Manaslu Trek Packing List – What to Pack? - Himalayan Glacier
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Manaslu Trek Packing List – What to Pack?

Manaslu Trek Packing List – What to Pack?

Considered to be one of the best wilderness treks in Nepal, the Manaslu trek allows trekkers to traverse around the Manaslu Conservation Area. It ultimately leads to some of the breathtaking views of the 8th highest mountain in the world. Coming to trekking in this region, the Manaslu trek packing list comes very handy giving trekkers a clear idea as to what things to take during the trip.

A universal truth is that the Manaslu region has something for all its visitors. One of the key elements to enjoy this wilderness trek is to understand the most essential packing list for the Manaslu trek. It adds delight to the incredible experience on the rolling hills, deep creeks, and picture-perfect settlements. Of course, you will need hiking gears on the Manaslu trek, but it is wise to avoid excess packing for a hassle-free trip in the Himalayas.

Glimpse of Village along Manaslu Circuit Trek
Glimpse of Village along Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu trail takes you up to approximately 5210m (17,100ft.) with changes in temperature, pressure and oxygen levels. Unquestionably, you will need the right gears for Manaslu trek, especially during unfavorable seasons. So, to avoid unnecessary complications, it is very important that you have the right day pack, the right clothes, and other gear and equipment.

How will you decide the optimum Manaslu trek packing list then? To help you stay out of any confusion, we have prepared the ultimate packing checklist. Most trekkers, especially women during the Manaslu trek have complained in the past that, had they known what to bring along, they would have avoided the extra stuff on the trip.

Tips on packing for Manaslu Trek

  • Plan ahead what to take on your trek.
  • Don’t fill up your backpack with unnecessary items.
  • Leave any excess or unwanted items in your hotel room back in Kathmandu.
  • Make sure to contact our adventure specialists to avoid under packing as well.
  • Get an idea of the weather conditions before packing.
  • Remember that you can rent or buy trekking gear and equipment in Kathmandu.
  • Manaslu trek is a circuit trek which means you won’t be returning through the same trail, so don’t leave your things behind expecting to collect them on your way back.

Packing List – The Ultimate Essentials

Before we head out for the essential packing list, understand that Manaslu trek is rather a challenging trek. Thus, it requires a moderate level of fitness and prior preparation. You can easily overcome the Manaslu trek difficulty with light and wise packing. Also, anyone can successfully complete this trek with a bit of effort in preparation.

We have listed the ultimate essential packing list of all the items below. However, it is up to you what to carry and what not to. The Manaslu trek packing list is also applicable to other treks in the Himalayan trails including Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. Apart from the packing list, Himalayan Glacier will provide lodges, 3 meals a day, sleeping bag, duffel bag, and a down jacket (for all seasons). The items indicated with an asterisk (*) in the checklist is included in the trip cost. Our porters or yaks are limited to carrying 15 kg (33 lbs.) of your personal belongings. Be selective in what you carry as this is also the weight restriction for flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.

1. Travel Document and Cash

Travel Documents for Manaslu Circuit Trek
  • Passport with at least 6-month validity along with valid visa. Make sure to keep your passport with you at all times. Also, carry a few photocopies of your documents which will be handy in getting your permits, local SIM card, bookings, and so on.
  • 4 – 8 copies of passport size photographs (required when purchasing a local SIM card or get permits at some trekking trails).
  • Money in cash, at least $200 to $300. Most teahouses and cafes on the Manaslu trekking trail will not accept cards. Also, you will not find any ATMs and other services as the trekking begins.
  • Any other valid ID in case you lose your passport.
  • Insurance policy that covers trekking up to 5167m, medical costs, emergency rescue, helicopter evacuation, and theft of valuable items. We do not sell or arrange insurance so we recommend you getting your insurance from your home country.

2. Travel Clothing

Manaslu trekking takes you to high altitudes. So, it is better to rather stay prepared to tackle the cold temperatures, especially during colder seasons. Remember that trekking during late fall or early spring is still cold although the lower villages are warm during the day time. There will be no laundry services during the entire trek, so you need to pack multiple clothes that will suffice for, at least two weeks.

Headwear

  • Brimmed Hat or Sun Cap
    We recommend you a wide-brimmed hat to cover your ears, neck, and face from the strong rays of the sun. It will protect you from sunburns, dehydration and heat-induced headache.
  •  Bandana or Head Scarf
    It is useful for protection against dust and cold. The trails in the mountains are dusty due to dry weather. If trekking during the peak season, you can expect a huge traffic of trekkers, porters, local people, yaks and donkeys. Thus, a bandana will turn out to be very useful.
  • Warm Knit Hat
    You must keep your head warm while sleeping at night. Remember that it becomes really cold during the nights at higher altitudes. You will need a warm fleece or knit woolen hat to keep yourself warm in the cold temperatures.
  • Balaclava or Buff/Neck Gaiter
    A buff is a handy piece of clothing that can be used as a headband, a cap, a mask, a neck gaiter, balaclava and so on. You will certainly need a proper buff to keep your neck warm as well as to cover your mouth and protect lips from the cold. We recommend a buff to avoid the cold and dry air and stay away from coughing and other throat issues.
  • Headlamps
    You will need a headlamp if you wish to take a night walk or have to start the journey very early. Not all teahouses have great lighting. We suggest that you bring some extra batteries for these headgears as a precaution.
  • Sunglasses or Goggles
    The UV rays are more intense at high altitudes and direct exposure to this radiation may be the reason for eye disorders including snow-blindness. And, if it is snowing, it reflects light making it difficult to keep your eyes open for a long time. We recommend you bring polarized UV-protection sunglasses to stay protected against the harsh UV rays and ice-glare. Carry a spare pair of goggles, if possible.

Bodywear

Inner Bodywear
Underwear:

We recommend carrying moisture-wicking underwear that is comfortable as you will be spending 2 to 3 weeks in the Manaslu region.

Sports Bra (for women):

We suggest women trekkers carry sports bra instead of hook bras as they are comfortable and eases movement. Carry a couple of pairs of sports bra that will wick the moisture away and keep you dry throughout the day.

Outer Bodywear
Upper Body wear to pack for Manaslu Trek
Upper Body wear to pack for Manaslu Trek

You may have to go through different weather conditions on a particular day because of the unpredictable conditions in the mountains. We recommend the following outer bodywear while trekking in the Manaslu region:

The Base Layer: 

These are the closest clothes that you will wear to your body. They should be comfortable and able to trap heat to keep your body warm. They must be stretchy and moisture-wicking so that the skin remains dry even after hours of hiking. These may be fleece tight-fitting inner shirt or fleece woolen pants to wear under trekking pants.

The Mid Layer: 

These are the clothes worn above the base layer so as to retain heat and hold back freezing weather conditions. The best materials for mid-layer would be wool, fleece, and down owing to their water-resistant and high insulating properties. The mid layers include:

  • Long propylene sleeve shirt (moisture-wicking fabric) – Nylon or synthetic fabric
  • Short propylene sleeve shirt (moisture-wicking fabric) – Merino wool or synthetic fabrics
  • Lightweight thermal tops – to protect from the severe cold
  • Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
  • Hiking shorts (for use on sunny days)
  • Fleece pant (to wear at the lodge after a day’s trek)
  • Light thermal trouser, moisture-wicking fabric (Merino wool base or synthetic layers)
  • Light thermal trouser (can be used for sleeping)
The Outer Layer: 

Outer layers are normally close-fitting yet breathable and light clothes. It protects against high winds as well as rain during the trek. These clothes include:

  • Down Jacket (Puffer Jacket) – We recommend North Face or any international brand that can keep you warm up to -10ºC.
  • Water-proof hiking pants, breathable (recommended with side-zipper)
  • Waterproof jacket with hoods

Handwear

  • Inner Gloves:
    These are best used for insulation. It works as a base layer and must possibly be lightweight, quick-drying and ideally made from fleece. They provide extra warmness during the cold weather, especially in the winters and at high altitudes.
  • Outer Gloves:
    These can normally be mittens or regular outer gloves. We recommend thick water-proof and durable gloves that will protect your hands from the wind and snow.

Footwear

Hiking Socks: 

Good pairs of hiking socks that are made from moisture-wicking material will help you keep your feet warm throughout the trek. To prevent feet odor and rashes, we advise you to pack thick socks with padding around the toes and heels. A good pair of hiking socks will help prevent frostbite during winter as they offer heat retention and wicks moisture thereby keeping your feet dry and warm at all times.

We recommend 3 to 4 pairs of thin liner socks and 2 to 3 pairs of thick socks, preferably made from Merino wool or a synthetic material (never cotton).

Hiking boots: 

It is important to have a comfortable, warm, water-proof, and broken-in pair of trekking boots on any adventure in the Himalayas. You will walk for two weeks or more for which you will need a hiking boot that fits perfectly and with good ankle support. It needs to be made of good leather quality and rigid soles. We have used different brands of trekking boots such as Scarpa, Merrell, Berghaus, and Mammut.

Right Sized Hiking Boot to pack during Manaslu Trek

Make sure to get the right-sized shoes and break in before you actually begin to trek as you wouldn’t want blisters on your feet on the first trekking day.

Trainers or trekking sandals: 

You will certainly need trainers or trekking sandals to walk comfortably around the teahouses after trekking for long hours each day. These trainers or trekking sandals are incredibly light and will make you feel relaxed. However, be sure that you wear warm socks underneath them while exploring the surrounding areas of the teahouses.

We recommend the ideal Salomon brand for your trainers.

Gaiters: 

Those who wish to trek during winters or rainy season need to keep themselves protected from the rain, mud, scree, stones, and even leeches. For this, water-proof gaiters are necessary. The gaiters keep your hiking boots dry from the inside. However, these are optional items.

GET IN TOUCH TO FIND ASSISTANCE
Looking for a private or a group tour? All our trips have guaranteed departure dates, so look no further and plan your Manaslu trek with us. Get help and advice with everything you need to know!

3. Trekking Equipment

Duffle Bag (90 – 100L) *

Either your porter or the yaks will carry the duffle bags that contain stuff enlisted in the packing list including sleeping bags to clothes and accessories. We recommend you pack the weightier things in this bag that you will not require while trekking during the daytime. Duffle bags are usually easier to pack and unpack, and unbelievably you can squeeze many items in it. They should be light and comfortable with shoulder straps or luggage with wheels.

Duffle Bag for carrying items to Manaslu Circuit Trek
Duffle Bag

Himalayan Glacier will provide a standard water-proof duffle bag to their clients on this trip and which need not be returned.

Sleeping Bag (four seasons) *

While at the teahouses or lodges, you will be sleeping on proper beds. These teahouses or lodges may provide you with blankets but it might not be sufficient to stay warm with just that. We recommend you bring your own four-season sleeping bag with two-way zip. Make sure to get yourself a high-insulated down sleeping bag that offers more warmth to withstand high winds and blizzards.

If you don’t bring your own sleeping bag, Himalayan Glacier will provide you one of a good quality to help you stay warm in the frigid weather. However, you need to return the sleeping bag at the end of your trek.

Sleeping bag liner (optional)

The liners add extra warmth to a sleeping bag and also prevents them from being dirty. No doubt, the liner will help increase the durability of your sleeping bag too.

Trekking Poles (Collapsible)

Trekking poles act as third leg during your trek, especially on the uphill and downhill terrains. They provide extra stability and balances while climbing the snowy ridge, but even more supportive when plunging down a hill. With so many brands of trekking poles available in the market, find the right one for you may require a lot of time and effort.

We recommend you getting a lightweight and collapsible (foldable) trekking pole for the Manaslu trek to ease off the burden off your knees.

Day Backpack (30 – 35L)

You will need a day backpack, big enough to fit all your essentials including water bottles, camera, important documents, cash, mobile, snacks, wet tissues, wallet, etc. We recommend a 30 – 35L daypack that must have a hip belt for support and an inner frame for comfort on your back.

Make sure to choose a high-quality backpack with long durability, preferably a bag with pockets and compartments and with a water-proof cover.

Things to pack for Manaslu Trek
Things to pack for Manaslu Trek

4. Trekking Accessories

Backpack Cover (Optional)

A backpack cover will keep the contents of your backpack dry in case of rainfall during the trek. You may want to bring a decent backpack cover if you are carrying your camera and important documents in your pack.

Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Ziploc Plastic Bags

Dry bags are essential if you wish to trek during the rainy season as it helps in keeping your belongings dry. Stuff sacks and Ziploc bags can be used to separate clean clothes from the dirty ones. These bags can also be used to wrap all the clothes or other electronic equipment and protect them against rain.

Water Bottle (Nalgene)

To store drinking water for the trek and carry it anytime and anywhere, a reusable water bottle is a gear that trekkers must include. In order to stay away from altitude sickness in the mountains, you need to keep yourself hydrated at all times. So, we recommend that you bring two Nalgene or similar bottles. These are thick plastic bottles that you can fill with boiling water at night and use as hot water bottles to stay warm. The same water can be used to drink after you wake up in the morning and during the trek.

Insulated bottles, with double-walled vacuum that maintains temperature and keeps the water as it is, are ideal water bottles.

Books & Diary

On your acclimatization day, you will have free time, unlike other hiking days. So, you might want to read something and relax. Or, at the end of a trekking day, you might want to read a few pages before dozing off. You might also want to scribble something fascinating in your diary to reminisce later.

5. Medications

Traversing on mountainous landscape with various trails comprising rocks and boulders may tend to cause several injuries. There are high chances of getting hit by altitude sickness as well. Most of the times, trekkers suffer from a sprained ankle, knee pain or blisters. It is always wise to have a medical kit containing emergency supplies for immediate cure to ailments like burns, scrapes, bruises, and sprains. Following are some of the medications that we recommend to all our trekker friends in the Nepal Himalayas:

  • Antibiotics: prescribed by your doctor, normally two courses. One for chest and upper respiratory tract infections and another for abdominal or bowel infection. Please make sure not to carry any sleeping pills as they are respiratory depressants.
  • Painkillers, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Advil, etc.
  • Cough Lozenges
  • 1 – Triangular Bandage
  • Foot Powder: Necessary for keeping your feet in good condition.
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets: for any possible inflammations.
  • Skin-blister repair kit
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Altitude sickness tablets: Diamox or Acetazolamide to prevent AMS.
  • Water purification tablets or water filters: We recommend not buying bottled water as there are no facilities to recycle the plastic bottles. Instead, carry your own water purification tablets, gels, SteriPens or a Lifestraw. All these can be purchased in Kathmandu.
  • Earplugs: to place in your ears and sleep without any disturbance in the teahouses.
  • Prescriptions: in case you need to purchase any of your medications.
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Sunscreen: we recommend bringing a SPF 50+ to protect you from the extreme sun rays at high altitudes.
  • Lip Balm: it will be essential for you against having chapped lips.
  • Insect repellant: to keep away all the insects while sleeping in the teahouses at night time.
  • Hand sanitizer: essential for you to keep your hands clean at all times during the trek.
  • Wet Wipes / Baby Wipes: we highly recommend this. Although there are options to shower along the trail, these wipes will keep you clean in the wilderness.
  • Snacks: lightweight and high calorie. Bring a few of your favorite chocolates, nuts, sweets, etc. to provide you extra energy. You can even buy them on the trail.
  • Electrolytes: while these are optional, you can bring electrolytes in powdered or tablet forms such as Vitamin C tablets or multivitamins to add to your drinking water. You may also carry Isotonic Powder. These will prove vital to prevent you from dehydrating easily and helps the water absorption.

Our trekking leader will carry a group medical kit containing most of the above items with additional supplies for a wide range of medical problems and emergencies. However, we recommend you to bring the items as mentioned above and have your medical kit with you at all times during the trek.

6. Toiletries

Toiletries are items that you will need daily for hygiene purposes, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, and other feminine products. Make sure to keep all the toiletries that you will need. We recommend the following items in your toiletry kit; you may add other items that you feel is necessary:

  • Quick-drying towels: You do not wish your entire bag to stink due to wet towels. So, these towels are great and easy to dry. We recommend carrying a small sports towel (medium-sized) that is quick-drying.
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste: prefer to carry bio-degradable toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and soaps.
  • Deodorants: a good quality deodorant to stay away from the body odor arising from the body sweat.
  • Nail Clippers & Small mirror: These are optional items, but can be very handy in case you need them.
  • Toilet Paper: Carry at least two rolls of toilet paper as most toilets on the trails will not have them.
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene items

7.  Miscellaneous Items

There are some other miscellaneous items which you might want to carry with you. Although they are not really important, but having them would be handy at times of unexpected requirement. These items include:

  • Light Pillow
  • Micro-spikes
  • Portable Charger
  • Pee- Funnel (for women)
  • Extra pair of prescription glass or contact lens
  • Repair tape / sewing repair kit
  • Lighter or match box
  • Plastic bags (for your garbage)
  • Games like chess, Ludo, and playing cards
  • Small locks
  • Extra batteries

8.  Specific Packing List for Women

For female trekkers, the packing list would be a bit more as they will require more items than men do. We suggest women trekkers bring the following things for a more comfortable trekking experience in the Manaslu region:

  • Sports Bra: Bringing a comfortable pair of sports bra will keep you away from the discomforts of sweating during the trek.
  • Travel-sized shampoo: We recommend travel-sized dry shampoo as a better option. Taking a quick shower in between the trek will bring back your hair from being dry and frizzy to wet and straight.
  • Skincare items: Your skin tends to get dry very easily due to the weather condition in the mountains. And, it is necessary to take care of your skin even during the trek. So, we suggest bringing a travel-sized moisturizer, skin cleanser, and sunscreen along with you.
  • Tampons and sanitary pads: Don’t forget to carry some tampons or sanitary pads with you as they might not be available in the trails, in case you will need them.
  • Fleece Headband: These will come in very handy during trekking. They not only keep your hair away from your face but also protects you from the cold. However, this is an optional item.

The Final Words

Undoubtedly, Manaslu is a great trekking destination in Nepal. Nevertheless, you must come fully prepared for unanticipated conditions if you wish to enjoy it to the fullest. Just don’t forget to pack light and smart; it is a key element.

Since the packing list for Manaslu trek may vary at different seasons, avoid bringing any unwanted items depending on the season you choose. Plan your trip with Himalayan Glacier and customize it the way you want as per your convenience; we are more than happy to attend to your interest and offer you the best of the Himalayan journeys.


Manaslu Trek FAQs For Better Experience

How hard is the Manaslu Trek?

High altitude trekking obviously requires a certain level of physical fitness as well as necessary preparation. And, Manaslu trek requires the same in order to have a successful trip. It is one of the off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal, hence quite demanding in nature. It can be difficult for beginners, but with proper preparation and good physical fitness level plus a strong willpower, it is possible for anyone to achieve this feat.

The major factors that determine the difficulty level of Manaslu trek are total distance, remote landscapes & harsh terrains, high altitude & altitude sickness, weather conditions, training sessions, and packing. Other factors that contribute to the difficulty are food & accommodation conditions, budget, and guide along with trekking permits.

What should we carry while trekking?

While doing the Manaslu trek, you will have to carry a perfect size trekking bag or a daypack with all your personal belongings including snacks, sunscreen, camera, gloves, hat, documents, money, water bottle and other items that you will need during the day time. We also expect you to carry a guidebook along with a map, sunglasses, and trekking poles.

Likewise, your porter will carry your bigger sized duffle bag that will contain things that you don’t require during the daytime on the trek. These items include your spare clothes, sleeping bag, extra footwear, and other miscellaneous items which you will need at the teahouse.

Do we need a guide for Manaslu trek?

Most parts on the Manaslu circuit trail are restricted areas of Nepal that have been protected under the Manaslu Conservation Area. To protect the trekkers from possible dangers on the trekking trails, the government of Nepal has completely banned traveling solo in the Manaslu region.

Being a restricted area, trekkers need to purchase various permits namely Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. And, this is only possible when you hire an experienced guide through a reputed trekking agency. Having said that, Manaslu trek without a guide is next to impossible.

Manaslu Trek without a guide – can you trek solo?

The short and direct answer to this question would be No! It is however possible for you to trek alone without anyone else, except your guide and/or porter. Various sections in the Manaslu region have been declared as restricted areas, for which you will need to acquire permits. You cannot get permits without hiring an experienced and registered trekking guide from an esteemed agency.

If you still have the question on Manaslu trek without guide – can you trek solo, you need to know that guides and porters are essential parts of your trekking experience. The government of Nepal will not issue permits at all, for solo trekkers.

What is the duration of the Manaslu trek?

The duration of the Manaslu trek varies widely with various trekking agencies as well as with the interest of an individual trekker. For seasoned trekkers who are short on time, can complete the trek within a period of 10 – 12 days. But, the least number of days to fully enjoy the trip ranges from 17 to 20 days.

And for those who have extra days and wish to extend their journey may continue with side trips like the Tsum Valley Trek or Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. For this, it will take from about 20 to 30 days overall.

Will there be a risk of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Manaslu trek?

Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS is very common in altitudes above 3000 meters. On this trek, you will be reaching up to an altitude of 5160 meters. It indicates that you are susceptible to being hit by mountain sickness. Even if you don’t get the AMS, you may experience certain symptoms like breathing problems, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, and so on.

There is always a risk of mountain sickness at high elevations. If you feel any of the above symptoms hitting you, it is best that you inform your guide promptly. Having known how to handle the situation for years, they will give you the best possible solution. While you must drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated, eat healthy food and walk at a slower pace on the trekking route.

What is the major highlight of the Manaslu trek?

The crossing of the Larkya La Pass, which is the highest point on this trek is a major highlight of the Manaslu Trek. From the Pass, you will be able to witness excellent views of the Himalayan peaks like Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna Range, Mt. Kangaru, Choe Himal, and other snow-clad peaks. The other highlight of this trek is the unique culture and tradition of both the Nepalese and Tibetan ethnic groups in the trekking region. 

About the author

A leading adventure & tour operator in the Himalayas since 1992, Himalayan Glacier Adventure & Travel Company® is the number. 1 guide service adventure choreographer on Mount Everest Base Camp and beyond. Continuing its decades-old legacy, Himalayan Glacier is a little different from other adventure & tour operators. Each of our holidays is truly a tailor-made package which we design for all ages, groups, families & solo travelers. We have veteran mountaineering leaders who have been into this industry for several decades. So, we offer you complete choice and freedom to explore the real pleasure of traveling.

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