What to Wear When Trekking in Nepal

Nepal is one of the best locations in the world for both easy and strenuous treks. But sometimes, people might get puzzled into simpler things like what to wear when trekking in Nepal.

The reasons for confusion could be varying weather and temperatures depending on diverse locations in Nepal. This might demand different questions related to clothing like:

Am I packing too few?

If yes, then you might not hold something, you require when needed.

Am I packing too much?

If yes, then you might not use most of them and just increase the load.

Well, these questions do pop in every trekker’s head.

But you don’t need to worry! This article will give you a complete guide on what to wear in Nepal during your trekking adventure. From head to toe, this guide compiles all the clothing essentials for trekking in Nepal.

Okay, let’s start from the top!

Headgear

Sunhat

Sunhats are great for all kinds of outdoor activities, including treks and hikes. This protects the face and neck from the sun.

Especially in long-treks, sun hats help to keep you away from the heat rays of the sun. Caps are great alternatives as well, but they do not have neck covers like the sunhats.

Beanies and NeckWarmers

Beanies

In the case of high altitude treks and cold temperatures, you need to wear warm woolen beanies. These will keep your head warm and protect you from the chilly temperatures.

During the trek, you shouldn’t leave your neck exposed. For this, you can use neck warmers made of woolen fabric to keep your neck warm.

If you neglect the cold weather and let your head free in cold temperatures, you may suffer from headaches or dizziness. You also catch a common cold. All these things can create difficulties during your trek.

Sunglasses

sunglasses

During the trek, you need to wear UV protection sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful radiation from the sun. In the higher altitude, there are higher levels of harmful radiation. So if you’re preparing for a high altitude trek, go grab a high-quality UV protection sunglasses.

Remember that regular sunglasses do not come with UV protection features.

Headlamp

Headlamp

In winter, the days are quite short and the daylight hours are very low. Due to this reason, sometimes you may not reach your next checkpoint of the day before the dusk. As the night crawls in, a headlamp will help immensely to illuminate your pathway to your destination.

Torchlights are good alternatives, but these need hands to hold them. Likewise, headlamps are hands-free so that you can do any other task at hand.

Innerwear

Underwear

Breathable underwear is a good choice for trekking in Nepal. You can choose underwear made out of Synthetic fabrics. This fabric is high wicking, quick-drying, and best for long and strenuous treks too.

Sports Bras

For women, we recommend sports bras made from synthetic fabrics. A good quality sports bra will absorb all the moisture from the skin and pass through other layers of clothing. This will keep you dry and comfortable while trekking.

Clothing

Trekkers usually wear clothes in different layers for trekking in Nepal. This concept is also called Layering. Basically, you wear layers of clothes of different fabrics and materials, one on top of the other.

Layering helps to allow the moisture to allow from the inner layer to the outer layer. This prevents the inner layers from staying wet and keeps your body dry. It is also favorable for the changing weather conditions during the trek. If the temperature rises dramatically, you need to take a layer off from your body, and you’re good to go. If the temperature falls too low, add a layer to keep the body warm.

You can do layering in three layers.

  • The Inner Layer
  • The Middle Layer
  • The Outer Layer

The Inner Layer

This is the base layer that sticks tightly to your skin and soaks all your sweat during your trek. High wicking fabric like Merino Wool is the best material for this layer.

We recommend packing two half sleeve trekking shirts for short treks while 4 to 6 full and half sleeve trekking shirts for long high altitude treks. The half sleeve will be perfect for hot weather while the full sleeve ones will be perfect for cold weather.

As for the lower body, two trekking trousers should be good enough.

The Middle Layer

The middle layer sits above the base layer and acts as an insulating layer.

Usually a fleece jacket, this layer should be lightweight and made of polyester synthetic wool such as polar fleece.

The Outer Layer

The outer layer sits on top of the middle layer and is usually the last layer. This layer is the most crucial layer for high altitude treks.

Thick, warm, wind, and waterproof jackets are the best outer layers. The trousers should also hold the same features as warm, wind, and waterproof as the jacket.

This layer protects the trekker from unpredictable weather, mostly from the freezing temperatures in the high altitudes.

Quick Note: You need to avoid jeans and cotton clothes for any trekking adventures.

Handwear

Handwear

While trekking, you also need to protect your hands and fingers. You should pack two types of gloves for your hands, inner gloves and outer gloves.

Inner gloves are the first pair of gloves that should be lightweight and quick drying. Outer gloves are the second pair of gloves that should be warm, durable, and waterproof.

Footwear

Footwear

Footwear is an essential thing that you wear for trekking. While you trek in Nepal, you need good quality and comfortable hiking boots. This boot needs to be waterproof too.

Your trek in Nepal will consist of many days along with 5-6 hours long uphill or downhill hikes. For this, you need comfortable shoes that are well-worn too. New, unworn shoes may give blisters on your feet and so wear them a few times before you start trekking with them.

Pack also a pair of basic trekking shoes if you choose to take long treks in Nepal.

As for socks, merino wool socks that are high wicking and quick drying are the best. Take around two pairs for short treks and 4-6 pairs for long treks.

In case of high altitude treks or treks to cold places, pack a pair of thick and super warm thermal socks. Wear them while you sleep.

If you’re trekking in the monsoon season, you should consider wearing gaiters that prevent water, mud, and tiny rocks from getting into your boots.

Other Essentials When Trekking in Nepal

Rain Protectives

If you choose to trek in the monsoon season, you need rain protective gear. For these monsoon treks, raincoats and waterproof boots are ideal.

You could opt for an umbrella. However, an umbrella requires a hand to hold it, this will create hindrance in the case of long downpours. Thus, wind and waterproof jackets are also quite handy in cases of long high altitude treks.

Shorts

While trekking in lower altitudes, trekking pants might be hot and sweaty, makes the trek quite uncomfortable. In this case, shorts will be more comfortable and refreshing instead of full pants or trousers.

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping Gear

While sleeping gear may not be something that you wear on your body, you will come in contact while sleeping.

And a four-season sleeping bag is a must for high altitude treks in Nepal. This is because, above the 3,500 meters elevation, even temperatures inside the teahouses and tents will be below the freezing level.

So, to have a comfortable and warm night’s sleep, you need a warm sleeping bag with an insulated hood.

Pack a sleeping bag liner, if in case you choose high altitude treks. This will provide you extra warmth while improving your hygiene.

First Aid Box and Bandages

First Aid Box and Bandages

This is another crucial thing that you shouldn’t forget. While this may not seem necessary for short and low altitude treks, it’s very important.

At high altitudes, even small injuries might take a long time to heal. So you need to clean these wounds and apply bandages to prevent infections.

Personal Items

A few optional things that people may need during their trek in Nepal could be towels, lip balm, sunscreen, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, baby wipes, sanitizers, etc.

The towel should be a medium-sized quick-drying towel to dry yourself off after baths or rainfalls.

What You Don’t Need To Pack When Trekking In Nepal

During trekking in Nepal, you may carry some strange things which are not necessary.

Here are the lists of things that you should consider leaving at home.

Jeans Pants

Jeans Pants

Jeans are quite uncomfortable for hiking/trekking purposes. Because these are not quite good at drying quick. Wet pants might make your trek even more difficult.

So choose trekking trousers instead, which are more flexible and comfortable to wear for long hiking adventures.

Cotton Clothes

Avoid cotton as much as possible. Cotton is hydrophilic. It traps moisture in the clothes and stays wet for long periods. This is very unhygienic and could create problems for you during your trek in Nepal.

Instead, you can use clothes made from high wicking fabrics like merino wool or polyester. These will dry in no time even if they’re wet. This will decrease the load that you’ll be carrying while you trek.

Too Many Clothes

You do not need to wear an excessive number of clothes. Until and unless you are going for a very long and high altitude trek. You do not need to pack higher than the recommended amounts of clothing. You won’t be wearing them either so why increase your carrying load in vain.

Fancy Clothes or Formal Clothes

Formal Clothes

Trekking in Nepal is definitely not to display one’s fashion choices. Nor are you going for someone’s wedding ceremony. So avoid clothing like a suit, tie, tuxedo, gown, etc.

Women should also avoid very short clothes. Wearing short clothing in public might offend the villagers in the locations that you might be traveling.

Conclusion

Trekking in Nepal is one of the most thrilling adventures of your lifetime. And the right clothing choices will enable for a pleasant trekking experience without any complaints.

In a nutshell, wear a sunhat, avoid cotton clothes, wear clothes in layers, grab a pair of good quality hiking boots and you’re almost ready for your fantastic trekking adventure.

So this sums up the guide on what to wear when trekking in Nepal. Now pack your backpacks, head for the airport, and enjoy your trekking adventure in Nepal.

FAQs

What clothes to wear for trekking in Nepal?

For trekking in Nepal, use the concept of Layering. This is basically wearing clothes in layers, one on top of the other instead of one thick, bulky, uncomfortable jacket.

Normally there are three layers. The inner layer is trekking t-shirts made of high wicking material. The middle layer is a fleece type jacket that acts as an insulator. And the outer layer is a warm, wind, and waterproof jacket that protects from the freezing temperatures at high altitudes.

As for the lower part, waterproof trekking pants or shorts are best. Go with merino wool socks combined with comfortable and good quality hiking shoes.

You should also wear a sunhat to protect from the sun and a beanie to protect from the cold. For high altitude treks, you should also cover your hands.

Wear UV protection sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful radiation from the sun. There will be a higher amount of radiation at a higher altitude.

Lastly, if you’re planning for trekking in the monsoon season, carry rain protectives too. Raincoats or waterproof jackets could be ideal.

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