Annapurna Circuit Packing list: What to pack for a trek in the Himalaya of Nepal?

What to pack when you do the Annapurna Circuit Trek? The ultimate Himalaya Packing list can be found in this blog! Including what daypack to use during a trek in Nepal, which sleeping bags we used while doing the Annapurna Circuit trek and other essential hiking gear you need to pack for the Himalayas!

The Annapurna Packing list!

We have thought about it for weeks: what to pack when hiking the Annapurna Circuit? While chatting with other hikers, we discovered that they had the same dilemma for the Annapurna Basecamp hike, the Poonhil trek and the Mount Everest Basecamp hike. So therefore in this blog our exact Nepal trekking packing list including a printable trekking checklist!

We walked part of the Annapurna Circuit. This is officially a three-week trek, but we will shorten it to 12 days. The first and last part can be done well with the car or plane and are less beautiful than the rest. In addition, we wanted to keep the option open to do the Annapurna Basecamp or Poonhill trek after the Annapurna Circuit (spoiler: we didn’t do this in the end).

So we also had to pack our bags for these places. Fortunately, the weather and hike conditions there are the same, so apart from some extra money, we didn’t have to take anything extra with us.

Read about our personal experiences hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek!

Our Himalaya packing list:

Below you can read exactly what we recommend to take with you in your backpack for the Annapurna Circuit. Click here to immediately get our printable trekking checklist!

Clothes and trekking gear for the Annapurna Circuit!

Try to wear as many layers as possible and take stuff which dries easily. Furthermore, thermal clothing for at night is very nice and you use slippers for example when showering. I sometimes enjoyed wearing a sports leg under my hiking pants high in the mountains. This is optional because you can also do this with thermo pants.

Because you walk considerable distances every day, it is important to wear good socks. Preferably from merino wool that breathes well and keeps you warm at the same time. We wore these NOMAD® socks in merino wool and are a big fan! They are delicious and dry quickly.

Tip: on the way, you will find laundry service in larger villages. So you certainly do not need a clean T-shirt for every day.

Himalaya packing list: What is in your toilet bag?

Make-up is really not necessary in the mountains. What is important is sunscreen and lip balm with SPF. Our lips wore constantly open and painful due to the sun and cold. We used tiger balm for our stiff muscles. Showering is not pleasant every day (think of a cold shower or arriving late), wet wipes offer a solution.

Read this blog for our detailed itinerary for the Annapurna Circuit Trek plus handy map!

Packinglist Annapurna Circuit

Nepal packing list: essential travel electronics!

Amazingly, you can charge electronics in almost every hotel. Yet a power bank can come in handy. An e-reader is indispensable because you spend a lot of time in tea houses where there is not much to do.

Tip: we had downloaded series on Netflix in advance so that we could watch something in bed in the evening.Packinglist Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit packing list: trekking food and water bags!

Because we did not want to use plastic bottles, and in our brand new TOPAZ NOMAD® backpacks a special compartment for a water bag, we bought a water bag of two litres. This is more than enough, just fill it up often along the way. We used water purification tablets to clean the water. You can buy this here or simply in Kathmandu.

Energy bars cannot be purchased en route so we wanted to have enough of them. You can buy chocolate bars everywhere along the route, but the higher you get, the more expensive they are.

Read before you start hiking, this blog full Annapurna Circuit tips!

These mornings are priceless Nepal Bandipur

Annapurna Circuit Packing List: sleeping essentials while trekking in Nepal!

One of the most important things while hiking is your sleep! Every day you walk distances between 10 and 25 kilometres with considerable height differences. You really need your rest. Unfortunately, the tea houses where you sleep are generally poor or not at all isolated. In addition, the bedding is not always clean and the blankets are far too thin. With temperatures that go to -15 at night, it is therefore very important to ensure that you have a good sleeping bag with you!

To ensure that we stayed nice and warm at night and slept well, we had the lightweight down sleeping bags from NOMAD® with us. I use the NOMAD® Pegasus 450 mummy sleeping bag. This wonderful sleeping bag kept me comfortably warm up to 1 degrees Celsius (men even up to -4) and I never felt cold for a moment. My sleeping bag only weighs 810 grams and comes in a special small package.

Ries sleeps in the NOMAD® Orion 400 mummy sleeping bag. This is also filled with down and gives extra insulation on the chest. This sleeping bag keeps men comfortably warm up to -2 degrees Celsius and women up to 3 degrees above zero. The NOMAD® Orion 400 mummy sleeping bag weighs only 710 grams and comes in a special small package.

Extra NOMAD® tip: make sure you are warm before you go to bed. Sleeping bags hold your warmth, so make sure you warm up with some exercises before you crawl into your sleeping bag. This way you will stay warm all night long!Packinglist Annapurna Circuit

Himalaya packing list: the best trekking backpacks.

Because you walk big parts every day, it is important to have a light bag that gives you enough support. We use the NOMAD® TOPAZ backpacks*, these have an integrated back-system that we can adjust to fit the bag perfectly. This back-system also ensures that the heat between your back and the bag is properly removed. In addition, it is handy that there are special hike features on the bags such as buckles for your walking poles and space for you (water bag). The integrated rain cover ensures that your bag does not get wet in the rain.

I have the 38-litre NOMAD® TOPAZ in the slim-fit model. This is narrower at the shoulders and fits better on the hips for women. Even if it is only 38 litres, all my luggage fits in here! Click here for more information about the 38-litre NOMAD® TOPAZslim-fit bag.

Ries uses the 50-litre NOMAD® TOPAZ. He has a little more space in this one but also carries more stuff. We normally use both bags as a daypack. Click here for more information about the 50-litre NOMAD® TOPAZ bag.

Walking the Annapurna Circuit without a porter

We walked the Annapurna Circuit without a porter, which means that every gram in our bag counted. Our bags were still relatively heavy and I could have omitted a few things so that my bag was lighter. My bag (including two litres of water) weighed 12 kilos, that of Ries including water 14 kilos.

Tip: A general rule of thumb: your backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 1/5th of your body weight. For example, Ries weighs 83 kilograms and therefore his back should weight more than 16.6 kilograms. However, the lighter your backpack, the easier your walk will be. Less is more.

In our Nepal itinerary blog you will find 3 itineraries for a trip through Nepal varying from 2 till 4 weeks!

Do you hike with a porter? Even then you have to take into account what you pack. The rule is that you don’t let a porter carry more than 15 kilos. In addition, you are the employer when you hire a porter. You are therefore also responsible for his working conditions. So make sure your porter has good shoes and warm clothing. A few times we saw a porter walking on slippers in way too cold clothing. As a tourist responsible for this porter, you really can’t do that!

Tip: are you in doubt about hiring a porter? Know then that on the way in many villages porter services are offered. Even for just a few days.

Annapurna backpack

Himalaya packing list: How much money to take for the Annapurna Circuit?

We had a daily budget of €40 per day (excluding permits), which we easily managed. This amount is for two people and includes food, drinks and tea houses. At most tea houses you even sleep for free if you also have dinner and breakfast here. We travelled without a guide and without a porter. There are no ATMs on the way and you can pay (almost) nowhere with a credit card.

Note: the higher you go, the more expensive everything becomes. Example: a Mars bar costs initially 1 euro, but at the top, you pay three euros for it.

Is travelling in Nepal expensive? Read our Nepal budget blog to read all about prices and money in Nepal!

Nepal Rupi Money

Annapurna Circuit Packing list: Camera equipment while trekking!

Because we wanted to pack as lightly as possible, we didn’t have all our camera lenses with us. Ries did not take his beloved FujiFilm Lens 100-400 mm with him. With the 10-24 lens and the 23mm lens, he was, fortunately, able to take more than enough beautiful photos. Highly recommended is to bring a polarizing filter. You put a polarizing filter in front of your camera lens to darken the air in your photo, to limit reflections and to remove the glare from surfaces. Perfect for photography in the  (white) mountains!

He used the tripod much less than he initially intended. Only for star photography. If you don’t use your tripod that often, consider leaving it at home. It would have saved Ries 800 gram in his backpack.

Do you want to know what kind of travel camera equipment we use? Read this full overview!

Thorong Pedi Base camp (dag 9)

What did I bring but should I have left it at home?

My bag was actually slightly fuller than the one above. I had too much underwear with me. Furthermore, I also had an extra T-shirt, short shorts, an extra jacket and two short socks that I didn’t wear. I should have left all this at home, might have saved a kilo.

In addition, the tripod that Ries had in his bag did not necessarily have to go with it, we used it too little.

Are you unsure whether you have too much with you? Be aware that you can buy a lot of gear during the hike. Until Manang, we still found stores that actually sold everything we needed. From walking sticks to knee braces, tiger balm and extra socks. Even shoes, laces and shoe soles are sold!

* NOMAD® is one of our beloved partners, however, everything above is truthful and we are a huge fan of the brand!

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  1. by Nepal Nomad on 29 September 2021  13:58 Reply

    Very well-crafted article.

  2. by Raby Dong on 3 July 2022  05:59 Reply

    Wow-what a detailed article about the Annapurna Circuit Trek. As a trekking guide, I have done this trek many times, and reading this blog gives me flashbacks of my journies to the Annapurna Himalayas. And i think this is very useful for all the travelers who wish to do ACT Trek.

  3. by Kppny on 22 January 2023  09:38 Reply

    Thank you. Out of all the articles and stupid travelling blogs this one really helped me a lot and I found all my questions answered! Thanks!

    Cant wait to go! I am leaving Pokhara tomorrow! :)

  4. by andrew on 2 February 2023  12:20 Reply

    Several years ago maybe 10 years, we did it with 28 litre back pack between 2 people, swapping as and when. One person carrying a water bottle. I can't remember if we were provided with bedding, or they gave us some sleeping bags. We had a guide who was carrying 25 or 30 litres. Like a school back pack. I can't honestly remember if he was carrying anything for us. I don't think so.

    We were winging it the whole way, walking in trainers. We didn't go to base camp, so that probably made it easier. But yeah it just wasn't necessary. I don't think we even had rain gear, as we had come from Sri Lanka, we just used the plastic sheeting poncho things. It was fantastic you just feel light on your feet. It was beautiful at high altitude, and they had thoughtfully laid huge stone staircases everywhere before we got there. Which made it very easy. And a slap up meal or two everyday. Just enjoying the ride. You can do it without the guide, but Deepen was his name, and we didn't have to think about anything as a result of having him there. He got paid for a nice little jaunt in the mountains without weight. So everything was great. Yes and you can get everything you need in Pokhara and up in the mountains.

    I can really recommend the walk, whether prepared or not. You'll have a great time. And like this article said less is more. Your odds of getting caught in a snow blizzard like Hilary and Tenzing are minimal, there's been people tooling around up there for centuries. So go and enjoy I say !!!!!

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 2 February 2023  14:20 Reply

      Hi Andrew!
      Wauw that sounds like an amazing experience! And indeed, just go and enjoy!
      Kind regards,

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