There are countless shops that sell all types of the trekking gear in both Kathmandu and Pokhara. Quality varies – and ‘top brands’ are available in selected shops.
NB I: It is advisable to arrive with good trekking boots that have been broken in. They are your most important item!
NB II: Landmark Discovery Treks will provide you with a duffle bag, sleeping bag, down jacket and walking poles should you need them. Kit not required on the trek can be safely left (in a bag) at your hotel while on the trek.
The kit is best packed in “quiet” plastic bags inside the duffle bag to ensure dryness. (Bring spare bags)
Sleeping bag: lightweight with stuff bag [ideally rated at £ –10oC/14oF for high altitude nights].
Teahouses provide a base sheet and pillow and can usually offer duvets.
Thermal underwear on high altitude treks
Socks (thick and thin)
Boots – with good treads and ankle support for long treks
Spare walking shoes Spare laces
Shirts 2 (or 3)
Layers of warm tops (2-3)
Rain gear (top with hood – pants can be useful)
Down jacket: for high altitude treks
Scarf and gloves: especially for high altitude treks
Dark glasses (particularly important for possible snow work)
Duffle bag and day pack (plus inner plastic bags for waterproofing)
Toothbrush and paste, razor(?) …
Soap – and a face cloth can be useful (with a bowl of warm water)
Small towel (quick drying)
Personal medication and bandages
Biodegradable soap and pegs for clothes
[Leech oil to ‘control’ leeches from May to October??]
Ankle/knee guards (if used)
Toilet paper (only supplied in city hotels)
Hiking poles (if used)
Spare shoe laces
Head torch and spare batteries
Camera, batteries, charger, and cards
Short treks need less clothing; not less warmth!
Will it be possible to buy batteries/cards for cameras/cell phones – and torches on trek?
Camera cards are only available in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Batteries occasionally! We advise stocking up in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Carry a spare set of camera batteries: even if you have a charger.
Nepal uses 220 volts through standard European round 2 or Indian round 3 pin plug sockets. Bring an adapter if you need one. Power outages are common, everywhere.
Will it be possible to recharge cell phones and camera batteries while on trek?
Yes, on most days: for a fee. Most villages now draw electricity from local hydro-electric schemes. However, supply can be erratic – patience is needed.
Will there be a mobile phone reception along the trekking routes?
Most routes have cell phone availability, at least near villages. The popular routes are better supplied.
Can I buy a Nepali SIM card and which is the best network?
Kathmandu and most regions, including the Everest and Annapurna trails use the NCL and NTC networks.
Dolpo uses the Hullo network. Manaslu currently has poor reception, but landlines are available.
Cards are only available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and at the airstrip village of Juphal in the Dolpo region. We will advise you on which SIM card to purchase on arrival.
No vaccinations are required for entry to Nepal.
Do I need to take prophylactic medication when in Nepal?
Malaria is prevalent in the lowland Terai regions from March to September. If you are touring in the Terai during this time it is recommended that you bring prescribed medication.
What is AMS and how do I treat it?
Acute mountain sickness is caused by your body’s reaction to a shortage of oxygen. At 5 000m/16 400ft air contains half the oxygen present at sea level. A slow, steady ascent from comfortable altitudes generally allows your body sufficient time to ‘acclimatize’ – adjust your breathing to take in more oxygen. From 2 800m upwards, some people start to feel the effects of altitude.
Symptoms are first noticeable in the brain or lungs and include a headache, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, and fatigue. Admit to your symptoms – rest; don’t continue climbing higher to sleep. If the symptoms get worse while resting, descend to a lower altitude. Rest until you feel better and then continue upwards slowly. Abandon your trek (not your life) if necessary. Tell your guide if you are not feeling well – and act on his advice.
The prescription drug, Diamox, can assist with the prevention of AMS symptoms. It is a diuretic that increases respiratory rate and breathing depth (also urine flow); assisting acclimatization by reducing headaches, nausea and improving sleep. Take ½ a tablet (125mg) or 250mg in 12 hours (fingers and feet may tingle; don’t worry).
What happens if I get sick in Nepal?
Your guide will carry an emergency kit and is trained to deal with numerous situations. If necessary he can assist you with outside contacts.
Bring any necessary personal medication with you. Include sunscreen, lip ice, plasters, etc. You will not be able to purchase these once you leave Kathmandu or Pokhara.
ON TREK QUESTIONS
Do I need to bring water purifying tablets or a filter for a trek?
You will need to bring two water bottles (for 2-3 liters). We will provide you with iodine or chlorine drops and safe drinking water as you need it.
What type of toilet facilities will there be available trekking in Nepal?
In cities, conventional “western toilets” will be found in most hotels. On the trek, squat toilets are universal; and easy to use. Bring your own toilet paper (expect to place it in a separate bucket). Water and a ladle will be on hand for flushing. [If toilets become frozen in winter, holes will be dug out of doors!]
What are the facilities for washing on the trek: is it possible to shower and wash my hair?
Teahouses will have at least a tap outdoors and metal basins on request. “Showers” are often available – (possibly just a high pipe) and can be hot, warm or not. At high altitudes, ask for a bowl of hot water. Facilities are better on the popular trekking routes.
How do I keep myself and my personal kit dry if it rains while trekking?
Use a good rain jacket with hood and a pair of waterproof trousers (overlapping your boots). A cap under the hood will keep rain out of your eyes. However, ‘good’ raingear can also be hot and clammy to wear.
For the kit, inner plastic bags in your daypack will solve the problem. A waterproof cover over your daypack can help.
Pack kit in your duffle bag in (quiet) plastic bags. Your porters will also, effectively, shield your bag with plastic sheeting during rain or snow.
What weather and temperatures can I expect while trekking?
With the range in altitudes in the Himalaya, weather prediction is notoriously difficult: expect the unexpected. Beautiful days, warm in the sun, are followed by colder nights. From 1 000-3 500m temperatures may be 5o to 20oC; higher up they may be -10o to 20oC and above 5 000m -15o to 20oC. Wind chill causes temperatures to plummet. Winter temperatures (December – February) are commonly 10oC lower. Rain or snow can arrive without warning, throughout the year.
Be forewarned and pack sufficient warm wind or rainproof gear in your pack each day.
Can I call Porters ‘Sherpas?’
The porters in Nepal are the backbone of the transport industry along mountain trails away from the southern roads. They come from all corners of the land. They carry their head-supported loads in baskets (dokos) or tied to the strap that goes around the head. 25–30kg is the recommended mass for trek porterage. However, porters will be seen cheerfully carrying immense loads up to their body mass or more and over great distances. Research has shown that the Nepalese have adapted to be able to do this with a minimal increase in their metabolism.
The Sherpa people are of Tibetan origin and moved into the Khumbu (Everest), Solu and Helambu regions some 500 years ago. They became involved in the early mountaineering explorations of the late 19th and 20th centuries: and proved to be highly resourceful and successful. Today, many Sherpas continue to work as Mountaineers, Hoteliers – and porters.
So while some Sherpas may be porters, it is incorrect to call all porters Sherpas. Porters carry goods. Please honor, care for and support your porters.
Is it safe to visit Nepal and are the cities safe to walk in?
You may get shaken by the ground, but the cities, villages, and trails are everywhere safe. Kathmandu’s streets are seething with people and vehicles and progress is slow. But courtesy and kindness are universal. Take the normal precautions with wallets and cameras and be more vigilant at night.
I have trekked to Everest BC. What would you recommend as a challenging new trek?
Your EBC trek began at over 2 000m. Consider a trek that begins low and takes you through Middle Hill Hindu and Buddhist farming communities before rising towards the giants. A great trail with an exhilarating mix of scenery is the 140km Manaslu Circuit Trek that begins at 700m. Its topography is demanding and the trails are often exposed; but if offers some of the best scenery in the Himalaya. Add in the seven-day Tsum Valley trek. The Annapurna Circuit would be an easier (and more crowded) circuit trek option.
Other great options include the Kangchenjunga Trek on Nepal’s eastern border or the sparsely populated high Dolpo camping trek in western Nepal behind the Dhaulagiri Range.
I have heard: “Everyone should undertake a trek in Nepal during their lifetime.” Why?
In many ways, Nepal is unique. Its gentle and friendly people offer visitors a warm and sincere welcome. Its scenery changes from humid lowland jungles and farmland through forested hills to the ice capped giants of the High Himalaya in a distance of only 200km. Once away from the roads, the village trails are quiet: the only sounds being water, wind and birdsong or the quiet conversations of villagers going about their business. The further into the mountains you trek, the more dramatic the scenery becomes and a sense of awe is often the only response possible.
So listen to your friends and contact us to design your first trek: for few people are satisfied with only one visit.
We want to do something different for our honeymoon what can you suggest?
Congratulations! Depending on your time and sense of adventure you could consider an overland tour from Kathmandu to explore Pokhara and then continue south to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha before continuing to the Chitwan National Park with elephant rides, a canoe trip and jungle walks.
If you are both fit and looking to trek, then consider a trek with luxury accommodation to Everest Base Camp, or a shorter trek to the Annapurna Base Camp: both with spectacular and ‘close up’ glacial scenery.
Do we have to join a group or can you arrange a private honeymoon package?
It will be our pleasure to offer you a private tour on whichever route you choose. A car with chauffeur (and a guide?) could take you on the overland route. A flight to Lukla or Pokhara with your guide and then the addition of a porter would complete your trekking party.
Garbage, Litter and Water Control: Don’t litter, don’t pollute
The official governmental guide to trekking states:
Let the Himalayas change you – Do not change them, so remember, while you are trekking to:
- Leave campsites and resting places cleaner than you have found them.
- No open fires are permitted.
- Burn dry papers and packets in a safe place.
- Carry all plastic out with you.
- Keep local water clean and avoid using pollutants.
- Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment.
- Help your guides and porters to follow conservation measures
We at Landmark Discovery Treks believe wholeheartedly in these rules and request that you join us in our efforts to improve our trekking routes and landmarks in every possible way.
Thus, we ask you not to:
Drop tissues, sweet papers, packets or plastic items: carry them to our next destination for correct disposal.
Do not discard cigarette ends or matches and be very conscious of the dangers of fire.
Do not throw items into Teahouse fires or ovens: it may be offensive on religious grounds
Do not squat behind bushes or rocks anywhere near a stream.
Dig a hole and cover it properly before leaving. Preferably burn the paper, carefully.