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Trekking Equipments

What You Will Need while trekking and traveling to Himalaya ( Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India) with Earthbound Expeditions

INSTRUCTIONS AND PREPARATIONS

Once you arrive in Delhi or Kathmandu, that's when we ( Earthbound Expeditions) take over and you can leave the planning and guiding to us. But what about getting here and what to bring with you?

Since we do not book flights into Nepal or India , you will have to secure that on your own. You can purchase your plane ticket from your local travel agent, or you can save money purchasing through the discount air travel companies or through on-line ticket agencies ( like expedia.com or www.zuji.com or others). Once you arrive at Airport in Delhi or Kathmandu, where you will be greeted by a member of our staff, you will be taken to your hotel. (This, of course, is at no charge.)

Kathmandu is filled with accommodations which can be a little "dodgy", if not downright uncomfortable. This is why, as part of most of our trek and tour program options, your stay in Kathmandu (for the duration of your Earthbound Expeditions program / itinerary) is part of the program price. However, if you have made other arrangements for accommodations, no problem. We will adjust the program cost accordingly.

WHAT TO TO BRING TO TRAVEL TO HIMALAYA!

DOCUMENTS: You will need to have your valid passport and entry visas. Although obtaining entry visa for Nepal can be done upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport ( TIA) in Kathmandu, you might find it more convenient to obtain this visa in your own country as to prevent delays and potential problems. If, however, you elect to obtain your visa at airport, you can reduce the time in the immigration lines if you follow these steps:

Fill in the visa application form before you arrive so you may go straight to the head of the line. Forms are usually provided to you by your airline's cabin crew before landing in Nepal. And, visa applications are, of course, available at the Airport's Immigration desk.
Carry with you U.S. dollars in cash for the visa you want. Currently nepal visa cost are : Multiple entry fo 15 days US$ 25, for 30 days US$ 40 and
for 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency.

You will need 2 passport photos for the visa application. (It is generally a good idea to have several on hand in case you wish to visit neighboring countries and also for trekking.) If you plan to visit India, Bhutan, or Tibet with us, we will assist you with the visas but you will have to budget this in your schedule. For India visa transit visa, add 1 day. For Indian tourist visa, add 10 days. As for Tibet and Bhutan visa, add 10 days. If you are travelling India first please get Indian visa from home before you enter to India.
If you have any questions whatsoever about obtaining your visa (s), please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

RECOMMENDED CLOTHING FOR TREKKING AND TRAVELLING

(most items can be purchased or hire in Kathmandu at a good price!) If you want to travel light from home.
(TK = for Trekking, TR = for Tours)

Boots (TK/TR). A pair of sturdy hiking boots which have been broken-in. Bring an extra set of laces.
Jacket (TK/TR). A good quality (such as Gortex), waterproof jacket is essential. Plus (for those trekking in the cold regions) a very warm, lightweight (such as down) jacket.
Trousers (TK/TR). Water resistant hiking pants (for TK). NorthFace and Patagonia are good brands. Avoid jeans. Pants with zip-off legs can come in handy.
Socks (TK/TR). 2 pairs of good hiking socks. Wick-N-Dry or Thorlo Hiking socks are a good choices. They are nicely padded, dry quickly, and hug your feet to reduce blisters. Plus, 1 pair of lightweight or liner socks - They add warmth when it's cool and cool you when it's hot.

Underpants/panties (TK/TR). 3 pairs.
Thermal underwear (TK). Warm, lightweight long underwear.
Bra (TK/TR). 1 bra that dries quickly is all you need.
Shorts (TK/TR). 1 pair of hiking socks (for TK), walking shorts. loose and comfortable, preferably nylon, which (for men) double as a swim suit. (Avoid shorts which are too revealing.)
T-shirts (TK/TR). 1-2 cotton t-shirt.
Overshirt (TK/TR). 1 long-sleeved overshirt. light to medium weight and breathable, to protect you from the sun and bug bites. Hemp, linen or cotton is recommended.
Belt (TK/TR). 1 belt. cotton or nylon lashing strap doubles as a gear strap.
Sport sandals (TK/TR). Sandals (such as Teva's) are lightweight and tough. Doubles as shower slippers. Perfect second shoes.
Hat (TK/TR). Fold-away brim hat.
Skirt (optional). 1 lightweight mid - to full-length skirt.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT LIST FOR TREKKING AND TRAVEL

Kitbag (duffel bag / duffle bag)

For all the treks your gear that is carried by the porters or yaks is best packed in a strong kitbag. A simple design without wheels and without foldable handles is best. You can buy in Kathmandu, although they are not as tough as say the North Face Base Camp Duffel.

Sleeping bag TR

Down-filled bags are better. Beg, borrow or steal a good one (ie 4-5 season) because high altitude nights will be cool. Good down is fluffy, light and thick. A muff (an extra section around the neck) makes a big difference to the overall warmth of a bag. Reasonable sleeping bags are cheaply available for rent in Kathmandu. Alternatively add a fleece sleeping bag liner to add warmth to a 3-4 season bag.

Backpack (TK/TR). Sturdy, comfortable, medium to small size one.
Daypack (TR). Some backpacks come with a small detachable one.
Fannypack/ beltpack (TK/TR). To hold your daily spending money, traveler's checks, lip balm, etc.
Money belt/neck belt. - Jansport and Eagle Creek make some sturdy ones.
First aid pouch (optional). Our guides will have a first aid kit, but if you prefer certain remedies, you should bring some with you, such as: 2 oral re hydration packets, anti-malarials, topical antiseptic, birth control, motion sickness pills, electronic thermometer, antibiotics (consult your doctor), aspirin, Tiger Balm (great for bites and stings), iodine tablets, Monistat, scissors.
Knife (TK). Swiss Army Knife, or para tool (like "Leatherman" brand).
DEET (TK/TR). A small bottle of 20-100% DEET (diethylmethylbenzamide). The 100% solution is often used as a booster.
Flashlight / torch (TK/TR). The Mini Mag-Lite is a good choice.
Head Flashlight/torch (TK). Bring spare batteries.
Sunglasses (TK/TR).
Towel (TK). A lightweight backpack towel or thin, porous dish towel will do the trick.
Toiletries pouch (TK/TR). Toothpaste and brush, floss, mini hair brush, razor, soap, mini bottle of shampoo, travel mirror, nail clippers. (And only the absolute essential makeup--if any.)
Toilet paper/tissue (TK). You may not need a whole roll.
Tampons (TK). 1 box of tampons and/or washable cloth menstruation pads.
Laundry pouch (TK/TR). Laundry line, small scrub brush, universal sink plug and laundry soap (or Camp Suds), for your nightly laundry.
Sun block (TK/TR). 1 small tube, and lip balm.
Book (TK/TR). 1 paperback book. (Trade yours in after you're done reading it.) can buy many books in Kathmandu as well.
Monies (TK/TR). Cash, traveler's checks, credit cards, ATM card, phone cards.
Documents (TK/TR). (Passport, visas and tickets.) Stash them in your money belt. Never take it off except in the shower. And never loose sight of it when you're in there.
Copies of your documents (TK/TR). 3 photo copies of everything. You only pack one copy; keep one with someone at home, and the other with your travel partner.
Camera (TK/TR). Choose a good, lightweight and compact one. Video cameras may be restricted in some areas.
Miscellaneous. Eye glasses (back-up eye glasses and/or prescription contacts. The disposable variety are recommended for hygienic reasons), sewing kit (a tiny one can come in handy), writing instruments, personal journal, note pad, mini/travel size or alarm watch, lock and cable (a small, bicycle seat size one will secure your backpack, stuff sack and ditty bags (help keep everything organized), bandanna/scarfs, mosquito coils (they can be purchased almost anywhere), ear plugs, energy bars.

The items that are better brought from home are: boots, socks, thermal underwear, quality fleece, liner gloves and Gore-tex clothing. Some of these are now available in Kathmandu, but sizes and quality varies.

Renting equipment : Easy to rent items in Kathmandu are down jackets and sleeping bags.

Check List for Climbing

Can be hired at $2 per item per day from a local retailer.

Equipment Details
Boots
A semi stiff soled leather boot. Ideally arrive with your own well broken-in footwear.

Harness
Adjustable leg loops are preferred for ease of fitting. The modern self locking pull tight buckles are fast and hassle free. Note that the harness may have to fit over a number of clothing layers. Not just a T shirt!

Prussik Loops
Bring four meters of 6mm climbing accessory cord to be made into loops.

Long Tape Sling
1 X 120cm dynema stitched climbing sling.

Belay plate and screw gate Karabiners
2 X HMS, one for belay devise, one for spare. 2 D shaped one for the sling, one for prussic loops. Any small and light UIAA certified belay device is ok.

Helmet
Any UIAA and CE certified helmet is fine, the lighter the better (though lightness often comes with reduced durability). Note it may need to fit over a hat.

Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
The trousers should have a full length leg zip for ease of fitting over boots. Goretex 3ply and breathable fabrics like it are hard wearing and when new do a good job. Paramo clothing systems are also a good alternative.

Gaiters
A pair of gaiters can be useful for summer mountaineering. Yeti overboot gaiters are very good.

Rucksack
A medium volume mountaineering sac of 45/55 litres is best. The fewer straps and buckles the better. Plastic bag liners are useful.

Clothing
Lightweight layers for a flexible clothing system is useful. Jackets should have accessible pockets for carrying items needed quickly (Food / sweeties, small camera, etc.). Ideal if you have the money are; Stretchy soft shell light mountain trousers, Soft shell jacket, and an additional fleece for cold days. Thin liner socks and thick warm socks are a good combo for reducing blistering.

Head Torch
Essential, plus spare batteries. For example (Petzl Tikka) LED torches are perfect.

First Aid / Blister kit
A small personal pack including medication, blisters pads, headaches pills etc.

Compass and Map
Laminated maps are best for Scotland 1:50,000 scale are sufficient. Navigation is a running theme so having your own map is good if you want to learn. This is however optional.

Water-bottle
Essential to carry 1 liter. Some people like bladder and hose type water carriers, however though, these are good for drinking regularly without stopping, they have a tendency to leak.

Telescopic Ski Poles
Useful for taking weight off your lower body in descent. Boosting you up hill and general balance when walking. Not so good for semi technical terrain.

IMMUNIZATIONS

The series of immunizations for overseas travelers is not the daunting task you may think it is. Most of the time it is done in two sessions. Although ONLY YOUR DOCTOR can recommend which immunization is right for you and where you're going, we have provided a standard list for your consideration. (Your HMO may provide them to you free of charge.) Be sure to get the International Certificate of Vaccination yellow card which lists all of your vaccinations and the date you received them. The Certificate is approved by the World Health Organization and is provided to hospitals and clinics. If you don't have a health plan, you can call your local or county health department for information or consult your local telephone directory.

LIST OF COMMON VACCINATIONS

(you may not need all of these, so consult your doctor):

Cholera (optional, and you don't get a lot of protection from it).
Tetanus and Diphtheria.
Typhoid. (this is in tablet form).
Hepatitis A. (series of 2 vaccinations, over 2 months).
Hepatitis B. (series of 3 vaccinations, over 6 months).
Measles/Mumps/Rubella. (Only 1 booster is needed once you're an adult).
Polio. (Only 1 booster is needed once you're an adult).
Meningococcal Meningitis.
Yellow Fever.
A Tuberculosis test, with a certificate showing a negative result is a good idea too.

PROTECTION AGAINST MALARIA: Most medical professionals agree that the best way to avoid getting diseases like Malaria, which are transmitted by mosquitoes, is to avoid being bitten. Wear as much clothing (long sleeves, pants and socks) as you can because clothing is the best and healthiest protection. On exposed skin, use DEET (Diethylmethylbenzamide). Even just a 20% solution is very effective, but can irritate skin if used too often or improperly. (Consult a health guide for specifics.) When you sleep, use a mosquito net and/or burn a mosquito coil. Aside from protecting yourself from bug bites, there are prophylactic pills you can take, such as Chloroquine Phosphate or Mefloquine. These medications are widely recommended, but provide only partial protection and can have side effects. Many travelers, because of the side effects, choose not to take the pills and accept the risk. Treatment for the disease in areas where it is prevalent is often good because of local doctors' experience with the disease. Malaria tablets are very expensive in countries such as the U.S., but are far cheaper in Nepal. In some parts of Asia, anti-malarials simply don't work and many medical professionals say that if you contact Malaria while taking the pills, it can be more difficult to treat. The prevailing wisdom of taking anti-malarials is that if you plan to be in a Malaria area for three months or less, then go ahead and take the pills. If you experience severe side-effects, you may want to discontinue use. However, note that these medicines are not effective if taken intermittently. Also, the exact medicine recommended is different for different places due to resistant strains of the Malaria parasite. It is strongly recommend you research this subject further, consult your Immunologist, and books like Staying Health in Asia, Africa & Latin America.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: It is highly recommended that you take out a personal travel insurance policy, which contains emergency evacuation protection (helicopter rescue) and for repatriation in case of an accident. There are several good, inexpensive policies out there on the Internet and through your guide book. Many of our customers choose ihi Bupa company from Denmark, please check their website here www.ihi.com and deal directly.

you have any questions or comments you wish to share with us, please do not hesitate to contact us .

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