Some of you guys have been asking for a comprehensive gear list of what I used on the Great Himalaya Trail. Well, ask and you shall receive.
There were a few items that failed or needed to be switched out, so I’ll let you know what those were. Most of my gear was stuff I already had, although I did splurge on a new sleeping bag for the occasion. On this list, Buckey carried the tent and navigational stuff. Everything else is either my own gear or communal stuff for both of us that I carried.
The Big Three:
- Shelter- Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2
- Backpack- Granite Gear Nimbus Trace 80 and Osprey Aura 50 (the one I have is no longer being made). OK, I did most of the hike with my Osprey. For the last few weeks, we were going into a more remote region and would have to pack way more food. I switched to my Granite Gear for the sake of space. It had previously been my storage bag I kept at my guest house in the city.
- Sleeping Bag-Feathered Friends Women’s Egret Nano 20
- Sleeping Pad- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Women’s and Therm-a-Rest ProLite. Oh man, I bought the NeoAir brand new for this trip and was so stoked to use it… then it malfunctioned after one week and was basically unusable. I slept uncomfortably for a few weeks until I got back to Kathmandu and bought the ProLite. The ProLite is like Old Faithful; nothing too fancy, but it’s reliable.
Eating and Drinking:
- Water Treatment- Steripen Adventurer
- Stove-MSR Pocket Rocket
- Cooking Pot- GSI Outdoors 1.1 Liter Boiler Pot and a small cup. Buckey ate out of the pot, and I used the cup.
- Utensil- regular old spoons.
- Food Bag- Sea to Summit
- Ziplock Bags- Ziplocks aren’t a thing in Nepal, so bring a stock pile.
(Worn While Hiking)
- Shoes-Salomon X Mid 2 Ultra GTX Women’s Hiking Boots (anyone else think they could have shortened that name a bit?) and Altra Lone Peak 2.0 Women’s Trail Running Shoe (which are no longer available, but here’s the latest Altra Lone Peaks). I started with the boots because I anticipated more snow and needing to use my crampons. Once it became clear I wouldn’t need the crampons, I switched to trail runners.
- Socks-Darn Tough
- Pants-Lucy Get Going Pants. These are basically loose fitting yoga pants, so they’re perfect for hiking comfortably and conservative enough to wear in rural Nepal. They also make plus sizes now!
- Shirt-REI Co-op Tech T-Shirt Women’s. Hey, REI. Make this shirt in a color that isn’t either pastel or grey.
- Hat and Sunglasses- Backcountry Ninjas Hat and cheap sunglasses.
(For Around Camp)
- Fleece Jacket- Sherpa Adventure Gear Karma Jacket Men’s.
- Down Jacket- Sierra Designs DriDown Hoodie Jacket.
- Rain Jacket- Marmot Precip Rain Jacket Women’s.
- Rain Pants- I don’t remember which brand I have, but they’re not very good so no need for a link.
- Base Layer Bottoms- Nike Power Legend Tights
- Base Layer Top- SmartWool 250 Mid Zip
- Hat and Gloves- Buff Wool and SmartWool Micro 150 Gloves.
- Extra Socks- Darn Tough
- Stuff Sack- Sea to Summit, again.
In case you guys are wondering if I really used all those layers, yes I did. There were lots of days where my hiking clothes were completely soaked and I wore all of my dry layers that night.
- Phone- iPhone SE 64 GB. This phone takes great photos. When it’s on airplane mode, the charge will last for about five days.
- Kindle- Kindle 6″ E-reader
- Power Bank- Here’s one by Anker, but they’re all pretty much the same.
- Cords and Plugs- iPhone cord, universal cord, US plug, Asia plug (both plugs are necessary because the electrical sockets vary).
- Guide Book- The Great Himalaya Trail Low Route by Linda Bezemer and Nepal Trekking & the Great Himalaya Trail by Robin Boustead. Neither are data books like I’m accustomed to with guide books for American trails. They’re more of a general overview. Linda’s is only available as an ebook, while Robin’s is only available in paperback.
- GPS- Garmin eTrex 20x GPS and Himalayan GPS maps to download. Deal with this ahead of time because it took us a few hours to get the maps on the GPS, and it was a pain in the ass.
- Maps- Himalaya Map House. You can get these bad boys on Amazon or at any bookshop in Kathmandu.
- Toothbrush- Why is this not called “teethbrush”?
- Toothpaste- Or “teethpaste”? Seems more correct.
- Baby wipes
- Soap- Real talk, I got diarreah so many times in Nepal. Less so once I stopped using hand sanitizer and started using soap and water.
- Head Lamp-Black Diamond Wiz Kids’ Headlamp. I didn’t intentionally buy a kids’ headlamp, but it only weighs 2 oz. so I guess I’m an innovator.
- Water Bottles- capacity for 3 liters.
- Journal and Pen- there are adorable journals you can pick up at the bookshops in Kathmandu.
- Money Belt- Eagle Creek. To be clear, I didn’t wear this while hiking. I just kept it in my pack. It was super useful because ATMs are a rarity outside of cities in Nepal, so there would be times I had the equivalent of $1000 cash on me (too much to put in a wallet, the equivalent of $10 is Nepal’s biggest bill). I always wore my money belt when riding buses and during times where I was separated from my pack.
- Extra Batteries- for the GPS, Steripen, and headlamps.
Gear we had and didn’t end up needing:
- Mountaineering tool- Black Diamond Raven Pro. I picked this up in Kathmandu and it didn’t have tags attached, but I’m pretty sure this is the one I have.
- Crampons- Petzl Leopard FlexLock. It’s a shame I didn’t get to use these. They are backpacking specific and so lightweight.
I want to add that Buckey and I stored resupply bags at our guest house in Kathmandu then Pokhara for the second half of our hike. This made it easy for us to switch out gear and have city clothes to wear. So if you’re planning on doing this hike, have no fear, you don’t have to carry everything you brought from home the entire time.
Hey, remember how I wrote a super awesome guide to the Appalachian Trail? It’s on sale right now! More importantly though, I’m writing a book on hiking the Great Himalaya Trail and Nepal trekking in general. I want to know what you want me to write about.
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