Packing List for Nepal
Nepal is a small country sandwiched between India and Tibetan China. Because it is small, it is often overlooked. Many people probably assume that it is just like India, but it’s not. It’s totally different! The first aspect of Nepal you’ll notice, especially if you are coming from India, is that Nepal is very quiet. In India, noise pollution is a persistent problem. In India, people love honking their horn. A packing list for India should include earplugs. But I digress. When I visited Nepal I wished I had known to include these items on my packing list for Nepal. Let me help you out and save you some struggle. If you include all of these 5 items on your packing list for Nepal, I promise your trip will be a lot smoother.
Trouble Packing? Who me?
I think I packed so poorly for Nepal because I had misconceptions I didn’t know weren’t true. For instance, Nepal is hot and has a rainy season. Not as I was imagining a winter snowy season unless you are climbing Mt Everest. It can be argued that my research for this trip wasn’t very good and that’s why my packing list for Nepal was poor. But regardless, I do think that my ideas about what Nepal was like wouldn’t have changed much even if I had done research. In one word I would describe Nepal as hippie. It can be hard to develop a packing list before going on a trip though. Being prepared for a trip can really make or break an experience. Heed my warning and put these items on your packing list for Nepal.
Packing List for Nepal
First and foremost you’ll need a mask. Hold up!! Don’t decide to visit another country just yet. You’ll need a mask because you’ll inevitably have to visit Kathmandu (which you should! It’s a great city)! Kathmandu is very very dusty. This is due years of to miscoordination from the different government agencies. A road will be dug up and reconstructed only to be deconstructed later to add in water or telephone lines. All this disrepair has its cost and that is felt in air pollution. It’s the only city in the world I’ve been to where I didn’t find it weird for people to wear ski-type masks everywhere.
We didn’t have masks so we improvised by using our Buff hiking headbands, which you can do also. If you have sensitive eyes it might be a good idea to bring a paid of those goggle sunglasses.
Medicines for a Chest Cold
All of that dust means that it’s very common for people to develop a cough, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract illnesses while visiting Nepal. In case you get sick it’s nice to have some medicine already on hand. You might want to bring along are some sort of Tylenol for a sore throat and fever. Additionally, you might also want to bring a personal humidifier as this will help with bronchitis and sore throat. A
A netti-pot is also an excellent idea to keep those sinuses clean. You can make a netti-pot and save lots of money by getting a plastic squeezable bottle and some saline solution packets. Then while you are in Nepal you can rinse out your sinuses every day or every other day. This should help prevent numerous respiratory ailments. Another proactive idea is to bring along some vitamin C tablets or EmergenC to give your immune system that extra boost when you start feeling sick. You’ll definitely need this as most people who are there longer than a few days develop some sort of illness or irritation.
Warm Weather Clothes
When I think of Nepal I always think of the Himalayas, my next thought is snow. Therefore: I had concluded Nepal is cold. This is so not true. We visited Nepal during Monsoon season and were hot. Moral of the story brings clothes for hot weather. The most layering you’ll need in Nepal is a light jacket or cardigan. It’s impolite to wear short shorts but an easy comfy cool style is to wear longer dresses, a shorter dress with leggings, or leggings and a longish t-shirt. These are all very popular styles here. I would nix-aye the flip flops though. On your packing list for Nepal back a comfortable, durable walking shoe like Chacos. The streets in Nepal can be very muddy and dirty.
When flying into Kathmandu from Bangkok or Dhaka you can see mt. Everest from the right-hand side of the plane along with If you are flying in from Bangkok or Dhaka you can see the panorama of 5 eight-thousanders, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga.
Reusable Water Bottle- Save the World
Saving the Earth should be on the minds of all of us but it can be hard to do. One easy way to save Earth is to bring a reusable water bottle. This is one of my favorite parts of Nepal is that you can find clean water stands in many hotels. This means that bringing a reusable water bottle is essential. In general when traveling to reduce your impact on the world try and drink as little bottled water as possible.
Why should you drink water while traveling?
When traveling it’s crucial to remain hydrated. Being hydrated and refreshed helps to prevent jet-lag reducing fatigue. When your body is well hydrated you are less likely to have muscle sprains or injuries, and water intake helps with digestion. Plus if you get a stomach bug while you are away its better have started hydrated and gotten sick than to be playing catch up while feeling sick.
What are my water bottle options?
There are two options whilst traveling you can either have a regular water bottle and a Steripen or have a water bottle with a built-in filter.
- Steripen– I use a steripen and a Nalgene water bottle. This system works well to get rid of any disease-causing agents but it will not treat any heavy metals in water. We did another blog post on Steripens that will teach you all you need to know about Steripens.
- Fancy Water Bottle: Grayl Ultra Light Water Purifier– This water bottle is 16oz and it has the equivalent of a steripen inside of it. This water bottle kills all bacteria, protozoa, viruses etc. More importantly, it also gets rid of heavy metals in water. This means that you don’t have to worry about your water source because this bottle gets rid of everything. Bada boom bada bing!
Most people who visit Nepal do so to check out the Himalayas, but they don’t have any gear with them they plan on renting all of their gear!! If you are planning on hiking in Nepal on your packing list for Nepal you MUST include at least a good pair of hiking boots. If you want to rent everything else that’s fine but bring those hiking boots. Your feet will thank you! Also, from my experience, it’s harder and more expensive than people would think to rent gear. Everything in Nepal
Also, from my experience, it’s harder and more expensive than people would think to rent gear. Everything in Nepal are knock-off brands mostly of Northface. This would lead me to not trust the gear of those who are renting it. Because it is so popular to hike in Nepal sometimes people forget that they are hiking in a potentially harsh and dangerous environment. Take your gear seriously!! Buy good quality gear over cheap or well-used knockoffs. Your life and health might depend on it. If you aren’t planning to hike in Nepal pack some boots just in case. You never know… hiking is the thing to do here you might just find yourself wrapped up in the atmosphere.
Bring your own hiking gear don’t rely on others to provide your own gear. Although some trails in Nepal may be more tamed than others, having good gear while in any sort of wilderness can be lifesaving. Even if it’s not lifesaving, good gear can save you many unnecessary blisters and body aches. The Himalayas are beautiful, rugged, and wild. That’s why everyone wants to visit them, but their allure and popularity doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be taken seriously and respected. The Himalayas take the life and limb of many a hiker.
- Hiking poles: I know, I know many people think that hiking poles are just for old people. I’m here to tell you that IS NOT true. Hiking poles have saved my bootie from falling on many occasions and are crucial to have on your packing list for Nepal. They help distribute compression and protect your back and knees. Hiking poles aren’t always necessary when not backpacking but when you are backpacking they are essential. I know antidotal evidence isn’t always to be believed but let me tell you that I have been on many a backpacking trip with hiking poles. That thanks to my trusty sidekicks I was able to finish knee-pain free. Life doesn’t get much better than that!
- Rain Gear: This only applies if you are going to be visiting Nepal in the monsoon season which is between. If you are hiking or visiting the country during Monsoon season a Poncho needs to be on your packing list for Nepal. This is because during monsoon season it doesn’t rain it pours. Rain showers don’t last that long but if you get caught in one a rain jacket won’t save you. An umbrella is a good alternative too if you aren’t hiking and want to look a bit more stylish.
- Hiking Boots: Please, please, please bring your own pair of hiking boots. These are essential to have on your packing list for Nepal. Your feet are what are going to carry you through your hike and that expensive pair of hiking boots on them is what it is going to protect them for you on the hike. Hiking boots should have waterproofing on them. My LifePro tip with hiking and hiking boots is to also buy a shoe insert for walking or compression, gel inserts are great too. These will make your feet feel excellent each day. Don’t forget nice think hiking socks too!
- Backpacking Backpack: A backpacking pack that fits must be on your packing list for Nepal also. This backpack can also double as your suitcase. It’s a two for one deal here. Go to REI or another outdoor wear store that can measure you and tell you the size you need for a properly fitted backpack. Your back, neck, head, and knees will all thank you. These bags last for years too so it’s an excellent item to have. Don’t forget to make sure you get a backpack that has a zipper pocket in the middle. This is really handy to have so that you don’t have to take everything out of your bag to get something that’s in the bottom of the bag.
Nepal is an amazing country. You have to visit this often forgotten country. There are just a few extra items to include on your packing list for Nepal. Don’t forget to pack a mask, water bottle, hiking gear, chest cold medicine, and warm weather gear. If you put these items on your packing list for Nepal you will be a happy camper.
Let us know what you think!