Annapurna Base Camp trek is rewarding and fun trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal. During this trek, you will encounter diverse wildlife, culture, and landscapes of Nepal with awe-inspiring views of mountains, forests, rivers, and waterfalls. Though this trek is a moderate one, a single mistake or miscalculation while packing can cause you some trouble. Though you can buy most of the things you need in Kathmandu, you can bring them if you already have them. Once your trek starts, you may not easily find even basic things.
Staying in the mountains away from cities for several days means that you have to carry everything you need in a bag and that is very limiting. Be sure to read this article on what to take with you in your Annapurna Base Camp trek to make this trek successful and avoid unwanted situations.
While packing clothes for Annapurna Base Camp trek, keep in mind that the altitude varies in each day during the trek. Trekking starts from the altitude as low as 1000 meters and takes you to an altitude as high as 4130 meters. This means, not all days will be equally cold or warm. In a single day, you may gain a lot of altitude and temperature may vary a lot. Moreover, during the warm sun, you may not want the same clothes you wore during the early morning and late evening cold. The solution to that is, wearing layered clothes. This enables you to remove or add layers of clothes while necessary.
A down jacket, a fleece, and thermal insulation should be packed to fight cold weather and while trekking in higher altitudes. Also, pack a waterproof and windproof jacket. To wear on a sunny day, pack breathable fast-drying shirts and comfortable trousers or shorts.
- Trekking shirts
- Trekking trousers/shorts
- Thermal insulation
- Fleece, windproof and waterproof jacket
- A down jacket
You will often walk 4-6 hours a day for several days. This can be hard if you don’t bring high quality, comfortable and fitting hiking boots. It also makes sure that you are less susceptible to sprains, injuries and cold. Also, bring hiking socks and slippers with you. Slippers can be used while staying at teahouses, bathing and moving around. Make sure that your boots fit with the socks on. New shoes may make it difficult to walk in the first few days. So, wear it while you are in the comfort of your house which is also called breaking in.
If you are someone who can’t bear the cold, you can also bring down boots, especially in winter.
- Hiking boots
- Trekking boots
- Trekking socks (minimum 3 pairs)
A big backpack should be used to carry all your belongings. All the things you need during your trek must fit inside the single bag and that’s going to be heavy. Whether you are hiring a porter or carrying it by yourself, it should be durable and very comfortable. You don't want to think about your bag all the time instead of enjoying nature.
Some days, you will have extra hours after completing your daily goal. You may want to stroll around or visit a few places while resting your backpack at the tea house. For such times, you can take a small and light daypack enough to carry a few things like a camera, snacks, water bottle, jacket, etc.
- A backpack or a duffel
- A daypack
Other must-carry things for this trek include trekking poles, torch, oximeters, polarized sunglasses with UV protection, raincoat (in case it rains), backup battery, pocket knives, zip locks, water bottles, and a map.
Don’t forget to pack hats, beanie, sports bras (for female), multiple inner wears, gloves, scarves, neck gaiter and quick-dry towels. While forgetting important things can cause problems, packing a lot of luxury and unnecessary items can make things complicated and should be avoided.
Some things are optional and useful to spend some time alone in nature like Kindle, headphones, journals, etc.
- Hats, beanie, gloves, scarves, neck gaiter
- Sports bras (for female), inner wears (minimum 7)
- Quick-dry towels
- Trekking poles, torch, oximeters,
- Polarized sunglasses with UV protection, raincoat (in monsoon), water bottle, etc.
If you aren’t sure if you want to use the tea house blankets or you if want an extra layer to fight the cold, you can carry a sleeping bag with you.
Other optional items you may want to carry are zip locks, maps, backup batteries, headphones, Kindle, etc.
To start afresh day, for sanitation or medical purpose, you may need several items. You can buy them in Kathmandu before your trek starts. If you are specific about the brand or quality, you might want to bring them from your homeland.
Some not to miss products are high SPF sunscreen lotion, moisturizers for the body and face to prevent your skin from getting dry due to cold and wind, deodorants, sanitizer, talcum powder, etc.
Female travelers are advised to pack enough tampons/sanitary napkins of their choice. You may not find them easily or only find basic ones.
You may find toothbrush/paste, toilet paper, shampoo/body wash, lip moisturizer, comb, etc. in early villages in local shops but don’t forget to bring them nonetheless. You may not find items of the type you want or a specific brand you use. Also, things are expensive as you go higher.
- SPF sunscreen lotion, moisturizers for the body and face ( Himalayan environment is pretty harsh),
- Tampons/sanitary napkins (for female trekkers)
- Toothbrush/paste, shampoo, body wash
- Toilet paper, sanitizer
- Deodorants, talcum powder, lip moisturizer
If you are taking regular medicines, you should carry them with you where heat or moisture can’t get. You aren’t going to find these medicines in rural villages. You can find most of the medicines in Kathmandu but you may not find some specific ones even in Kathmandu.
Our guides carry first aid boxes with them including medicines for basic symptoms. But, also carry with you water purifiers, Diamox (for Acute Mountain Sickness), blister plasters, diarrhea tablets, painkillers, isotonic powder (for rehydration), paracetamol, muscle rubs, antacids, Strepsils, etc.
- Water purifying tablets
- Blister plasters
- Diarrhea tablets, paracetamol, antacids, Strepsils
- Painkillers and muscle rubs
- Diamox tablets
- Isotonic powder (for electrolyte loss or dehydration)
For snacks, you can carry lightweight but calorie-rich packed food like energy bars, coffee mixes, cereal mixes, chocolates, oatmeals, energy drink powders, etc. But, don't bring snacks that can spoil out of packages or requires refrigeration.
Tea houses provide three meals a day and you may need these types of snacks. Some chocolates, biscuits, chips, and cookies can also be found in local shops and tea houses.
- Coffee mixes
- Cereal Mixes
- Energy drink powders
- Energy bars
Your passport may be demanded in many places like airports and checkpoints. So, keep them in an inaccessible but safe place.
Nepalese currency is used in all places during your trek. So, exchange enough money into Nepalese currency before the trek. In Kathmandu you can find ATMs, banks or money exchange centers but not in the mountains.
Permits must be acquired from Kathmandu or checkpoints before entering conservation areas or restricted areas. For this trek, you will need ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) and TIMS card. We will be there to help you get these documents. They also must be kept safe and accessible as you may be asked to show them.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is a moderately difficult trek, you should still consider getting insurance covering hazards, medical costs, and rescues.
- 2/3 passport-sized photos
- TIMS card
- Annapurna Conservation Area permit
- Insurance documents