A visa is required to enter Nepal except for Indian nationals.
A single entry visa for 60days can be obtained from any Royal
Nepalese Embassy or Consulate upon payment of US$ 30. You
can also get a visa at the point of entry upon arrival. Visitors
who require single, double or multiple re-entry visas can
get them by paying an additional US$ 25, 40 and 60 respectively.
For extension of visas once you are in Nepal, the Department
of Immigration charges US$ 50 for each additional month. Children
under 10years are not charged any visa fees.
All nationalities, including Commonwealth citizens, are required
to have a visa for India. Visas are issued at Indian embassies.
They are valid for 90days and can be extended for a further
90days. Visas must be obtained no more than six months before
your arrival in India. Indian visas are usually triple entry
so you can travel to Nepal or Sri Lanka and return on the
Note: that if
you apply to visit Sikkim, the Punjab, or any politically
restricted area, your visa application may take a minimum
of three months, and sometimes far longer, to process. Once
you have applied to visit a restricted area you cannot reapply
for an ordinary tourist visa until your original application
has been cleared.
The Medical Kit
A basic medical kit proposed
here that can be purchased quite cheaply in Kathmandu will
help trekkers be reasonably prepared for most problems and
can be considered a kind of insurance. In most developed countries,
prescriptions are required for some of the drugs. An understanding
physician should give you these if you carefully explain why
you need them. Do not use these medications when medical assistance
is available nearby. When you are sick and there are appropriate
treatments, it makes sense to use them. By following the suggestions
given below, the chances are excellent that you will recover,
and the benefits of treatment far outweigh the risks. If you
are not getting better in spite of self-treatment, then consider
other alternatives, especially if the situation seems grave.
Names of drugs are always dilemma.
While the official or generic names are generally the same
throughout the world, the advertising or brand names vary
greatly from place to place. The generic names are used here
The recommended medical
kit- enough for a party of two- includes the following:
or foam (molefoam) padding (about 1mm thick for felt, 2or
3 mm for foam) with adhesive backing, used for the prevention
of blisters. About half a square foot per person should be
enough. It is not available in Kathmandu, but adhesive tape
or zinc oxide strapping can be used as a substitute.
roll of 2-in. adhesive tape, and five to ten adhesive bandages
per person for small wounds.
One 3-in. roll for relief of strains and sprains.
One that reads below normal temperatures (for diagnosis of
hypothermia) as well as above (for fever).
Scissors, needle, or safety pin, and forceps or tweezers.
Plastic Dropper Bottles.
One-ounce (30ml) size for iodine. This is best brought from
home. If your pharmacy no longer carries empty plastic dropper
bottles for dispensing compounded ear, eye, or nose drops,
buy a plastic dropper bottle of nose drops and dump the contents.
Water Purification Chemicals.
Tetraglycine hydroperiodide or iodine in various forms. Vitamin
C powder masks the taste.
Nose Spray or Drops (optional).
Phenylephrine HCL (0.25%) for stuffed noses and sinuses. Put
two drops in each nostril two or three times a day when symptomatic
and when changing altitude. An alternative is oxymetazoline,
used no more than twice a day.
(optional). For those accustomed to taking these tablets for
(optional). For treating symptoms of colds and hay fever.
If you do not have a favorite, try chlorpheniramine maleate
tablets (4mg). Terfenadine and astemizole are expensive, non
sedating antihistamines you could try.
Aspirin or Similar Drug.
Twenty-five tablets (5grain, 325mg) of aspirin for relief
of minor pain, for lowering temperatures, and for symptomatic
relief of colds and respiratory infections. Ibuprofen (200mg)
or acetaminophen (paracetamol)are appropriate substitutes
for those who can't tolerate aspirin.
tablets (30mg) for relief of pain, cough, and diarrhea. A
good multipurpose drug. It is customarily compounded with
acetaminophen tablets in the U.S.A.
Codeine, as already mentioned, or loperamide (2mg), or diphenoxylate
compound tablets. Take twenty.
The current trekkers' wonder drug is probably ciprofloxacin,
in 500mg tablets. Expensive, but adequate for most of the
infectious bacterial causes of illnesses that might befall
the trekker. Take twenty capsules at least; the dose is one
capsule twice a day. An alternative is norfloxacin, 400mg
tablets, taken three times a day. A related cheaper drug,
nalidixic acid, has been used successfully in Nepal and is
the drug of choice for children for diarrhea. Other choices
would best require that two different ones should be carried,
a cephalosporin (cefaclor, cefuroxime, and cefadroxil are
choices in the United States) and co-trimoxazole. Carry a
10-day supply of a 250-mg cephalosporin. The dose for the
cephalosporin is either one or two every 8hours (cefaclor)
or 12hours (cefuroxime or cefadroxil). If allergic to penicillin,
you might also be allergic to a cephalosporin, but this is
relatively rare. Erythromycin (250mg capsule) would be the
best choice for allergic individuals. Take forty. Bring co-trimoxazole
(trimethoprim 160mg and sulfamethoxazole 800mg) in so-called
double-strength tablets if not allergic to sulfa drugs. Bring
twenty of these tablets. Be aware that there may be resistance
to this drug in Nepal.
Tinidazole is the best drug to self-treat presumed Giardia
or Amoeba infections while trekking. It is not available in
the United States but can be purchased in Nepal. Take twenty
(worm medicine). Six 100-mg tablets of mebendazole. one tablet
taken morning and evening for 3days will take care of most
worm infestations in porters. You won't be there long enough
to require treatment in Nepal.
Oral Rehydration Solution
(ORS, Jeevan Jal). A mixture of salts and glucose, this powder
is added to a liter of water to provide the appropriate drink
to rehydrate in almost any situation, but especially from
diarrhea. Not easily available in the United States- buy it
Acetazolamide (DiamoxTM), 250mg tablets, take twenty, and
also dexamethasone, 4-mg tablets, take five. The first is
to treat symptoms of mild altitude illness, and the second
is to take if someone has the serious, cerebral symptoms.
The first drug is appropriate to use for prevention in suitable
A hyperbaric chamber for treatment of serious altitude illness.
Enquire to Chinook Medical Gear, P.O. Box 1736, Edwards, CO
81632, phone 1-800-766-1365 or (970) 926-9277, fax (970) 926-9660.
Recommended for parties in a group trek to significant altitudes.
To be considered if you are prone to arthritic conditions
or tendonitis. Aspirin or ibuprofin are good choices; acetaminophen
is not meclofenamate. The latter is a good all-purpose pain
One with a sun protection factor (or SPF) of at least 15 in
order to get adequate protection from the sun on snow slopes
at high altitudes. Sunscreens are best applied 1or2 hours
before exposure and reapplied after heavy sweating. Be sure
to apply them over all areas that can receive direct or reflected
sunlight, especially under the nose, chin, and eyebrows. Lip
balms containing effective sunscreens should also be used.
Topical Ophthalmic Antibiotic.
Good choices of ophthalmic antibiotics are those that contain
bacitracin, gentamicin, polymyxin, or tobramycin. Avoid any
that contain steroids such as betamethasone, cortisone, dexamethasone,
hydrocortisone, prednisolone, or others. If you wear contact
lenses trekking, be sure to bring antibiotic eye drops.
(optional). Chloroquine, for instance, if you and your doctor
think it is necessary.
Packing for a foreign trip is
never easy, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you
happen to be. There is always something that you’re
likely to forget and always something that seems to get in
the way of a “good packing job”.
The first time that you head
to a foreign country is the toughest- you don’t know
what to expect. You aren’t sure what you should be packing
and you aren’t sure what things in the other country
will be like. You pack everything and anything because you
just aren’t sure! After you’re a bit more experienced
and have made more than one foreign travel trips, you’ll
get better at the packing part of it all- you’ll finally
learn that packing the least amount you possibly can is the
best way to go.
Of course, there is no possible
way that I can just throw a list your way that you should
print out and go by when you take your next trip to France,
item by item. We’re all different types of people with
different types of needs… with different types of items
that we own and use. On top of that, our trips might be for
different purposes- you may be heading on a business trip
to London and need to bring suits for meetings all day long
and I may be heading to Sweden for the time of my life- no
dressy clothes needed. What I can do is offer a generic list
that will include most items that most people will use while
in a foreign country- from there, you make your own list and
add the things and items you use on a daily basis that might
not apply to me.
Making A List… Checking
It 100 Times…
It’d be nice if we only
had to check it twice. First of all, make sure that you do
make a list- it’s one of the most important things you
can do before packing. I know too many people who just go
about the day and stuff things into a suitcase before they
leave- so not the way to go! You’ll end up forgetting
too many things. Make the list a few weeks in advance (or
longer) before the actual trip- you’ll be much happier
this way. I often find that when I pack and make a list at
the last second, I’m walking around the house and saying
to myself “H-e-l-l-o Erika… how could you forget
Making sure that you pack each
and every little thing that you need is pertinent- heading
to a foreign country can (and often does) mean higher prices
for the things that may cost very little in a local grocery
store at home. On top of that, who wants to spend the day
at a grocery store in Stockholm trying to decipher the price
on a tube of toothpaste that you forgot? Not me. Even though
you need to make sure that you bring everything along with
you, you also need to make sure that you don’t bring
the things that you just won’t be using. Another extremely
important thing that you need to do is find out how much luggage
you can bring along on the trip- don’t think (if you’ve
never traveled before) that you can bring along 5 suitcases
weighing any amount you want them to weigh, you can’t.
You’re restricted. The amount of luggage and carry-on’s
that you’re allowed to bring is different for each airline-
make sure you check this before you pack and leave. Not only
might you be limited the amount of luggage, but you might
be limited to how much it weighs- make sure you find this
out. If you are limited, you’ll need to make sure you
pack carefully- yet making sure you don’t forget things.
Foreign travel is, obviously,
different than travel would be within the USA. Before your
trip out of the states (or into the states if you don’t
live in them), make absolute sure you find out the “rules
and regulations” of the country you’re headed
It’s a 99% chance that you’ll need a passport
when you head into another country- make sure you have one!
Make sure that, if you don’t already have one, you get
it taken care of as soon as you find out you’ll be taking
a trip- passports aren’t made in one day. You don’t
want to be stuck without one because you waited until the
day before to get your snapshot taken- you won’t be
getting on the plane. Make sure that you’re fully prepared
when you go to get your passport- make sure you bring the
needed identification (birth certificate with a U.S. State
or county embossed seal, your naturalization/Citizenship certificate),
a picture (taken at a “passport shop”), a driver’s
license or Military I.D. issued over six months ago, a completed
passport form and the cash to pay for the passport (I’m
not sure what the current fee is since mine hasn’t expired,
yet, from years ago). If you’re passport will be expiring
soon (within 6 months) make sure you re-new it… the
country you’re heading to may not let you in because
the expiration date is so close.
Depending on the country you’re heading to, make sure
you get your visa if it’s needed (an endorsement on
your passport). For the country that I visit each year (Sweden),
I do need a passport but not a visa because my stay does not
extend 90 days (although I wish it would). Make sure that
you allow several weeks time if you need a visa… unlike
a passport (which can take 3 months to process) a visa may
only take a few weeks, but you don’t want to take any
Before you go “drug happy” and pack your aspirin
for your headaches and your Midol for your cramps, make sure
you check out the ‘medications’ you can bring
with you- what may be perfectly fine and legal here in the
US, might not be ok for you to bring into a foreign country.
If it is ok to bring in, make sure that you don’t just
stick a few in a baggy for easy access and less space when
you have that terrible headache- bring the medication in the
bottle it came in to prevent any problems. If you’re
on a prescription for something you have, make sure to bring
a doctors note along with it.
The Usual Stuffs
Of course, when packing you’ll
need to bring the basic things that you would bring whether
you’re traveling to Florida or South Africa.
not wise to forget these, and I’d be a bit freaked out
if you did. Pack wisely when it comes to your clothes- there
is absolutely no need to pack your whole wardrobe, there’s
no need to pack 23 pairs of pants when you’ll be gone
for a few weeks just because you won’t know which ones
you’ll want to wear when you wake up in the morning.
Make sure that you bring clothes that you can mix and match
so you’re not stuck with one sweater that will only
go with a specific pair of pants- you’ll be wasting
a lot of room this way. To save some space, pack your socks
underwear and bras (and whatever else you can fit) into your
sneakers. More detail CLICK HERE
Things such as your soap, facial cleansers, hair care products,
sunscreen, razor, shaving cream, nail files, nail clippers,
deodorant, tooth brushes and toothpaste, dental floss and
all of your makeup are things you won’t want to forget.
Just make sure that you tighten all of the jars, lids and
tops… you’ll be sorry if your nail polish remover
leaks on your favorite shirt. It’s a good idea to just
take what you need- there’s no need to bring along 6
different lip sticks… for a few weeks (or however long
you’ll be away) you can deal with one or two. Put the
things that you can into a small plastic bottle of your own-
all of these beauty products and toiletries can be heavy if
left in original large sized jars of pumps, etc. If you’re
staying in a hotel, it might be a wise idea and make a call
ahead to them and see what toiletries they have in the bathroom
traveling to a foreign country, it’s obviously pretty
stupid of you to bring your Filenes card with you when there
isn’t one located in Africa. It’s also not wise
to bring a Discover card because it’s probably not accepted.
However, do bring your Visa or Mastercard if you have one-
this is better to use than cash in foreign countries. Don’t
forget your traveler's checks if you’re using those
and your ATM cards.
if at all possible, make sure you can try and avoid bringing
any types of products that need to be plugged in (hair dryers,
curling irons, alarm clocks, etc). Towel dry your hair instead
of blow dry, have the hotel give you a wakeup call instead
of bringing an alarm clock. Most of the countries out there
use 220 volts at 50 Hertz but some use 110 volts at 60 Hertz.
On top of that, all sockets are different and what you plug
in at home, might not fit into a socket found in a hotel in
India. Of course, adapters and converters can be purchased
for this slight problem but it’s money and space that’s
not completely necessary.
definitely one of the most important things you can bring
along. A foreign trip may be a once in a lifetime opportunity
into a world that you’ll never venture again. To capture
this trip and provide memories, and moments for the rest of
the family to see (who weren’t as fortunate to go with
you)- take a lot of pictures. Don’t forget the film!
If you’re like me and hate
planes, you’ll want to bring things to occupy you- if
you love planes, you still might want to bring things to occupy
you; books, magazines and paper and pen/pencil should keep
your attention for awhile. Make sure you bring gum for the
horrible ear popping that occurs when you’re changing
altitudes and getting higher.
Packing is what you make it-
if you wait until the last minute and rush around without
a list, you’ll be stressed out before you even hit the
airplane. If you plan weeks in advance, start your list early
and pack as close to your leaving date as possible, you’ll
be less stressed and worried that you forgot something.
Clothing considerations differ
widely from trek to trek. A short hike up in the middle of
August could be undertaken in shorts, T-shirt, a warm pullover,
sandshoes and a sun hat; a higher altitude say above 3000m
in June, however, would require a far more comprehensive clothing
list. One of the most important considerations is the manner
in which you trek.
In all mountain areas you should
be prepared for inclement weather. On the other hand, excessive
clothing takes some of the simple delight out of the trekking
and it can also be very expensive. Remember that most of the
clothing that you would take on a weekend bushwalk is also
suitable for trekking the Himalayan foothills. During the
period in which you will be walking in Himalayan Kingdom,
heat will be just as much a consideration as the cold. For
the majority of treks you will not be walking in snow, and
it is not necessary to equip yourself with double boots and
heavy down gear as if you were about to climb Everest. A sturdy
pair of boots is always recommended, as is a good wind-and
waterproof jacket and a comfortable backpack which is adequate
for your needs. An invaluable extra is a sturdy walking stick
- useful on muddy trails and for warding off over-friendly
If you are travelling exclusively
in Himalaya and are not prepared to carry huge quantities
of trekking gear around all the time, you can practically
equip yourself in Nepal. A local tailor can make up a pair
of shorts and comfortable long trousers in an afternoon. Raw
wool pullovers, long johns, string vests, gloves, socks, and
balaclavas can be purchased in the bazaars, while local hunter
These are the most important item when considering your trekking
gear. Boots must give good angle support and have a sole flexible
enough to meet the anticipated walking conditions. A sole
fitted with a three-quarter length shank is not necessary
unless you intend to tackle extensive snow and glacial terrain.
Ensure that your boots are well walked-in beforehand, and
don't forget to bring spare laces and some waterproofing application
such as Dubbin.
you have a very tight budges it is worthwhile investing in
a top range Gortex jacket. This will serve your needs in the
Himalaya, and be an invaluable asset on any outdoortrip you
undertake when you return.
Down Vest: Recommended
for those chilly mornings. If you already have a full down
jacket then there is no harm in bringing it along, although
the temperatures on your trek are seldom likely to call for
its use, unless you really feel the cold.
Wool Shirt or Pullover:
A thick woollen shirt is worth its weight in gold. This is
an item that does not cost the earth but can contribute greatly
to your total wellbeing. As an alternative, raw wool pullovers
can be purchased locally in Kathmandu.
pair of woollen walking breeches is ideal. Ex-army woollen
pants are another option. Pile trousers provide a satisfactory
alternative, or even track suit bottoms if you are not likely
to be going above 3500meter. A lighter pair of reinforced
cotton ex-army pants is also a useful item. Jeans are totally
unsuitable in wet conditions.
A strong nylon pair is indispensable in wet weather.
for most trekking, although they should not be worn in villages,
monasteries or other places were they may cause offence to
are OK, but include some cotton shirts with collar and sleeves
to give much-needed protection in the sun. Ex-army shirts
with plenty of pockets are ideal.
Both the vest and bottoms can make a significant difference
to comfort. A double layered vest is especially recommended,
particularly if you are unsure of the adequacy of your sleeping
bag. Also inlcude a normal guality of regular underwear for
Gloves & Balaclava:
Both items can be purchased locally. A balaclava is particularly
important as considerable body heat is lost through the head.
Socks: A sufficient
supply of thick and thin pairs should be taken. Use cotton
inner socks and woollen outer socks when on the trail.
campsites and days when you have blisters.
bit of luxury for sitting in the mess tent in the evening
Recommended, especially during the early part of the season
when there is likely to be snow on the passes.
Good quality snow or ski goggles are necessary to combat the
side glare on the snow. Even if you are not actually walking
on snow, the side glare from snow on the ridges can make goggles
necessary. For non-snow conditions sunglasses are adequate.
Back to top
Holdall: A strong
duffel bag or holdall is necessary for carrying your gear
on the packhorses. The bag should be large enough to contain
all your personal gear.
To protect your clothes from elements you should bring a few
stuff bags, as most holdalls are not totally waterproof. Strong
plastic bags are an ideal alternative.
frame backpacks are ideal for longer walks. Ensure that the
sack is large enough to carry your toilet gear, camera, waterproof
jacket and sweater, as the packhorses may not be at hand during
a sudden change of weather. It is not recommended to bring
a large backpack as a means of packing gear onto horses, as
the condition of the backpack will deteriorate rapidly after
a few weeks of rough treatment by over-zealous horse handlers.
An aluminium or ex-army make is recommended, although plastic
bottles can be purchased locally.
Swiss Army Knife:
The pride of any shepherd's possessions, and always useful
for peeling fruit and opening tins; one with a small screwdriver
is invaluable for carrying out camera repairs.
& Candles: Available in Kathmandu. but don't forget spare
batteries and bulbs.
the rain, and shielding yourself from the sun; also handy
when making discrete calls of nature. Available locally.
Toiletries, toilet paper, waterproof matches, sun block, towel,
laundry soap, sewing kit, safety pins, and length of cord,
and some small plastic bags to carry toilet paper and litter
until you can dispose of it properly.
Altimeter, compass, binoculars, notebook and pens.