There are a Lot of things that you can buy Very Cheaply in Kathmandu for your trek, Down Sleeping Bags and Down Jackets, Adequate fleeces, Windstoppers, Waterproof Jackets (They say “Gortex” on the label and invariably aren’t – But they keep you dry enough but don’t expect them to breath !!), Trekking socks and trekking trousers.
Personally I would buy the following before you set off from Home
Trekking Boots (Make sure that you have broken them in)
Socks – Over the years I have tried varying combinations and have now settled on Thorlo outers and Bridgedale Liners (Socks are available locally but tend to be wool and apart from being difficult to wash, they can mat up and cause blisters)
Rucksacks, You can buy Rucksacks at a fraction of the price in Nepal to what one with a similar label would cost you at home, The problem is however that All these rucksacks tend to be fakes and often fall apart quickly. Also the carrying systems aren’t nearly as good as the genuine item. If you are doing a trek as a one off, then with careful buying then you can get away with a fake (Make sure that the stitching is good and give a good old Hard Tug on the carrying system) But if you are going to be using your rucksack a lot then Personally I buy mine at home !!
Technical underwear should also be bought at home (2 ways to go and down to personal preference, Natural Fibres such as Angora or Technical, Such as Dry-Flow, Polar Tech etc (Both work well, I usually opt for the latter simply because it dries quicker)
I have listed my own personal favourite trekking gear shop under Shopping Tips and have posted my own Nepal Kit List under Packing list tips – Both might be worth a glance.
Whether you're carrying your own kit or have porters, don't over pack. It's surprising how little you actually need, even on a remote trek through the Himalayas. Remember the motto 'wear one, wash one'. If you take an item of clothing and don't wear it more than once, you've taken too much.
I remember coming home from my first European vacation, where I packed so much I had to sit down to put my backpack on, seeing a girl at KL airport zipping on half her pants. I had to ask her what they were and purchased a pair as soon as I got home.
Zip off pants, for those don't know are longs with a zipper about knee length. Hang on a min, I've got a digital camera ... excuse the legs!
You guessed it, you get two pants for the weight of one; one short, one long.
Do youself a favour, pop into an outdoor/adventure travel shop and buy a pair of good quality, nylon zip offs. Go for comfort and don't skimp on price. You'll never wear a 'normal' pair of pants again. Plus the advantage of nylon is they dry quickly. The spin cycle of your washing machine will just about do it.
The minimum possible as you can buy clothes and shoes for one third the price in europe. reasonable quality !!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Rather take your own medical supplies as I find it less stressful
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping Gear like tents, head lights etc. for the outdoors is also easily available in all the shops for again 1/3 the price.
Miscellaneous: Bargaining is an Art to be cultivated whilst you are there!!!
Luggage and bags:
Limit your bags to what the airlines allow you to take OUT of the country, not what the USA allows you to bring WITH you. The restrictions are VERY much different: leaving the USA, you may take 2 bags of up to 44-50 lb. each, and 2 carry-ons; leaving Nepal, you are allowed only 1 20 kg (44 lb.) bag, and only 1 carry-on LIMITED TO 8 lb. 1
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Use layers extensively and sensible shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always take anti-diharreal meds and small, easily concealable rolls of toilet paper
Photo Equipment: Be as lightweight as possible; use digital, if possible; get a hand-check on anything of any real value.
Miscellaneous: ALWAYS INSIST ON BOTTLED WATER, even when ordering hot tea. The minimal extra cost is MORE THAN WORTH IT. (voice of bad experience here.)
The answer will depend on where abouts you intend to travel in Nepal. With such vast changes in altitude from north to south there are also vast temperature differences. In kathmanudu it will be warm enough for light clothing during the day but temperatures will drop at night so wrap up warm!
In the hills and montains further north it will be a little colder during the day and at night, but if you're trekking up and down hills you may also find that light clothing is fine during the day.
Down south in the Terai it will be warmer during the day and a little less so at night.
How many clothes? I take very few when going to Nepal. I love to buy the clothes that are sold up and down the streets of thamel (main tourist area in kathmandu) and all over kathmandu and pokhara. They are brightly coloured, practical and fun!
I hope you have a wonderful time! I know you'll have a wonderful time!
If you are planning to go to Bardia (you should) check out my pages...
warm handgloves, warm stuff, baseball cap to protect your eyes!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: sunscreen!!!
Miscellaneous: sunglasses - and don't forget the booze to warm you up from the inside!!!