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Packing for trekking tour in Tibet

Most of the treks in Tibet go through high altitude areas. It means that the weather conditions can change quickly, you will be trekking through the wide range of temperatures, from very warm at the daytime and in the sunlight, to very cold at night and in a shade. if you go above 5,000 meters, you can encounter snow even in the warm months. High altitude also affects how much weight you can carry.

We arrange most of the treks with packing animals, that will give you an opportunity to pack everything you need on a trek. As the weather condition can change dramatically, it is essential to carefully plan what to pack for your trek.

WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR TREKKING ADVENTURE IN TIBET

Clothes

Trekking in Tibet

As the weather can change very fast and dramatically, you need to think about layering your clothes. It will allow you to adapt to the changing conditions:

  • Hiking boots, ideally waterproof. GoreTex could work great in a range of temperatures and even in snow. Make sure to break into them prior to your tour.
  • Sneakers or comfortable boots to wear in cities and around camp
  • Hiking pants. At least 2 pairs and one of them should be waterproof if possible. It can be a combination of lighter and more sturdy pants.  GoreTex pants would be perfect for rainy months.
  • Base layer. T-shirts for warmer months and low elevation, and thermal wool layer for trekking at high altitudes. You can also use an extra pair to sleep in it (night are always cold). Bring 3-4 long and short sleeve t-shirts and 1-2 base layer sets.
  • Sweater: fleece or wool sweater. We recommend bringing at least two, ideally, you should be able to wear both of them at the same time for extra warmth.
  • Jacket: windbreaker for low elevation areas during summer months, and insulated or down jacket for high altitude areas. For colder months and high altitude areas, bring heavyweight down coat.
  • Hat: wide brim hat for sun protection and warm hat (wool)
  • Scarf and/or bandana
  • Gloves
  • Socks: several pairs of wool socks, it can be a combination of lighter/thinner socks and thicker hiking socks. It is best to avoid cotton socks as they retain moisture, causing irritation.
  • Underwear: 3-6 pairs

Equipment and Accessories

  • Rain gear: rain poncho, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants, rain cover for your backpack, zip lock bags to store your documents, phone, money, etc.
  • Sleeping bag and inner sheet/liner for the sleeping bag
  • Waist bag (optional), to keep small things, such as a phone, camera, etc.
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking poles (optional)

Necessities

  • Personal toiletries: toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, wipes.
  • Medical Kit (see the details below)
  • Sunscreen, lip balm and hand/face cream
  • Feminine products

Extras

  • Power bank
  • Thermos or water bottle
  • Extra batteries and memory cards for your camera
  • Journal for taking notes
  • Towel
  • Camelback for water
  • Hand and/or toe warmers (self-heated packets)
  • Binocular 

Medical Kit

  • Band-Aid and Moleskin: bring extras, different sizes
  • Allergy medication
  • Diarrhea medication, such as Loperamide
  • Painkiller medication, such as Ibuprofen
  • Prochlorperazine for nausea/vomiting
  • Cold/flu medications
  • Throat lozenges
  • Hydration vitamins with electrolytes
  • Antibiotics: visit your doctor to get a prescription
  • Altitude sickness prevention: your doctor can prescribe Diamox, but be aware that some people experience side effects and discuss it with the doctor. You can consider using some herbal supplements instead.

Please, note: these are general suggestions. If you have any health-related concerns, you should discuss it with your doctor. And, please, let us know if we can assist you in any way.

RESPONSIBLE TREKKING

Valley on the third day of trekking around Mount Kailash in Tibet
Valley on the third day of trekking around Mount Kailash in Tibet

Please, consider taking an extra step to preserve the beautiful nature of Tibet. Don’t bring anything on a trek that can spoil soil or contaminate water sources, and don’t discard any litter along the way. Our guides will be happy to advise you if you have any questions.

Recommended items to bring:

  • Water filters such as Life straw or Sawyer filter systems to use less plastic bottles
  • Biodegradable products: such as soap, shampoo, etc.
  • Shovel: small shovel for times when you use the restroom

How light should you pack

Yaks carrying goods and supplies on the way around the holy Mount Kailash in Tibet

We hire yaks or horses for most of the trekking adventures in Tibet, such as Ganden to Samye trek, Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp trek, or Tsurpu to Yangpachen trek. Yaks will carry most of the heavy supplies and equipment, such as tents, food, water, etc.

For your trek, we recommend packing a larger backpack or duffel bag that yaks or horses will carry, and a small day pack, where you can keep everything you need during the day. Keep in mind, that yaks walk very fast, and you won’t be able to take anything out of the backpack until we reach the campsite at the end of the day.

If you travel with a suitcase, items that you need for a trek should be transferred in a large backpack or a duffel bag, so that pack animals can carry it. You can leave the suitcase in a hotel in Lhasa, or with our driver.

Setting up a tent during the trekking tour in TibetItems provided by our travel agency

We include most of the necessary equipment in our trekking tours. You don’t need to bring any of these items with you unless you strongly prefer to use your own equipment.

Below is the list of items that are included with your trekking package:

  • Tents (with capacity for 2 people)
  • Kitchen tents (depending on a trek)
  • Insulation pad/ air mattress
  • Camping equipment: stove, gasoline for the stove, cooking pots, plates and utensils
  • Food supply

Please, note, we don’t provide sleeping bags. However, if you don’t have a sleeping bag, you can rent it.

Cooked dinner during the trek in TibetFood during the trek

There is a cook on our trekking team. The cook will prepare three meals during the trek: breakfast lunch and dinner. In some remote areas, food selection can be limited.

Please, let us know if you have any dietary restrictions in advance.

In addition to the cooked meals, we recommend bringing some snacks with you, such as dried fruit, nuts, protein bars. Please, avoid food that can be easily spoiled.

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4 Comments

  1. I know that August is a rainy season. Can we still do some trekking? Which one would you recommend?

    1. Dear Bob,

      In Tibet, rainy season is a little different than in other places. It usually rains during nighttime. So it is still possible to go trekking, the landscape is very nice because wildflowers are blooming in the rainy season.
      I suggest going on Ganden to Samye trek or Tsurpu to Yangpachen.

      Best Regards,

      Kalsang

  2. I am trying to organize a tour in Tibet for a group of my friends. We would like to do some trekking but some of my friends don’t have trekking experience. Is it necessary? Can you recommend a good trek for beginners?

    1. Dear Carry,

      There are many great trekking routs in Tibet. Depending on how many days you have for your tour, we can offer several trekking tours.
      First, you will need to spend a couple of days in Lhasa to acclimatize. If you have at least 10 days, we can go on Ganden to Samye trek, it is one of the most beautiful in the Central Tibet. If you are short on time, we can go on Tsurpu to Yangpachen trek or do some one-two day treks near Lhasa. I will email you more details.

      Thank you!

      Lhamo

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