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Nepal Semester Student's Catherine Von Holt's photograph of the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu.

Updated packing information

Dear fellow educators,

This is an important post about what and how to pack for our upcoming trip. It does not replace the full packing list that you have been sent in the Course Preparation Manual, although the office will send out an updated packing list shortly that is in line with the weather that we can expect during our course and the places we will stay in/visit.

The Weather
August in Nepal is considered summer and the height of the monsoon. This means that for most of our trip the weather will be hot and occasionally sunny – 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. We can also expect frequent downpours, for several hours a day most days. For our packing this means that clothes that are loose, light and quick to dry are best – jeans and heavy fabric will be cumbersome. Rain gear is a must – bring a good rain jacket and/or umbrella, a waterproof cover for your backpack, and you may want to bring waterproof pants too (optional). After a rainstorm the weather can cool off significantly, so also have some light layers such as a sweater, soft shell jacket or a shawl. It will not be cold enough for down jackets, hats or gloves.

Other gear
As we will be walking into our rural homestay, please bring a bag that can fit everything you will need for 3-4 nights and that can be carried (if you have concerns about carrying it yourself don’t worry as we will have a lot of support). If you prefer to bring a wheelie suitcase as your luggage then ensure you have a large enough day pack with you, otherwise you can leave heavier things behind in Patan and bring your large backpack. Please also bring a sturdy pair of walking shoes/hiking boots, a head lamp, and either a sleeping bag liner or very light sleeping bag. One water liter-sized bottle is essential but you may want to consider carrying 2 with you, especially for the hike.

Culturally appropriate clothing
Nepal is rapidly modernizing, but the culture is still somewhat conservative in terms of clothing norms – especially in rural areas and in religious sites such as monasteries. Clothes showing shoulders, chest or knees are not considered appropriate, and nor are tight-fitting clothes such as yoga pants and skinny jeans, unless they are worn with a dress or long T-shirt. Shorts are rarely worn in Nepal – knee-length shorts will be acceptable for hiking days only. Light, loose-fitting clothes are best – and also we will have an opportunity to buy local style Nepali clothes such as kurta suruwal for women when we are together in Nepal.

Please don’t stress too much about what to pack or not to pack. If you have further questions, feel free to post them on this yak board or write to the instructors/Dragons office by email. When in doubt, pack light. The most important thing is that you bring yourself and an open mind!