Heading to Nepal for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure? Here’s the ultimate Nepal trekking packing list to help ensure you have the best hike yet.
I’ve done extensive trekking in Nepal after countless visits and a move to the Annapurna foothills. Over the years, I’ve learned exactly how to pack for a trek in Nepal to minimise weight and maximise comfort. I’m here to share everything you need to pack with you, what gear to buy in Kathmandu, and everything in between. Here’s the ultimate Nepal trekking packing list. I’ve also attached a printable list to help you pack!
Also, before we jump into this Nepal trekking packing list, have you seen my posts on some of Nepal’s top hikes?
THREE PASSES TREK – My favourite hike in Nepal!
I’ve also done the Annapurna Circuit, but I don’t have a post on it. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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When it comes to packing clothing, a lot depends on the weather. ALWAYS carry some rain gear and warm clothing! The number of trousers/shirts/socks/etc. all depends on how light you want to pack. I try to get away with 2 pairs of pants and 3 tops and pairs of socks for all hikes. I’ve done 3 week treks with that amount of gear and I just do laundry on the way.
- Trekking pants/trousers/leggings
- Wicking shirts
- Sports bras
- Socks (wool is my go to)
- Fleece jumper
- Down jacket
- Rain coat
- Shoes for after hiking
- Trekking boots
- Baseball cap/visor
- Warm hat
What are the best hiking boots for Nepal trekking?
Terrain in Nepal is rocky, dusty, and sometimes snowy, muddy, and icy, so an all-around Gortex boot is your best bet. My favourite boot is the Lowa Renegate GTX, as I find it to be incredibly comfortable with great ankle and foot support.
My biggest tip when buying hiking boots is to size up! You never want your toes to touch the top of your boot, and you want to make sure that your toes won’t slide down to the front of the boot when you’re going downhill. Sizing up really helps out with this! Many outdoor stores have ramps to mimic descents, so I highly recommend trying on boots and walking downhill on the ramps.
When looking for a good hiking boot for Nepal trekking, you want to focus on a variety of factors:
- Comfort (you’ll be hiking for hours in these)
- Sole (will you slip if the trail is a bit muddy or icy?)
- Support (can this handle Nepal’s rocky terrain?)
Blisters – a hiker’s nightmare!
If you struggle with getting blisters after hiking for long periods of time, inner sock liners (people swear by Injinji) can help out! It’s always good to carry bandaids or moleskin (my preference) to protect yourself. You can also rub some petroleum jelly on if you’re rubbing.
The main treks in Nepal are teahouse trek, which means you won’t need to camp or cook! This makes your packing list significantly lighter! It’s still cold inside, so make sure you pack a sleeping bag.
- Sleeping bag (rated for -15/-20 will keep you comfortable at altitude)
- Silk liner (if you’re renting or want to prolong the life of your down sleeping bag)
- Inflatable pillow
The kind of backpack you need depends on whether you’re trekking with a porter or not.
If you’re hiring a porter, you should bring a backpack or duffel for them to carry, as well as a small structured day pack for yourself. You need to carry everything you could possibly need during the day, as porters often shoot ahead of you on the trial, and you won’t see your big bag until you arrive at your final destination for the evening. Make sure the bag is comfortable – I recommend the brand Deuter. I’ve used their bags for most of my travels and I will love them for the end of time (seriously, Deuter is great). Osprey is also another great brand!
If you hire a porter, pack…
- Backpack or duffel bag
- Structured day bag for yourself
If you’re carrying your own gear, I recommend a 45 L backpack. My go to is the Deuter Air Contact 45+10. I find that I can squeeze everything into this bag easily! If you’re in the market for a trekking bag, make sure that it’s adjustable (or that it fits you well), that it has a waist strap (I also love a chest strap), and padding around the hips. I think some pockets at the front of the bag are especially handy!
If you’re carrying your own gear, pack…
- A large comfortable backpack, preferably around 45 litres
Food & Water
Because you’re staying in a teahouse, you shouldn’t bring meals for yourself! Eat at the teahouses, as that’s where they get most of their money! That being said, snacks and treats should come with you, as they get more expensive the higher you get.
- Snacks – chocolate bars, peanut butter, Oreos, candy, the works!
- Water bottle (1 L reusable water works great for me)
- Water filtration tablets OR
- Water filter (Lifestraw is my favourite, though I also like Sawyer)
You need to filter your water on the treks. Above a certain elevation, you can often get away with brushing your teeth with the water, but better safe than sorry! Filter your water!
Don’t forget these!
- Hiking poles
- Duct tape (always carry this for broken things!)
- Cards (this is an EXCELLENT way to pass time and make friends with fellow hikers)
- Journal (some of my favourite memories are the moments sitting next to the fire with new trekking friends, sharing a Snickers and writing in our journals)
- Headlamp (some teahouses don’t have electricity past a certain time)
- Trekking permits (you might need a TIMS or ACAP card)
- Portable charger
- Microspikes (ESPECIALLY useful for high altitude treks!)
- CASH (here’s my guide to budgeting for your trek – most is cash based!)
- Lip balm and lotion – it’s quite dry up there!
- Hair ties
- Small vial of clothing detergent
- Babywipes (dispose of them properly!)
- Microfiber towel*
*My first trek in Nepal, I went when the pipes literally froze so I didn’t shower for two weeks, but all the other times I showered and needed a towel.
What hiking gear can I buy in Nepal?
Technically, you can buy everything you need for your trek in Nepal, but a lot of the stuff on Thamel is knockoff and the quality is hit or miss. I’ve bought 2 down jackets on Thamel and the first was great for the trek, but it didn’t last too long after that. The second one is awesome and I still use it today!
Basically, if you’re planning on using the gear over and over again, I’d buy a good quality item at home and bring it over. If your Nepal trek is the ONE time you’ll use an item (or if you’re only planning on using it a few times), buy it in Nepal! And if you forget anything from home, you’ll easily be able to find it in Nepal.
Other Helpful Nepal Trekking Tips
I’ve written extensively about trekking in Nepal. Head over to my Nepal Archives for plenty of information!