Being a trekker’s paradise, there are many branded stores in Nepal to buy trekking equipment.
There are many shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara that sell all the trekking gears. But you have to be careful with the fake brand names and costly items.
Things to check when buying are material and stitches. Give a good tug to see if it will hold.
Also, expensive might not mean better quality. Careful as you buy!
If you want real branded stuff, then there are stores like The North Face and Mountain Hardwear in Tridevi Marg, Kathmandu that sells genuine western brands. But their price tags are as genuine.
It will not cost you much less than at home. But at home, you might have a better range of choices on design.
Sherpa Adventure Gear is another store in Tridevi Marg that sells top quality gears. It is a Nepali brand and is as good as any other brands.
If you are planning for this only trek, you can rent some of the gears such as down jackets and pants, sleeping bag etc. You can hire for a specific time.
Shona’s Alpine Rental in Thamel is one of them. There are many other good shops.
Quite a few other stores have popped up that either sell real things or sell locally made good quality trekking gears. Everest Hardwear, Hi Himal, Black Yak etc. are other recommendations.
You can rent gears for about $1 more or less per day.
When it comes down to deciding on buying things at home vs. in Nepal, our suggestions are:
- You can buy the primary necessaries in your home if you do not want to feel cheated by fake brands.
If you need climbing gears, like Carabiners and ropes (the tools), bring from home, unless the trekking agency is providing.
- You can buy down jackets, down pants and sleeping bags in Nepal. Western brands cost as much as anywhere in the world. Nepali ones are 2/3 times cheaper in comparison and as good in quality. They might not be as compact.
- Anything waterproof or windproof, you can buy at home where they guarantee breathability.
There are windproof and waterproof jackets in Nepal which might actually not be so. If they really work, they can lack proper breathability.
You can buy Raincoats in Nepal. Although, they may lack fancy designs.
- It is better to buy hiking boots in your home country. Especially, if you want it to be waterproof.
You can find good ones in Nepal as well. But, you should be able to tell the difference.
If you are not a frequent trekker, then there is no use spending on real, professional hiking boots. A good pair bought in Nepal, that is much cheaper, will hold out a trek or two or longer.
- Sunglasses carry along as you leave home.
- Trekking underwear and trekking socks are best to bring from home. Normal ones are also available in Nepal.
- If you are a professional trekker and want a very good quality Trekking Pole, buy in a home. If you are not using it later, buy an okay one in Nepal.
- Buy good quality thermals in Nepal. But, check the material.
- You can buy things like t-shirts, pants, water purifiers, Oral Rehydration Salts, moisturizer and others anywhere in Nepal.
- Of course, you must buy a trekking map in Nepal.
- Warm woolen caps are special in Nepal. A thing to be careful about is the material which is really warm and is not a plastic one that only looks like wool.
- A good water bottle is better bought at home. Cheap ones bought in Nepal may break, leak or scrunch up when introduced with hot water. Even about the ones that cost more, you cannot really say. It is a hit and misses.
In short, for anything technical buy at home.
Nepal is cheaper so, it depends on your ability to differentiate a good product from a bad one. How much you will be using it in the future and how much you need it depends on its performance.