Buying and Renting Trekking Gear in Kathmandu, Nepal for the EBC and Gokyo Trek

My husband and I had been travelling prior to coming to Nepal so we were not able to bring our gear from home. We had some basics, but for the most part we had to buy and rent gear in Kathmandu prior to our planned Gokyo and EBC trek.

Gear Stores in Kathmandu

Lucky for us, they have almost everything you need in Kathmandu to set off for any trekking adventure. We made sure to stay near Thamel, which is the main tourist hub of Kathmandu, and the perfect area to go shopping. There are dozens of trekking stores in this neighborhood, and they are all really close to one another. Some stores are just for rent, some are for purchase, so just take this into account when you are shopping around.

Another thing to note is that almost all of these stores have fake gear. All of the gear will have NorthFace, Patagonia, and other big brand labels, but it is not real. The quality of the down jackets and sleeping bags is not the going to be the same as the real gear, so just know that it will be heavier and it will not keep you as warm. For instance, If a sleeping bag says -20 it sill probably be good for 0 degree conditions and it will take up double the space as a real down bag.

There are stores that are real, so if you are willing to spend top dollar you can go to the real stores. Kathmandu has a North Face store and there are Nepalese stores like Sherpa Adventure where you can find good quality gear, real merino products, etc.

If you are bringing things from home check out my post on best travel hiking gear.

Renting Gear

My gear for 2 weeks

If you do not want to buy gear, you can rent basically anything from sleeping bags to trekking poles to boots to crampons. Shop around when you are renting to find the best gear and the best price.

We rented sleeping bags, down jackets and trekking poles. Our sleeping bags went to -20 and were fake North Face. Our down jackets were also fake North Face an they were the bigger puff 900 series. Our jackets were brand new and out of the bag.

  • Sleeping bag cost: 100 rupees per day
  • Down jacket cost: 125 rupees per day (usually 100 but our jackets were new and fake North Face)
  • 2 trekking poles: 600 rupees for the 2 week duration of our hike
    • We both only like to use 1 pole during trekking
Our rental jackets
Our sleeping bags

Buying Gear

We did not want to overly buy things in Nepal, but some things made more sense cost wise and hygiene wise to buy rather than rent. We bought gloves, neck buffs, trekking socks, and base layers. Our base layers were not merino wool but they were a decent fleece material. The stores also said if we brought back things in good condition they would buy them back for 50{05563ee440b8691600683906a6c3c3b7991e5ec3c24fb480a28e674e62e87cf8} of the cost.

  • Wool socks cost: 600 rupees
  • Neck Buff cost: 200 rupees
  • Gloves cost: 600 rupees
  • Base Layer, top and bottom: 1800 rupees
It is cold, so be prepared!

Cost of other Basic Items

Although we did not buy these items, here is a cost list of some basic items.

  • Light down jacket cost: 1500-1800 rupees
  • Heavy down jacket cost: 35000-65000 rupees
  • Crampons cost: 1000-1300 rupees
  • Hiking boots: 60000-80000 rupees

Bartering

You can barter when you rent or buy products, and in Nepal it is expected. Most items do not even have price tags, so the same item in one store can be a drastically different price in another store. After going into atleast 3 stores you should be able to figure out the fair price for items. For instance, when we were looking for down jackets to buy the exact same down jacket ranged from 30,000 to 65,000 rupees.

Once you find something you like and you know the fair prices this is when you should barter. Start low and have a price in mind that you will be comfortable paying. If the price is too high do not be scared to walk away, they will usually lower their offer and if not there are lots of other stores!

Cost of Items on the Trek

If you forget any items, you can easily find anything you need in Lukla or Namche Bazaar. However, expect to pay about 25{05563ee440b8691600683906a6c3c3b7991e5ec3c24fb480a28e674e62e87cf8} more for everything in comparison to Kathmandu. You can even find some trekking items in the smaller towns on your way up, however, everything is carried in by sherpa or yak so the costs increase as you get further away from Lukla.

As you get higher, things will get more expensive, so keep this in mind for basic things like toilet paper, snacks, water, etc.


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