If you are planning or joining Everest Base Camp Trek, you are well on your way to experience one of the finest adventures in the world. However, your sense of adventure will be intact only if you are comfortable against the basic elements of nature and surroundings. Mountain terrain is rugged and dramatic with notoriously unpredictable weather. So, you need to be well equipped to make your journey safe and comfortable. Here is a trekking gear list that comes handy when you are planning for this amazing Himalayan adventure to the Everest Base Camp or any other trekking regions in Nepal. Mountains can move you only if you can move yourself comfortably!
Kitbag (duffel bag)
A simple design without wheels and without foldable handles is best for your gear to be carried by porters. You can buy in Kathmandu, although they are not as tough as the North Face Base Camp Duffel.
Down-filled bags are fluffy, light and thick. 4-5 season sleeping with a muff (an extra section around the neck that makes a big difference to the overall warmth of a bag) is recommended. You can rent reasonable sleeping bags cheaply in Kathmandu.
Sleeping bag liner
Cotton, silk or fleece – it saves washing your sleeping bag and adds warmth. Cotton or silk ones can be made in Kathmandu but are more easily brought from home. Fleece ones are readily available in Kathmandu.
Extremely light, warm and easy to pack – they are very handy in cold regions especially during chilly mornings and evenings. Better to get the down jackets that can hold against -10 °C upto 3000m and -20 °C for altitudes above 3000m. They can be easily bought or rented in Kathmandu.
This should be comfortable with a good waist band that transfers some of the weight to the hips. It needs to be big enough to hold all the items you need for the day till you reach the next camp like jacket, water, camera and odds and ends.
Lightweight boots with good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion are the best. Look at the inner lining -leather is good and Cambrelle is even better, a material that eats smelly feet bacteria. Try them in some steep terrain before trekking to find trouble spots.
Quality cotton mix sports socks (3-4 pairs) are good while in low country. Thick trekking socks (3-4) are better for higher up and cool evenings. Mostly modern trekking boots fit snugly so wearing two pairs of socks at the same time is impractical.
A luxury for your feet at the end of the day is the most important thing. Sandals or running shoes are good. Flip-flops, available for cheap in Kathmandu, are a necessity for showers during the trek.
Most trekkers consider this essential, but alternatives are a thick thermal top or a light down jacket. In Kathmandu you can get almost any sort of fleece you need.
Windproof and breathable jackets are a comfort during windy days. Make sure they have hoods. Gore-tex (or similar) jackets are recommended for treks over passes or climbing trips. Lighter jackets should be a second jacket, easy to throw in the daypack in warmer days.
Rain coat or Poncho
Bringing a raincoat or poncho is a sensible thing when you are in mountains as you never know when Mother Nature wants to have some fun.
Light weight thermals are great for warm nights in the sleeping bag!
Great for the chilly evenings, thicker is better (except for when the stoves in the teahouses really heat up!). Readily available in Kathmandu.
T-shirts are popular but a cotton shirt or mixed yarn travel shirt is more versatile. The collar protects the back of your neck and the sleeves can be rolled up or down. Take two or three so you can swap damp for dry.
You will live in these. Light material, loose and dark-colored is the best. You can survive with only one pair, although two/three is better.
If your trekking pants are reasonably windproof then special wind pants are not needed. If you do bring a pair, it is not necessary to have Gore-tex. Similar, waterproof is quite OK.
Warm skull cap/balaclava
Woolen/mixed synthetic warm cap or balaclava is nice for the evenings.
For winter trekking they are really the best for staying warm!
Definitely useful, especially on steep, rough terrain, but if you are not used to using them you can survive without.
Suitable for snow, it’s bright up there, but specialized glacier glasses with side pieces are not needed. Contact lens wearers report very few problems except cleaning them in the conditions. Ski goggles are unnecessary.
Fleece gloves are also a must. However, a good pair of wind and water proof/ gloves is also essential for foul weather. Available in Kathmandu for cheap if you don’t have a pair.
Should be one liter or more in capacity, take boiling water and be leak-proof. Nalgene or a similar brand, or European fuel bottles are the best. You need at least 2 water bottles, or at least 1 water bottle in addition to a Camelback or hydration system.
Torch / Flashlight
Petzl Tikka’s and other similar torches with LED bulbs rule. They are quite helpful for trips to the toilet at night!
Toiletries and odds & ends
The smallest tube of toothpaste is perfect for a month. You need to bring or buy along the way. Your personal toiletries come in the list. Make sure you also have toilet rolls or tissue paper for emergencies.
Bring only a small one trekking, or a camp towel. In Kathmandu the hotel supplies towels.
Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
Sunburn doesn’t look and feel as cool as the beach burn. Get sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher depending on the sensitivity of your skin. You should also use lip balm with high SPF. Also have a wide brimmed hat to go with.
First Aid Kit
We carry one with aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants, lozenges, various antibiotics for Nepalese varieties of diarrhea and chests infections, Diamox (an acclimatizing aid drug), antiseptic, antihistamine cream, rehydration, bandages and band-aids, tough blister tape (but not moleskin). As we are not certified to prescribe medicines you have to use them at your own risk.
You have to bring any personal medicines that you need.
Bring a bottle of iodine tablets such as Potable Aqua, Polar Puror Couglans etc or any other similar tablets. Bottled water is available on the trail.
Most people find wearing one while trekking is a hassle and keep it buried in their kitbag or daypack. But they can be handy. The Kathmandu hotels have safety deposit boxes.
Book and Note Pad
When you are free for independent activities, especially in the evenings books can be a good friend. Kindles are also fine. Note Pad is also important for making diary entries and taking notes of things that catch your interest.
Though there are charging facilities available in the hotels, lodges and teahouses en route, bring power bank when you are in mountains. You never know when there will be power cut or occur some technical emergencies.
Pabitra Samaaj Sewa Building Project Donors’ List so far:
[We are still raising fund for the completion of the project. Interested donors can contact us at email@example.com]
The Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa building was held on 30 January 2018 at Budhanilkantha. The foundation stone was laid by respected Marcus Brown from Adelaide amidst the presence of Dikchhya Chapagain, President of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa and the Representatives of Explore Himalaya and Himalayan Pre-Fab. The pre-fab building will provide a permanent earthquake resistant shelter to 15-20 residents under the care of the organization.
The building project was jointly initiated by Explore Himalaya and Himalayan Pre-Fab, a subsidiary of Explore Himalaya; after the residents of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa were forcibly evacuated from their previous resident at Dhapasi. As it was not possible to complete this project without the collective efforts, Explore Himalaya and Himalaya Pre-Fab started the initiation by contributing half of the fund and appealed for the rest from the generous contributors. Mr. Brown, who honored the ceremony, was among the few to extend the hand of support by raising funds from Adelaide community. The project has given hopes and happiness to all the destitute sheltering in the organization. The building is expected to complete within 6 weeks. For the full story on the building project, please follow our earlier blog at https://www.explorehimalaya.com/2018/01/05/pabitra-samaj-sewa-charity-project/
[In addition to being a trailblazer in Himalayan adventure, Explore Himalaya is also one of the forerunners in Nepali tourism to incorporate community service in company’s regular activities.]
Amsterdam, January 9, 2018.
Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure received Travelife Certified Award for its long-term efforts and front runner position regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Explore Himalaya is among the first companies in Nepal to have reached the Travelife Certified Award. Explore Himalaya complies with more than 200 criteria, related to an operators’ office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. The Travelife standard is covering the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labor relations; and is formally recognized as in full compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
Mr Naut Kusters, Manager of Travelife for tour operators said, “I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operators sector is obtaining momentum. The award of the front runner Explore Himalaya will inspire other companies in Nepal to follow the same path”. Travelife, which has been established with the support of the European Commission, is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector.
November 03, 2017 could be a normal day for many but for some it was the day when they lost everything. That day, the building of Pabitra Samaj Sewa at Dhapasi, Kathmandu, was evacuated forcibly by the local authorities. It had been sheltering more than 70 destitute and homeless people for last 10 years. The residents were not given chance to gather their belongings including the items of basic needs like food and clothes. All of the evacuees including elderly people, disabled and orphans were physically harassed and forced out of their shelter, and thrown right to the street from where they were rescued once. Furniture was broken and burnt, and the building was demolished by a dozer. They could do nothing than be the helpless spectators of the demolition of the house, which was once their home.
Pabitra Samaj Sewa Nepal http://www.pssnepal.org.np/, established in 2002, is a non- governmental social organization, working to ensure safe home and care to homeless, distressed, disabled and orphans. It provides shelter, food, healthcare, education, and, most importantly, love and care to the needy people. The organization is led by Dikshya Chapagain, a young and dynamic social activist, who has dedicated her life solely for the humanitarian cause. Most of the people under the care are the destitute rescued directly from streets in utterly dejected situations with very less hope of life. The rescue stories can be found at https://www.facebook.com/dikchhya.chapagai.
The organization has been having a nomadic provision for shelter since its establishment. Quite recently also, it has been sheltering in a government building given by a school at Dhapasi, Kathmandu for ten years. However, it has to move to the present makeshift shelter at Budhanilkantha because the School Management Committee, all of sudden, asked to evacuate the building. The Committee turned a complete blind eye to the organization’s request for time for emergency arrangement. On November 03, 2017, a group of people came and forcibly removed the people from the place.
Currently they are sheltering temporarily at a private house in Chapali, Budhanilkantha. There are altogether 72 people including 35 children, of both gender and all age group people. In their current shelter, due to lack of space, people including the sick and old, are eating and sleeping in open space and the situation is being more gruelling as winter has already started.
Now, the organization is building a permanent shelter with the support of some ad-hoc donations on a piece of land given by Budhanilkanta Municipality at Chandeswori. As Pabitra Samaj Sewa is run by the initiation of an individual with support from some kind-hearted people and it doesn’t have any regular form of support from any government, non-government and private organizations, the problem of rehabilitation is being more challenging. In addition to their effort to build a shelter as soon as possible, we are taking an initiative to donate an additional Pre-fabricated building that can accommodate a segment of the sheltering people comfortably with proper protection from elements of nature.
The building is a prefabricated house covering an area of 975 sq ft. This dormitory style building is earthquake resistant, cost and time effective, insulated, well ventilated and highly ideal for children and old age people. The building can accommodate about 15 people comfortably. The project is estimated to be completed within 6 weeks. The detail of the building is as follows:
Appeal for Donation:
The project aims to establish a pre-fab house for the homeless, distressed, disabled and orphan sheltered by Pabitra Samaj Sewa Nepal. This project wants to ensure that their basic need of a proper shelter is met. After they get the shelter, it is hoped that they will get a stable and safe life, which is sure to raise their quality of life in the long run. In this concern, we will contribute $8775 for Prefab Super Structure including the electrical works. And we are going to raise fund for the rest of the expense which includes Foundation plus flooring works and Sanitary works amounting to $5000. As it is not possible to complete this project without the collective efforts from generous contributors, we would really appreciate if you could help us by considering donation to this noble cause. Your help is really crucial to our efforts. Your support will provide the homeless and destitute with proper home that plays an important role in their physical and emotional well-being which finally leads them to be an asset, and not a liability, to the community.Appeal For Donation:
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
Continuing the back-to back success of “Eye Camp” in past two years, a team of 9 Danish opticians and nurses came to Nepal through our premier partner Kipling Travel Denmark to conduct a week long “Free Eye Camp” in three villages of Sidhupalchowk, the hardest hit district in earthquake 2015. The team includes 6 opticians (Ms. Iversen Ane, Mr Nielsen Bjoern, Mr. Dyre Rolf, Ms Roennenfelt Jette, Mr Stegmann Knud Erik and Ms. Honore Jette) and 3 nurses (Ms. Lindedam Lene Seest, Ms. Malherbe Hanne and Ms. Stegmann Vibeke Ryberg). The camp was stationed consecutively at Jalbire, Kattike and Aiselukharka for 6 days from 13 November to 18 November.
The Eye Camp was conducted mainly for diagnostic screening and eye examining. The villagers were provided with free glasses and counseling on preventive care concerning eye health. Altogether 1649 patients (1004 females and 645 males) and 600 students were benefited from the camp. At the end of the program, the Danish Team and Explore Himalaya team thanked the local clubs, police and volunteers from beneficiary villages, whose continuous effort made the success of the program possible. The village communities also expressed gratitude to the entire organizer team for the noble service that helped hundreds of villagers to cure and identify many vision related problems. At the end of the program, the Danish team was delighted to see their hard work paid off! After the great success of “Eye Camp” program for three consecutive years, Explore Himalaya looks forward to organizing similar programs in other remote regions of Nepal.
Location: Jalbire, Sindhupalchok (1215m), approx. 84km from Kathmandu.
Location: Jalbire, Sindhupalchok
Location: Kattike, Sindhupalchok
Transfer from Kattike to Aiselu Kharka by Bus (around 5 hours’ drive)
Location: Aiselu Kharka, Sindhupalchowk
Location: Aiselu Kharka, Sindhupalchowk