TREKKING: WHAT TO PACK
One of the luxuries about trekking with Nomadic Expeditions—apart from our decades of expertise throughout Asia and world-class guides—is you are supported on your journey by local staff who help carry supplies, set up camp and prepare meals. This is trekking of the highest order, allowing you to focus entirely on the beautiful surroundings and the adventure itself. Even still you will want to pack light, with attention to the necessities: gear for the journey, and whatever creature comforts you either can’t live without.
REUSABLE TRANSPARENT BOTTLE
Staying well hydrated on a trek is key to enjoying your time in the mountains. Dehydration can deter your body from acclimatizing to high altitude and special attention should be paid to staying well hydrated. “Hydration powder” is a great way of ensuring your body gets all the necessary minerals. There are many such products available on the market – GU20, Gatorade, Gooknaid, Cytomax to name a few available at most camping or sports stores. We recommend you bring 2 reusable water bottles.
Every morning and evening your Nomadic Expeditions support team will boil water for clean drinking. Tip from our trek guides: After dinner we suggest taking your water bottle filled with hot water and placing it in the foot of your sleeping bag at night for warmth and comfort.
There will be days when you may consume all the water you are carrying from camp and need to purify water on the trail. For those instances we recommend you bring a clear BPA/BPS-free plastic bottle (Nalgene is great brand), rather than a Camelbak which has mouthpiece impossible to keep clean on a wilderness trek; and instead of a stainless steel canteen which prevents you from seeing the clarity of the water. Being able to see the clarity of the water is an important factor when using UV light or Iodine tablets to sterilize water during the day.
PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
We provide a more comprehensive first-aid kit, however it’s always a good idea for travelers to park a personalized kit of the items they prefer. It can be good to bring simple over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medication, band-aids, moleskin and Neosporin.
This entails those items people often don’t think they’ll want until they’re out on the trail and it’s far too late to turn around. Here are some suggestions based on our own must-haves for a trek. And we will say, we always love carrying a trekking notepad to record and remember the many sights and experiences of a trek.
- Trekking notepad
- Hygiene Items
The energy required by trekking must be replenished. Hearty fresh cooked breakfast and dinners with packed/picnic lunches will be the meal plan on any Nomadic Expedition trek. Once you start your trek in the morning, you are not going to reach your destination—our next camp site—until much later in the day, roughly dinner time. So in addition to your packed lunch a few of your favorite treats for snacking while hiking will be greatly appreciated by your body. Try a few snacks before your journey so you have some proven go-tos. Keep them in your day pack, rather than deep inside the camp gear.For trail mix, we recommend creating your own personal mix of cashews, almonds, peanuts, dried fruit, and most importantly M&Ms that give you sugar, which digests much faster dried fruit.
- Protein bars
- Trail Mix
FOR NON-GUIDED TREKS
The list gets much more extensive—and heavier—if you are embarking on a non-guided trek. You must consider a whole host of additional items, accommodate for transporting them, and perform the additional chore of setting up and breaking down camp, not to mention cooking. When doing solo or self-supporting small group treks, we suggest packing as light as possible without leaving out what’s necessary for a great experience. Listed below are some key recommended items. The following is just a base list to get you started and by no means a complete exhaustive list.
Depending on the duration of your journey and your reliance upon staying at lodges, cabins, or the homes of locals along the way, you may be able to dial in this list to its most streamlined. Certain environments will require tents of greater resistance, and sleeping bags of greater or lesser temperature rating. Food and water are obvious—yet again, depending on your destination, it may be possible to gain supplies along the way to decrease your carry. Infrastructure is key when trekking to decrease stress and maximize your enjoyment of the journey.
- Sleeping bags
- Camp Stove
- Pots and pans
Almost all wilderness water sources across the world potentially have giardia. Even at 17,000 feet in the Himalaya, one only has to look upstream and see yaks crossing the water or marmots playing nearby. Purifying all water you consume is an absolute must. Boiling water (rolling boil 1-3 minutes) is by far the best option, however that requires a stove and fuel (more weight and bulk). Alternate methods are filtration and disinfection. Only those individuals with very strong lung and suction power should rely on a Lifestraw as drawing a sip through them can be exhausting, and may be prohibitive for many.
- Iodine tablets
- Pump filters
Gauge your terrain and weather carefully and research the best gear and footwear for it. You’ll want to put some miles on any new boots beforehand to ensure they’re broken in and your feet are happy putting in hours in them. Proper socks you want in good supply. Be sure to audition your packs before setting out to make sure they fit you properly and can comfortable accommodate your gear. Lightweight collapsible trekking poles are great should you tire or traverse ground that requires extra purchase.
- Hiking jacket
- Rain gear
- Moisture wicking shirts
- Hiking socks
- Sun-protective Hat
- Swiss army knife