The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations.
Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.
Bhaktapur - Fantastically preserved Newari capital and UNESCO listed World Heritage Site - US$ 35 (minimum 4 people) US$ 35 (minimum 4 people)
Long Trousers - For everyday walking, light cotton trousers are the most suitable. Knee length shorts are acceptable in the more remote areas, but to avoid giving offence in the villages, you should cover up with trousers. Although comfortable, leggings are also unsuitable as they too cause offence to local people.Jeans are not recommended as they are often difficult to walk in over longer distances and become cumbersome when wet.
Down Jacket - After sunset, temperatures can fall below freezing. A down jacket is the lightest and most convenient way of keeping warm when the temperature drops. Down jackets can be inexpensively hired or bought in Nepal. Details will be given at the briefing in Kathmandu.
Waterproofs - Breathable waterproofs not only protect against rain and wind but also stop you from overheating. They \ breathe' and avoid condensation which you will experience from nylon waterproofs. Rain during the trekking season is fairly rare but can be heavy if it does happen.
Gloves - Especially useful in the morning and in the evening at higher altitudes. Thermal types are most suitable.
Socks - It is best to wear a pair of reasonably thick loop stitch socks. This helps to protect your feet against blisters. Avoid nylon socks, they are abrasive, don't breathe well and can cause blisters.
Thick fleece pullover/jacket - A thick fleece pullover or jacket is necessary as nights can be very cold at altitude. Make sure that your waterproof jacket is loose enough to wear over your pullover or jacket.
Track Suit - Comfortable and much more practical (and warmer) to sleep in than pyjamas. Alternatively, thermal underwear is good.
Thick Shirt or Thermal Vest
Luggage: On tour
Your luggage should consist of three main pieces:
Main Baggage: The item of luggage used to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane and used to store all of the items you don't need on trek. This can be left behind at the group hotel used prior to the trek.
Trek Kitbag: Customer on all of our treks in Nepal receive a free Explore kitbag on the tour prior to the start of the trek. Approximately 80 litres in size it's ideal for all items you need to take on trek and the luggage preferred by our porters. The weight limit for this is 10kg but you will probably find that you do not need this much.
Daysac/Rucksack: 30-35 litres recommended. During the course of a trekking day, you do not have access to the luggage which is being carried for you by the porters. In any mountain region the weather can change rapidly and you must be equipped for this eventuality. Your daysac should therefore be large enough to carry waterproofs, fleece jacketweater, long trousers (if walking in shorts), warm hat and gloves, sun hat, sun cream, water bottle (minimum 1 litre) and your camera. Most people normally find that this adds up to about 2 to 3kg. Other optional items in a daysac might be a diary or a book to read at lunch time. On a few occasions it is also necessary to carry your own packed lunch. We advise you to take a waterproof rucksack cover or alternatively line the sack with a large plastic bag to keep the contents dry.
Advice on how and what to pack for the trek will be given at the tour briefing but it may be useful to do a trial pack before you leave home.
Sleeping Bag - As you do not carry it yourself this may be down or synthetic, but it should be 4-season (temperature -10°C to -5°C). As most treks pass through a variety of climatic conditions, a long side zip is a good idea. A cotton liner helps to keep your bag clean. Good sleeping bags are expensive but can be rented or bought quite easily and cheaply in Kathmandu, so if you don't own one you could consider this option. Details can be dealt with at the briefing in Kathmandu.
Water Bottle - Water along the trail must never be considered as drinkable. Each day you must sterilise water with Chlorine Dioxide with which to fill your own bottle. 1 litre is the minimum size suitable. If you dislike the taste of sterilised water, it is a good idea to add some powdered fruit juice. You MUST bring Chlorine Dioxide with you on this trek. For environmental reasons, we do not encourage the purchase of bottled mineral water nor the boiling of water due to fuel and power shortages.
Plastic Bags - If you pack bits and pieces in plastic bags inside your bag they will stay dry in case of rain and be easier for you to sort through in camp. Remember, the less you have to unpack in the evening, the less you have to repack each morning! A bin liner to pack inside your daysac is also a good idea.
Torch/Batteries/Bulb - A small torch is essential for finding things in your room, going to the loo in the night, etc. Petzl head torches are particularly useful. Remember that in most developing countries only a limited selection of batteries is available so bring spare batteries and bulb. The most common are pen cells (or AA size) and SP/HP2 (D size).
Toiletries - Try to keep heavy cosmetics etc to a minimum. Essentials are toothbrush/paste, bio-degradable soap, small towel, small nail brush and toilet rolls! `Wet Wipes' are great for a quick clean up, so bring a pack of those (non-perfumed to avoid rashes!).
Sunglassesnow Goggles - A good pair of sunglasses are essential for protection against UV rays and glare at high altitudes.
Sun Hat, High Factor Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve Choose a high factor suncream (Factor 15 or more) to protect your skin against the sun at high altitudes. A combination sunblock/ lipsalve is ideal for facial protection.
Personal First Aid Kit Each trek carries an extensive first aid kit but no prescription medicines. You should have your own supply of plasters, aspirin, diarrhoea tablets and also a comprehensive blister kit plus any other medications you or your doctor feel advisable. (Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the trek leader.) See the list in our General Information Booklet.
Trekking poles Trekking poles with rubber points are recommended.
Whistle To attract attention in an emergency.
Boot Cleaning Kit
Anti bacterial handwash
Equipment Hire in Nepal - Almost every item required for a trek can be purchased or hired in Kathmandu and your Tour Leader can advise on the best shops to visit at your tour briefing. The costs of hiring are as follows:
Please note: each item has a minimum charge of 7 days and then an additional per day charge added every after that if longer than 7 days:
Sleeping Bag (4 season)- Rs.60 per day (Rs.420 for 7 days- minimum)
Cotton sleeping bag inner liner (new)- Rs.150 per day (Rs.1050 for 7 days- minimum)
Down Jacket- Rs.50 per day (Rs.350 for 7 days- minimum)
Equipment Hire and Trek Training Days in the UK - Trek Hire UK hire out a wide range of kit including quality sleeping bags, down jackets, therm-a-rest sleeping mats and walking poles http://www.trekhireuk.com. They also run regular trek training and preparation days from their base in the Surrey Hills, ideal for getting an indication of your overall fitness level and also covering advice on kit and altitude.
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow £45 for tipping of trek staff, drivers, guides etc.
In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.