Are you going to trek Annapurna Circuit in Nepal anytime soon? Or maybe you are heading on some different trek? Check out our full Annapurna Circuit packing list and you will learn how to pack for 2-3 weeks of trekking in the mountains in about 10 kilos (including water and snacks)! All of this gear you see on the list we actually used during our treks in Nepal ourselves.
Would Everest Base Camp trek packing list be much different? No.
Note, that during Annapurna Circuit, the same like during Everest Base Camp trek and many other treks in Nepal, most of people don’t carry food for themselves, and only rarely someone has a tent. Actually during the summer you don’t even need a sleeping bag. Because there are (mostly) simple hotels all they way along the trail, and there are restaurants in every one of them. In case you plan to go on a fully or partly self supported hike, then, of course, your load will be heavier and you will not be able to put all of it in a 30 – 40 liter backpack like we did.
If you like us are thinking about trekking Annapurna Circuit on your own, without a guide or a porter, then we have got you covered.
Check out Annapurna Circuit Trek Without a Guide – Our Experience. There you will find everything, that may be of interest to you. How and where to obtain necessary permits? How to plan a budget? How much time do you need for it? Everything.
Now, let’s take a look at our hiking packing list!
Annapurna Circuit Packing List: Clothing (Including What’s on You)
Flip-flops. For evenings and for walks to the toilet. Concrete floors, wet floors, shared bathrooms,… When I didn’t have flip flops with me, then sometimes I was walking around barefoot, often I walked around in shoes. But having flip flops made me feel so much better.
3 pairs of socks. Both in summer and early spring I had simplest Adidas all sport socks, and they were very good. Actually in summer I was fine also with 1 pairs of socks, because quite often I was wearing shoes without socks. Una at the same time used 2 pairs for walking, 1 – for the evenings.
For the coldest months of the year (November – March) I would take warmer socks.
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 Thorang La pass at 5416 meters above sea level. For the rest of the time I used them with legs rolled up.
Similar way I did also in mid March, when sometimes temperatures went under zero and everything was frozen. Here I must admit, that I’m used to cold.
Waterproof pants. Unless your walking pants have a good protection against wind and water, which would be even better. Mines aren’t waterproof. So, just in case, I have simple waterproof pants, that I can wear on top of my pants.
Thermal pants. For colder autumn and spring days, and for winter. In spring I was wearing those for several nights when sleeping, when temperatures went under zero at nights. And one day – the coldest day – I wore them under my hiking pants during the day.
Thermal pants are also useful as secondary pants for the evenings. Few times I wore them with shorts over the top.
3 pairs of underpants.
2 t-shirts. One cotton t-shirt I was wearing in the evenings, under the fleece. After few days I changed it, and washed the first one.
2 or 3 good long sleeve thermals. For walking and cold nights. Comfortable and light long sleeve, which keeps you warm. I have one really old one from Endomondo and it has been really good. It’s similar to the ones Under Armour are making (see them on Amazon). And now I bought one from Karrimor. They say it’s made for running, and it was perfect for me on Annapurna Circuit in spring.
Una in Kathmandu bought a fake North Face long sleeve, and it was good, too.
Long sleeve will be very useful on the hottest days as well. Because sun in the mountains is very strong. And so there it’s better to cover your body.
1 warm fleece jacket. For evenings. And also for the coldest mornings/days. In early spring only once did I use it during the day. And even then only for few first hours, while it was colder.
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.
In autumn, winter and early spring you will need a scarve, which keeps you warm. I had a simple, self made fleece scarve. It worked just fine.
Hat. In summer I wore my baseball cap. Una bought fake Columbia booney hat.
For autumn, winter and spring you will need something warm. In early spring I hiked with a simple, self made fleece beanie hat. Together with a wind and waterproof hood of my jacket they kept me warm even in -10, -12 C.
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!
In early spring, autumn and winter, when there is a higher possibility of snow and mud on the trail, I would however recommend you to look for something more sturdy.
Myself, I know, I would be fine in these Salomon’s as well (except for winter!).
Annapurna Circuit Packing List: Trekking Equipment, Accessories, Electronics
– Trekking Equipment
Backpack. 35 liters will be enough, if your sleeping bag is very small or/and you will attach it on the outside of your backpack. 40 – 50 liters will be perfect. More important that the size of backpack is how comfortable it is.
In 2016 I trekked with some no-name backpack, and it was OK. Now I have Osprey Farpoint 40, and I’m fully satisfied with it.
Rain cover for your backpack.
Trekking poles. We bought second hand trekking poles in Kathmandu for 600 NPR (a pair). Quite a lot of people are walking without poles. Others at the same time say they can’t imagine walking without trekking poles.
During my first treks I used mines time after time, and overall I’m happy that we then bought them. Una uses hers almost all the time. In spring of 2017 I walked Annapurna Circuit without poles and had no problems.
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.
For an early spring, winter and late autumn be sure to get a really warm sleeping bag. Because then at nights it can be also -20 C, and there is no heating at the hotels on the trail.
Sunglasses. It’s a must have item, that you should’t go without. Especially, when there is a lot of snow. And you can’t really see the beauty of all these snow capped mountains without sunglasses either. They are SO BRIGHT!
Now we both are using SungGod sunglasses (SunGod Classics and Sungod Renegades). They are said to be adventure proof, and so far we really like these sunglasses. They are lightweight, feel comfortable even after several hours of wearing them, and, in my opinion, look good. To make sure, that you will not ruin them doing sports and going on an adventures, lenses of these sunglasses are covered with triple-layer scratch resistant coating. But frame is made from flexible and durable material.
Here you can buy exactly the same design sunglasses like I have. But you can also create your own custom design, if you want. Or – another option is to choose from best selling designs.
Water bottle. Though, any plastic bottle works just fine, having your own and better quality bottle is nice. 1 liter or 1.5 liter will be sufficient.
Torch. Or better head torch. You never know, when you may need it. In the 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 for less than a dollar a piece.
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 2016 I’m a happy owner of Fuji X30 (check it out on Amazon). It’s small. It makes good photos. And I can always backup my photos to my iPad and phone without cords and without internet. Love this camera!
Chargers for all of your electronics.
I also had my iPad, which I used to read books and to write down notes. But Una had her Kindle e-book reader. You probably don’t need these gadgets.
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. Once we had 110 SPF. I didn’t know such a sunscreen exist, haha. I would say, that 50 SPF should be OK as well. Because another time I had 50 SPF, and I had no problems.
I applied it only on face, neck, ears, wrists. Rest of my body usually is covered. Thus one 100 ml tube was more than enough for me.
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Soap. Both for body and clothes.
Shower gel and/or shampoo. When I was alone, I had only 1 shower gel bottle. And I used it for everything – to wash myself, my hair and also my clothes (few times).
Microfibre towel. It’s light, small, it doesn’t smell (OK, after 3 weeks it may smell, haha) and it dries fast. Una have something similar to these Gelert towels, but only from Karrimor. I have a Zero Grid Travel Towel set (see it on Amazon).
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) in a package. They cost us 130 NPR (a little bit more than 1 EUR/USD).
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.
In Kathmandu we both bought 1 kilo of peanuts (100g x 10) each. 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!
Disclosure: some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means – if you choose to buy some products or services through these links, we may earn a small commission. This has no effect on the price for you.
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.