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19 Top Nepal Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring

19 Top Nepal Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring
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With Nepal’s towering Himalayas and age-old temples, it’s no surprise that so many people have this small South Asian country on their travel bucket list. Between its dozens of treks, Buddhist and Hindu religious sites, and delicious food, travelers young and old fall in love with Nepal each year.

After having trekked in Nepal for quite some time, I definitely wish I had packed a little differently before the trip. To help you out, we’ve created this comprehensive Nepal packing list which includes what to wear in Nepal, as well as what you should buy or rent there, what you should leave at home, and answers to some important FAQs.

Lyric Fergusson in Nepal
Me at Mt. Kailash after starting the trek in Nepal.
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What to Pack for Nepal – 19 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    These cubes are ideal for packing a full suitcase or backpack in an organized and tidy way, and they ensure that you’ll always know exactly where to find each of your items, even when you move them from your suitcase to your day bag or vice-versa. In our experience, they are a complete game-changer for staying organized while traveling.

    aqua packing cubes

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  • 2. Travel Insurance for Nepal

    Even the most experienced travelers can’t always predict or prevent trouble while traveling. Medical emergencies, thefts, and other unexpected urgencies can really wreak havoc on your travel plans and budget, but having travel insurance can alleviate much of the stress – the most experienced travelers never travel without it. is a great place to go to compare policies from the top companies and find the perfect coverage for you and your trip.

    Compare policies at ➜

  • 3. Cooling Towel

    A cooling towel is a must when hiking in Nepal. It might not get unbearably hot in Nepal, but the sun is extremely strong thanks to the country’s high elevation. Combine that with trekking or doing any physical activity in some of the highest mountains in the world and you’ll surely work up a sweat. The best way to cool off is with a compact cooling towel. All you do is get it wet, wring out excess water, and then you have a refreshing towel that is 20-30 degrees cooler than outdoor air temperatures.

    towel pink

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  • 4. Hiking Shoes

    Most of the activities that Nepal has to offer involve exploring outdoor areas, and good hiking shoes that are already broken-in will save you back and leg pain from hiking in regular tennis shoes or other less sturdy shoes. These ones are good quality, well-rated, easy to break in, and not very expensive.

    Hiking Shoe

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  • 5. Nepal Power Adapter

    Nepal mostly uses plugs from India (Type D) and from Europe (Type C), so it’s a good idea to bring a Type D adapter and a universal adapter along with you to make sure you’re able to charge all of your devices without any trouble.

    Nepal Power Adapter

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  • 6. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    We take our phones everywhere. They’re our links to the world, and to the information, we need while traveling, so we have to keep them safe. This case is simply unbeatable. It’s sturdy, waterproof and dust-proof, and still allows for use of your touchscreen and camera. With a low price tag, it’s quite a steal as well!

    waterproof phone case

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  • 7. Neck Wallet

    It’s always a good idea to have a safe method of carrying your money, cards, and passport with you. Those are items you may need while out and about, but you won’t want them to be on display or unsecured at the risk of having them stolen. This pouch allows you to carry your cards, passport, and cash compactly and discreetly under your shirt while still keeping them accessible to you when you need them.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    hero neck wallet

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  • 8. Female Urination Device

    This device may sound strange to some, but with Nepal’s distinct shortage of Western-style toilets, it can make urinating much easier, and less messy. This one comes with sanitizing wipes and a sanitary carrying bag to help keep your toilet experiences safe and comfortable.

    urination cup

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  • 9. Travel Towel

    Some accommodations may not provide towels, and if they do they are unlikely to live up to your standards for cleanliness and softness. Bringing your own travel towel can make drying off much easier and reliably cleaner, plus it’s quick-drying so you know it’ll be ready the next time you shower or wash up.

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

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  • 10. Activated Charcoal

    New foods, different types of bacteria, new climates, and just the physical exertion or traveling long distances can really upset your digestion. Add to that the more exotic street foods you’re likely to try, and you may find yourself with traveler’s diarrhea. These capsules deliver activated charcoal which absorbs any toxins in your digestive tract so that you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 11. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    You’ll want to come to Nepal prepared with a travel umbrella, especially if you plan on visiting during monsoon season. A small, but solid umbrella will easily fit into any bag and is also well made so that it stands up against the elements and keeps you dry trip after trip.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 12. Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

    Much like the filtered LifeStraw, this water bottle with a built-in filter can be a life-saver when you’re trying to beat dehydration. It’s a good size to carry with you so that you’ll always have a supply of filtered, drinkable water on hand.

    water bottle

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  • 13. Backpack

    While you’re out and about you’ll still need to keep certain belongings with you, and a lightweight hiking backpack or daypack is better than a shoulder bag or tote. If you’re camping at all, you’ll definitely need a good backpack to carry your gear and daily necessities.

    Venture Pal Daypack

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  • 14. First Aid Kit

    I never leave for a trip without one. Most injuries that you get while traveling can be fixed using the basic tools included in first aid kits, and you don’t want to take your chances that you’ll be able to find the right materials there should something occur after you arrive.

    First Aid Kit

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  • 15. Sunscreen

    Higher elevation means higher risk of UV overexposure and sunburns. Be sure to stay on top of sunscreen application just as you would at the beach. You’ll enjoy your Nepal adventure much more if you’re not suffering from the sting of sunburn and fatigue from exposure.


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  • 16. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    This device is a recent favorite, and for good reason. It’s small, portable, easy to use, and charges my devices flawlessly and quickly even while I’m on-the-go. Just charge it while you’re already in your accommodation and bring it and your USB cable(s) with you so that you’ll never be caught with a dead camera or phone battery.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 17. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Most people are familiar with the benefits of being able to browse the internet anywhere, and that’s what a VPN does. However, did you know that using your own VPN, like NordVPN, also adds a crucial extra layer of security to your internet usage? My financial information was recently stolen electronically while traveling, and if I’d been using my VPN (which activates with a simple touch of a button) I wouldn’t have had that problem.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 18. LifeStraw

    Since much of Nepal is without safe drinking water, this self-filtering straw can save you when bottled water isn’t available. When you’re taking part in any activity at high elevations (as is the case with most parts of Nepal) it’s vital to be well-hydrated. Simply submerge one end of this straw into a drinking source (like a creek if you’re camping) and drink through it as you would a straw – the filtering agents within the tube take care of the rest! Also, check out the Katadyn pocket water filter if you’ll be doing serious hiking off the beaten path.


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  • 19. Rain Jacket

    Nepal does have a rainy season and rains are not uncommon outside that season as well. Getting caught unprepared in the rain can leave you cold and wet, which is especially bad if you’re day-tripping or trekking. Carry a lightweight, compact and foldable rain jacket with you so that you’re never unprepared.

    Columbia Watertight Front Zip Hooded Jacket

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What to Buy or Rent in Nepal

Planning on trekking? There are certain items that are much easier to buy or rent in Thamel once you’ve arrived rather than schlep them all the way from your place of origin.

  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Down parka
  3. Wool sweater
  4. Wool hat
  5. Scarves
  6. Hiking sticks
  7. Books
  8. Most other hiking gear is cheaply and readily available for purchase!

What to Wear in Nepal

In terms of style of dress, responsible travelers will note that Nepal is a culturally conservative country. Even in relatively cosmopolitan Kathmandu, men and women cover their shoulders and knees. Avoid tight, revealing clothing. For women, the color red is quite popular — wear it if you want to blend in a little more!

Open-toed shoes that dry quickly are recommended for the monsoon. If you’re trekking, you’ll want to bring quality hiking shoes. Cheap shoes are easy to purchase in Kathmandu and other larger cities and towns, but the large-footed among us should know that it can be quite hard to find properly sized footwear.

What should WOMEN wear in Nepal? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Generally speaking, women should avoid very tight and revealing clothing out of respect for the country’s conservative views. It is advisable to avoid wearing leather when visiting temples. At most temples, you would be required to remove your shoes, so choose a pair like espadrilles which are easy to put on and take off. Most activities in Nepal involve exploring, and that usually means walking, trekking and hiking. Trust me: your feet will thank you for investing in a pair of good hiking shoes, and breaking them in with a few short hikes before you travel. You can wear them with leggings and a t-shirt dress for your outdoor excursions, or for more intense trekking journeys be sure to bring seasonal gear like hooded rain or down jackets, hiking pants, and tops.

During the warmer months, you could go for a couple of short-sleeved, t-shirt tops and a few patterned pairs of harem pants for daywear. Cover up your skin with enough sunscreen (higher elevation means a higher risk of UV exposure) and get yourself a wide-brimmed packable straw hat. Round off your day look with bohemian bracelets and retro-round sunglasses.

For evenings you can certainly dress up a little, but it’s not common for people to dress up too much even for going out. I recommend against heels of any kind – they’re dangerous on the terrain and simply not necessary.

What should MEN wear in Nepal? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Men’s fashion in Nepal is not really a thing, to be honest. You’ll see lots of jeans and very few pairs of shorts. It’s not that they’re prohibited, it’s simply a matter of cultural observation. Many men in Nepal would rather wear a shirt instead of a t-shirt, but in the city, you can still get away with slightly longer Bermuda shorts and a polo shirt. When visiting religious sites and temples, you might want to wear longer cargo trousers for instance, and a pair of cotton loafers.

For the colder months in Nepal, you can team up your hoodies with mid-length parkas and slim-fit chinos for hitting the bar scene in Thamel or Kathmandu. This look can easily be adapted for a day version, simply by wearing your hiking shoes and a slightly less formal down jacket. However, if you are keen on taking on the Annapurna, you’ll get the job done in joggers or hiking slacks and a hooded outdoor jacket for those freezing temperatures that drop by 6-degrees Celsius for every 1,000 meters you gain in altitude. Even in the middle of winter, there are still plenty of sunny days, so be sure to bring along your baseball cap and sunglasses.

Packing for the Seasons in Nepal

Nepal generally has very consistent weather. Monsoon begins in late May or early June and goes through until late September or early October. The coldest temperatures are generally in mid-November through mid-February, and the hottest ones are in May. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on where and when you’re traveling, so it’s best to check ahead of time! If you’re going to be in the mountains at a higher elevation, you’ll want to pack warm layers no matter what time of year you travel.

SPRING – Mid-February, March, April

​ Springtime in Nepal brings occasional showers and rains. The days are mild, and new vegetation sprouts all around. Temperatures in the lowlands tend to be warmer, while areas at higher altitudes enjoy moderate temperatures.

Trekking among the newly bloomed Rhododendron (national flower of Nepal that blooms in spring) is a wonderful experience – landscapes are filled with color and texture.

As always, packing for this season depends entirely on your location. At higher altitudes, men might want to pack long-sleeved t-shirts, hoodies, and a pair or two of shorts for warmer days. Ladies can opt for leggings, t-shirts and a warmer sweater for when temperatures drop. Temperatures average between 61°F and 73°F (16°C to 23°C).

SUMMER – May, June, July, August

​Summers in Nepal are quite warm. You will find that the hot, dry days are more comfortable than the wetter, more humid ones that fall under the monsoon period. In the southern parts of Nepal, like Terai, summer temperatures can exceed 98°F. In the more mountainous regions, summers are far more temperate.

Should you be heading out in the evenings, expect some thunderstorms to accompany the sunsets as you head out for a traditional dal-bhat-tarkari dinner. Bring along your foldable umbrella and lightweight rain jacket when walking about town. Remember to bring along a cheaper pair of shoes that you can wear to temple visits (you are required to take your shoes off before entering temples and expensive shoes might go missing). It’s advisable to cover your knees and shoulders, too, so bring along a light scarf for the warmer months to help cover your arms and chest when needed. Temperatures average between 75°F and 95°F (24°C to 35°C) depending on the region.

FALL – Mid-September, October, November

​Fall is usually the busiest time of year in Nepal and is when tourists flock to the county to make the most out of the glorious weather and outdoor excursions. This is the season to embark on a trekking journey that promises mountain views and crisp air.

During this season Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals: Dashain, followed by Tihar. Pack warmer jackets and sweaters for wildlife jungle safaris and rafting excursions, but be prepared for a some days that will reach well up to 75°F, with evenings that usually dip below the 70s Fahrenheit.

Packing for this season requires a bit of planning, but you can get away with mostly summer clothing that includes a few warmer garments for nightfall. Temperatures average between 59°F and 75°F (15°C to 24°C).

WINTER – December, January, February

​Snowfall at higher elevations occurs from time to time, and it will remain frosty due to the colder temperatures at elevated heights. Avoid trekking at high elevations during the winter unless you have a great guide and the proper gear. Days offer plenty of sunshine, but you will definitely need to cover up more at night. Winters usually last until February, with very little rainfall, but you will find that the western parts do have more rainy days than the eastern parts of the country.

Packing for this season requires warmer packable down jackets, long johns, thick socks, hoodies, and perhaps even scarves. However, you will need to consider your itinerary and whether or not you will be trekking at higher elevations. In winter, if you do visit places like Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha) you will need warmer and more supportive shoes, but it’s vital to plan ahead: you might want to wear a cheaper pair of shoes for temple visits. There have been times when visitors would return to the shoe cabinet, only to find their shoes gone – this is not always the case, but it’s important to be aware of this.

Should you find yourself without a pair of shoes, make your way to the nearest street trader for a pair of slips-on like loafers. Temperatures average between 48°F and 54°F (9°C to 12°C) depending on the region.

Dressing for the activity in Nepal – (Click to expand)
Religious Sites: One of the most popular Tibetan Buddhist monasteries is the Kapan Monastery that is located on a hill north of Boudha, Kathmandu. Plenty of travelers rock up to become students of Buddhism. From Kapan, you can plan a journey to Pashupathinath Temple – one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for the followers of Shiva. This is a magical temple complex and also the largest in Nepal. There is no shortage of religious sites in this country, so you will have plenty to do, see, and observe.

It’s strongly advisable to wear more conservative clothing when visiting any temple or sacred space. Avoid skimpy, revealing outfits that expose your knees, cleavage, and shoulders. Men can get away with a t-shirt, but it’s better to pair your trousers with a long-sleeved tee-shirt.

Meals: Most people don’t dress up much for dinners in Nepal, so don’t worry about getting fancy with your clothing. Do make sure to look decent, though! There are several 5-star hotels in Kathmandu (like The Dwarika’s Hotel) where you can wine and dine to your heart’s desire, should you prefer something a little nicer than standard evening fare. Even for those, just dress appropriately for the weather and look put-together and you’ll be just fine.

Outdoor Excursions: In Nepal you’ll find endless trekking up and down the likes of Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, and Everest. You can also enjoy jungle safaris and other exciting adventures. Dressing for outdoor trips requires garments that allow for easy movement. For ladies, breathable t-shirts and leggings will do just fine, while the gents can get away with running shorts and t-shirts in the summer. However, if you decide to stop at a temple, remember to cover up. In the colder seasons, you’ll find that your hikes, cycling, and trekking will usually warm up your body naturally, but do keep a lightweight, foldable jacket and versatile hiking trousers handy.

Volleyball: The Nepal government issued a statement on the 23rd of May 2018 declaring volleyball the national sport of the country. The NVA (Nepal Volleyball Association) is headquartered in Kathmandu and represents Nepal in the Asian Volleyball Federation, as well as the Federation Internationale de Volleyball.

Because of these newer developments, you can enjoy volleyball, cricket, football, and other sports in cities and smaller towns. Games are hosted in most public spaces where larger crowds can be accommodated. For these events, keep it as casual as possible, but again: as a woman, you might want to avoid very revealing clothes. Men can wear t-shirts or longer shorts that hit the knee during warmer months.

What NOT to Take to Nepal

  • 1.DON’T PACK expensive jewelry

    This is a logical one: the likelihood of your jewelry being lost, damaged, or stolen far outweighs the pleasure of wearing it while traveling. If you’re missing wearing your jewels, check out Kathmandu’s shops; there’s quite a lot of nice jewelry available, and for fairly cheap prices.

  • 2.DON’T BRING expensive, unnecessary electronics

    Unless you ABSOLUTELY NEED to travel with your expensive laptop, headphones, and iPad, leave them at home! Just like jewelry, the risk of breaking or losing these items or having them stolen most likely far outweighs any benefit you’ll get from traveling with them.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE heavy books

    You don’t need the extra weight, and you can easily bring a lighter and not-especially-expensive Kindle. It’s also good to note that Kathmandu’s book stores are plentiful and fun to explore!

  • 4.DON’T PACK a full-sized towel

    They’re bulky, slow to dry, and heavy. You don’t need to take up valuable space in your suitcase – bring a travel towel instead. It dries quickly, folds compactly, and is highly absorbent.

  • 5.DON’T TAKE leather

    Nepal is a predominantly Hindu country, and observant Hindus do not consume beef or wear leather products since the cow is a sacred animal. Wearing leather products on the street is typically fine, but one should absolutely not wear leather products into temples or other sacred spaces.

  • 6.DON’T BRING very tight or revealing clothing

    In Nepal, people generally cover up much more than folks in the States, Europe, and Australia do. Leave your tank tops, shorts, and miniskirts at home, and take the opportunity to pack some of your more modest clothes you may not wear very often otherwise.

What NOT to wear in Nepal – (Click to expand)

Here and there, you’ll find foreign women wearing strappy tops and short skirts. You won’t necessarily get the stare-down from locals (the people of Nepal are very welcoming and hospitable) but they are very conservative as a nation. Out of respect, it’s better not to wear revealing pieces while visiting temples and holy shrines. In the summer, if you are wearing t-shirts, you may bring along a scarf or a dupatta, which is the more localized version of a scarf designed to cover up while praying. Men should play their part too. You’d do well wearing either breathable linen trousers to temples with a longer t-shirt.

However, when trekking, locals are not really offended when seeing travelers hiking up hills and mountainous areas in shorts. Unless you are staying at a 5-star hotel or intend to visit one for dinner and drinks, avoid dressing up. Even when heading out to live music venues, bars, and clubs, you’ll find that trends call for a more casual approach.

FAQs About Travel in Nepal

  • 1. Is the tap water in Nepal safe to drink?

    As a general rule, the water in Nepal is not safe to drink. It is particularly dirty in Kathmandu and other large urban areas. Nicer restaurants will give you filtered water to drink with your meal; use your judgement as to weather or not it’s safe to consume. If you’re not sure about your water quality, use a water filter like a LifeStraw or chlorine tablets to purify it.

  • 2. What is food like in Nepal?

    What is food like in Nepal?

    In Nepali, the word for food is khaanaa — which is also used to describe dal bhat, or lentils and rice, the staple food in Nepal. Most Nepalis eat dal bhat twice a day, and you should make sure to partake of this hearty, delicious dish while you’re in the country. Momos, a Tibetan dumpling, is another local favorite. Vegetarians will find many options. Kathmandu has a variety of international cafes and restaurants, and you can easily find good quality cuisines from all around the world (with one glaring exception: where’s my Mexican food at?). Trekking tea houses have a standard menu of dal bhat and other carb-heavy specials like pasta, chow mein, and pizza. In villages, you’ll be limited largely to dal bhat and chow mein.

  • 3. What are some basic safety precautions in Nepal?

    What are some basic safety precautions in Nepal?

    As with anywhere, it’s better to travel in a group than alone, and better to avoid walking alone at night. Kathmandu is generally a safe city but beware of pickpockets and nightlife scams, particularly in the Thamel area. Avoid eating street food and drinking tap water. Political tensions are still high in Nepal after a ten-year civil war that ended in 2006, and political demonstrations are common; do not join these.

    In terms of transportation, I highly recommend that you avoid overcrowded buses between cities; Nepal is full of high, narrow, curving mountain roads, and it’s better to invest in a (slightly) more expensive ticket for a comfortable, safer ride. In Kathmandu, make sure you look both ways before you cross the street since traffic is chaotic and unpredictable.

  • 4. Do people in Nepal speak English?

    In Kathmandu, most people speak at least a bit of English, and most people employed in the tourism sector speak English as well.

    Private schools are often English language, while public (government) schools conduct their lessons in Nepali. You’ll find that younger, middle-class Nepalis almost always understand and speak basic, conversational English.

  • 5. How much money should I budget for Nepal?

    Your budget in Nepal will vary greatly depending on the way you travel. A budget trekker traveling alone will pay about $25 USD per day for a guide, plus about $20 USD per day for food and accommodations. In Kathmandu, you can find a decent guesthouse in Thamel for $10 USD a night. A meal in an international restaurant costs about $4-$8 USD; a local meal can be had for as little as $1. Local buses around Kathmandu are about 20 cents per ride; a taxi ride across the city at rush hour, however, can be as much as $6. Admission to the biggest temples in Kathmandu is anywhere between $2 and $15. A solo traveler in Kathmandu who wants to enjoy the sights, travel by taxi, and eat at international restaurants should budget approximately $40 per day, but that can easily be cut down by eating at cheaper restaurants, avoiding the more expensive temples, and taking public transportation.

  • 6. What’s the best way to travel around Nepal?

    What’s the best way to travel around Nepal?

    Flights are much more expensive (and much faster) than travel by bus, so consider your budget and schedule and plan accordingly. For example, traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara is $8 and takes about 8 hours on a tourist bus; flying costs $100, but takes only 25 minutes. Whatever you decide, I do not recommend traveling at night or on crowded buses.

    For getting around Kathmandu, taxis are the easiest, but are much more expensive than local public transport. Unless you can convince your driver to use the meter, expect to haggle a price!