Unsolicited advice: Packing list for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

For those planning to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or something similar, here is our edited packing list. The most important thing to remember is that someone will have to carry all this stuff – the feeling of achievement will be bigger if you are that person.

Porters on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Essentials

  • a backpack – mine is 38l, make sure it fits well and is not too heavy by itself.
  • a map and description of the trek – there is absolutely no chance to get lost but it is good to have an idea of the distances to plan how far you want to go each day.
  • trekking permits – you can get them in Pokhara.
  • a sleeping bag – standard 3-seasons is a good choice.
  • a bottle for water – you can refill with filtered or “boiled filtered” water at the lodges. 1l is a good size since water is sold by the liter and it’s also about what you need to get from one village to the next. We used standard plastic bottles and a camel bag.
  • cash – there is no ATM on the trek.
  • a small medical kit.
Dangers on the trek
Please be aware that trekking in the Himalayas is a potentially dangerous activity. Access to medical treatment and mountain rescue is poor. Risks include injuries caused by tripping but also sudden weather changes. Several hikers died in a unexpected snow storm in October 2014. Nepal is also in an area with a seismic activity. A devastating earthquake shook the country in April 2015. As of this date (April 27, 2015) it is not save to walk the trek. Please check the conditions before you go, and please do not walk alone.

 
Clothes

  • comfortable hiking boots – class B or C
  • 2 pairs of trekking socks  – they are way better than normal socks!
  • 3 sets of underwear – you will want to do laundry on the trek instead of adding more weight.
  • 2-3 lightweight, fast-drying T-Shirts – not cotton! I like merino but also running wear works well for me.
  • 1 pair of fast-drying long trousers – standard outdoor ones are fine, they don’t need to be for mountaineering. Keep in mind that it can get really hot, better choose thinner ones.
  • 1 set of skiing underwear
  • a lightweight, fast-drying pullover or fleece
  • a hat
  • gloves
  • a scarf or balaclava
  • a lightweight waterproof jacket
  • a down jacket or vest
  • sandals or flip-flops
  • a swimming suit – if you want to visit the hot springs in Jinhu.
  • waterproof trousers – we did not have them but I add them now after a snow storm killed several trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit in October 2014. Read a few of our thoughts about that here.

Other Stuff

  • your toothbrush
  • a towel – my choice would be a lightweight outdoor towel.
  • shampoo and shower gel in traveler’s sizes or soap.
  • toilet paper
  • sun screen
  • trekking poles – they do help a lot.
  • sunglasses
  • camera – I took an MFT with two lenses (18-42mm and 45mm) and a polar filter.
  • battery charger and spare battery for your camera
  • Snickers or similar – 1 per person per day
  • something to read if you are willing to carry it
  • a phone or a watch
  • a torch – a headlight is best, you will need it go to the bathroom at night and occasionally within your room.
  • a whistle to draw attention to yourself in case of an accident.

If you are looking for more inspiration for lightweight packing, check out our review of The ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. Head over to this article if you would like to know more about the lodges on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or read about our experiences on the trek. But most importantly, check the conditions on the trek and stay safe: register (and pay your fees!) before you go and enter your name in the guest book of every lodge you use.

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This article was published on perelincolors.com

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