Trekking in the Himalayas is a risky affair if you do not have adequate information about what to pack and what to avoid. You could end up with a long or short list of items depending on where you are getting information from. So, it is very important know about “Equipment for trekking and hiking in Nepal”.
Lack of proper tips or wrong information can often lead one to make bad decisions. However, carrying too much or far less than required will be a burden and could affect your holidays.
The first question that often pops up on a traveler mind is: how cold or warm is it in Nepal? Generally speaking, the period between November and March see temperatures drop to single digit while September, October, April and May tend to be slightly warmer. Similarly, monsoon season (June, July and August) is a time when sun is hotter, days are longer and rainfall is more frequent.
Snow fall normally takes place in winter but only at or above 3000m. While in Summer the snowline is above 5000m. Please note that even though the temperature drops down to single digit, places like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan but do not receive any snowfall even in winter.
Based on our experience, if you are coming from a tropical territory then, you will obviously feel much colder than people from other regions. But the problem of acclimatizing to Himalayan altitude will be equally felt by everyone, no matter where you come from.
As the body obviously heats up when trekking, trekkers are suggested to wear shorts instead of pants for both comfort and practical reasons. It is also recommended to bring well fitted hiking boots as it could be difficult to fit in a new pair of shoes in a day or two. We also suggest you to carry inner wears that are quick to dry since walking in the Himalayas can easily warm you up resulting in plenty of perspiration inside.
There are also questions like whether you can buy sleeping bags, walking sticks or warm jacket in Nepal. Of course, you can. Where can I buy one and how much it cost? Will the prices be reasonable and what about the quality of equipment? Are there any rental places available?
In order to answer all these questions and help you make the right decision, please check below:
TREKKING GEARS IN NEPAL
For those going on trekking and expedition in the Himalayas, serious planning and effort is essential in every step. Physical and mental preparedness aside, choosing the right and proper trekking/expedition gears is also equally important. The success of any trekking/expedition depends on the quality of gears used, such as sleeping bags, tents, down jackets, trekking poles, ice axes, crampons etc. Not only should you travel light but you should also have a collection of best gears that are handy and useful. We recommend every trekker/mountaineer to include proper and essential equipment in trekking packing list.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED FOR TREKKING?
Depending on whether, you are going on mountain expedition, trekking, day hiking or city sightseeing tour, your need and requirement vary accordingly.
Normal (day trekking /hiking), Snowfall below 4000m, Below 6000m, Expedition
MOUNTAIN EXPEDITION (ABOVE 5500M)
–Please consult with your expedition operator.
HIGH ALTITUDE TREK (4000 – 6000)M
High altitude treks such as Everest Base camp trek and Manaslu circuit trek are challenging and adventurous as well as life threatening. One has to avoid making even a small mistake and need to be careful and conscious. Priority should be accorded to access good quality gears such as waterproof trekking boots, Gore Tex waterproof pants, thermos wear, down jackets, sleeping bag etc. Here is a run-down of packing list:
Water bottle, Flash light, Medical first aid kit, Warm socks Sun lotion Sleeping bag(heavy), Water proof jacket, Trekking shoes, Hiking pants and shirts, T-shirts Thermos wears Poncho, Gloves, Woolen hats, Gaiters, Insulated pants, Down jacket, Sun hat, Day backpack and trekking stick
SNOWLINE TREK (Below 4000 M)
Treks such as Annapurna basecamp, Mardi himal trek are some famous snowline treks in Nepal. Snowline treks involves walking up to 4000m altitude where you less l likely to face snow and passes. Proper trekking boots, weather-based essential clothing, Gore-Tex jackets and pants are highly recommended.
NORMAL TREKS (DAY TREKKING/HIKING)
Usually such trekking is graded easy as you will mostly be trekking at an altitude between 1000m to 3000m. Normal sports and running shoes and clothing are enough to complete such trekking.
Water bottle, Sun Lotion, Medical First Aid Kit, Sun Glasses, Day Backpack, Warm Clothes, normal shoes, wind Cheater, Hiking pants and Shirts/T Shirt
CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR
Daily normal wear, Water bottle, Warm Clothes( For Winter), Sun Glass, Sun Lotion, T Shirt & Shorts(for summer), Umbrella, Mask, Jacket(for Winter), Day Backpack
SHOULD I HIRE OR BUY NEW EQUIPMENT FOR TREKKING AND HIKING IN NEPAL?
There are many options available when it comes to trekking equipment. One can buy a new set or hire from rental shop for a given trekking duration.
Obviously, having your own product offers you more flexibility and freedom. But sometimes it is not practical to buy all the equipment you need, therefore hiring is much preferred.
The decision to buy or hire will largely depend on your budget, practicality and needs.
To start with, trekkers are advised to personally buy most essential items like shoe and day backpack. As for sleeping bag, down jacket and trekking stick, these can be easily hired in Nepal. But some people are allergic for using used sleeping bags or down jacket, in such a case you will be better off having your own.
In terms of economics, there is really no difference between hiring and buying especially, when there are so many options available in the market. Many products such as sleeping bag, backpack, trekking stick etc., are now locally made in Nepal and easily available at cheap prices.
As opposed to internationally branded products, the local products can be equally enduring and useful enough for altitude less than 5000m.
QUALITY OF TREKKING EQUIPMENT
There are plenty of shops that sell locally made trekking products in Thamel. Though, these items do carry logos of international brands, they are just a copy of the original ones. Obviously, the quality of such local products will not be comparable with international brands.
But if you would like to buy international brands, Thamel has original outlets of such brands as North Face, Black Yak, Mountain Hardwear, Black Diamond, Kailas, Anta, Mammut and Kathmandu. Most of the international branded shops are found in and around Tridevi Marg, Thamel.
TREKKING GEAR SHOPS IN KATHMANDU
Kathmandu is the gateway to all tourist adventures in Nepal. Nowadays, one can easily find plenty of trekking gear shops in Kathmandu and other major cities like Pokhara and Chitwan. In particular, tourism hubs like Thamel offers a variety of choices for trekkers/mountaineers when it comes to buying adventure and trekking equipment. The quality and price of any given gear may vary widely depending on where you shop and what your budget is. For instance, there are scores of trekking shops that deal in locally made trekking gear that are cheaper in prices. There are also shops in Thamel that specialize in medium range adventure wears that are made and imported from China and Vietnam.
Recently a few international brands such as North Face, Columbia, Black Yak etc. have opened showrooms in Thamel. They provide high value and high-quality products if you are up for it. For those looking for cheaper and temporary option, used and rental trekking gears are also available in some trekking shops.
WHERE TO HIRE OR BUY EQUIPMENT’S FO RTREKKING AND HIKING INKATHMANDU, NEPAL?
If you are looking to buy locally made cheap products then, we recommend you try Sonam or KTM city stores. And if it’s international brand, which offer fixed price but expensive products, you should visit Tridevi Marg in Thamel.
But if you would like to hire trekking equipment, we recommend you to visit Kalapathar store located in Satghumti Marga, Thamel. Kalapathar hires out all types of trekking equipment at reasonable prices. Even though the shop appears outright messy from outside, it offers a range of choices from quality to locally manufactured items.
Bargaining is a way of life in Nepal. So expect some bargaining and haggling with shopkeepers especially if you are buying locally made products or hiring.
Below you will find a prop on prices. The actual prices may vary, but not significantly.
HIRING EQUIPMENT FOR TREKKING AND HIKING IN NEPAL
If you do not want to purchase new trekking gears, then you can also get it on rental basis. There are quite a few trekking rental shops that offer adventure gears for rent for a limited period of time. You will have to pay certain amount on a per day basis for hiring such equipment. Sleeping bags, down jackets, trekking poles, hand gloves, head caps etc. are available from these rental shops. If you are going on an expedition, please contact your agency to find the right rental shop. On the other hand, for trekking gears, you can visit rental shops on your own. Given below is a rough idea of rental costs:
Down Jacket = NRs. 200 per day, Sleeping bag = Rs. 100 per day, Duffel bag = Rs. 100 per day,
Note: Should you have existing health concern, such as allergy, we do not suggest you buying rental equipment.
COST OF TREKKING GEAR IN KATHMANDU NEPAL
The cost of trekking gears in Kathmandu varies greatly depending on where you shop. Locally made trekking gears and equipment are now available easily in places like Thamel. They are cheaper in price and the quality is of reasonable standard. In comparison, you can also find Chinese and Vietnamese products that are of medium range and quality. Those looking for high quality gears can visit international branded showrooms such as North Face and Columbia located in Thamel. You can find more information about the cost of some trekking gears below:
Sleeping bag (local): Rs. 4000-7000
Down Jacket (local): Rs. 4,500 up to 7000
Backpack 100 ltr. (local): Rs. ±7000,
Trekking pant with thermos (local): Rs. 2000-3000
Trekking stick(Chinese made): Rs. 250-400
Trekking stick(international brand): above Rs. 2500
Woolen cap: Rs. 150-200
Hand gloves: Rs. 300-500
Water purified tablets: Rs. 200 for 50 liter
Socks: Rs. ±500 per pair
Sun block + 50 UV: Rs.± 500 (Nivea)
TIPS FOR TREKKING IN NEPAL
Trekking is fun if you are well prepared. Following is a list of essential trekking tips you should consider as part of trekking holiday preparation:
- Pack First aid and Medicine
- Get used to your walking with trekking boots and other wearable items
- Prepare adequate strength and stamina for trekking
- Prepare for all types of weather and situation
- Get proper Acclimatization
- Drink well, sleep well and eat well
- Be smart on what to carry – Dont overpack
- Leave footprint only
- Respect local culture and tradition
- Don’t expect luxury and comfort
- Prepare to use less gadgets while out in nature/wilderness
- Take enough cash (local currency)
- Ensure proper documentation such as Tims card, restricted area permit and national park/conservation area fee
FAQ ABOUT EQUIPMENT FOR TREKKING AND HIKING IN NEPAL
Is it must to buy/hire trekking gears in Kathmandu?
Yes, it is highly recommended to buy trekking gears in Kathmandu. Especially, if you do not have suitable trekking gears, the best place to buy such is in Kathmandu. Please note that trekking gears are not available for purchase/hire in all cities and trekking destinations. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. In Kathmandu, you are likely to get quality gears at competitive prices along with more choices.
Can I sell my gears in Nepal after completing the trip?
Yes, you can easily sell your trekking gears in Nepal after completing the trip. Depending on the quality and wear and tear of the equipment, you will be offered the deal. There are many trekking rental shops in Kathmandu that deal in used trekking equipment/gears.
Is it must to bargain when I purchase the trekking gears?
Yes, bargaining is common in Nepal. It is recommended that you make an effort to bargain the price with shopkeepers as much as possible. Your trekking or climbing guide can also help you while getting the best deal. Bargaining may not be possible in the outlets of international brands unless at times of sale or stock clearance.
How much can I bargain during I shop in Nepal?
This depends on what you are buying and where you are purchasing. The prices may vary for same items from shop to shop. The scope of bargaining increases relatively in local shops. Please consult with your trekking/climbing guide before purchasing.
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