Nepal offers a variety of things to do from the dusty city of Kathmandu to the hiking the Annapurna circuit. If it is your first time to Nepal, here is a helpful How to Pack for Nepal guide.
Nepal has many different types of climates, you have hot valleys, steamy jungles and cold mountains. If you are going to Nepal for Everest, you will have to consider additional items. For this post, let’s confine the packing to a couple days trekking and a couple days in Kathmandu and a couple days in the jungle.
Depending on when you go to Nepal, the weather can vary. October, November, December and January give you some of the most pleasant days (in the 70s) while May through September, can be sweltering (90s plus humidity).
Large liter backpacks or a duffel are a much better option than a wheeled suitcase. This is preferred in case you need to carry your bag for any amount of time
I personally use a pack from a company called Minaal. It’s designed by backpackers for backpackers. It is 35L and forces you to pare down on your wardrobe choices and safely holds a laptop. Throw in a couple packing cubes and I can pack everything I need.
- Comfy, stretchy pants – I use pants that can be washed in a pinch and dry quickly. Blue jeans are a bad idea for Nepal. I also love pants that have extra pockets.
- Quick drying shirts – These are your basic runners/hiker shirts that suck up your sweat and you can wash easily.
- Long sleeve microfiber shirts – I wear a merino wool shirt from Icebreaker. It’s light-weight and easy to wash; merino wool doesn’t stink too bad after a couple wears.
- Hat – It’s hot during the day, bring a hat to cover your dome. You do not need to buy a dorky safari one, any hat will do.
- Hiking boots – If you are trekking, you will appreciate a sturdy pair
- Flip flops – Your walk around shoes in Pokhara, guest houses, etc. However, I do not recommend wearing these in Kathmandu. You really need closed toe shoes for this city.
- Light weight jacket – Something to wear on cold mornings and evenings.
- Tennis shoes – These are what you wear outside of the other two.
- Merino wool socks – You can wear the heck out of these before they stink.
- Buff – Great for sweaty days. It’s a combo scarf, neck gaiter, hair band. It’s great for covering your face for pollution in Kathmandu and placing over your eyes when you sleep and it can become a beanie. It’s versatile.
All of the above but here are a couple other things I have brought:
- Yoga pants – These are for sleeping, yoga, and general traveling. I recommend wearing them with a loose and long top for decency in Nepal. They also are great for when you wear an Indian tunic (Shalwar Kameez).
- Shalwar Kameez tops – These are long traditional Indian tops that look like dresses and I will wear over jeans and yoga pants. You can buy one in Kathmandu for $15 or $20
- Pashmina or big ass scarf – Any woman who travels knows these are ‘must haves’. They become a dress/towel for the beach, head and shoulder coverings for modest or Muslim countries and a sheet/blanket.
All the other odds and ends.
- Sleep sack – Its a silk cocoon you use in local guest houses; it adds a layer of protection against the local blankets. You can buy one cheaply on Amazon.
- REI microfiber towel – Small and dries quickly.
- Drugs – Aspirin, Imodium, acidophilus (probiotics), Airborne (take one of these religiously before flights) and band aids with Neosporin.
- Packing cubes – Helpful or organizing your clothing.
- Eye mask and ear plugs – Anyone who has slept in a hostel knows why.
- Pollution mask – Kathmandu is extremely dirty, buy a high quality one.
- Photos of passport and credit cards – Keep a photo of your passport and credit cards in safe place.
- Universal Adapter – Opt for ones with USB charging.
- $100 – I take one hundred dollar bill and hide them among my stuff as my ‘holy sh*t’ money. Nepal likes non torn, or wrinkled US dollars. They will not accept your money in less than pristine condition. Never assume your debit card won’t get lost, stolen or lose it’s swipe. Have backups for my backups.