Clothes should be lightweight, versatile and breathable (cotton gets very sweaty), especially on long treks where conditions vary from subtropical to arctic. Many first-time trekkers underestimate the potential for heat especially, but be prepared for sun, rain, snow and very chilly mornings; dress in layers for maximum flexibility. Note too that high-altitude trekking days are short, so you may spend many hours lounging around in the cold. Many Nepalis have conservative attitudes about dress, and for minimum impact, avoid figure-hugging or otherwise revealing clothes. Women should consider wearing dresses or (longish) skirts rather than trousers, and avoid vest tops that show the shoulders; men might note that shorts traditionally indicate low status, though this isn’t an issue nowadays along the popular trekking routes. Both sexes should wear at least a swimsuit when bathing, preferably a T-shirt too. For footwear, hiking boots are pretty essential, providing better traction, ankle support and protection than anything else; many hiking trainers have soles that just don’t grip on Nepalese stone. A pair of trainers, sports sandals or flip-flops are useful for rest days and airing your feet; Croc-style plastic sandals are particularly lightweight and can be bought cheaply in Kathmandu. Bring plenty of socks, because you’ll be changing them often.
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