Hiking part of the Annapurna Circuit was my favorite thing I accomplished in 2015. Here is a list of the things I carried.
In my backpack:
1 short sleeve shirt
1 long sleeve shirt
1 pair of leggings
1 pair loose fisherman pants
1 sleeping bag liner and 1 sleeping bag
1 scarf –I took a wide square cotton one that I could also use as another blanket at night
2 tank tops
1 pair thick socks (if you are going for a longer hike, or more altitude, take two or three pairs)
Camera and lens, cords, adapter, etc
Chargers and adapters
Money bag, passport, and permit
Journal and pen
Water purification tablets and 2 water bottles
Extra hair bands
Do not take:
Bulky laptops (Electronics don’t do well in extreme cold or high altitude anyway. I was traveling for a month, and so I had to carry my iPad with me. I did not use it at all, and it was just added weight. I saw a trekker working (as in doing his actual job) on a huge PC laptop, and immediately felt sorry for the porter who had to carry it (Yes, I asked him if he has been traveling for a month like me and didn’t want to leave his valuables with a random hotel, or if he came straight from his home country….he came straight). You are trekking to be in nature. If you are planning to work, don’t do it…you’re on vacation! If you are a blogger, take notes on a paper or on your phone. No need for a bulky laptop)
Make up (I don’t like photos of me without eyeliner, so I brought that. But foundation and all the rest—you’re going to be sweating for the entire time you are in the mountains, no need for make-up).
Wine (Someone actually brought a bottle of wine on the trek. This is not uncommon as I found out. Don’t do this. It’s silly to carry that on your back the entire time, or worse, make your guide or porter carry it. Guides and porters shake their heads at some of the things people make them carry, but they will never tell you, “no, you can’t carry them,” it’s not in their culture to say no to their guest. If you want to treat yourself at the top of a peak, there are tons of tea houses that will have good food and drinks. Support the small businesses and go all out.)
If some things are essential on your trip, but not on the trek, you can leave a bag in your Pokhora hotel. They will keep everything for you until you get back. Everyone does this, but as always, be careful with your belongings and use your discretion on what you leave behind. For example, I did not leave behind my iPad, even though I knew I wouldn’t use it. It was new, fragile, and expensive so I did not want to leave it with a stranger. But I left behind some extra clothes and random things.
For toiletries, try to use soap and shampoo that are biodegradable. I also brought a small bag of detergent to wash my clothes. You know, since I only had 2 shirts, I didn’t want to be stinky the entire time.
If you forgot something or need something like a hat or scarf, there are many Tibetan vendors along the trek, please support their business.
You can read about health on the trail here.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and I can answer or help you find the answer.
Do you have something to add? Please comment!
***All photos are taken by Kem Ramirez Photography. Please exercise artistic integrity and ask permission before using them.***