Packing for a 15 day Trek in the Annapurnas


Admittedly, I wasn’t planning on doing a major trek during my time in Nepal. I was thinking some day trips and maybe a weekend trek. But when my Tibet plans fell through, I figured why not? I’ve got the time! So I am tagging along with Jason’s students from where there be dragons on a 15 day rugged trek through a section of mountains near the annapurnas (the name is alluding me right now…).

But I don’t have any gear! This type of trek is a major endeavor as we are carrying our packs the whole way. The porters and Sherpas we have are carrying the food and camping equipment, but were responsible for the rest. Clothes, sleeping bags, toiletries. Everything. And we’re camping the whole time so we won’t have rest stops in tea houses like many of the people who do the Annapurna circuit. This is rugged!

And I’m totally unprepared! Haha. So I spent the day today in pokhara shopping for my gear. Well equipped for travelers like me, pokhara has hundreds of outdoor stores selling everything a person could want or need for trekking. I collected a list of things, then wandered around asking about prices to get an idea of what it would all cost.

Like china, Nepal has a huge market for knock offs or low quality “brand name” products. I think all the stuff I bought is knock off, but I managed to get everything I need for under $300. A good pack or sleeping bag in the US would cost me that much! For the same price, I got 5 quick dry shirts, 2 hiking pants, a fleece, a wind proof vest, a puffy coat, a large pack, small day pack, hiking boots, sleeping bag rental, hat, gloves, 5 thermal socks, long underwear and a head lamp!! SCORE! We’ll see how it all holds up to the trek, but I am pumped about everything that I got for so cheap. Of course they all have the North Face or Patagonia logo on them, but I doubt if they’re legit. Although Jason told me a lot of them are created in the name brand factories, but maybe have a flaw or are made with lower grade materials. I’ll report back how it all holds up, but I think this could go down in history as one of the cheapest 2 week trekking adventures!


After all the fretting and buying gear, the big day is finally here. I’ll check email and blog if I can, otherwise I am out in the wilderness for the next two weeks. I’m feeling nervous about how hard it’s going to be and if it will be cold. I’m worried my pack is too heavy. But I’m also feeling excited!

This is going to be such a challenge for my mind and body, but I’m going to be rewarded with beautiful views, quiet days in nature and an internal feeling of strength. In thankful I just finished reading “becoming Odessa” a book about a female traveler doing the Appalachian trail. I know the mindset I need to have and some of the challenges I will experience. I’ll take as many pictures as I can before my two camera batteries die (or my memory cards get full!) and share with everybody once I’m back! Wish me luck on this adventure!

Author: Megan Arz

I am a travel and food obsessed Midwesterner living in Chicago and dreaming of the world. I work as a full-time program manager for Greenheart Travel, but I am also committed to integrating the travel lifestyle into my every day routines. I am passionate about ethical travel, meeting new people, creating unique memories and eating local cuisine!

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