Packing wisely is important in making your trekking experience smooth and comfortable. Here is a guideline on the packing list for Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal. It has amazing trekking trails that give you an opportunity to walk through diverse landscape and variety of culture.
The ABC trek takes you to two base camps. And offers spectacular views of several Himalayan peaks. So while all of this may be appealing, there are various things to consider in order to have a successful trek.
The base of the gorgeous Annapurna mountain is quite cold throughout the year. This trek takes you to an altitude of 4130m. And the ABC weather at a height such as is often unpredictable.
Hence the first thing that comes in mind while taking this trek is – how is the weather going to be? And what to pack for the ABC trek?
Packing right gear and clothing plays a vital role in making your trekking experience smooth and comfortable. Despite the challenges in the ABC trek, packing wise can help a huge percentage in making the trek less difficult.
Hence it is always wise to know the weather conditions of the region prior to the trek and pack accordingly.
Now allow us to give you a general idea on what to expect in Annapurna Base Camp trek. And the list of things you should consider taking with you while on a trek.
Annapurna Base Camp Weather
Nepal experiences four seasons. So the weather of the ABC region goes through Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter season.
Summer i.e June to August coincides with the monsoon season. The maximum temperature is around 19-degree Celsius and the minimum is 7 degrees. The maximum precipitation is 136 mm in July.
Spring lasts from February to May and is the best trekking season along with Autumn. The maximum temperature during this time is 17-degree Celsius and the minimum is -8 degrees in the month of March. The highest value of precipitation is 14mm in May.
Autumn i.e from Sept to Nov offers a great view of the mountains. The temperature is similar to that of spring. However, the precipitation is greater in September at around 62mm.
And winter is very cold and lasts from December to early February. The temperature during this time can get as low as -19 degree in the coldest of nights. The precipitation in this season averages at a mere 4mm.
Packing List for Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Now that you know the climatic condition you are going to encounter, let us take a look at the list of things you are going to need for ABC trek.
Your trek will start from an altitude of 1070m up to an altitude of 4130m. Therefore dressing in a layer is the way to go. This way you can add or remove the clothing item according to your wish.
The Base layer is very important when you reach the highest point of the trek. Because the highest point tends to be the coldest. Hence you will not wear this layer in the starting phase of your trek neither during the ending phase.
The base layer that you take should be fitting and comfortable as this is what is going to be closest to your body.
The layer of clothing that you will wear outside the base layer is the second layer. We even call it an insulation layer. Fleece is what you should carry for the second layer. They are soft and will keep you warm.
The insulation layer is available for both the upper and lower parts of the body. But insulation layer for just the upper part of the body should be enough for the trek.
The third and the outermost layer is the most important of all the layers. It is often the thickest and protects from snow as well the extreme cold in the Base Camp.
There are also chances of rain during several months of the year even at high altitudes. Hence for that, you should carry a waterproof down jacket.
General Trekking Clothing
In addition to the three layers, you will also need the following:
- A pair of hiking trousers and hiking shorts.
- Lightweight nylon or polyester trekking shirts.
- Waterproof shell jacket and trousers will come in handy in case it rains.
- 4 pairs of underwear for women as well as men.
- 4 pairs of sports bra for women.
Note: Make sure that the clothing is not made of cotton. Because cotton absorbs the moisture. Look for moisture-wicking material that is easy and quick to dry.
Headwear is the things that you will need to protect your head, face, and neck from the sunlight. And for the cold that you will encounter at the Annapurna Base Camp trek. They are:
- Hat with a wide brim to protect your face from the sun.
- A woolen hat or beanie to keep your head warm.
- Lightweight scarf or face cover to protect the face and neck.
Hands are the most exposed part of your body. Also, they are fragile and often take a lot of time to warm.
- Inner gloves for the mild temperature.
- Outer gloves that are waterproof to keep your hands warm in extreme cold.
There are a few footwear you will need depending on the places you go and during your resting time in the teahouse.
A good pair of a hiking boot is a must for a comfortable trekking experience. You will need hiking boot that has a strong grip and offer ankle support. This will ensure that you have a wonderful time trekking even in the most difficult trails.
Also, make sure that the boots are neither too big nor too small. And don’t go for heavy boots.
During the trek, you will walk for a minimum of 10 days. So, heavy boot is not recommended.
This trekking shoe is not for trekking in the Annapurna Base Camp. They are for while strolling in tea houses or exploring the nearby places. These should be light and comfortable.
A pair of sandal is necessary while resting in the tea house and for bathroom use.
The two types of socks you will need are
- 4 pair of good hiking socks generally that keep the moisture away.
- 4 pair of thermal socks for higher altitudes to keep your feet warm.
To carry all the necessary trekking gear and clothing, you will need a good bag that has enough space to fit all the stuff.
If a porter is going to carry your bag, then a duffel bag is the best option to choose from. Make sure that your bag is durable and waterproof.
If you don’t want to hire a porter, a backpack is the best option to have. This should be around 40-60 L backpack that can hold up all your belongings.
You can carry a daypack where you can put all the essentials. Things such as camera, water, tissue, snacks etc.
This is great because you can reach for the necessary things easily whenever you need them.
A rain cover is a must to cover the bag irrespective of any season. This will not only protect your bag from the rain and snow. But will also help you to keep your belongings clean.
The tea houses along the trek will provide you with a mattress as well as blankets. However, this might not be enough for the cold nights and mornings.
So, having a sleeping bag with a hood will be very helpful to give you that extra warmth.
Additional Sleeping Gear
If you are someone who is a cleanliness freak. You may notice that the sheets and pillowcases in the tea houses don’t smell clean.
By taking a liner and pillow case you won’t have to put your skin into direct contact with the tea house linen.
Also, earplugs will come in handy. The tea houses have a very thin wall. If you are a light sleeper an earplug is a must. You never know when you will be in a room next to a loud snorer.
The effect of UV rays is great at the high altitudes. Hence you will need the following
- Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.
- SPF lip balm
- During the summer season, there is a risk of mosquito bites as well as leeches. Carry a mosquito repellent and anti-leech ointment.
- Carry a pair of sunglasses that will reduce the amount of UV light.
- The cold air and wind also tend to dry out your skin so you might as well pack a small bottle of moisturizer.
Toiletries and First Aid
Soap, Shampoo, and Conditioner
The tea houses have showers. So, carry a travel size bottle of soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Cold showers are always available and usually free. For hot showers, you have to pay a couple of dollars.
Carry quick drying super absorbent microfiber towel. Because the tea houses do not supply towels.
Toothpaste and Toothbrush
There’s usually a communal sink outside the toilet where you can brush your teeth. But make sure to use your own filtered or treated water to rinse your mouth.
Deodorant and Wet Wipes
You’ll be spending up to 10 days on the trail getting sweaty every day. Take a small travel size deodorant and some wet wipes for that quick bath on days you don’t shower.
Hair Brush and Hair Ties
Carry a small handy hair brush that you can carry everywhere so that you can comb your hair anytime. Also, you can never have too many hair ties.
Tampons or Pads
You will not get pads anywhere along the trek. So it is very important that you carry some pads with you.
Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitizer
You may not find toilet paper along the route. So pack some inside a Ziploc bag to keep it dry. You can buy toilet paper at tea houses and shops along the trek, or stock up ahead of time in Pokhara.
Sometimes the communal wash sinks come with soap, but many times they don’t so it’s a good idea to pack a small bottle of hand sanitizer. This way you can clean your hands after every use of the toilet.
First Aid Kit
You should pack a small first aid kit. Make sure it includes bandages, gauze, medical tape and a compression bandage for strains or sprains. It’s also a good idea to pack some nail clippers.
Don’t forget to pack any prescription medication. You will not find medication of any kind generally on the trek. So make sure you pack a good supply of anti-inflammatory painkillers like Advil.
Getting sick on trial is quite common so pack cold medicines, anti-diarrhea pills, and Diamox for altitude sickness.
Mobile Phone and Charger
In today’s modern world people take their cell phones everywhere and Annapurna Base Camp is no exception.
Most of the tea houses have wifi but for that, you will need to pay. Also get yourself a local sim card before you start the trek in Pokhara or Kathmandu.
Camera, Memory Cards and Charger or Batteries
The ABC trek consists of plenty of spectacular views and natural beauty. So make sure you have a good camera to take photos as memories to take back. Also carry extra batteries for when you are running out of charge.
Headlamp and Extra Batteries
Electricity is not reliable in Nepal, especially in the mountains. There’s often no lights at night so take a headlamp to navigate around the teahouse in the dark.
Power bank comes in handy when you take a few different devices that you want to charge at once. And also when there are a queue in the charging area esp during peak season.
Sometimes you will get electrical outlets in your room. But more often there will be communal outlets in the teahouse, and often you’ll have to pay to use them.
Food and Water
Drinking plenty of water is very important in the high altitude to prevent altitude sickness. But drinking untreated water in Nepal is sure to get you sick.
Hence you can buy treated water at a few safe drinking water stations. You can also pay a small fee for hot boiled water from the tea houses.
For someone who has a sensitive stomach make sure to carry a Steripen which uses UV rays to treat the water.
You can also take a water filter, water treatment drops or tablets.
Take a water bottle so that you can refill water. Buying bottled water contributes to the garbage problem that you would want to avoid.
Choose ones with a wide opening so that they are easier to fill and to sanitize.
Though you will be having three hot meals in the tea houses. If you are someone who has to eat after every hour you can take some snacks.
You can buy plenty of junk food from the tea houses including chocolates and cookies. But if you prefer traditional hiking snacks like energy bars and trail mix, you will need to buy them either from the city area or from your own home country.
Optional Extra gear
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek has a lot of steep ascents and descents. Trekking poles can be really helpful for saving your joints on the downhills.
Entertainment for the Teahouses
You’ll have a few hours each night in the teahouses. Consider carrying a book or kindle and some headphones to listen to music.
Carry your passport at all times and keep it safe. Also, consider carrying multiple photocopies of the passport. These will come in handy to get local sim cards, permits, registration and so on.
You need a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card and an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit for the trek.
You will need to show these permits at a few checkpoints along the trail. Pack them inside a Ziploc bag to protect them.
There are no banks or ATMs anywhere on the trekking route so it is important that you take enough cash.
Having a travel insurance is important. Trekking into the mountains in high altitudes comes with various risks.
Hence you should have an insurance that covers emergency evacuation and rescue facilities. Also, make sure it covers altitudes up to 6000m.
NOTE: The above list is just a guideline. The packing list is not definitive. You can add or remove things according to your preferences.
With a little bit of preparation and smart packing, it is certain that you will have a smooth and comfortable trekking experience.
Just make sure to double check the items before you finalize them. And with this, do not forget to embrace every moment. The journey to Annapurna Base Camp will definitely serve as a once in a lifetime experience.
For further question and queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.