Nepal has four climatic seasons. Each season has its own distinct attraction to offer.
Autumn and Spring are two best seasons in Nepal. During this time, Nepal welcomes beautiful clear skies, fresh air, and wonderful views. Summer season receives enough rainfall, while winter remains cold.
The selection of proper trekking gear and clothing play a vital role as it determines the quality of your trek. Lack of proper trekking gears may cause difficulties during the trekking period.
You need to choose the right clothing depending on the location, duration and season of Trek. For example, the full Everest Base Camp Trek will need few more changes of clothes than Poon Hill Trek, as it is a much longer trek.
Sometimes, when you pack more, it will increase the weight to be carried while trekking. But, if you pack less, then it will make you run out of necessities during the trek. So, you need to pack your clothes very wisely while trekking in Nepal.
Besides this, you all also need to consider the weather, trekking trails, altitude and environment before packing.
You don’t need to bring all gears from your home country. Most high-quality trekking gears are available in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and even on some trek routes like Namche Bazaar.
When you are planning for trekking in Nepal, you need to prepare yourself for a wide variation in climatic conditions. So, you need carry both light and warm clothing.
During October, November, March, and April, you will need summer clothing for the day and warm clothing for the night. Likewise, in the winter months like December to February, the mornings, evenings and nights are cold.
If you are planning to travel in winter, you need to pack warm clothes. If you are thinking to travel in the summer, you need to carry windproof jackets, waterproof jackets, raincoat, and umbrella. During monsoon, it rains almost every day with the occasional thunderstorm in the evening.
The spring and autumn seasons are pleasant and warm. The Himalayan region is comparatively colder. Around the hilly region, the days are hot while the mornings and the evenings are cold.
What to wear when trekking in Nepal is also influenced by the culture. If you are visiting the Gumbas, stupas, and monasteries, then you shouldn’t dress in a way that exposes your skin. It is considered as disrespectful in religious and cultural sites.
If you are doing a tour in the Kathmandu valley, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, then you can take light medium-weight cotton pants and shirts. If you are plan to tour from October to February, then woolen sweaters, jackets or warm outfits are necessary.
Light garments are recommended from June to September. Short or long-sleeved shirts are good for March through May.
What to Wear Trekking in Nepal
What to wear trekking in Nepal is influenced by the season, altitude and the environment you will be trekking in. The weather in the high altitude of Himalayas is highly unpredictable. There is high fluctuation in the temperature between low altitudes and high altitudes.
In Nepal, most trekking routes are close to or in the Himalayas. Normally, the temperature there is always low. In winter, it is cold during the night and foggy in the early morning. So, you need to pack a sweater, fleece jacket, woolen trousers, gloves, thick and light socks, down jacket, wind and waterproof jacket, tracksuits, and hiking boots with ankle support.
While trekking in Nepal you need to be dressed properly. You need to adjust with the changing environment, altitudes and seasons.
The following list of clothing is not a comprehensive clothing list. Use this list as a guideline but you don’t need to bring all equipment listed below. Clothes in Kathmandu and Pokhara are cheaper and of good quality.
Checklist: What to wear trekking in Nepal
When trekking in Nepal, you need to dress in layers. As you ascend and descend in altitude, the temperature changes dramatically. Layering will help as when the weather gets warmer you can take off a layer and if it gets colder you can add a layer.
Jeans and cotton need to be avoided as jeans are very uncomfortable. They absorb water and dries very slowly. Likewise, cotton fabrics absorb moisture, blocks breathability and also dry slow.
T-shirts must be lightweight and breathable. You should avoid cotton t-shirts as it absorbs moisture from the skin and makes trekking quite uncomfortable. Synthetic fabrics are a good option as it wicks away moisture from your body.
It is a lightweight casual jacket made of polyester synthetic wool such as polar fleece. It provides great warmth. You can wear it as a second layer as it sits above your base layer.
Lightweight down jacket
Down jackets are extremely light and can be easily packed. Also, it provides extra warmth for cold and windy afternoons and evening. It will be better if carry a down jacket with hood.
While trekking in Nepal, you might encounter the rain as well. In high altitudes, it gets windy in the evenings and sometimes it rains or snow. A waterproof jacket will help you to stay dry during the trekking period.
Also, your waterproof jacket must be breathable and have a hood.
In cold temperatures, both thermal tops and bottoms will help you to keep your body warm. Also, these tops do not absorb moisture and wick away your sweat.
For women trekkers, good quality sports bras are recommended. A well-designed sports bra will wick moisture away from your skin. It will make you comfortable throughout the trekking journey.
Long sleeve shirts
Long sleeve shirts will protect you from sunburn and scratches from plants and rocks. In hot weather, t-shirts or shirts are recommended. In the cold weather, this can be a perfect base layer.
Synthetic underwear is more comfortable as it wicks moisture away from your skin.
During cold days, when the temperature is very low, trekking pants will help to keep your legs warm. Convertible pants are recommended so that even if it gets hot in the afternoons, you can take it off.
If you are going for a trek during the rainy season, you will need waterproof pants to keep yourself dry. Sometimes, in the cold climate, snow may fall at high altitudes. So, in this type of situation, you can use these pants as a shell.
In comparison to higher altitudes, the lower altitudes are warm in the sunny days. So, your trekking pants will make you hot, sweaty and uncomfortable to walk. Thus, you can wear shorts which give you freedom and are also cooler than pants.
Fleece Tracksuit Pants
You can wear these fleece tracksuit pants around the teahouses and for sleeping as well. They are warm, light and more comfortable.
You need to keep your hands warm throughout your trek. For this, two types of gloves are recommended i.e. outer gloves and inner gloves.
Your outer gloves need to be waterproof, windproof, warm and very durable. Likewise, your inner gloves must be lightweight and made of fleece material.
Trekking is a walking journey, so shoes play a vital role. Thus, you need trekking boots with good ankle support and deep lug rubber soles. It is very important that your boots fit correctly with thick woolen socks.
Make sure that your boot isn’t too heavy. Try to avoid full leather boots as they are too heavy.
If you are trekking in the colder parts, then you will need a couple of pair of thermal socks. These socks are warm, comfortable and will prevent blisters.
If you are trekking in summer, you will need lightweight socks. These socks will help to keep your feet dry.
Gaiters are waterproof material. In winter and spring, it provides extra insulation for your lower legs. During the rainy season, they are essential for keeping your socks dry.
Camp Sandals can be used for camp activities such as taking shower. You can also use it while hanging around the tea house.
Sun hat is very useful when you are trekking in the summer, especially at lower altitudes. While walking on a sunny day, a sun hat will protect you from sunburn and provide shade.
Wool or fleece hat
If you are going for high altitude trekking, you will definitely need wool or fleece hat as this hat will make your head warmer.
Bandana or scarf
Many trekking trails of Nepal, especially at the lower altitudes are dusty. So, you can tie a scarf around your nose and mouth to escape the dusty trail.
Due to altitude and snow, UV intensity is relatively high in the Himalayas. So, 100% UV protection sunglasses are recommended.
Useful Tips: What to wear trekking in Nepal
Here are some useful tips on what to wear while trekking in Nepal.
Layering is the best way to adjust to the changing temperature within a course of a day. Especially, when you are doing long treks, the temperature can change drastically.
While hiking in the day, you will be comfortable in shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. During the evening, as the temperature cools, you can add a sweater or jacket. Layering clothes let you easily regulate your body temperature by adding or removing layers.
Trekking in Nepal involves extensive walking and hiking. In such condition, you need clothes that allow you to walk and climb hills comfortably. Your clothes need to protect you from sunlight, pollution, and most importantly wick away the moisture from your body.
Usually, polyesters or synthetic fiber clothing are preferred as they wick away moisture from your skin. There are convertible pants that allows one to unzip and remove the lower part of the pant leg. Such clothes prevent you from discomfort during the walk on your trek and you will enjoy your trip fully.
Protection from rain
Weather in Nepal is quite unpredictable and rain can occur suddenly. To reach your destination in a dry and comfortable manner, you need to always carry rain gears. You can take an umbrella, raincoat, and waterproof boots with yourself.
You can also carry waterproof and windproof jacket to avoid cold.
While traveling in Nepal, you need to respect the customs and values of Nepali people in your dress and behavior. Especially, women need to dress modestly such as wearing loose pants, and mid-calf length shirts.
While visiting religious sites such as monasteries, temples, stupas you need to remove your shoes before entering. If you are visiting a Hindu temple, you need to avoid leather. You should also not drink and smoke around the religious sites.
While traveling, you are only allowed to carry a certain weight. Besides this, while you are trekking, heavy weight can slow you down.
Please remember that you need to keep the weight of your clothing equipment down to a minimum. Your packed trek bag should not weigh more than 15kgs (33 pounds). Thus, packing light is essential for trekking in Nepal.
There is no restriction on what you should wear while trekking in Nepal. You can wear whatever you want, as long as the weather permits you and is comfortable for you.
If you are planning to trek in high altitudes, it is always a good idea to carry warm clothes such as gloves, thick socks, and shoes to prevent cold and snow. Essential clothing items are down jacket, waterproof jacket, windproof jacket, lightweight pants, and tops.
Nepal is a traditional country. So, if you dress properly, you can easily adjust with the local people. Also, you need to be careful while dressing for religious and cultural sites.
You need to avoid tight fitting and figure hugging clothes. This kind of dress can often be offensive to the locals, especially to women. So, you can wear such clothes as a base layer, if you find these comfortable.