Monday, 15 March 2010

The bag

For anyone interested in trekking, this is what I took with me for a 15-day trek:

35l rucksack with chest and waist straps and aeration grid

Extendible walking poles

3-season sleeping bag and cotton liner

Gortex fully waterproof trekking boots (well worn in!)

2l Platypus water bladder and clear plastic water bottle

2 t-shirts for walking

1 long-sleeve top for walking

1 short-sleeve and 1 long-sleeve top for the evenings

1 thin fleece

1 thick fleece

1 pair of trekking trousers

1 pair of trousers for the evening

2 pairs of thermal trousers (one for walking, one for the evening/sleeping)

2 pairs of thick walking socks

2 pairs of liner socks

1 pair of warm socks for the evening

Underwear (enough to last a few days)

Flip flops

Thick pair of gloves

Thin pair of liner gloves to wear inside of the thick gloves

Wool scarf

Wool hat

Sun hat/cap

Sunglasses

Sunscreen

Detailed map

Spare pair of shoe laces

Straps and clips to attach things to my bag

Iodine and neutralizer

Headtorch and spare batteries

Camera and spare batteries

A book to read (light!)

Small bottle of shampoo (this can also be used as shower gel and to wash your clothes)

Small tube of toothpaste and brush

Small antibiotic soap

Wet wipes

Loo roll

A couple of bin liners (good for keeping things dry)

Small moisteriser and lip balm (dry air will have you peeling in no time!)

Hair brush and hair tie

Enough money for the entire trip (and a bit extra in case you get stopped by Maoists)

Any trekking permits you may need

A photocopy of your passport (leave your passport behind if you can)

Passport photos (you need them for everything in Nepal)

Mobile phone with local sim (doubles as an alarm clock)

Phone charger (or just keep your phone switched off)

Pocketknife

Inhaler (only if you’re asthmatic!)

First aid kit


Things for your first aid kit:


Blister plasters and Moleskin (if you can get it)

Medical tape

Wound pads/gauze in various sizes (I find these attached with medical tape much better than plasters for blisters when trekking)

Scissors

Stretch bandage

Wound dressing (in case of a deep laceration)

Trianglar bandage and safety pins (not an obvious choice but you can use a t-bandage in lots of different ways)

Rehydration sachets

Dry antiseptic (you get it in a spray can. It’s much better to spray onto blisters than using a cream as it will keep the skin dry)

Pain relief cream (for pulled or aching muscles)

Paracetamol (for AMS headaches)

Ibuprofen tablets (anti-inflammatory…don’t use at the same time as the pain relief cream)

Loperamide Hydrochloride (anti-diarrhoea pills)

Ciprofloxacin (general antibiotic for gastrointestinal problems)

Tinidazole (treatment for giardia…a big problem on some treks in Nepal)

Diamox (treatment for AMS. It is a diuretic (it makes you pee!) so you must drink plenty of water when you take it)


Some top tips!


- Always tell the person you are trekking with where your first aid kit can be found in case they need to use it on you. Also, swap blood groups. It sounds stupid but if you are taken to hospital and you need a transfusion, it’s a useful piece of information for the person you are with to know


- Put a list of emergency contact details including your blood group and insurance policy details inside your first aid kit and wallet and keep a copy with your passport too. In case of a medical emergency, these are places people are most likely to look for information on you


- Don’t pop Diamox willy nilly. Some doctors will tell you to start taking it as soon as you reach high altitude (3000m) but as it is a diuretic it can cause dehydration, which, when added to the problems of dehydration you will have at altitude anyway, may just worsen your situation. From experience, and from talking to other trekkers, it’s better to use Diamox only as a last resort if you start experiencing AMS

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