Surely, trekking to mountains is different. But, you are not climbing the mountains. There is no need for fancy gears and fancy foot wear. Since most treks in Nepal are tea house trekking, there is no need to bring camping gears either. A simple light sleeping bag becomes useful but that is all.
Nepal, a trekker’s paradise, sees many trekkers, old and new. Some of them confuse trekking with summiting when they hear words like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Base Camp trekking. They think it is the mighty Himalayas so it must be very technical, that it must require all the expensive equipment’s like crampons, ice axe, ice tips and such. Reality couldn’t be farther. Following are what you really need to pack for trekking in Nepal. They are pretty basic stuffs.
Light weight hiking boots- A pair of simple, properly broken in, hiking boots is good enough, much better than converse or sports shoes that quite a few have completed these treks in. If you have plantar fasciitis problem, then get yourself the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
Socks- Most common trekking trails of Nepal goes up thousands of meters because of which you will encounter diverse geography and climate. So, pack both thick and thin socks, at least two pair each.
Sandals/ Flip flops- Something easy and fast to put on for moving around in tea houses, especially for trips to washrooms. Closed ones would be better; something like crocs are good.
Crampons- Crampons are not absolutely necessary but it proves useful when crossing snow covered high passes. More so when trekking during late November, when it is almost winter. Even then, you could do without crampons.
For Body and Head
Clothes- Pack comfortable but light clothes. Opt for full sleeved shirts and full trousers. It will not always be cold. Climate changes from subtropical to arctic. Therefore, expect long hours of walking in intense sun. Full shirt and trousers will protect you from the sun.
Windproof Jacket- Expect cold winds as well, especially in the morning and evening. Bring a good windproof jacket for protection.
Rain Poncho/ Jacket- You could say mountain weathers are moody. It can rain, it can snow. Therefore, add a very light rain jacket or poncho to your list of things. Buy the ones that can be packed up into a tiny package.
Undergarments- Around 4/5 pairs of comfortable underwear. I cannot express how much it helps to have proper undergarments. You can actually buy ‘hiking underwear’. These are good for not only trekking but any kind of physical activity such as sports, exercise etc.
Gloves- Pack a pair of thick and a pair of thin gloves. If they are windproof, then all the better.
Sunhat and Winter hat- One of each for the sun and for the cold.
Toiletries- Besides the obvious toothbrush and paste, pack a few rolls of toilet paper, sanitizer, baby wipes, sunscreen, moisturizer and Chap Stick. These are essential as sun will be intense, air dry and toilets primitive as you climb higher. Things are rapidly improving though.
Sleeping Bag- Even though tea house trekking, the single blanket provided by the lodge cannot keep you warm enough at higher altitude. During peak seasons, you may not even get one. So, it will help to bring a light sleeping bag. It is also useful if the place runs out of rooms and you end up sleeping in any space available such as dining room.
First Aid Kit- A basic first aid kit items. Disinfectant is a must as you may sustain injuries. Add to it Diamox for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and Jiwan Jal (a common brand in Nepal for oral hydration) for diarrhea.
Water Purifiers- . It is important to stay hydrated when trekking and water purifiers can save a lot of money and make things much easier during these long treks
Trekking Poles- Most treks in Nepal consists of steep climbs and descents. Trekking poles will help your knees at these times.
Others- Things you want to bring, like cameras for memories, readers, play cards etc. for passing time in tea houses and some of your favorite snacks for motivation!
This much should do for most trekking routes in Nepal. But what to pack really depends on where and when you are trekking. Research a little about the place you will be going to or consult with some trekking agencies to add or subtract some specifics. But, in general, these are the thing to pack to trek Nepal.