Packing for a trek can seem daunting. It is easy to take too much and a disaster to take too little. With some careful planning you can take just the right amount.
When packing for 1 week, 3 weeks or 2 months you need the same basic items, for a longer time you just need to do some laundry and top up on consumable items along the way. By doing a little research about the climate, terrain and culture of the area you are going to visit will make you trek so much more enjoyable. Below is a list of some pointers for packing that I have picked up over time. Sometimes the hard way!
Some things you need to know about packing for a trek.
If you need to buy any items, think about how light it is, maybe there is lighter option. Buying your clothing from a good adventure or outdoor store allows you to choose from a huge range of clothing that is lightweight, quick drying and very comfortable to wear. Try to get all your gear as light as possible because a light backpack makes a huge difference to how you feel at the end of the days walking.
Work out the season you will be trekking in and pack accordingly
If you are trekking to Everest Base Camp or Gokyo in January you will need to take extra thermals, long sleeved shirts and warmer gloves than if you are trekking the same route in October. If you are trekking in Turkey in June you will need to take shorts and a sun hat and hopefully no thermals! Do remember that if you find you need an extra t-shirt or a swim suit there are often markets in the towns you pass through selling just what you need.
You can get supplies of some things along the way
There will usually be opportunities to restock things like tissues, wet wipes, and some snacks and drinks along the way. The brand and quality may be different but most teahouses and hostels stock a range of basic supplies.
The type of trek will determine some of what you need to pack
A camping trek will necessitate a couple of extra items of clothing to keep you warm at night compared to a tea house or hostel trek but the basic requirements are the same. Most group treks supply a sleeping bag and sleeping mat but it is a good idea to check.
Organise your gear
Use mesh packing cubes and zip lock plastic bags to keep your belongings easy to find. They will also help separate clean clothes from dirty clothes and used batteries from charged ones. Plastic bags are very good for storing batteries and also for your 1st aid and medical requirements. Keeping your passport and documents in a zip lock bag means they will stay dry.
It will rain so plan for wet weather
Take good quality, lightweight, waterproof jacket and trousers that fit over your usual trekking clothes. It is really important to have these with you in your day pack as you will be outdoors for most of the time and you will be so glad that your clothes stay dry if it rains. It is a good idea to place all your clothing into waterproof plastic bags or dry sacs. A cover for your backpack is a necessary item even if your pack is meant to be waterproof.
When I travel I use a 26l pack and share a duffel bag with my husband. The duffel is our checked luggage and holds the walking poles and small multi tool knife as well as some of the heavier items. I take my backpack with me on the plane as my carry on bag. I wear my boots and carry or wear a jacket so these bulky items are not in any luggage. The following photos show you all that I take with me.
For a comprehensive list of what I pack for a trek in Nepal into the Everest Region look at my Packing List for Trekking in Nepal. Please print it and personalise it by adding or deleting to suit you and the type of trek you are going on.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions. I always love to hear from you.
I hope you have a great time on your adventure!