Unfortunately, we knew that there was no way we would be able to carry the required clothing and other necessities for the first two months of our trip – we had no choice but to hope that we could by it all in Katmandu. We had heard that the Thamal area of the city was packed with outdoor equipment shops – and were relieved upon are arrival to have that confirmed.
Each street is lined with multiple vendors hawking fake North Face, REI, and other top name brands. They literally sell everything you could possibly need for any trek to the mountains – with one very large exception: Shoes.
The hiking boot selection is absolutely abysmal. In a rare bout of foresight, we had each purchased a good pair of sturdy boots for the trek. This was done not so much because we assumed we couldn’t by shoes in Katmandu, and more because we hoped to spend a few months breaking them in before we hit the trail.
With our shoes already sorted – we had just two days to buy everything else we needed for the expedition. The short list included: Walking Poles, Hiking Pants, Warm weather gear, hats, gloves, and coats.
With a bit of bargaining and some shopping around, I was able to get everything I needed for about $70. Not bad considering I was decked out in head to toe North Face. I have to believe it was real – the guy selling it to me told me so, and why would he lie?
I’ve included my complete packing list below in case you want all the details of what I brought for our trip.
Did I train for this trip? No. Should I have? Yes.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not in great shape. You might not know it from reading my blog, but I’m not the worlds most active person. I rarely if ever go hiking, and I can’t remember the last time I went for a jog or visited a gym. I’m pretty much a couch potato.
That being said, Shannon and I did make a half hearted effort to practice a little trekking before the trip. We did a local hike to nearby Old Rag before we left and we made sure to schedule a few shorter “treks” during our trip. For example, our two days at the Great Wall and our trip to Tiger Leap Gorge.
And sadly, we struggled with these hikes. We panted for breath while whispering “Everest” in an ominous voice and giggled at the absurdity of our plans. It wasn’t so funny when we actually hit Everest.
We survived. But, I highly recommend that if you are planning a similar trip you get a few more months of working out under your belt before your own attempt.
Booking our Trek
We booked our trek long ago through Simrik Real Nepal tours. They did a great job and I felt confident during our travels before hand that everything would be worked out in advance. They even provided us with down parkas, sleeping bags and a first aid kit – saving us the trouble of finding these on our own.
However, Its also very possible to book a trek upon your arrival in Katmandu. There is a tour company on every street corner offering every variant of trek you could want. I recommend doing research on the company before booking. You should expect to pay somewhere around $1000-$1500 for a 14 day tour including flights, accommodation and food as well as guide and porter.
Its also possible to go it on your own – although this may be slightly less safe espcially if you think you may suffer from altitude sickness. The trails are fairly well marked and if you hire a porter to carry your baggage you can always just follow him from place to place.
There are multiple lodges at each town which will provide beds and food – but they can book up quickly during peak season so make sure you trek early to arrive in the afternoon rather than late in the evening.
- Two Walking Poles
- One Pair Hiking Boots
- Two Pair Hiking Socks
- One Pair Shorts (Worn only on the first day, probably not necessary)
- One Pair Light Hiking Pants
- One Pair Thick Yoga Pants (Worn under hiking pants)
- One Pair Snow Pants (Never Worn)
- One Long Underwear Top
- One zip up fleece
- One “Windbreaker” Jacket
- Two T-shirts
- One tank top
- One Pair Gloves
- One hat with ear flaps
- One fabric headband
- Lip Balm
- Hair Ties (Super Important if you have long hair)
- Personal Toiletries
- Face Wipes (Super important with the lack of showers)
- Diamox Tablets (For altitude sickness)
- Sleeping Pills
- Sudafeed (For nasal congestion)
- Aleve (Pain Killer)
- Large Down Parka (Provided by trekking company – rarely worn)
- Sleeping Bag
- Small Day Pack
- Journal and Pen
- Toilet Paper (and lots of it – its expensive on the mountain and no one provides it)
- A water bottle
- A bigger day pack
- Warm Sleeping Socks (I was able to purchase some in Namche for 300 RS)
- Slip on shoes that could be worn with socks (For midnight runs to the toilet)
Here’s me enjoying most of the items from my packing list in freezing Tengboche: