neurosurg

Equipment list

Trekking kit

Boots

Boots are the most important piece of kit you take with you. They need to be worn in before you go and they should be sturdy enough to take being pounded by rocky surfaces for hours at a time. If they are too short you stub your toes and get severe pain going downhill (no prizes for guessing how I know that). If you are going above the snow line you need to have boots that will take crampons. I use Salomon boots but there are plenty of makes as good or better.

Trekking kit

If you are going above the snow line you need to have boots that will take crampons. I used Scarpa Manta boots last trek but found them inadequate above 5000m because once you stop moving and the temperature drops to -15 they just aren’t warm enough. For the average Everest trekking peak where you spend time in a tent above 5000m the best idea is to have some light walk in boots that are comfortable and a pair of plastic boots for the real altitude climb.

Read the blisters article.

Sleeping bag

At altitude in Nepal you can expect to be sleeping in sub-zero temperatures at night so a -15 degree sleeping bag is a must. You can also buy a fleece liner if you have a mind but you can always put on more layers in the night if you need it.

Thermarest mattress

These are self inflatable and you don’t need to use it if you are in tea houses but if camping it is essential.

Headlight

If you have to get up in the night especially to find the toilet a headlight is essential. As a reading light it is also useful. Take plenty of batteries also.

Clothing

Socks
Lining Socks + Good quality trekking socks. If you go above the snow line snow gaiters are important – they stop the snow getting into your boots.

Hat
Hat preferably one that will protect your ears in a cold wind. If you are going above the snow line it is a must and if the trek is lower level then one with a brim to keep out the sun is a good idea (you can buy these in Kathmandu). Indiana Jones has a good one!

Gloves
Gloves are a must if you go above the snowline – fleece gloves are OK but proper waterproof gloves are obviously the best.

Trousers
Trekking trousers these need to be breathable and the best ones convert into shorts

Thermals
Thermals (long sleeved vest and long johns) are invaluable at night but it gets warm in the day especially when trekking so even if it is cold in the early morning when you start don’t wear your long johns or you will roast! Helly Hansen make good ones.

T shirts
The man-made fiber ones that allow the sweat to evaporate are the best. Cotton tends to get wet and stay wet.

A wind stopper
is useful as the fleece ones are light and easily stowed. Mountain Hard wear make a good one but it is a bit pricey.

Fleece jacket
Fleece jacket in the cold evenings is a must but a down jacket is even better. Warm fleece jumpers and a fleece shirt are also useful.

Waterproofs
A wind and waterproof jacket and trousers are important. A light impervious jacket that can fit over your fleece or down jacket is convenient.

Sunglasses
are vital if only to keep the dust out.

Other items

Stuffbags
These are very useful to put your dirty washing into and separate items that you have packed.

Sewing kit
You never know!

Water bottle
A stout 2 liter water bottle as you will need to drink plenty when you are walking.

Toilet paper
Take more than you need it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it (sorry – a quote from “True Romance”).
If you are traveling and not doing a tea house trek you will need a small trowel to dig a hole to go to the toilet in.

If you smoke a pipe, take plenty of tobacco!!!

Rucksacks

You will need something to put all this stuff into so you need:

1) a 60L (at least) rucksack – relax you won’t have to carry it! In Nepal porters are a must. Paying these guys to carry your gear from one location to another supports the porters families and provides much needed work locally. The locals depend on it and when Europeans arrive carrying their own gear the locals have the impression it is because they are skinflints. This is because hiring porters and a Sherpa guide is seen as helping rather than lording it over the local people.

Tip When you pack your rucksack roll the clothing as tight as possible and line the rucksack itself with at least two layers of polythene bag like bin liners. As you use your clothes either put them into stuff bags or repack into the gap between the two bags that way you keep clean and soiled clothing separate and dry.

Probably better than a rucksack in Nepal is a large kitbag. The porters prefer them, and it is much easier to organise you gear and unpack. In a tent in sub-zero temperatures and in the dark unpacking and packing a rucksack drives you to distraction. North Face make really good leather kit bags.

Pacsafe make a really good wire mesh enclosure for rucksacks and for kitbags at moderate cost, but it is better than having your boots or sleeping bag stolen at the airport!

2) a day rucksack that you can carry during the day with a water bottle, your waterproofs, sunglasses, money etc.

This is the bare minimum for a short trek in Nepal but I am certain I have left things out so make sure you check through your list carefully and add anything else that you might need!!!

Extras:

Chocolate over there is not the same as in Europe. It tastes different and has a different melting point. The Nepalese love our chocolate.

You may wish to take gel pens as gifts for children you come across on your way and children’s story books go down very well for kids who are learning English.

Take a notepad with you and something to write with as keeping a journal along the way is a nice way to look back on the trip. The first time I went there were four of us and each took a nightly turn to write up the days experiences.

Tip: Often on the trekking routes there are narrow paths with a steep fall on one side. If there are Yaks coming towards you stand on the safe side as at least one guy has been knocked over the edge and died as a result. Same goes for donkeys in the Annapurna region. Sounds really stupid but you would be amazed what people do in the spur of the moment!

Medical bag

Click here to read the medical bag details.