You’re planning a big adventure, aren’t you? But with the looming unknown, what on earth should you pack and take with you? Fear not, here’s your complete Nepal trekking packing list for you to refer back to so that you can venture on the trip of a lifetime!
One alternative is just to pay a porter and take whatever you want, like seriously. But please don’t be one of those people that uses a porter and then intentionally takes EVERYTHING because you’re not carrying it.
Still only pack the essentials for what you need.
What I packed for trekking the Three Passes in December
Unless you’re going in December, or January – like I did. This Nepal Trekking Packing list might be a bit too overkill for you, and you might get away with fewer layers, without a sleeping bag, etc.
But, if you’re trekking independently and you can deal with temperatures down to -25 degrees, then I would highly suggest you consider trekking in Nepal in December.
The weather is beautiful clear skies, the trails are less crowded, teahouses are empty and you’ll experience a whole different side to Nepal than if you do when you’re visiting in high season.
You’re going to want layers. Think carefully about these layers as using them together will give you the best chances of staying warm, and dry.
I took two sets of base layers. One for day use, and one for sleeping and for evening use. This means being able to get out of the clothes you’ve hiked in all day, and being able to sleep in something different.
I would strongly recommend merino wool as your base layer. It’s odor-wicking, it’s warm, quick drying, and one of the best materials for a base layer. The Danish Endurance ones I used were absolutely superb and would highly recommend them.
Nepal Trekking Packing List
1 x Down Jacket: Montane AntiFreeze
1 x Waterproof Jacket: Montane Ajax
1 x Midlayer: Montane BMC Hoody
1 x Trekking pants: Mountain Equipment Ibex Pant
1 x Merino Baselayer: Danish Endurance Merino Top
1 x Merino Baselayer pants: Danish Endurance Merino Bottoms
1 x Synthetic Baselayer: Helly Hansen
1 x Synthetic Baselayer pants: Helly Hansen
2 x Socks: Danish Endurance Merino
2 x Liner Socks: Danish Endurance Liners
2 x Underwear: CK’s
1 x Merino Hat: Danish Endurance
1 x Headband: Fjallraven Abisko
1 x Gloves: Sealskinz
1 x Shorts: Lululemon 5″
Backpack: 55L LowePro Backpack (Camera specific backpack)
Sleeping bag: Mountain Equipment Helium GT800
Microspikes: YakTrax Pro
Boots: Salomon Crosshike Mid Hiking Boots
2 x Nalgene Bottle: Nalgene Wide Mouth
1 x Water filter: Katadyn Water Filter
First Aid kit
SPF Lip Balm
Camera Gear and Electronics
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Nepal Trekking Packing List Essentials 101
Write a list, or copy the above. Get everything you need and make a flat lay of all your gear.
Then pack your backpack and wear it. Does it feel heavy? Of course, it does.
Unpack it all and now seriously reconsider every single gear piece.
Will you life depend on it if you don’t bring it with you? Or is it a luxury item? Can you live without it in the mountains?
One of the easiest ways to ruin a hike, especially one of this nature, is to pack too much and be burdened with a heavy backpack. Trust me, the pack only gets heavier the higher you move in elevation. Those extra two pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, 2 books and binoculars all of a sudden become none essential and you’ll regret taking them.
What I would do differently
I would 100% change my backpack. Generally, It was good, but it’s not a trekking backpack and my camera gear could have easily gone into a better-suited hiking backpack.
Since the trek, I’ve invested in a Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest and it is by far the best investment I’ve made for my hiking. A true, lightweight backpack, that is comfy and has no frills. Meaning no extra weight for the sake of it.
I’d have packed my camera gear into a cube and then it would have been safely stowed in my hiking backpack.
Lastly, I would probably change my footwear to trail runners too. Although the CrossHikes are amazing, something like an Altra Lone Peak or a Salomon Speedcross would have been more comfortable. How anyone treks in heavy, cumbersome boots are way beyond me.
More Three Passes resources
If you’re looking to undertake the three passes as your route in Nepal.
Here’s a full breakdown of the costs I spent during my trek:
Full Cost Breakdown for Three Passes
Here’s the full day-to-day itinerary breakdown of the entire 18-day trek:
Full Three Passes Itinerary Guide