GEAR AND THINGS I BOUGHT FOR MY TREK TO POONHILL in April
Here are my favorite or useful things I brought to Nepal for my trek. Many are great for any camping or hiking trip. Some are affiliate links to support this website with no extra cost to you if you use them. I would not recommend anything I didn’t fully believe in.
I spent a lot of time researching this since water filtration is a must in Nepal. You may also want it for other travel, back country camping and very long hikes.
Many people take IODINE TABLETS. I took them as a back up but I often find a slight after-taste and there is a waiting period. If you are on a tight budget or don’t want to take up space or add weight, they are fine. Bring a bladder or bag to purify a larger volume and your nalgene or other water bottle for reserve.
My husband took and loved the GRAYL GEOPRESS WATER PURIFICATION BOTTLE. It’s super easy and immediate. For me, it took strength to push the bottle down and was heavier than I wanted.
I went with the SAWEYR SQUEEZE and got the COUPLING ATTACHMENT. This is very light weight and easy. It had more steps and pieces but I didn’t mind.. I also like these 2 L PLASTIC BAGS to collect and store the water better then the bags it comes with.
Some people like the Steripen. I didn’t want to rely on batteries and I also wanted a filter. The water in Nepal does not have sediment but I was thinking of future trips as well. Some people also like the Lifestraw but that didn't appeal to me. Any of these methods will work.
NALGENE BOTTLE. I love these.
I did not take a HYDRATION BLADDER on my Nepal trek but wish I had. I have the Osprey in this link and have used it in the past but thought I would want to see how much water I was drinking to ration properly. I did not know there would be many opportunities to get water along the trek and it would not have been an issue. I did not want to stop that often and didn't drink as much as I would have if I didn't have to take my backpack off to reach my water.
Unless you have large side pockets in your pack that are very easy to reach, I would suggest taking a bladder along with a Nalgene bottle for reserve if you run out before expected.
GEAR AND THINGS
PACKING CUBES. These are the best I have used. When living out of a large duffel bag and moving to a different place each night, organization is really helpful! I love that they had compression zippers and are very durable. The only downside is that they are all the same color with no mesh but I tied a different color ribbon on the end of each to know which bag had what.
BACKPACK (for the day hikes)
I had the OSPREY TEMPEST 20 WOMENS BACKPACK. It's the number one rated Womens daypack and I have loved it for my local day hikes at home but I didn’t love it for this trip. I would have preferred a larger pack, I didn’t like the way the hiking poles attached and the side pockets were small. I plan on getting the GREGORY JADE 28 WOMANS BACKPACK for my next adventure..
HIKING BOOTS This is obviously key and very personal. My absolute favorite boots were the LASPORTIVA hiking boots for women. I have had them for years and bought a new pair just before the trek but the section by my toes felt wider. I don't know if the newer model was redesigned or I have to try another pair. Try on your boots before you commit and wear the hiking socks you will take with you. It's good to know that REI will take back boots within a year, even if worn. I was told you can do Poonhill in short hiking shoes but I was happy to have the ankle support with my taller boots. The stone steps are very uneven and I did trip once.
HIKING POLES: We decided in advance to borrow hiking poles from our tour operator in Nepal so I don't have a recommendation. We felt personally attached to them by the end and bought them from the company for $20. I don’t usually use poles but they were very helpful on the downhill!
SLEEPING BAG- We had light weight 3 season sleeping bags from our Iceland trek with compression straps which were perfect. They are discontinued I can't recommend our model but you can search or call REI, Campmore or Moosejaw for help. If you are not going to camp or trek often, I would not invest in a costly one. On our trek, we did not sleep above 10,000 ft and we went in April but it still got very cold at night. All of the tea houses had extra thick blankets in the room that we used and were comfortable.
TRAVEL TOWEL. This one was great! It took up little room, is fairly large, absorbed water and dries quickly. A few tea houses will rent you a towel if you don’t want to bring one but this was more comfortable and we wanted to have our own.
POWER ADAPTER for Nepal. This was perfect. The hotels in Katmandu had a USA plug outlet but the rest of the trip did not. I got the multi pack since they were the smallest, lightest and cheapest.
CROCS These were great to wear when not trekking! They were comfortable and very light weight for the porter to carry. I wore my socks with them when it was cold
HEAD LAMP. We used head lamps when we left at 5 am for our hike to see the sunrise at Poohill. I also used a light to find the outdoor bathroom at one of the tea houses at night. Any will do. I would not rely on your phone light for this. Trust me, you do not want to accidentally drop your phone in the toilet hole in the ground while squatting in the dark. A hands free headlamp was very handy.
TRAVELON ANTI-THEFT TRAVEL POCKETBOOK This is THE BEST travel pocket book. I used this for the cities and left it in my luggage at the hotel during the trek. I take it on all of my overseas trips since there are special locks for security and it has a strap that can’t be cut. I like the small size but you can get larger and amazon usually has the best prices.
MONEY BELT I like to always keep my passport, credit cards and cash on me and although crime in Nepal is very low, we took all precautions. I thought this one was a bit bulky but my husband liked it.
You can take anything you want but first, ask your tour operator if they have requirements. Most want a simple duffel bag around 80L and they suggest waterproof but many will give or rent you one to use. We took our large inexpensive DUFFEL BAG ON WHEELS to have room for gifts to bring home. We then got an 80L waterproof duffel bag from our trekking company and left our larger bags with extra clean clothes, snacks and souvenirs at the hotel in Kathmandu.They also sell bags in Kathmandu. You will see fake Northface everything and you can get a knock off cheap waterproof bag there if you want. I can’t speak for how waterproof it really is.
TSA APPROVED LUGGAGE LOCK I wanted a TSA approved small lock for our luggage since we had a stop over flight and a long trip. I ended up also taking this on the trek to lock my duffel bag in the tea houses. Once in Kathmandu, we were told to buy a small key lock for the doors at the Tea Houses. The Nepali people are so honest but there are many trekkers in one house and you never know who is walking about. We got one but each house we stayed had a key lock.
PORTABLE CHARGER and CORDS. Definitely bring a small portable charger. You don’t want your camera phone dying on the trek. I have an old light weight one and am sure they make newer, better ones so do a search. We did have access to electricity at each tea house. Many charge a small fee.
WATCH. This one is a luxury and not a necessity. I got the GARMIN FENIX 6x on sale for this trip.
MEDICAL AND PERSONAL ITEMS
SMALL PLASTIC PILL PACKETS -These were awesome! I put each medication and vitamin in a each separate packet, labelled with a sharpie and kept them in a little pouch. Organized and compact.
KNEE BRACE Rich has had knee issues and knew there were A LOT of up and down steps. He was very happy with this.
TOILET PAPER is a must to bring on the trip. I love this camping toilet paper because it’s very compact and took up little room.
BABY WIPES Some places did not have hot water for the shower. I took a small back of baby wipes to clean up a little.
REHYDRATION CRYSTALS. These were great to have in the medical bag if diarrhea hit or we got dehydrated.
PURELL 2 Ounce bottles. We used this constantly! You have to be very careful about the water and food transmitted infections. I had one in every pocket and this size can go on the plane.
LIP BALM Glad I brought this.
HANKIES. My nose runs a lot and I didn’t want a trail of tissues on this trip. So, I bought these hankies. I cut them into quarters and tucked them into my daypack pockets. These were awesome.
MOLE SKIN I don't go on an extended hiking trip without bringing this along