We trekked the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary in October of 2017. This is the full packing list of items we brought on our treks, which we found to work very well. It provided plenty of versatility and not a lot of weight. We saw dozens of trekkers lugging bags (or having their porters carry them) which were twice as large, who looked quite miserable on the long stair climbs. Almost all of the items we carried were already in our world trip packing list, and did not need to be purchase specifically for this trek.
We decided to bring the bare minimum amount of clothing to keep down our pack weight while still allowing a pair of clean clothes for the evening and proper rotation of the essential items between hand washes. Although it seems slim, the list below worked well and we always had a clean set to wear.
Nepal / Annapurna Trekking Packing List
Backpack with rain cover – We used the 38 and 46 liter bags for our world trip, but could have fit everything in 30-35 liters.
Hiking boots – Sturdy and waterproof with ankle support. The trail is rocky, often muddy and there are some stream crossings at times.
Flip flops / sandals – For showering and relaxing after trekking.
Hiking poles – These were our best friends during this trek due to the significant inclines and declines. Almost everyone we encountered was using them, and for good reason. We bought them in Nepal for around 900 rupees per pair.
Sleeping Bag – This came in handy when we got to the higher elevations. Sometimes blankets were not provided or they appeared unsanitary.
Inflatable pillow – The pillows provided are typically stained or mildewed.
Sleeping bag liner / travel sheet – To add warmth or layer between provided sheet.
Packable jacket – Some type of lightweight compressible puff jacket or fleece.
Rain jacket – We never used ours since the cool rain was a welcome treat while trekking. We saw several people with large ponchos that also covered their bag.
Convertible pants – Two quick dry pair. Easy to switch from long to short with changes in weather. We used one pair for trekking and another clean pair to wear after showering.
Short sleeve t-shirts – Two, both quick dry, one for trekking and one for after shower.
Long sleeve shirts x2 – One regular quick dry for trekking or layering and one thermal for warmth.
Thermal Pants – One pair for warmth at higher elevations.
Undergarments – Three pair to rotate between washes.
Hiking socks – Two to three pair to rotate.
Athletic socks – One pair.
Buff – For face and neck warmth or to use as a headband for sweat.
Pack towel – One quick dry travel or backpacking towel.
Headlamp – Useful for pre-dawn sunrise hikes or walking around camp after dark.
Earplugs – People are amazingly loud.
Recharger – Charging often has a fee per device in teahouses and power outages are common.
Spare batteries – For head lamp/camera.
Power converter with fuse – We found wall plugs in several different forms, but most teahouses had central plug towers with universal plugs. Power may surge so a fuse can protect the device.
Water filter – The water is not safe for foreigners. We use a Sawyer Squeeze and filled all four of our 1-liter bottles a few times per day. Teahouses sell boiled or filtered water for 70-120 rupees per liter, so a $20 filter will pay for itself in a few days. This allowed us to drink from the numerous cold natural water sources flowing down the mountain.
Water bottles – One or two liter bottles per person, depending on how much you want to carry or how often you want to stop.
Lip balm – With SPF protection.
Blister patches – These are surprisingly not sold anywhere on the trail.
Clothes line – We love our Sea to Summit travel line.
Medicine – Cipro/Azithromycin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, allergy, etc.
Electrolyte tablets – We added these to our water along with some Tang powder purchased on the trail to create a Gatorade like concoction.
Hand sanitizer – There will be no soap on the trail.
Toilet paper – Also not found in any bathroom. Bring it, buy it as you go, use leaves, or simply your left hand like a local.
Salt – To get leeches to fall off.
Cash – We averaged between 3,000 and 4,000 rupees per day total as a couple for accommodations and food. There will be nowhere to get cash once you start trekking.
What NOT To Pack – (Because we a saw it)
Athletic shoes for hiking
Single use hot towels
New outfit every day
Kathmandu and Pokhara both have an oversupply of trekking stores which carry any possible item you may need before departure. Most of the inventory is likely knock off of known brands, but seems adequate at least for short terms needs. The stores are cheap and will bargain the prices down significantly. Buying clothing or hiking poles at a discount is likely fine, but don’t buy a backpack or boots without proper fitting and breaking in. We did buy a couple of seemingly nice shirts which ended up bleeding onto and staining other clothes while trekking. We also bought a pair of 900 rupee hiking poles which proved essential on the rocky trail and easily lasted through the trek.
Faucets and buckets are available for laundry use at most teahouses along the way. We tried to wash at least what we wore trekking at the end of each day. Some days we just gave it all a good rinse with water and some days a proper hand wash. There are typically communal clothes lines for use, but the air humidity often prevents clothes from drying. We usually had to put on wet clothes before bed and before trekking to aid with drying. Sometimes we had to hang stubbornly wet clothing on our backpacks to dry.
You can read full posts including daily route itineraries from our treks on the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary. Also check out other posts from our adventures including our camper van-cation around Tasmania and misadventures in India. They are sure to inspire your lust for travel!
Do you need long term travel in your future? Check out our Planning Page where you can learn how to prepare for a lengthy trip, see how to never check your bags on planes, find out about travel security and make sense of travel insurance, amongst others. And as always, feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about our trips, we would love to hear from you!