What to Pack for Annapurna Circuit in Monsoon Season?

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Trekking in the Himalayan Mountain ranges is one of the ultimate dreams of trekkers all around the world. Among all the numerous treks in Nepal, one of the most well-known treks in Annapurna Circuit. From the starting point at the tropical forest to the arctic summit of Thorong La Pass at 5416 meters above sea level, there’s no question why Annapurna Circuit is often voted one of the best treks in the world. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll have a look at the packing list for Annapurna Circuit in the monsoon season.

Before we continue, check out my Nepal Backpacking guide to get everything planned. It has literally everything you need to know.

Alright, now, let’s dive in, and see what you should pack for Annapurna Circuit in monsoon season!

What to pack for Annapurna Circuit

Now, monsoon season is definitely not the best season to visit Nepal, but it does offer a different experience when it comes to Annapurna Circuit, which is located in the rain shadow region. Check out: Trekking Annapurna Circuit in monsoon season? Good Idea or not?

What to Pack for Annapurna Circuit in Monsoon Season:

Equipment:

  • Hiking Shoes
    • A good hiking shoe is vital for trekking in the Himalaya mountain range, due to its varying landscape, which poses a high risk for an ankle injury. I recommend you to bring your own shoes from home. If you are buying a new one, be sure you wore it several times to break in before the trek. You don’t want your foot to feel discomfort while you should be enjoying it, right?
  • Trekking Poles
    • These are probably your best buddies along with your trek. Likewise, I suggest you bring it from home. You should be careful if you were to buy them in Kathmandu or Pokhara, as the quality and durability might not fit your expectations. Always check what you buy. There are several branded stores in Thamel, Kathmandu if you want quality assurance of your equipment. Always go for carbon fiber trekking poles instead of aluminum, they have better durability and are more rigid.
  • Rain Jacket
    • Annapurna Circuit is located in the rain shadow area, which means that rain is not likely to fall as much there. But be noted that the first few days of the trek are not in rain shadow. When I was trekking there, my first two days were accompanied by rainfall.
    • You can easily buy rain jackets in Kathmandu or Pokhara, they are everywhere. If you don’t have one, consider buying them in Nepal, the price is cheap, the quality is not as bad, and most of them are waterproof. However, it will probably last you for one long trek. My inner layer rain jacket was torn on my sixth day. A durable rain jacket will be essential if you are planning to do several treks over a long period of time.
  • Mid Layer Jacket
    • You should bring at least one warm jacket because once you trekked up to a higher elevation, the temperature starts coming down especially during the nighttime. Trust me, you will want a comfortable sleep after a whole day of hard work. Approaching Thorong La Pass, you might need to trek with them on too.
  • Base Layers
    • It is important to bring this no matter what season you’re going for the trek. Like trekking pants, you will need them for the last few ascent days during the monsoon season. For peak season, great quality base layers are crucial.
  • Quick Drying Shirts
    • I do not suggest you bringing any cotton shirts, as they will absorb your body heat if they are wet, and they are hard to dry. I brought two quick-drying shirts for the trek, one for sleeping and one for trekking. Yes, I didn’t wash my shirt a lot during my trek. It didn’t smell anyway.
  • Quick Drying Socks
    • At least two pairs of quick-drying hiking socks. Unlike the shirt, socks stink a lot after a long day trekking. You will want to wash it once every two days or even every day. I will recommend bringing an extra pair of socks, for the last day of ascent, the ground will be very cold. However, if you do not want the extra weight, it’s totally fine, it’s just one day after all.
  • Trekking Pant
    • For monsoon season, a short pant is enough for more than half of the trek. But a waterproof and windproof trekking pant is essential during your last few days of ascent. For peak season, definitely bring this.
  • Underwear
    • Bring a few quick-drying underwear instead of cotton ones, as they are easier to dry and washed. Plus you might want to change them every day and start a day fresh and clean.
  • Sleeping Bag
    • Coldness is never my friend. Luckily I brought my down sleeping bag for the trek, which proved useful during my sleep at night. Most teahouses along the trek provide blankets for you. So if you want to carry less weight and don’t mind covering yourself in strangers’ blankets, it’s okay to forget about the sleeping bag.
  • Sunglasses
    • You will be outdoors for half of the day, sunglasses will make your eyes happier. It is better to bring sunglasses from your home instead of buying in Nepal, as most of the sunglasses there do no provide good protection for your eyes by blocking out the UV light.
  • Hat
    • You can get it for a cheap price in Nepal if you bargain. While there are many choices up for grab, my suggestion is not bringing a baseball cap, as it does not provide protection for your neck.
  • Gloves
    • You will need them at higher elevations for warmth for both seasons.
  • Slippers
    • I can’t stress this enough. Slippers are essential on a multi-day trek. You don’t want to have your hiking boots on after you had your hot shower and dinner, while you are ready to sit down and rest, right? It will be a mere nightmare if your boots were soaked wet. Slippers are flexible, so just hang them outside of your backpack.

Check out this Poon Hill Trekking Guide if you prefer a shorter trek instead!

Miscellaneous:

  • Water bottles
    • Bring at least two bottles, if you plan to use a water purification tablet. When you finish drinking a bottle, fill it with tap water, which is available almost everywhere along the trek, pop a water purification tablet in, then leave it while you drink another bottle.
  • First-aid kit
    • Well, you don’t have to bring the whole kit. Essential items are bandages, needle (to poke the blister), muscle pain ointment, iodine and Diamox tablet (high altitude sickness tablet which you can buy at Nepal).
  • Sunscreen
    • In high elevation, the sun is stronger than at the sea level. Be sure to apply it several times a day, especially before you start your trek and after your lunch
  • Earplugs
    • You will not need this during the low season since there are not many people around. But at high season, teahouses can be very noisy, people playing cards, partying around. You will need them to block out the noises for good night sleep. Not sure where to buy them? Check out the earplugs here.
  • Toiletries
    • I suggest bring wet wipes and antibacterial hand gel. At high elevation, the water gets very cold. Having wet wipes to clean yourself up can be a great choice if you do not want to soak yourself wet with freezing water. Bring shampoos and body wash as well, you will want to bath with warm water before it gets colder at a higher elevation.
  • Towel
    • Remember, weight is the key during your trek. Leave out your cotton towel, and bring a small microfiber towel instead. You want your towel to be easily dried up before you start your trek the next day. At the end of the day, carrying less weight is still the key.
  • Cash (Nepalese Rupee)  
    • Remember there are no working ATMs along the trek until you reach Jomsom. Therefore bring a pocketful of cash for your trek. Be careful not to lose them, you might be in big trouble if you do. Keep them in separate places. I suggest bringing $20 per day, though the number might vary depending on how you spend them.
  • Camera
    • If you have a good phone camera or a GoPro, you can just leave your camera at your hotel or home, unless your camera is really light-weight and would add much weight to your backpack. But if you want to take high-quality photos, feel free to bring it!
  • Trekking Permit
    • You might have heard some people said that they did the trek without a permit. While I had no idea how they did it, this is definitely a scummy thing to do. Be sure to apply for your permit before the trek, you need to register yourself at the checkpoints almost every day!
  • Water Purification Tablet
    • This depends on yourself. Some people do not like the taste of the tablet-purified water, but for me and my friends, we did not taste anything unusual. You can easily get water purification tablets from any pharmacies in Thamel and Pokhara, however, it will be kind of pricey, around $1 for 4 tablets. There are cheaper choices outside of Thamel in Chhetrapati street, but you will have to walk a little.
  • Energy Bar and Snacks
    • I would suggest bringing some energy bars for the trek. Although you can get it in almost every stop along the trek, the price is a few times more expensive than in the city. In my case, I bought a packet of dates in a convenient store in Kathmandu, which lasted me until my last day of ascent.
  • Charger
    • There are power outlets in all the teahouses along the trek. Bringing your phone and camera battery charger will be a good idea if you want to charge them along the way. Note that Wi-Fi is also available in almost every teahouse as well. During the low season, most of them offer free Wi-Fi due to strong competition, while in high season, it could be $1 for the password.
  • Universal Adapter and Voltage Converter
    • In Nepal, the standard voltage is 230V, 50Hz and uses two round-pins plugs. If you are from the US (120V), you will need both a universal adapter and voltage converter. If your country has a standard voltage between 220V-240V, then you will only need a universal adapter. Check out my recommended universal adapter and voltage converter.
  • Swiss Army Knife
    • Multi-functional and lightweight, swiss army knife had been a great company for hikers all around the world for decades. I brought mine with me but I only used it once. The irony of life is, you always need something that you didn’t bring. Just bring it, you never know when you need it.

Optional: 

  • Head Torch
    • I did bring my head torch for my trek in AC, but eventually, I never used it. Instead, I used the torch on my phone. But if you don’t mind about that little extra weight, definitely bring it, along with some spare batteries. Blackouts are quite common in teahouses along the trek, as they use solar panels to power the building.
  • Clips
    • I couldn’t resist the stink smell of my socks so I wash them every two days, then hang them out at my backpack, like I’m a sock merchant. My towel was hanged outside of my bag as well. I would highly recommend you to at least bring 4 clips for the trek.
  • Washing Powder
    • You can easily buy this for less than $1 in Nepal in the local convenient stores. Just a small pack is more than enough, as you won’t be wasting a lot during the trek.
  • Duct Tape
    • Duct tape has always been a friend of outdoor lovers due to its flexible uses. Bringing one could be useful, you don’t know when you need it, right?
  • Card Games
    • Card games will always be the best time-killer during the trek at night time when you have a drink with your mates in the dining area. It’s probably the best entertainment in the mountains.
  • Books or e-Books
    • If you are not a fan of card games, bringing a book or e-book is also a great option.
  • Salt
    • Leeches are quite common in the first few days of the trek. Just bring a small pack of salt instead of a 500g one, you won’t be needing so much. Once you arrive at a higher elevation, just dispose of the salts.

Ready for your Annapurna Circuit trek?

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed and find the above comprehensive packing guide useful. If you are traveling to Nepal solely for trekking, it’s better to buy the essential equipment at home before your flight. Try pack all the stuff into your backpack, go for a walk, and see if it’s too much for you. If so, trying ditching any extra weight. Remember, bring only the essentials. I hope you enjoy your Annapurna Circuit trek! By the way, Bandipur is a total paradise when it comes to post-trekking travel in Nepal, check it out now!

What to pack for Annapurna Circuit

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Written by

Yen is a university student from Malaysia and a huge fan of Blues music and photography. His passion for travel can be traced back to 2016 when he spent 6 months traveling New Zealand. By blending into the locals and traveling long-term, he shares all the comprehensive and detailed travel ideas and guides for the countries with his footprints.

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