underneath the wind jacket as it won’t serve the same purpose as a down jacket. These wind stoppers are my favorite and easy to pack.
8. Couple Pair of socks
Never trust the weather forecast when trekking in Nepal. I would always pack 3 pairs of socks minimum for a 7 day trek. Having clean and dry socks is so crucial as there is nothing worse than trudging around in wet/damp socks. If that happens go the Traveltomtom way: on flipflops! :) Here are some thermal socks I use in case you fancy them.
9. Enough pair of underwear
You will always have room for extra underwear when on the trail so you can pack up to 10 pairs if need. Underwear are like socks, fresh is best and to me an essential item on my Nepal trekking packing list.
10. Thermal underlays
Thermals are probably my best tip for trekking in Nepal. They keep you warm when hiking in cold conditions. I would always carry one or two long sleeve tops when hiking in the Himalaya or anywhere else in the world. Thermal underwear are thin and light weight and provide great warmth, probably one of my favorite travel items when I go to colder countries.
11. Dry bag
Especially when carrying around expensive electronic items a dry bag comes in handy! I will always have one on me in case I need to put items in there if a storm approaches or a creek or river crossing is required. Here is a set of 3 dry bags, including one for your phone.
12. Hiking shorts
A good pair of hiking shorts or pants is an essential Nepal travel item, even if that means purchasing one pair just for the 7 days on the trail. If you buy a good pair, the materials will dry quickly when it would get wet and also abstain from bad smell. I suggest you pack 2 pairs of shorts for 10 days on the trail. Click here for cheap hiking short for men and for women.
A great alternative to lightweight hiking shorts are swimming pants with zippers. I got those… :)
13. Sleeping bag
Teahouses and guesthouses in Nepal will generally supply warm duvets however they won’t keep you as warm as a sleeping bag some people say. Temperatures can plummet in the rooms quite quickly and there have been situations where the inside of my room was covered in ice.
Personally I swear by NOT bringing a sleeping bag when I go trekking in Nepal, but Im an exception! Almost people that go trekking in Nepal bring sleeping bags. My body is aching all night and keeps me really hot already, a blanket from the guesthouse does the job for me in combination with a long tracking pants and a t-shirt.
Also sleeping bags are more hygienically then a blanket used by hundreds of people before you! :)
A good sleeping bag is rated to -4 degrees Celsius and with additional blankets, thermals and socks you will be warm. Sleeping bags are expensive but if you are planning on doing more than 1 trek in Nepal or elsewhere in the world, the investment is worth it.
When purchasing a sleeping bag, make sure silk liner is included. The purpose of a silk liner is to keep the rest of the sleeping bag clean especially when you haven’t washed or showered before you go to sleep. Something very common when trekking in Nepal! :)
They are a must and are perfect for those chilly mornings and late afternoons around the guesthouse. You gonna love wearing them when you set sail for an early morning departure. You can buy beanies everywhere in Kathmandu.
15. Emergency Blanket
This item is solely for your Nepal trekking packing list of course. An emergency blanket (cheap, small & light) is a thin material used to warm the body in emergency situations. If you get stuck on a mountain or are feeling very cold, an emergency blanket will trap your body heat and warm you up in no time. Again weather in Nepal is extremely unpredictable so come prepared.
A good pair of gloves will make your trekking a whole lot more comfortable. I suggest a thin pair of gloves when going up in the Himalaya. In case you go to either ABC or EBS in the off season you may want to bring a pair of waterproof gloves made from wool.
17. Good day pack
I have always feared that I would be half way through a trek and my shoulder strap on my hiking bag would suddenly break, so far I have been lucky for this not to happen.
Make sure to have a solid daypack or small backpack large enough to carry your essential Nepal trekking items. In case you hire a porter you can even go with a much smaller bag. My favorite travel bag is my Pacsafe Venture, which I am not traveling with for many years and still works perfectly fine.
18. Rain cover for backpack
One thing I often forget is a rain cover for my hiking bag and with Nepal’s ever changing climate, it can unexpectedly rain at any time so a plastic cover is essential for keeping all your stuff dry.
19. Hand warmers
In extreme conditions, gloves might not cut it therefore I will always carry 1 or 2 packets of hand warmers. They come in the form of small, soft packets that can be placed in the gloves loose spacing’s and once activated can reach to 70 degrees Celsius. So use this Nepal trekking equipment list item with care! :)
To contribute to a better world please add biodegradable sunscreen to your Nepal packing list. Get one with a high protection factor, especially for your face. it is a must when trekking in Nepal at altitude as the sun can be harsher on your skin.
21. Trekking Poles
Trekking poles are totally not my thing, but they make trekking much easier. I tried them once of friends and surprisingly loved using them for a little while. Must say though I was happy to give them back. I just want my hands to be free to take photos and for the sake of feeling free! :)
Trekking poles are great for steep descents and not so much going uphill. At least they give you a more complete workout while using them.
Toiletries and Medication Packing List
22. Sterilization Pen or similar
Water in Nepal cannot simply be consumed via a tap so to get around consuming too many bottles of water and compiling a pile of plastic bottles I pack a sterilization pen (Steri Pen) which has an ultraviolet light designed to eliminate all of the bad things in the water. A Steri pen takes about 1 to 2 minutes to treat 1 litre of water.
Chlorine tablets are another option and much cheaper. These tablets can be purchased in Thamel and take around 1 hour to work when add to water.
Imodium will be your best friend if you have diarrhea, it’s a real pity I didn’t pack any for my recent trip to Langtang Valley.
Trekking can make you pretty raw and sore so I will always take with me Ibuprofen or pain killers to get me through rough patches.
For when headaches occur, paracetamol is best.
26. Nausea pills
If you feel nauseas, these pills will stop you from wanting to throw up although they aren’t 100% guaranteed to work.
Bandages are perfect for when you take a fall or sprain an ankle even break a bone.
Hydrolytes are basically extra salts that your body needs in order to keep hydrated. They come in the forms of small sachets and can be added to water for consumption. They also help mask the flavor of the water you are consuming if you choose a flavorsome pick!
29. Toilet Paper
Toilets will almost certainly never have a roll of toilet paper in them so you’ll have to take your own. 1 roll of toilet paper will last 1 week for 1 person. If you run out of paper, most guesthouses will have some available for purchase.
30. Antibacterial or Hand Sanitizer
A tube of 100ML of hand sanitizer will last at least 7 days and is perfect for cleaning your hands after a trip to the bathroom.
Travel essentials for Nepal
It sounds simple, of course you are going to bring cash. But how much? Keep in mind that in rural areas in Nepal or when you go trekking there are NO atm’s. Cash is an essential Nepal travel item. Here’s a brief guide to a daily spend while on a trek in Nepal.
- Breakfast: Porridge and Black Coffee = 400 rupees
- Lunch: Daal Bhat = 500 rupees
- Dinner: Vegetable Pasta = 500 rupees
- Drinks: 5 Tea = 500 rupees for a cup
- Total = 1,900 rupees/ $16 USD
- 1 pax, 1 Room = 550 rupees
- 2 pax, 1 Room = 1,100 rupees
- Total = $10 USD for 2 people
The above prices are an estimation on what you will spend per day going on a trekking in Nepal. Keep in mind that the higher you go, the prices will be higher too. On the contrary I experienced in 2013 trekking Annapurna Basecamp that sleeping was everywhere $1 per bed only. The Langtang trek in June 2019 was more expensive but I don’t know how it is nowadays on the Annapurna Basecamp track for example.
32. Reading Material
I learnt very early when trekking in Nepal that nights can be very long in guesthouses as there isn’t any entertainment. A book can be a very useful thing to bring to Nepal even if you are not a big reader.
I like to listen to music when I can’t sleep or if I am just lying around so be sure to have a few good playlists lined up before heading out on the trek.
34. Trail Snacks for trekking
Trekking always requires a decent amount of snacks to keep the energy levels high. 4 Useful tips for trail snacks in Nepal:
- Stock up in Kathmandu as once you get to the start of the trail, there will be limitations on what is available for purchase.
- Food on the mountain is pretty standard and they serve simple meals and everywhere the same.
- Bring a lot as a couple days into the trek you may have already developed a dislike for the standard food.
- Always check the date of the food when purchasing in Nepal.
35. Reusable Water Bottle
I hate plastic bottles like the one you buy in a shop so I recommend you to purchased a reusable water bottle for traveling. Get a tough, hardy bottle designed to take a lot of beatings. Filling up your bottle is easy and having a Steri Pen or chlorine tablets ready makes most water along the trails drinkable.
36. Trek Map
Maps are super useful even if there are properly marked trails. If you cannot access phone data, a map will be the next best thing to navigating around the Himalaya. I like to use maps by Nepal Map Publisher. They can easily be bought in Kathmandu for around $5. These maps are highly detailed with contours, town names, location of hospitals to the names of Himalayan Mountains.
Electronics for traveling to Nepal
37. Power banks
Power banks are a must when hiking in Nepal and often the bigger, the better in terms of storage. There will be guesthouses that you come across that don’t provide power so having a backup system is the best.
38. Mobile phone
Although being offline and away from civilization is one of the reasons I like to travel to Nepal, I would definitely recommend you to always have a mobile phone on you with an internet connection. It simply makes traveling much more convenient.
39. Camera equipment
As an avid photographer I of course travel with a bunch of camera gear. I use a Canon 80D and my favorite lens is a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8, expensive but totally worth it. You might also want to consider a zoom lens for mountain photography.
Although it has a lot of issues I still swear by a GoPro Hero 7 Black. Its software could and user experience could be much better but I love the content is shoots.
European adaptors are compatible with power sockets in Nepal. These are adaptors that have 2 skinny metal pins, get you world travel adapter here.
42. Portable Solar Panel
Depending on how remote your trek is, there might be no power available at all. I sometimes use a portable solar panel which I attach to the top of bag and throughout the day, I am charging one of my two power banks.
Once you have arrived at your guesthouse or destination, simply attach a power bank to the panel and place in the sun!
43. Battery Warmer
Nights can get very cold in Nepal and cold conditions are not good for batteries. After I finished using my cameras, I will take out all of the batteries and put them insulated container which I then will put in my sleeping bag at night this way the batteries will stay warm and are unlikely to loose charge.
Another great option is a sock or your buff; simply put the batteries in the item and put in your sleeping bag when going to bed.
44. GPS tracker
A global positioning satellite is one of those tools you need when doing serious off the trail adventuring or even if you just want to make sure you’re on track.
Epirbs are great for safety and tracking purposes. If something goes wrong on the trail or you really get lost, press the button on the Epirb and you will be rescued… eventually. An Epirb usually works like this; you inform a close relative or parent of where you intend to travel, how long for and why then go online and login to the Epirb that you have via a special code.
For example, I assign my parents to receive any information that comes from the Epirb such as the distress beacon call and once that is pressed, my parents will be informed that I am in trouble. From this point, my parents need to inform the police, rescue, ambulance about my whereabouts.
46. Head torch
Head torches are a necessary item if heading out early, arriving late or just heading to the bathroom at night. Make sure to pack a spare pair of batteries!
Backpack or suitcase for traveling in Nepal?
I have now traveled the world continuously for more than 7 years and been to more than 100 countries and never owned a big backpack. Some of my travel friends swear by a backpack.
Of course a backpack is much easier when traveling to Nepal, especially when you go trekking. But… a big daypack will do the job too! For multi day trekking it is useless to bring all your stuff. It is completely normal to store your big backpack in a hotel/hostel in either Kathmandu, Pokhara or the trailhead.
Traveling with a backpack comes in handy when you decide to check out accommodation on the spot instead of booking online. But mostly you will go from taxi, to bus, to hotel, to taxi, to airport, just saying…
Personally I swear by my big Rimowa suitcase at the moment and my Pacsafe Venture daypack. Some of my friends still travel with a big 60/90L backpack and they rave about it as well. It leave it up to you…
Last tips for your Nepal packing list
This is pretty much the essential list of items that you need to pack for Nepal if you go trekking. If you are planning on doing more serious adventures like mountain climbing or whitewater rafting, you may need to do some research for what best suits that type of adventure.
One of the best tips I live by when packing for Nepal is “if you think you won’t use, you won’t need it”! The last thing you’ll need when trekking at altitude is an over packed and heavy bag.
I hope all the above things to bring to Nepal were helpful to complete your packing list. In case you have any specific questions about traveling to Nepal Im happy to help. Shoot me a message on my Instagram @traveltomtom.
This might create a serious dose of wanderlust with pictures from more than 100 countries! Curious how I am able to travel the world all the time? Click on the link to read my story or have a look here how to make money travel blogging.
Enjoy your trip to Nepal!