What Should I Know?

PACKING

Bring three pieces of luggage:

One large or extra-large waterproof duffel that weighs, filled, no more than 17 pounds including sleeping bag, air mattress, clothing, and all personal items not stowed in your day pack. “City” clothes can be stored during the trek and retrieved upon return to KTM.

Second bag can be any suitcase large enough to hold approximately 50 pounds for bringing donated items for the mission.

A day pack.  If you don’t already have a daypack, buy one with side pockets and divided inner space for enhanced organization and access.  You should be able to comfortably stow your lap top or I Pad for record keeping. Your water bottle should be accessible from an outside pocket.

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

If you already have a comfortable system for mountain hiking, stay with it.

 DAYPACK

  • close fitting rain cover
  • sunglasses
  • water bottle - 24 oz minimum; Nalgene or stainless; personal preference.
  • camel back hydration system if preferred
  • camera
  • light jacket or fleece
  • raincoat
  • rain pants
  • sun hat
  • personal medications for daytime - scheduled or prn like Proventil MDI
  • sunscreen
  • headlamp with LED - not too many lumens in deference to others
  • Nepali rupees - can be exchanged or obtained from ATM after your arrival.
     

EQUIPMENT/ACCESSORIES

Walking poles are highly recommended for those who don’t mountain hike regularly or who have back or knee vulnerabilities.  Light weight with shock absorption is ideal. They can be purchased at REI storefront or online.

Sleeping Bag - synthetic or down that is rated to 15 degrees is adequate.  A leak-proof stainless hot water bottle for the sleeping bag is nice for nights below freezing but optional depending on one’s tendency to chill at night  

Sleeping pad - optional; mattresses in Nepal are firm and only several inches thick

Air-tight “dry bag” for laundry.

Large trash bag to add waterproofing to duffel

Binoculars

Miscellaneous -  Money pouch/belt, pens, notebook, laundry detergent, extra batteries

2 extra passport size photographs for permit

A laptop you can carry on trek or I Pad for recording patient visits

Battery recharger for recharging multiple devices

CLOTHING

  • 1 wool or fleece hat or headband
  • neck gator
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 Sunglasses
  • 1 Extra pair of prescription glasses if you have them.
  • 1 pair of gloves or mittens (two if you lose them easily!)
  • 4 pairs of hiking socks  - Darn Tough are great.
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 2 pairs sock Liners, if preferred.
  • 2 long-sleeved light-weight/sweat-wicking shirts, not cotton1 fleece or preferably Primaloft/nano puff jacket (Patagonia or least expensive brand)
  • 1 warm/down jacket - can double as a pillow
  • 1 Goretex raincoat or similar brand
  • 1 pair of wind/rain pants which can be layered
  • 4 (your preference) fast-drying underwear
  • 2 hiking/trail pants - fast drying
  • 2 bandannas - optional
     

FOOTWEAR

 If you have a good pair of light weight comfortable trekking boots, bring them. If you don’t, buy a pair and break them in before the trek. Ankle protection (high boots), water-resistance (seasoned leather or GoreTex) and good tracking soles made of a strong-gripping rubber material are best.

Extra bootlaces  

Light weight shoes - one pair of running or cross training for camp and/or sandals or flip flops for bathing and toileting

PERSONAL FOOD SUPPLIES AND SUPPLEMENTS

Space is limited in day pack and duffel so bring judicious amounts of protein and electrolyte supplements for water, chocolates, nuts, energy bars, dried fruit, and/or jerky. 

TOILETRIES

  • 1 Small washcloth for face.
  • 1 Small tote for carrying toiletries to community fountain/shower( Granite Gear is good)
  • 1 Sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen, aloe vera (for sun relief and as a moisturizer)
  • Baby-wipes or towelettes for sponge baths
  • Hand cleanser for personal use. Mission provides cleanser for care provision
  • Nail clippers/scissors
  •  Fast drying, non-bulky, large bath towel (REI
  • Shaver - nonelectric
  • Biodegradable soap and shampoo (small amount)
  • Small mirror
  • 3 Quart size freezer bags  
  • Toothbrush - non electric - with small toothpaste

 

PERSONAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES

Bring a month supply of chronic disease medications. The mission brings a basic medical kit, including splinting materials, primarily for Nepali staff members. Do personalize items according to your likely needs and/or consult your medical provider if indicated.

PRN MEDICATIONS

  • Cipro (Rx)* for severe gastroenteritis - hydration is usually adequate
  • Diamox (Rx) - according to preference, for high elevation mountain sickness
  • Robitussin cough suppressant*
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Triple Antibiotic cream
  • Ibuprofen/Naproxen
  • Decongestant - topical Neosynephrine for limited use and po Pseudoephedrine
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Herbal and holistic Remedies for throat and stomach discomfort
  • Ricola, Cepacol
  • Lomotil/Imodium for diarrhea


FIRST AID

Duct tape

A generous and varied supply of Moleskin/Band-Aids, padding, surgical tape

Small scissors

Knee and/or ankle brace - optional

Anti-fungal foot powder - optional

Arnica ointment/Traumeel

 

Do not drink or brush your teeth with tap water!

Drink only properly boiled water or use water purification tablets, such as iodine. Bottled water is available, but as the plastic cannot be recycled in Nepal we request you to consider the waste impact of your bottles – we recommend you drink boiled water or use iodine.

During the trek DO NOT try to test your fitness and walk too high, too quickly! Listen to you guide and take their advice as they are trained to look after your safety. Altitude sickness is a killer and you MUST take it seriously. 

Your hands are perhaps your biggest enemy in terms of your health as they. Wash your hands before every meal or snack. People often think they get sick from the food, but it’s far more likely they forgot to wash their hands!

THE TRAILS

Trekking trails vary from wide, road-like avenues to narrow, slippery paths alongside steep dropoffs. In places, a fall from the trail would be fatal. One must pay attention at all times to where you are placing your feet. Be especially careful not to move while looking through the view finder of your camera! Suspension bridges over gorges and log foot bridges are plentiful and have recently been rebuilt.

BE PREPARED FOR THE WEATHER

Nepal has the widest altitude range of any country on the earth. Each altitude has its own weather, from tropical heat to arctic cold. In the main trekking seasons in the spring and autumn, the weather is generally stable and even the high passes may be free of snow and relatively easy to traverse at times.

Some trekkers who have encountered an easy day at altitude may spread the word that boots and warm clothing are not required. This is a mistake. Sudden storms occur at any time, dumping snow on the passes without warning. At that point, any one poorly equipped will not be able to proceed and may even be stranded for a number of days risking their life and the lives of others.

You are heading into the worlds highest mountain range. Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather!!

TIPPING AND CASH REQUIREMENTS

While all main meals are provided, do not forget to bring some Nepalese rupees for drinks or snacks that you might purchase on the way. The amount to carry on the trekking routes depends on the area you are going to trek in, so please ask your guide for advice. Tipping is now common in Nepal/Tibet but there are no strict rules about how much the tip should be. You should only tip if you are satisfied with the service.

PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE

During your trek you will have many opportunities to photograph local people and the amazing scenery and you will use tons of film/memory space! When you want to take a photo of a person, please respect their right to refuse and ask them first – you will be surprised how easy it is to convey the request to take someone’s photo even when you don’t share a common language! If you have a digital camera it is considerate to show them their photo and if it’s possible to arrange to have copies printed and sent to them. This is an amazing gift! However do not promise to do so if you are not sure you can deliver on the promise, so please talk to your guide about this! Photos can be a brilliant way to establish a connection with local people, but please respect their right to privacy.

CONSIDERING THE ENVIRONMENT

While trekking you have to be careful not to destroy the very environment you are enjoying so much. It is not only for your enjoyment, people and wildlife rely on this environment for their drinking water and food supply and many places are of enormous religious significance to local people.

There are many ways you can help to conserve the environment of the area in which you trek. Here are some simple tips:

  • Pick up any litter along the trail
  • Burn all your toilet paper and bury your faeces when not in camp, make sure you go at least 50 meters away from any water source
  • Do not make campfire, nor consume food cooked on wood fires; your crew uses kerosene stoves to help conserve the local forests
  • Drink boiled/treated water instead of mineral water as the plastic is not recycled
  • Stick to the trails to prevent erosion and damage to fragile alpine flora
  • Ensure all rubbish is packed out (or burnt/buried if appropriate)

INSURANCE

All tour participants should obtain their own personal insurance which covers medical and emergency evacuation at a minimum. You will of course also want cover for loss or damage to personal effects, flight or trip cancellation etc. 

“TECHIE” ITEMS

Steri-pens are handy for purifying your water. Beacons such as the Garmin inReach device can be used to call for help, send and receive text messages, share your location, or provide maps. Kindles or e-readers are nice and a good option to carrying multiple books. Most, if not all these devices require batteries, which are heavy, OR you could carry a solar charger to charge your devices. These all add weight, so please consider carefully what you choose to bring. It’s better to go lighter than end up having to carry more gear than you had intended.

FINAL TIPS!

To ensure that you have the best time possible and that Nepal benefits from your visit, please respect local traditions, customs, values and the environment. You will have a great time if you are open to the warm hearted Nepali hospitality and if you respect their efforts to protect their local culture and maintain local pride.

Respect privacy when taking photographs

Respect holy places and dress appropriately

Refrain from giving money or food to children. There are many good organizations working to help street children, we recommend you give to them instead of encouraging kids to stay on the street.

Your attempts at speaking some Nepali will open hearts and bring huge smiles!

Protect the natural environment, see above

Finally, respect for the local ways earns you respect. Be aware that you will feel personally challenged sometimes to intervene or say something, but while you may not agree with everything but you did not come here to change Nepal, instead let it open you eyes to a different way of being

·