ADVENTURER: JASON MEEHAN
Pokhara to Sikles Glacier
A 12 day Trek in Nepal.
Average of 20°C during the day, freezing at night
Osprey Talon 33L
Dry bags x2
Trekmates Lightweight gloves
Small roll Duck tape
Blackhawk notebook / Organiser
Write in the rain Notebook & Pen
Lifesystems Trek first aid kit
Lip balm / sunscreen / tissues
Avon so soft (insect repellent)
Sun Glasses & hard case
Power monkey eXplorer
Camera & LowePro case
Camelbak Chute water bottle
Carabiner & 10m paracord
Petzl Tikka 2 headtorch & spare batteries
Lightweight waterproof jacket
Dare 2b Mid weight top / fleece
Osprey Talon 33L pack (updated version here)
Pack Config Logo Patch – Earth
Leki Walking poles
This report is for a 12 day Trek in Nepal following a route which starts in the town of Pokhara and circles around the Annapurna conservation area to the highest point of Tara Hill Top to the Sikles glacier stopping at local villages on the way.
Gurkha Adventures were the company which assisted in this Trek supplying the Guides and Porters. With their local knowledge and experience in the area it made the trip more pleasurable, with the terrain being much undulated in parts and varying from dense jungle/forest with steep drops, high grass and deep ravines to open farmland areas. The weather was a great help – with the winter coming in the region there is little to no rainfall, which meant not having to carry heavy wet equipment, the temperature range was from an average of 20⁰C during the day to freezing at night at higher level, with the added humidity when in the jungle/forest areas.
With all this in mind there was a good idea of what to actually carry, with uncertainty you can have too much in your pack which you will not actually need or use. I carried a simple load and some group equipment, a 25m confidence rope and bothy bag when required, not weighing any more than 10Kg. As 1lt of water was enough, which brought the weight down, purification was carried by the group. Water was not in short supply and water was prepared during the morning routine by the porters with replenishment available at lunch.
I personally used a Camelback Chute due to its double lid system, although different bottles were used by the group from Nalgene to Sigg depending on the preference of the person. Hydration packs were used but these were placed away as not required for the daily walking.
Each person had their own first aid kit which made things easier for the group, as customisation of kits can be done as individuals needs are always different. The main items that were common across all kits were blister kits, pain relief and a lot of Imodium, for a couple of days our bodies got used to the change in food and water.
With the route being undulating and steep in places the use of walking poles became a gift, due to most of the route being stepped up to 1000m up and down, with all different heights and being designed for small feet.
The poles assisted getting up and down, easing the impact on the knees and used to balance when crossing the temporary bamboo bridges. These were placed by the locals as the river course ways have been washed away by monsoon floods, that damaged or removed the previous bridges. The porters however seemed to do this with great ease and carrying the average weight of 40-50kg on their head and in flip flops which was pretty impressive.
The climate meant that warm kit was reduced to a light fleece if required when stopping, a warmer jacket in the evening, and a hat of some sort – woollen beanie or a lightweight skull hat seemed to be the choice. Sunglasses, baseball caps and sunscreen were more prevalent.
A waterproof jacket was carried but not required as we only had rain when closer to the glacier and it was more of drift from the snow fall during the night. Every camp we stopped at there was the opportunity to have a camp fire which made the evenings pleasurable, this gave way to conversations which were varied in sorts of strange and interesting topics.
Hogo camp (below)
All the equipment I used faired up pretty well with no damages. Packing for what you actually are doing, without taking extra kit that will most probably stay at the bottom of your pack or in a pouch, meant a nicer walk which meant less water and food needed, reducing the weight and burden.