The only country in the world that has a higher average altitude than Nepal is nearby Bhutan – another Himalayan nation. With that in mind, you’ll not be surprised to know that it has some of the world’s best trekking! It’s not all about hiking though – as well as the incredible natural vistas, you have a country with a fascinating culture, numerous temples, and rich history.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how to pack lightly for your adventures in Nepal. Not only will we tell you what to bring, but we’ll give you some handy travel tips so that you can better plan your trip of a lifetime to Nepal. So, let’s get started!
Get a sturdy backpack (and a day pack)
One of the worst things you can do if you want to travel lightly in Nepal is bringing a big suitcase. Just imagine dragging that around the narrow streets of Kathmandu, or even worse, on a trek into the mountains!
Thankfully, the alternative is a backpack. Don’t just buy any old one though – make sure that you get a one to suit your frame and size. The rule of thumb is that your backpack shouldn’t have any more than a third of your bodyweight in, so don’t pack it all the way full.
You should also get a day pack for shorter hikes that you can clip on and off your large backpack. That means you can store your larger backpack safely at your accommodation while taking the essentials with you on your daily activities. Speaking of accommodations, you can stay in some of the best Airbnbs in Kathmandu, Nepal for you to relax after a day’s activities.
Make sure to be prepared for all weathers
Nepal’s weather can be pretty unpredictable, and you’ll need to be prepared for everything it can throw at you. It depends on when you visit too – March to May is warm but at nights it’s a bit cold. September to November, the weather is usually quite pleasant and it’s peak season for trekking.
For those planning to visit the cities’ temples, pack clothes that will cover most of your body (especially women) Nepal is a conservative country and it’s important to dress appropriately and respectfully.
Be sure to have a light jacket to protect you from the rain and wind if you’re staying in the cities and doing day hikes. However, if you planning to go to higher altitudes, you’ll need proper winter clothes to keep you warm.
On the subject of keeping warm, you’ll need to pack layers for your trip to Nepal. Especially if you’re going hiking. Make sure to have lighter base layers, such as quick-drying sweatpants and t-shirts. A down jacket with a hood is also recommended.
Get the right footwear
One of the most important things for your trip to Nepal is the footwear. For hikes in other countries, you might be able to get away with a pair of sturdy trainers, but that’s not recommended in Nepal. You’d be far better off with a pair of sturdy walking boots. Make sure that you’ve broken them in before arriving in Nepal too.
The best kind are those with grips and drains, you may end up walking through streams or rivers and these will keep you protected. Waterproof boots are more likely to trap water inside, which can be uncomfortable.
Footwear isn’t only about shoes – Make sure to get the right socks too. Wool and synthetic blends will keep your feet dry, meaning you avoid any rubbing and blisters. Avoid cotton. Leech socks are a good idea too, but more on them later.
Water bottle with built in filter
A water bottle is a necessity in Nepal as drinking water is not an abundant resource here. Yes, in Kathmandu and Pokhara it’s not that hard to find bottled water. However, when you’re trekking above 3,000 meters that changes dramatically. It’s best to have your own water bottle with a filter so that you can refill it anywhere – even in streams and rivers. It’ll be expensive otherwise – tea houses and restaurants can help you with purified water but that costs about $2 per litre. And you’ll be drinking more than usual on hikes!
Insect repellent and leech socks
Insect repellent is something you’ll need year-round in Nepal. Mosquitos are especially prevalent in the south of the country in places like Chitwan National Park and Lumbini. The warm the weather, the worse it gets. Leech socks are particularly effective (and necessary) during the rainy season. These little critters are a nightmare to get rid of, so just try not to attract them in the first place!
Camping Gear (for those who are going off the beaten track)
As we’ve already mentioned, Nepal is a trekker’s paradise. Doing guided tours means that you won’t have to worry about sorting your own camping gear, but if you want to go it alone then there are some things that you’ll need to bring. A tent, a sleeping bag, and a first aid kit are absolute essentials, as well as a few other things.
Remember though, you can pick up most of your camping gear in the shops of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Only take the essential items
What we’ve mentioned above are the absolute must-haves for a trip to Nepal. If in doubt, it’s definitely a good idea to ask your accommodation or tour operator for anything else you need specific to your type of holiday in advance. However, if you’ve got what’s on our list then you can’t go far wrong!
So, now that you know the best things to pack for your adventures in Nepal, you’ll want to book your trip…
You’ll want to get booking your trip to Nepal. It can be daunting travelling through the Himalayas, so why not get some help from Nepal Tours? They have more than 15 years of experience in escorted tours of this beautiful country. You’ll be able to enjoy all the best activities Nepal has to offer, whether you want to discover the world-class trekking, stay in luxury lodges, or make friends on a group tour. Chat to their friendly staff online and find the best vacation for you!