If you are trekking or just general touring most items can be easily purchased in Kathmandu and other tourist areas. In most cases, you will be able to purchase items necessary for travel at cheaper prices than at home and you will be supporting the local economy as well. The following is a guide to what you should bring or what is best to buy after you arrive.
What to Bring
- Your travel documents - make sure you have all of your travel documents with you. Keep a copy back at home with your family or friends and it is also a good idea to provide a copy of these as well as your insurance details to your trekking or tour agency in Nepal (this may be a requirement with them prior to commencing your tour)
- A backpack or duffel bag – This is the best way to pack your gear for Nepal. Try to avoid bringing large suitcases, they tend to get thrown around during transit at airports and if porters need to carry your bags soft bags with carrying straps are much more practical.
- Pack light for travel – while your international flight may allow 30kg of baggage you need to keep in mind that if you are travelling on domestic flights in Nepal that this limit will be significantly lower. You can always fill your bags with souvenirs to take home on your return journey.
- Prescription medication and general medication you may need – many general items are readily available at pharmacies in Nepal. There is also a large range of ayurvedic medicines available for common ailments. If you are taking prescription medication it is advisable that you have a supply readily available.
- Large size shoes and clothing – it is virtually impossible to buy large size clothing and shoes in Nepal. If you need anything larger than L or XL in men’s clothing you need to bring it with you. Similarly, if you have large feet (most Nepali feet are very small) then you need to make sure you have shoes with you including trekking boots if you are going trekking.
- Chocolate and sweets – while it is possible to buy chocolate and sweets in Nepal you will find that the quality varies quite considerably and is much more expensive than at home. A supply of quality chocolates and your favorite treats will be a welcome sight in your luggage after a long day.
- A small power board or multi-plug – One that will fit all of your electronic devices. This way you can plug your power board into a multi-plug in the wall of your hotel (or use an adapter) and charge all of your devices at once.
What to Buy
- All your trekking gear – In Nepal (particularly in Kathmandu) you will be able to stock up on everything you need for your trip or trek. This includes down sleeping bags, down jackets, warm fleece, trekking pants, trekking boots, Goretex and softshell pants and jackets and basically everything else not mentioned. This includes climbing gear as well such as ropes, crampons, down suits etc.
- Toiletries – you will find it cheaper and easier to easily purchase small travel packs of toiletries on arrival. This includes shampoo (you can even buy single-use sachets), toothpaste, soap, face wash, combs, and brushes etc
- Maps and guidebooks – these are readily available from the many bookshops in Kathmandu and other cities and towns
- Power adaptors and universal plugs – These are readily available to buy in Nepal, you will also find that most hotels and lodges have universal plugs in the walls so they may not be necessary.
- Toilet paper and hand sanitizer – you should carry these with you at all times.