This is a complete Annapurna Circuit Packing List. You can purchase outdoor gear in Kathmandu as well as Pokhara for reasonable prices.
If you have a choice, definitely opt for Kathmandu, as there are many more shops and the prices are better. Remember to negotiate. Although we bought some gear in Nepal, we would not do it again. The product lifetime is, in comparison to the real brands, a lot shorter (probably not even as long as your trek in Nepal).
Hiking Backpack. The ideal trekking backpack is Osprey Packs Women’s Kyte 46 Backpack. For men, check out the Osprey Kestrel 48 Backpack.
Hiking Shoes. I (Sabrina) hiked Annapurna in these Vasque Women’s Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoes, a sturdy and durable boot with great grip and overall support. Kati hiked the circuit in the Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot, which is a suitable hiking boot for casual day hiking, but not for trekking. She had to throw away her boots by the end of the trek.
Our favorite hiking boots for long distances are these grade B/C Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I now wear). Here’s the equivalent boot for men: Hanwag Tatra II GTX. All these shoes have an extraordinary profile and are built to last.
Hiking Poles. Opt for poles with lever locks (flick lock mechanism), as opposed to twisting locks. They’re more durable. After hiking the circuit with poles, we’ll never hike without them. They save your knees downhill and stabilizes your body uphill. They’re also a lifesaver when it comes to snowfields and river crossings. We love our black diamond trail poles.
Sleeping Bag. Opt for a 15F (-10C) lightweight down sleeping bag. You want a sleeping bag that keeps you warm at night but doesn’t fill up your whole backpack.
Waterproof House Slippers (something you can also shower in). After a day of hiking, it’s so enjoyable to finally take off your boots and slip on a pair of Crocs.
100% Goose Feather Down Jacket. It’s absolutely essential to have a packable, warm-down jacket with a hood. We needed this jacket to stay warm during the trek as well as in the lodges.
Rain Jacket. The perfect jacket for hiking in rain, or shine: North Face Venture 2 Rain Jacket. It also protects you from strong winds and it’s available in many colors.
1-2 Fleece Sweaters (one for hiking, one for sleeping). Fleece sweaters are lightweight, dry quickly, and keep you warm in higher altitudes. Buy a Marmot Norhiem Women’s Sweater Knit Fleece Jacket on Amazon.
1-2 Pairs of Hiking Pants. We both bought two pairs of the Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants and we love them. They’re flexible and repel water. We can hike in them in all types of weather and never feel too cold, or too hot. Bonus: you don’t need to wear a belt.
1 Pair of Thick Thermal Pants. Above 3000 meters, it’s an absolute must to have a pair of thermal pants. They will keep you warm in the lodges and while you sleep. And, if you get caught in a snowstorm, you’ll want to wear them under your hiking pants. Buy a Women’s Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Legging on Amazon.
1 Thermal Long-sleeve Shirt. You’ll need this extra layer for sleeping and layering when you hike in higher altitudes in the Himalayas. Buy an Icebreaker Merino Women’s Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe on Amazon.
2 Hiking T-Shirts (quick-dry). You never want to hike in a cotton shirt. These shirts will keep you dry and help you from getting sick. Buy The North Face Women Workout Shirt on Amazon.
3-4 pairs of Hiking Socks. We absolutely love the Icebreaker Hiking Socks. They are warm, comfortable, and you have a lifetime warranty! Buy a pair of Icebreaker Hike+ Lite Anatomical Mini Crew Sock on Amazon.
3-4 pairs of Underwear (quick dry). You will find yourself washing your underwear every 3-4 days. Therefore you want them to dry quickly because the weather won’t always be sunny. Buy Genuwin Women’s 3 Pack Nylon Stretchy Bikini Panties Underwear on Amazon.
1 Sleeping Shirt
1 Sweatpant, or leggings (for sleeping)
Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses. It’s critical to buy Cat 4 polarized sunglasses that wrap around your head. Cat 4 sunglasses provide a high level of protection from visible and UV light. That’s critical for high alpine hiking and trekking, as these glasses let less light in.
Gloves. Gloves are a necessity. We hiked two days in the snow and it would have been miserable without gloves!
Beanie. Another essential we used almost every day. A good hiking beanie protects your ears from the cold winds.
Sun hat. This sun hat is a very important item for us, especially when we’re trekking in higher altitudes. The sun is really strong and you want to protect your head from too much exposure.
Earplugs. We always carry several pairs of earplugs with us when we’re hiking. Even though you’ll be sleeping in your own private room, the walls in many lodges are paper-thin.
Cosmetics: Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Sun-lotion, Deodorant, Chapstick, Nail Clippers
Headlamp. It’s essential to have a headlamp during your trek. We didn’t have electricity in our lodges at least 1/3 of the time. You’ll want one for navigating the lodge at night and for the middle-of-the-night bathroom runs. It’s a lot safer than using a flashlight on your phone.
Travel Towel. Opt for a thin, microfiber towel that dries quickly.
Travel detergent. You need a small bottle of powerful detergent. You do not need a lot of it to provide your laundry with a better smell.
Water Purification System: UV water purifier (e.g. SteriPEN), or water purification tablets.
2: 1-Liter Water Bottles: Bring your own reusable water bottles on the trek. It’s easy to source water throughout the hike.
E-reader: Kindle, or iPad. The trek is long, so chances are one book isn’t going to be enough for the whole hike. We recommend bringing an e-reader because it’s a lot lighter than packing 3 or 4 books. If you have an iPad, you can also watch downloaded Netflix shows and movies. If you do happen to bring a hard copy, there are some places you can do book trades (e.g. Health Rescue Center in Manang).
Portable Charger: This powerful 30000 mAh Powerbank saved us a lot of hassle during our trek. Power is not always a given in the Himalayas. We didn’t have electricity for several days during the Annapurna Circuit. Also, as you approach Thorung La, you’ll have to pay an hourly rate to charge your phones and batteries.