Ultimate Everest - The #1 Guide Service to Everest Base Camp

How Do I Prepare for Nepal Trekking?

This section covers what gear you need to bring, physical training, Nepal entry requirements (passport & visa), immunizations and vaccinations, and travel insurance.

Please read this carefully and make sure you have gathered everything before you depart on your trip.

What Gear Do I Need to Bring?

You are responsible for bringing personal gear and equipment while communal equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.) is provided. Below is a gear list of required, recommended and optional items to bring on your trek.

Technical Clothing
1 - Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 - Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
1 - Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
2 - Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
2 - Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
1 - Fleece or Insulated Pants
1 - Shorts (optional)
1 - Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
3 - Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
2 - Sport Bra (women)

1 - Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
1 - Knit Hat, for warmth
1 - Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)
1 - Bandana (optional)

1 - Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 - Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)

1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
1 - Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
3 - Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
3 - Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)

1 - Sunglasses or Goggles
1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 - Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
1 - Water Bladder, Camelbak type (recommended)
1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

1 - Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons
1 - Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
1 - Trekking Poles (recommended)
1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
1 - Duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment
1 - Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear

Lip Balm
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Trip Receipt
Visa (available at KTM)
Immunization Papers
Insurance Documents

Mountaineering gear (for Island Peak only) - available for rent, payable in Nepal
Helmet, rental: $3 per day

Ice axe, rental: $3 per day
Insulated climbing boots, rental: $5 per day
Crampons, rental: $3 per day
Climbing harness, rental with items below: $7 per day
^ Ascender
^ Belay device
^ 2- Locking carabiners


download gear list

We recommend shopping online at REI, backcountry.com, and altrec.com for all of your gear needs.

The most common mistake that trekkers make is that they over pack and bring way too much gear.

Be selective in what you take with you. The total weight of your gear must be under 42 lbs (19 kg). Our porters are limited to carrying 31 lbs (14 kg) of your personal belongings. And if you are flying to Lukla (all Everest Base Camp trips), your daypack should not weigh more than 11 lbs (5 kg). Everything the porters will carry for you between campsites should be placed into a duffel bag, including your sleeping bag.

Our porters carry your duffel bag between lodges/campsites. It is highly recommended that you use a waterproof duffel bag, or use seperate waterproof stuff sacks/dry bags to keep your items dry.

If you have excess weight, you will be required to remove items before flying. You are expected to bring everything you need, though we do rent warm sleeping bags and trekking poles on location.

Checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Nepal. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are essential to your trip. While most clothing, gear and equipment can be replaced in Nepal prior to your trek, there are some things that you should not replace.

Ultimate Expeditions® recommends that you wear one complete hiking outfit on the plane, including a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, socks, and hiking boots. In your carry on baggage, you should bring your backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, insulated jacket, fleece pants, snacks, toiletries, medications, camera and all paperwork. Airline regulations do not allow you to carry trekking poles on the plane. Make sure you do wear/carry your hiking boots; wearing a different pair of boots on your climb will likely cause blistering.

If your baggage is lost or delayed, please notify us immediately upon your arrival so we can assist you in receiving your baggage and/or assembling the necessary gear for your trip. There are many gear shops in the Thamel area of Kathmandul. Although there are a few authorized dealers selling authentic gear from the likes of Mountain Hardwear, The North Face and Marmot, 99.99% of the gear and clothing in local shops consists of knock off items that may not be up to standard. In particular, be weary of anything labeled as Gore-Tex, as these are most certainly not waterproof. However, decent quality down clothing and sleeping bags are plentiful. Thamel has the biggest selection and is the best place to purchase gear. Namche Bazaar (for Everest treks) and Pokhara (for Annapurna treks) also have gear shops.

Ultimate Expeditions® cannot guarantee the fit, quality or functionality of items found in local shops. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to carry on the most important pieces of gear as noted above.

^ back to top

How do I Train for my Trek?

Trekking in the high altitudes of Nepal is a physical and mental challenge and you should prepare yourself accordingly with a training program. In particular, the duration of some of our trips, such as Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit, can be quite long and are quite taxing on the body, especially for newer hikers.

Being in good shape is important in many respects. Strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. And a positive mental attitude paired with determination can work wonders when fatigue sets in.

You should start training for your trip at least two months prior to your departure.  And the best exercise you can do in preparing your mind and body to walk 6 - 7 hours each day, day after day, is to get out and hike mountains or hills in your area.  For those who do not have access to trails, but have membership to a gym, you can train very productively on a Stair Master machine. If you have no access to trails or a gym, then try to walk as much as you can, with extended walks on the weekends.

If you've never hiked before, you should start with shorter time intervals, a slower pace, and no weight (in your day pack) and then gradually increase all of the above as your fitness level improves. It is better to increase the time interval/distance and keep a slow pace than to shorten the time interval/distance and increase the pace. Try to train three times a week, for at least one hour per session, at a minimum.

Remember to train in the hiking boots that you plan to trek with so that they are sufficiently broken-in (to prevent blisters). Additionally, you should wear the day pack you intend to carry so you're your shoulders/back/hips get used to the points of contact and weight (to minimize chafing and soreness).

Two weeks before your departure, your training should taper off and in the final days, rest so that your body has time to recover before the trek. In addition to walking/hiking, you can also supplement your training with exercises such as running or cycling, which will increase your aerobic capacity.

Lastly, physical training is just piece of the puzzle when getting into shape. Eat a whole foods based diet loaded with fruits and vegetables and eight hours of sleep per night.


^ back to top

How Can I Prepare for High Altitude?

Altitude Sickness (AMS) is a serious medical condition that is caused by going up in elevation too quickly, and/or performing physical exercise when not acclimatized to the altitude.  Getting your body in shape through physical training helps prepare you for altitude changes. However, the tolerance to varying oxygen content is largely genetic and can occur in some people as low as 8,000 feet.  It is impossible to tell how an individual will do in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is in it. 

Begin training for your adventure as soon as possible. The best way to prepare for high altitude trekking is to practice exactly that – high altitude, distance hikes, in your hometown.  Running, bicycling, and swimming are great for aerobic fitness, but on the trail you will be walking.

High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, drastically improving the success rate, safety and enjoyment of the climb.

Altitude training systems simulate high altitudes to induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. Besides going to (and staying in) high altitude places, using a high altitude training system is only way to pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip (see Pre-Acclimatization).


^ back to top

Should I Get a Medical Check Up?

Trekking Everest Base Camp and other Himalayan Region treks is a strenuous adventure and should not be undertaken if you have any health conditions which may put you at risk. You are strongly advised to consult your physician for a medical checkup and ask if you have any preexisting medical conditions that can cause problems on your trek.  Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization and whether Diamox can be taken with your existing prescription medicines.

If you have any medical issues that would be more dangerous for you trekking than the average person, we need to be informed of this before you book.

Such medical issues include but are not limited to: spine problems; circulation problems; internal problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, intestinal or kidney problems; respiratory issues such as asthma; high or low blood pressure; head trauma or injury; heart conditions; blood disease; hearing or vision impairment; cancer; seizure disorders; joint dislocations; sprains; hernia.

Our minimum fitness requirements are that each trekker must have a resting heart rate of under 100 beats per minute. We will check your resting heart rate before your hike. If your resting heart rate is above 100, you will be required to see a local doctor prior to the climb to get approval. The average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute.

^ back to top

What Are the Entry Requirements for Nepal?

    To enter Nepal, most nationalities must hold a valid passport, with at least six months beyond your proposed date of your trip. US citizens, as well as citizens of the UK, Canada, Australia, and other European Union nations must have passports. If you do not have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible this process can take 4-6 weeks. 

    It is possible to apply for a Nepalese visa in the United State of America through the Nepalese Embassy.  However, we recommend obtaining a visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. You must fill in a flight arrival card and a visa application form, as shown below. A passport photograph is required.

    Arrival cards and visa application forms are available at several tables in the arrivals hall, though some airlines provide the forms on the flight.

      Once you have completed the forms, follow the sign that states "WITHOUT VISA" to obtain your visa. The process can take up to an hour, depending on how many people are there.

    You can pay for your visa in US Dollars, British Pounds, Euros, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, and several other currencies. Credit cards are not accepted. Current visa fees are: 

    Days      Fee
    15           $25.00
    30           $40.00
    90           $100.00

If you wish to extend your visa you need to contact Nepalese Department of Immigration at Kalikasthan, Kathmandu (Tel: +977 1 4429659); (Fax: +977 14433935). Overstaying without authority is serious violation and you can be detained or refused permission to leave until a fine is paid.

Once you have cleared immigration, proceed to baggage claim. An Ultimate Expeditions® representative will be waiting outside the airport to pick you up. He will be holding a sign identifying him as Ultimate Expeditions® staff.


What Vaccinations, Immunizations and Medications Do I Need?

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications 
The following vaccines are recommended for your travel to Nepal. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

When traveling in Nepal, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.

Food and Waterborne Diseases
Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers. Travelers' diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Nepal and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis).Hide Stay Healthy and Safe.

To stay healthy, do...

Do not…
^ back to top

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is mandatory. All trekkers must be insured against medical and personal accidents including the costs of a helicopter evacuation. Being sick or injured in the remote regions of Nepal is very dangerous, and at times being rescued by helicopter is the best option. However, helicopter evacuation is very expensive ($4,000-$10,000). We want to be sure all of our clients are covered for this. Additionally, make certain that your insurer is aware of your itinerary and that your policy fully covers the trek you plan to book.  For trekking to Everest Base Camp you will need to ensure your insurance covers high altitude trekking up to 18,000 feet (5,500 m).

Protect your investment against trip cancellation, interruption, delays and unforeseeable expenses. Standard travel insurance provides coverage for:

At a minimum, the insurance should protect you against trip cancellation and trip interruption, should you need to cancel your trip due to circumstances such as training injuries or sickness or emergencies. Ideally, insurance should cover high altitude trekking (not to be confused with "mountaineering" or "mountain climbing" which most insurance will not cover) up to and all medical and repatriation costs.

For our customers residing in the USA, we recommend that you obtain Travel Guard's Silver, Gold or Platinum plans, which provide coverage for high altitude trekking, trip cancellation, interruption and delay; lost, stolen and damaged baggage; medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation; and luggage delay, for a low cost. You can compare the Silver, Gold or Platinum plans and purchase online through Travel Guard.

For our international customers, we recommend that you obtain travel insurance through World Nomads.

Trekkers are strongly advised to obtain travel insurance immediately after booking their trip. Travel Guard insurance covers trip cancellation due to pre-existing conditions only when insurance is purchased within 15 days of booking. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance to staff upon request. Clients who fail to obtain travel insurance will not be allowed to trek.


^ back to top

Where Do the Treks Begin?

Annapurna, Manaslu and Langtang treks begin in Kathmandu; all other Himalayan treks fly (the following day) into Lukla, which is the gateway town to the Everest Base Camp trail system.  You will need to fly into the Tribhuvan International Airport located in Kathmandu (airport code: KTM).  And on the day of your arrival one of our drivers will pick you up from the airport and transport you to your hotel.

Many Middle Eastern airlines: Emirates, Qatar and Gulf offer daily flights to Kathmandu with a layover at their respective hub, however be aware that some flights have very long layovers. Qatar Airlines offers great service and seem to manage short layovers in Doha, if you can book a flight on this route it would be beneficial.
Another alternative is to fly in to Delhi (airport code: DEL) and then catch flight to Kathmandu, but again be aware of layovers and possible delays.  Flights from the USA to KTM typically range from $1,600 to $3,500, depending on the season.

The Lukla airport is known for being shut down for several days at a time due to bad weather and fog; delays can happen at the beginning or end of your trip, potentially both.  Our trek itineraries are designed to give you a contingency for acclimatization but do not accommodate airport delays. Therefore, we urge you to build as much flexibility as possible into your overall itinerary to ensure that you are able to enjoy your trip. Consider adding a couple of extra days after your trek in Kathmandu.

If there is a delay due to weather (or any other unforeseen reason), we will do what we can within our ability however, because of the risk involved, we do not compensate for any loss of your trip.  In addition, any and all extra costs/fees incurred are your responsibility and must be paid locally.


^ back to top








↑ Back To Top