Below are five things I was most grateful to have in Nepal. There were dozens of other necessities that I was happy to have along the way, but these stood out most upon reflection.
- CLIF bars. When I got sick, they were the only thing I could eat without the risk of getting sicker. They were my breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I’d opt for steaming hot, well-boiled plain soup or French fries when available.
- iPhone 7 plus. I know it seems a little counter to trekking culture to have a piece of technology like an iPhone on the trail, but it was my camera and when on airplane mode, the battery was solid even in the freezing temperatures. It was lightweight, convenient to store in a jacket or pants pocket, and access quickly even with frozen fingers. When I happened to have wifi coverage in a village, it was easy enough to connect, send short texts to friends and family to let them know where I was, how things were going, etc. It also had a wealth of other uses, weather and temperature forecasts, access to social media, compass, calculator for currency conversion, a place to capture thoughts or ideas in an instant, and much more.
- Moleskine notebook. Most of the time I was too cold to write. I had to bury myself into my sleeping bag and position a flashlight just right so I could see the pen hit the page. Even then, my writing was barely legible because I’d be shivering and shaking so violently. Regardless, I was happy to have a journal, albeit mostly abridged, of my travels, my thoughts and feelings at the time, and descriptions of what happened along the trek.
- Antibiotics. Enough said. Word to the wise, do not go to Nepal without them and a lightweight, yet respectable first aid kit.
- Hard candy. These came in handy many times on the trek. They helped ease some of the mild altitude sickness and relieved dry mouth that comes with all the dirt along the lower part of the trek. Hard candy was also optimal treats to share with your sherpa, guide, porter, or other trekkers on the path. In addition, I often left a couple of them as small tokens of appreciation to the women who brought me a hot water bag for my sleeping bag.
I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve trekked in the mountains, what was on your must have list?
The Chicago Cubs have won the 2016 World Series. What a delight to be alive right now.
While the ticker tape parade was assembled, five million fans gathered in the streets of Chicago for the celebration. I only wish I could have been there. Instead I spent that time packing for the trek in the Himalayas. But rest assured, my Cubs hats and hoody will accompany me to Nepal.
Packing for a twenty-two day trip is a bit of a tricky thing. It warrants a lot of thought, research, and a little intuition. Who knows exactly what you’ll be encountering at 18,000 feet, be it weather, altitude sickness or a blistered foot. It might, perhaps, be all three. There are weight limits and space limits, not to mention my own physical limits for how much I can conceptually carry while trekking on the highest mountain on the planet for sixteen days.
Things find a way of working out. Hopefully, this is enough and not too much. For anyone curious about what I packed, I assembled it below.
- soft duffle bag (for trek) and carryon to leave in Kathmandu
- 3 padlocks and keys
- insurance info
- 2 sets of passport photos (visa and trekking pass)
- US cash in smaller bills
- coloring books, pencils, stickers, markets for children
- ibuprofen, Imodium
- ziplock with toilet paper and hand sanitizer
- toothbrush, floss and paste
- Acetazolamide(altitude) and Z-pack (antibiotics)
- jolly ranchers and cough drops
- sunscreen and insect repellent
- wet/dry shower wipes
- hand/feet warmers
- waterproof matches, rope and iodine tablets
- 1 liter water bottle and camelback bladder
- moleskin, bandaids, first aid kit
- swiss army knife and whistle/thermometer/compass
- rugged camera + batteries + memory card
- international plug
- extra ziplock bags
- 5 packets of laundry detergent
- body soap and shampoo
- quick dry towel and washcloth
- rubber ring band
- sleeping bag, liner, and stuff sacks
- Cubs baseball cap
- raincoat and pants
- beanie hat
- fleece jacket and pants
- balaclava and buff
- down jacket
- thermal under layers (2 sets)
- 20 pairs of underwear
- 5 warm wool socks; 6 lighter wool socks
- 3 long sleeve smart wool shirts
- 2 pairs of hiking pants
- hiking boots, sneakers and sandals
- light and warm gloves
- Cubs hoody for sleeping
While in Kathmandu I will pick up trekking poles and anything else I’ve forgotten before departing for Lukla.