Are you going to trek Annapurna Circuit anytime soon? Then check out our full Annapurna Circuit packing list and learn how to pack for 3 weeks of trekking in Himalayas in 10 kilos or less (including water and snacks)! All of this gear you see on the list we actually used during the trek.
Remember, take only the most necessary things! Only most necessary equipment. Because all of this stuff you will be carrying on your back, going up and down in the mountains, for almost three weeks. That’s something I was constantly telling to myself, when we with Una were preparing for our Annapurna circuit trek in Nepal (summer of 2016).
If you like us are thinking about trekking Annapurna Circuit on your own. Which means doing it without a guide and/or porter (man or woman carrying one part or even all of your stuff). Then this article will be even more helpful for you.
In fact, we can also call it Annapurna Circuit packing list for minimalists.
Annapurna Circuit packing list: Clothing (including what’s on you)
Flip-flops. For evenings and for walks to toilet. Concrete floor, wet floors, shared bathroom,… Sometimes I was walking around barefoot, often I walked around in shoes, but having flip flops would be perfect.
3 pairs of socks. I had simplest Adidas all sport socks, and they were very good. Actually I was fine with 1 pair of socks, because quite often I was wearing shoes without socks. Una used 2 pairs for walking, 1 for the evenings.
Long pants. Comfortable, not too tight. So you can use them like shorts, too. Trekking Annapurna circuit in June I was wearing my Karrimor pants like normal pants only once, when crossing Thorung La pass at 5416 meters. For the rest of the time I used them with legs rolled up.
3 pairs of underpants.
Some other light pants for evenings. I had only 1 pants. But sometimes I felt, that having one more – clean ones – would make me feel better.
2 t-shirts. One cotton t-shirt for evenings. One synthetic t-shirt for days, when it’s colder and you need something more than one long sleeve. If you will hike in spring or autumn, when it’s colder than in June, it’s possible that you will need this second t-shirt all the time.
1 good long sleeve for walking. Comfortable and light long sleeve, which keeps you warm. I have one really old one from Endomondo and it was perfect. It’s something like this Under Armour long sleeve (check the price on Amazon).
Una in Kathmandu bought a fake North Face long sleeve, and it was good, too. You will need a long sleeve, when it’s cold. And it protects you from the sun, when it’s really strong.
1 hoodie or fleece jacket for evenings. And also for the coldest mornings/days.
Scarve or something similar. We use Nevica Skuff’s for different purposes. As a face mask. A hat. And also as a scarve. But most often during the Annapurna Circuit trek I used it to protect my neck and ears from the sun.
Hat. I worn my baseball cap. Una bought fake Columbia booney hat.
Shoes or boots for Annapurna Circuit Trek
Comfortable and slightly bigger than your actual shoe size. When walking down the hill your toes will say thank you for it! If you aren’t going above 4000 meters, then good sandals could be fine in summer(!!), too!
My choice – Salomon Speedcross 3 (check the price on Amazon) trail running shoes. If these guys and ladies (ultra-marathon runners) can run hundred miles through mud, rocks, snow and sand in 1-2 days in such a shoes, then I definitely should be able to walk 200 miles in 3 weeks. That’s how I was thinking, when buying these shoes.
And I was right. These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had. And they are SO LIGHT!
Annapurna Circuit packing list: trekking equipment, accessories, electronics
Backpack. 35l will be enough, if your sleeping bag is very small or/and you will attach it on the outside of your backpack. 45 – 50l will be perfect. More important that the size of backpack is how comfortable it is.
Rain cover for your backpack.
Trekking poles. We bought second hand trekking poles in Kathmandu for 600 NPR (pair). Quite a lot of people are walking without poles. Others at the same time say they can’t imagine walking without trekking poles.
I used mines for 1/3 of the time, and overall I’m happy that we bought them. Una used hers almost all the time.
Sleeping bag. In June sleeping bag isn’t really necessary. During the spring and autumn it’s different as then it’s colder. But anyway it’s really nice to have it, because not always blankets in Himalayan guest houses are the cleanest ones.
Sunglasses. I normally never wear sunglasses. But, as I learned during this trek and from all the articles that I read before, in mountains there are situations when not having sunglasses may be really dangerous. And you can’t really see the beauty of all these snow capped mountains without sunglasses. They are SO BRIGHT!
So sunglasses is a must-have.
Water bottle. Though, any plastic bottle works just fine, having your own and better quality bottle is nice. 1 l or 1.5 l will be sufficient.
Torch. Or better head torch. You never know, when you may need it. In mountains power outage isn’t something unusual. It happens time after time.
Waterproof poach for your valuables. Documents, copies of documents, TIMS, trekking permit, cash.
2 bungee cords. Bungee cords are great for hanging out your laundry. Una used one to attach her sleeping bag to her backpack. You can buy them in Nepal.
Smartphone. Sometimes it was my smartphone. Sometimes I used it as a torch. Another times it may be your music player or camera. While trekking switch the airplane mode on to save the battery. Because not every day you will be able to charge your phone.
Camera. Since this year I’m a happy owner of Fuji X30 (check the price on Amazon). It’s small. It makes good photos. And I can always backup my photos to iPad and phone without cords and without internet. I love this feature.
Chargers for all your electronics.
I also had my iPad, which I used to read books and take notes. But Una had her Kindle e-book reader.
Annapurna Circuit packing list: toiletries and medicine
Toiletries for Annapurna Circuit
5 packages of good tissues. I used them instead of a toilet paper. And they are more compact, too. Una had a roll of toilet paper. Later on the trail she bought more.
Strong sunscreen. We had 110 SPF. I didn’t know such a sunscreen exist, haha. My guess is that 50 SPF should be OK as well. I applied it only on face, neck, ears, wrists. Rest of my body, except shins, was covered. Una was wearing pants all the time. Thus one 150 ml tube was enough for two of us.
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Soap. Both for body and clothes.
Shower gel and/or shampoo.
Microfibre towel. It’s light, small, it doesn’t smell (OK, after 3 weeks it may smell, haha) and it dries fast. We both use something similar like these Gelert towels, but only from Karrimor.
It’s important to remember, that there are almost no pharmacies along the trail. So think about what you may need and take it with you! We had some band aids, hydrogen peroxide, tiger balm, Strepsils, Koflet by Himalaya, pain killers, Aspirin, Loperamide (to stop diarrhea), Dexamethasone (for emergency, in case of altitude sickness) and Activated charcoal.
There are also pills, which can help you to acclimatize better. Ask at pharmacy!
Water purification tablets. We bought ours from super market in Kathmandu. They are called Ef-Chlor 3,5mg. There are 50 tablets (1 tablet = 1 liter of water) cost us 130 NPR.
Annapurna Circuit packing list: food and snacks
In the mountains all snacks, dried fruits and nuts are at least 2 or 3 times more expensive than in Kathmandu. And they aren’t cheap in Kathmandu either. So if you know, that you would love to have a chocolate bar or some nuts more than once a week, then it might even be a good idea to bring something from home.
We both bought 1 kilo of peanuts (100g x 10) in Kathmandu. For me it was enough until the end of the trek. Una couldn’t eat more than 4 packages. I had 5 small Snickers bars. Una – 10 regular Snickers bars. Later we bought few more chocolate bars in Manang and Muktinath, where prices in the shop are similar to those in Kathmandu.
Our observations about trekking gear people are using in Nepal
Coming to trek Annapurna circuit I was thinking, that here I will constantly feel like in some North Face commercial, where everyone looks like an experienced mountaineer. Reality turned out to be quite far from it. People, whom we met were wearing all kind of clothes.
Some were in jeans, like Una. Others were in sweatpants. Some wore sneakers. Others even sandals. One thing in common – backpacks. Everyone hiking Annapurna Circuit had a backpack. But again, one had genuine, like Una, but others – knockoffs.
So, you got it – as long as your clothes are weather appropriate, fits you well and you feel good with them you should be fine.
Yes, special hiking clothes has their benefits. In fact, quite a lot of benefits. But it doesn’t mean, that you can’t do this hike without them. Few of the most important items, in my opinion, are – shoes, backpack and rain jacket. Try to get the best ones you can!
For more information about trekking Annapurna circuit check out – Annapurna Circuit Trek Without Guide!
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Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.