14 Jul The big question: “What should I carry to a trek trip?”
It has as many answers as the number of trekkers multiplied by the number of trek trips, but we will try to find a compromise solution
Indeed, the question is very complicated. The journey itself determines several factors. Let’s look at the main ones (although there are more):
– Climatology at the destination: It’s not the same to trek through the jungle as it is at 5000 meters. Nor is it the same to do the trek of the Sanctuary of Annapurna in July, in the middle of monsoon with torrential rains, or in December, with freezing temperatures. This is obviously the most important point as it will determine the clothing and equipment that we will wear and therefore will make differences in the weight of the backpack.
– Duration: It’s not the same 2 days of trek as 22, in theory. However, the ideal is to carry 2 or 3 pieces of underwear, T-shirts and so on and wash along the way if necessary.
– Whether we carry porters or not: In most organized treks, we have porters to carry the important part of our luggage. It is not the same to carry water, camera, goretex and other small personal things, than to carry 15 kilos. Especially when you’re above 4000 meters!
– Supplies in the trek: There are a lot of Tea Houses along the route that runs through the everest Base Camp Trek, where you can have a warm meal, have a soft drink or a beer, a chips or a chocolate bar. On the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route there is no support or shop, so you have to bring the supplies.
– The terrain: ¿High boots? ¿Sneakers? ¿Flip-flops? ¿Trousers, shorts, trunks? The terrain will also determine the equipment we need.
On the other hand, the traveler also determines the luggage. We are all very different to each other. There are cold-natured and there are heaters. Technology geeks and convinced analogs. Some of them like the huge leather boots and canvas backpacks and others prefer the latest state-of-art breathable, waterproof, grip and stretch. Vegans and ham junkies. Depending on how you are, you will be able to deal without some things and you will not be able to give up certain amenities.
Another thing we have to think about (in fact, probably the first) is waste management. The countries we travel to do not need our plastics, cartons, bags… It is essential to make our travel vice sustainable. That’s why we join Carlos Soria and other wise mountaineers: don’t just get your trash off the mountain, bring it back to the first world. As a general rule, don’t bring what you wont be able to bring back. Pay special attention to hygiene products. Towels, feminine intimate hygiene products, cotton swabs, toothbrushes… are some of the things that have the biggest environmental impact.
Thinking about all these factors, in Malamalama we have drawn up a list of things that we consider useful. We have prepared it with our treks to Nepal, Kilimanjaro and Kyrgyzstan in mind. Obviously, it’s an open list, so now it’s up to you to adapt it to your trip and your preferences. We have made it in an editable PDF for convenience and you can mark what you put in your baggage on the computer. At the end you will find blank lines in case you want to fill them with your stuff. Remember, if you can avoid printing it, we will spend a little less paper!
Please send us your suggestions, tricks and doubts about equipment and we will update the list!