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Travel, Teach, Live in Asia

How to Pack for a Week in Nepal
By:Elizabeth Smith

Nepal is a small country in Asia located to the north of India. With strong Indian and Tibetan influences, towering mountains and stunning scenery, Nepal attracts hardy and adventurous travelers from around the world. Because of Nepal's distinctive attractions, outdoor activities and lack of many Western goods, packing appropriate items is key.

Pack outdoor equipment. One of the most popular activities in Nepal is trekking. When spending a week in the country, most travelers do some sort of hiking or trekking activity. At the very least, you will be likely to take a day hike into the foothills or to one of the Himalaya-viewing vantage points. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes and walking poles, if necessary. Keep in mind that some items can be found in Nepal but others, such as shoes, are more difficult to find.

Consider changes in itinerary. Nepal is notorious for botched plans and rapidly changing schedules. Consider that your carefully made plans might not turn out as you hoped, and pack accordingly. For example, if you plan to spend your entire week trekking, don't pack only trekking clothes; be sure to bring comfortable clothes for traveling in Kathmandu in case your trekking plans are canceled.

Bring comfortable clothing. Travel in Nepal can be decidedly uncomfortable, and the more comfortable your clothing are, the better off you'll be. Pack clothing that you can travel in, walk in and ride in for long periods of time on hard bus seats. If you do not feel comfortable in something during your day-to-day life, do not bring it on a trip to Nepal.

Leave fancy clothing at home. Unless you are traveling to Nepal for a formal event such as a wedding, leave nice clothing at home. All over Nepal, locals and travelers dress in comfortable outdoor clothing that does not get dirty easily; even the cities are remarkably dusty.

Use basic luggage. When you travel in Nepal, your luggage will be dragged through the dirt, shoved in tight taxi trunks, tied on top of buses, and exposed to the elements. When packing, use luggage that is sturdy and which can stand up to rough treatment.

Leave space for shopping. Nepal--and Kathmandu in particular--is a treasure trove of both genuine and knock-off goods. In the many retail outlets you can find excellent reproductions of famous outdoor brands, from jackets to sleeping bags to climbing gear. Occasionally you can also find genuine equipment from expeditions past.

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