Zoom in.. You’ll be horrified.
Prepping for a trek in Nepal is pretty simple. You really only need to bring your well broken in boots and a few personal items. Although trekking companies give you comprehensive lists of gear to bring it’s all available here and at about a quarter to half the price of the US or Europe. So no need to schlep vast amounts from home, just come to the world’s largest emporium for hiking equipment.
It’s a bit of a knock-off a knock-off racket. Nepali companies copy designs from the world’s leading equipment companies like North Face, Mammut, Columbia and so on, build the gear and embroider the branded names. To the unskilled eye they look real and frankly, the quality isn’t half bad. For the casual trekker it’s fine. But they go one step further; now they are knocking off the Chinese copies of the Western brands!
Temptation rears at every turn of the road with dozens of shops selling the same stuff. I’ve now bought three pairs of trekking pants! Anyone need a backpack cheap?
I suggested to one factory owner he start his own brand and sell a little bit less than the fake brands. He immediately offered me a discount on a fourth pair of trekking pants!
But they are all very pleasant and somewhat low key. Not a bad shopping experience.
The list includes all the normal gear for trekking and you are also suggested to buy water purification tablets and drugs too such as broad spectrum antibiotics, codeine, diamox for altitude sickness. Off to a pharmacy I go. Yes the photo at the top of the page is indeed a pharmacy. Zoom in and see if you can find anything. How the owner keeps track of things is beyond comprehension. But he knew exactly what pile to burrow through. I’m now fully equipped and ready to conquer Mustang!