What travel gear do you really need for the mighty Himalayas? Almost around every haven in around the young fold mountains, you get these trekking gear companies pitching you to buy x, y, and z before even you can take a good look at the topography of the place.
You just have to think realistically. You don’t have to buy everything they try to sell you or recommend you. So it’s better to keep your money back in your pockets a little longer and read on.
We are not going to advise you, just tell you what we found necessary and unnecessary, obviously, you know yourself better than anyone (except maybe your doc :P). You have to make your own call and tell us which suits you better in the comments.
The travel gear you need would definitely depend on how long you’re trekking and how high you’re going, at what time of the year. With each season, you’d notice some gears getting added and some removed. If you pay a porter to carry your gear, you can take your favorites, but those of us who prefer to carry our own, have to think about weight and necessity. You wouldn’t wanna tire out just because of weight and fatigue!
Buying Trekking Gear in Kathmandu
Though most travelers remain fully equipped and sorted when they reach Kathmandu, You can get better quality trekking gear from the markets. The city is known as a hub for travel gear and types of equipment as Nepal breams with mountaineering activities mostly all around the year.
The markets have high-quality outdoor adventure gear shops from international and Nepali retailers alike, which cater their offerings to Nepali conditions. Most sell similar, quality gear, although each brand has a variety of products. Shopping around the markets of Kathmandu should get you exactly what you want.
Buying Trekking Gear On A Budget
Everything we tell you on this page will help you keep your costs down, but be wise and safe. Trekking around the Himalayas is expensive. It’s the way it is. If you’re really low on funds, probably wait that period, making your trip worthwhile and in full adrenaline rush.
You would be able to enjoy the trip and the journey without the random thoughts of costing. As you’ll be challenged emotionally, mentally and physically, during your journey towards the biggies of Earth.
Electronic Gear For Trekking In The Himalayas
A Good Camera or Camera Phone, Spare Batteries and Extra Camera Memory
Not only in the stats, there’s severe cold in the mountains. As the cold can make your batteries lose their charge quickly, you would definitely need a spare few to keep you ready. It is also advisable to carry extra memory cards to cover yourself from any malfunctions or worse, mishaps!
In our early treks, we traveled with a Nikon D3300, it was the most compact, most lightweight DSLR we found at a budget range. With Canon 1200D being the most capable. Both were excellent entry-level DSLR and for the Himalayas and her wonders, you’d probably want a good camera.
Fearer Tip: Put your camera, phone, and batteries in a warm place, preferably in your sleeping bag at night. Tuck your camera inside your fleece during the day. Try to keep everything warm.
Having said that, technology really is traveling with a fast note and in 2018, you’d prefer to avoid bulky DSLRs in favor of excellent camera phones, unless you are a passionate photographer or a travel blogger like me. Top brands like Apple and Samsung has really come a long way, providing excellent pitch photographs through their latest models. Although, I would recommend a new Huawei and Moto models because of their camera capabilities.
When using a phone as your prime camera, instant backups makes life easier. Also, you’d want a fast charging and a durable phone that doesn’t let you down at the moment.
You’ll need Power Banks/Solar Chargers In The Himalayas!
We are in the eastern parts of the world, where electricity can become a luxury. If, like us, you’re reliant on electronic devices like phones and Kindles, will need electronic power back-up.
In the mountains, its normal for guesthouses and homestays to charge you for plugging in. Many times the fees are per charge, sometimes it’s per hour. If you’re traveling long term, then it’s always a good idea to carry extra power anyway.
We like this Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh a lot. It’s not the model we use currently but have high regards on our bucket list of travel gear. Its ultra-high capacity can give you at least 5 charges while being super light.
However, if you’re inclined to get those cool solar chargers before your next trip, can opt for Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank. It’s super-rugged and waterproof, with the convenience of hanging it on your backpack.
Other Essential Trekking Gear
Trekking requires physical fitness as well as mental endurance. On those long paths of pure nature and extreme topography will make you want/need more water. You will certainly need a large water bottle, maybe two. Make sure to take a large-mouthed bottle as you will be filling your bottles quite often.
You can also get Nalgene type water bottles in the markets of Kathmandu, though we are not big fans of it. You can get these at home and know for sure they are BPA free.
Fearer Tip: Fill your water bottle with boiled water or black tea. It makes a good hot water bottle and is ready to drink in the morning.
Definitely not essential to have, but they certainly will become your close friend while trekking. We prefer the old school way of not carrying these, we want to test our knees, which you may not have to do. The best trekking poles on Amazon are shown below.
As you’ll notice, they are pretty cheap and handy on adventures on the mountain.
It’s always difficult to choose sleeping bags. We’ve hired cheap sleeping bags just for few days, as well as took our own sometimes. It becomes a luxury when the smelly blankets really irritate your stay in some guesthouses.
Sleeping bags are often bulky as well as clumsy to carry. IF you’re targeting longer trails in the Himalayas, buying your travel gear from home would really be the better idea. You wouldn’t want to rush into buying from markets and end up frustrated. You would want your sleeping bags to survive below freezing temperatures which are also good for your pockets. You want to look something like the bag below.
TETON Sports ALTOS Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag is longer and roomier than standard sleeping bags. Once you squeeze in, you’ll find the interiors to be warm and soft. It becomes the perfect place to rest after the day’s ordeal.
Sheet Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Bag Liners
It is often a very good travel gear and makes for a great investment for your future adventures. They’re no way essential if you’ve your own sleeping bag, which is often the scenario. But if you plan on hiring a bag or not taking one at all, they’re gold!
Fearer Tip: Always go for mummy shaped sleeping bags and liners for less bulk and more comfort.
This Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner has a hollow core fiber that provides extraordinary warmth for its weight and remains extremely breathable. We were skeptical about the +25 degrees claim as well, but the claim is valid enough. It will keep you comfortable with a base layer temperature of 75-77 degrees F with an outside temperature of 28-30 degree F.
Depending on your trek route, you may not always get the chance for a shower. It can be too cold and sometimes the guesthouses charge per shower, that is, if their solar heating is working.
Take a travel shower anyway, they aren’t usually supplied by the trekking lodge. We prefer to use these Youphoria Outdoors Quick-Dry Travel Towel with Carry Bag wherever we go.
You can buy these travel towels here.
What To Wear While Trekking In The Himalayas, Trekking Clothes and Trekking Boots
Base Layers, Thermals Jumpers, and Jackets
You’ll often get advice on wearing thermals and this and that. But do you actually need all? Basically, we just wear long-sleeved T-shirts, fleeces, hoodies, etc. We still didn’t need thermals for any of our treks.
You can take all the time you need and shop for jackets while at home. You’ll need waterproof jackets and thick fleeces that makes you warm in the extremes.
Trekking Pants and Waterproof Trousers
In the Himalayas, it’s best to avoid jeans and tracksuits. You would need something that gets dry quickly and lightweight. You can opt for CQR Men’s Tactical Pants as it is good value for money, and also gives you pockets where you can carry candies for the village kids without the trouble of stripping your sack.
If you’re going high or into the snow, add waterproofing to your choice for those icy cold nights and knee deep snow.
This is a must-have while trekking in the Himalayas. You would want to avoid snow blindness. This is the brand we use, they’re of good quality and comes with lifetime guarantee. You can order them online from anywhere.
This is also a must-have trekking gear as our fingers get prone to get numb and are terribly susceptible to cold. Yes, you would need gloves of some sort but don’t overspend on it.
You’ll be wearing the same socks for multiple days without washing them. Unless you hire a porter to carry your extra luggage. Based on your trek route and conditions, we would want to carry thick hiking socks as well as street socks.
You will require the extra cushioning on the bottom of designated hiking socks. You can pick up hiking socks from anywhere, from online to the markets of Kathmandu. We’d recommend bringing in at least a couple of pairs of good socks from home.
You can look up for hiking socks here.
Trekking Boots For The Himalayas
Getting top ranged trekking boots is not a necessity for you. We have been in the Himalayas, hiking with light summer trekking shoes as well as heavy ones for the snow. Hence, you don’t need to worry a lot about trekking shoes if you’re not venturing out in deep snow.
Having said all that, you’d want to watch out for frostbite, hence, getting a good quality trekking shoe would do a world of good for your trek. We use Hi Tech’s Altitude Lite. Judging by its name, its very lightweight as well as have wider toe area with the convenience of being waterproof.