The best treks in Nepal involve walking between an altitude of 3500-5500 meters or ‘very high altitude’ – as recognized by the International Society for Mountain Medicine. Although completing a high altitude trek mostly depends on how well your body acclimatizes with the height, it partly depends on the supplies and gear you have inside your backpack. Here is a list of 10 must-have items that should be on the packing list for your next trekking in high altitude.
Map and compass
Forget expensive GPS tracking devices — nothing replaces the value of a simple compass and a paper map. Together they’ll come in handy throughout the trekking duration. You can buy a paper map in one of the many bookstores in Thamel, Kathmandu or Lakeside, Pokhara. Don’t forget to take one with you if you’re traveling without a guide or a porter.
First aid and drugs
Make sure you have your own lightweight first aid kit in case of emergencies. Include band-aids, bandages, skin ointments and your prescribed medications. You may also need Acetazolamide (Diamox) to help prevent altitude sickness, Aspirin for minor headaches and other drugs for diarrhea.
Water bags or bottles
Recent studies have shown that increased water intake can help us acclimatize to high altitude by replacing fluids lost through heavier breathing. A 2 or 3-liter water bag or bottle is essential while trekking in high altitude. If you’re trekking in winter in Nepal water freezes at night to put your bag or bottle in your sleeping bag before you go to sleep.
Water purification is a safe and economical way to turn water from streams and rivers into something drinkable. While trekking in Nepal, the price of drinking water goes up 10 times as you gain elevation While some hikers prefer to take along water filters with them during their trip you can also use iodine or chlorine solutions to purify water.