Everything You Need (and what you don’t) on a Family Trek

Everything You Need (and what you don’t) on a Family Trek

Love hiking? Here’s the best Poon Hill Trek packing guide with everything she, he, and children actually need (and why!) and what you can avoid packing!

 

I’ve never considered myself a hiker by any means. Our family loves adventurous activities including zip lining, rock climbing, rappelling, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and other things that take place in mountains, but hiking? I’ve never actually seen the point. Why exert the energy to walk uphill? For a view? Only to walk back down? Nah.

Nevertheless, I’ve found myself hiking in 6 different countries in the last 2 years. Darn that husband of mine and his climbing nature.

Most recently we spent not one but three days on a family trek through the Himalayas. That’s right, folks, the girl who doesn’t like to hike found herself on one of the most notoriously challenging mountain ranges in the world! And, believe it or not, I came away from the trip completely exhilarated and incredibly proud of myself.

It was kind of awesome.

There were a few reasons why I enjoyed our family trek on the Poon Hill Trail in Nepal more than other day or overnight hikes we’ve tried:

  • The path was mostly laden with stone steps, making the pathway more enjoyable and less challenging than other scramble-hikes we’ve done
  • The weather was a perfect chilliness with no humidity. We warmed ourselves up by hiking, but never enough to sweat
  • We stayed in hostel-like tea houses with decent meals and a good mattress every night
  • Porters were hired to carry our backpacking bags the entire time

Even though we weren’t responsible for our own luggage, I’m still relieved that we didn’t overpack. I was nervous before our Poon Hill trek that I wouldn’t be prepared but, in the end, it turns out there were very few things we really needed and I’m grateful that I didn’t have a ton of stuff to search through when looking for a clean shirt at the end of each very tired day.

Hopefully this complete Poon Hill trail packing guide will help you be more prepared than we were! The best part is that this packing guide is just as useful for other family treks. Even if you aren’t planning a trip to hike Nepal use this packing guide to prepare for any family hiking trip!

 

Related: Why you really need to hire a trekking guide in Nepal 

 

Here’s your complete Poon Hill Trail packing guide:

 

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What she needs to pack for the Poon Hill Trail:

 

  • One pair of hiking pants. These prAna pants are my absolute fave. They have an extra side pocket, can be folded into knee-length shorts, and look pretty darn good on almost any female body. Let’s be honest, you will be in at least a few pictures!
  • One pair of yoga pants. You can hike in yoga pants if those are more comfortable, but I enjoyed having a pair along to change into when we arrive at the tea houses each night. They also doubled as an inner layer under my hiking pants on our one early morning hike to keep me a bit warmer.
  • One pair of outdoor shoes. Most hikers on the Poon Hill Trail wear official hiking shoes like these, but, honestly, any outdoor shoe would work. Poon Hill Trail is not a difficult trail so you don’t need as much ankle support or traction as you would on another trek. A pair of simple tennis shoes or water shoes will do the trick!
  • Socks for each day of the trek. This one thing could make the biggest difference. You’ll definitely appreciate having dry socks each day!
  • T-shirt for each day of the trek
  • Neck buff. I’m still not sure how to pronounce this accessory, but I’m so, so thrilled I had it. It’s multi-purpose and can be used as a scarf, headband, or head cover. I mostly used it as a headband, since the activity made my frizz go crazy. I felt much better prepared for pictures and more comfortable on the hike knowing I had this headband!
  • Fleece Jacket. It’s only going to be cold enough for a fleece in winter months, but if hiking between October and March you will be more comfortable with one. We only needed ours every now and then, but it was nice to have!
  • Rain Shell. This is one of the most versatile pieces you can have with you. A wind jacket can help you be more comfortable in rain, is a light layer if the weather is only slightly chilly, and serves as an outer layer over a fleece to keep the wind out if it gets really cold!

Related: What I wish I knew before going to Nepal 

 

What he needs to pack for the Poon Hill Trail:

 

  • One pair of hiking pants. We prefer these men’s pants from prAna. They are so comfortable and versatile on the hike!
  • One pair of lightweight shorts. Ben preferred to hike in shorts most of the time, as he tends to heat up on hikes. These shorts are perfect for activity because they are structured by lightweight, have back zipped pockets, and an inner tie + button to ensure they stay on while being active.
  • One pair of outdoor shoes. Ben wore his Nikes on the trail, but any hiking shoes or tennis shoes would work.
  • Socks for each day of the trek. Ben designed these sport socks with retro-reflective decals to keep athletes safe. They came in handy during the trek since we ended up hiking in the dark a few times! Our entire group was enamored with how well we were able to find with people’s headlamps!
  • T-shirts for each day of the trek. To be honest, Ben didn’t actually change his shirt every day but the thought was there and made me feel better!
  • Hat or neck buff. Ben didn’t have a hat for the trek, so we picked up a neck buff like mine for him. He loved being about to pull it over his head to protect from the sun and cover his greasy hair.
  • Fleece Jacket. It’s only going to be cold enough for a fleece in winter months, but if hiking between October and March you will be more comfortable with one.
  • Rain Shell. This is one of the most versatile pieces you can have with you. A wind jacket can help you be more comfortable in rain, is a light layer if the weather is only slightly chilly, and serves as an outer layer over a fleece to keep the wind out if it gets really cold!

 

What each kid needs to pack for the Poon Hill Trail

 

  • One pair of comfortable sweat pants. Our son tends to be colder than we are, so he chose to hike in comfortable sweat pants. Even if your child runs hot, it’s still nice to have a pair of sweatpants for him or her on the one chilly, early morning hike or to bum around in the chilly tea houses.
  • Two Pairs of shorts. These shorts don’t have to be anything special, just something your child is comfortable in. You may want to make sure to bring something old which can be torn or stained, just in case your kid ends up in trouble while hiking.
  • One pair of outdoor shoes. Our son wore his Nikes, which were perfect. Kids really don’t have need for anything more structured than that!
  • Socks and underwear for each day, plus one extra pair. You know, just in case kids have any accidents.
  • T-shirts for each day, plus one or two extra for sleeping. 
  • Fleece jacket
  • Rain Shell 

Extras to pack on your family trek:

  • Camera. I upgraded from a Canon DSLR to a Sony mirrorless camera and I’ve never looked back. The mirrorless camera is less than half the size of my DSLR and even more powerful. You really don’t want to carry anything expensive or clunky with you on a multi-day family trek, so I strongly suggest buying one of these!
  • Water bottle. A reusable water bottle is one of the things we pulled out more than any other. There were stops along our path with water to refill our bottles, too!
  • Small backpack or fanny pack. While the porters carried our overnight bags, it was nice to have a small bag with us to access certain things without bothering our porter. We used ours for a water bottle, camera, headphones, and sometimes a light jacket.
  • Laundry Powder. This is a great tip if you’re really trying to conserve space when packing for a family trek! By taking some laundry powder you can bring less clothing. A small bag with a scoop or two is all you need. When your clothes need a refresh just stop up a sink with cold water and add a couple pieces of clothing and some laundry powder. Ring the clothes through the soapy water and then rinse until a new sinkful of water is clear. You can lay the clothes on hooks in your room to dry overnight and oila!
  • Hand warmers. Being too cold while hiking can make you miserable. It’s worth taking up a bit of extra space to carry hand warmers if you’re going to be hiking in winter months.
  • Tylenol. Oooooooh headaches! You definitely don’t want a headache stopping you in your tracks. Even if you aren’t prone to them, bring some Tylenol on your trek just in case the need arises. You may also consider Aspirin to cover any joint pain you may incur on the trail.
  • Phone + Charger. Believe it or not there are outlets in your tea houses on the Poon Hill Trail!
  • Headphones. One of the best ways to stay distracted while hiking for hours on end is to listen to your favorite audiobook or podcast. Bring headphones and a listening device for each member of the family to keep kids entertained, too! My 6-year-old son listened to three different books on the Poon Hill Trail and was quiet the entire time!
  • Towel. You are able to pay for showers at tea houses along the Poon Hill Trail but they may not have a towel for you. Bring a lightweight, quick drying towel like this one and it can come in handy in all sorts of ways. We used ours to wring out wet clothes from washing in the sink, to wash our faces at night, showers, etc.
  • Shower Shoes. One pair of flip flops to share among family members is something you should consider bringing. Let each member wear them when going to the bathroom or taking a shower to be extra cautious of athlete’s foot.

 

What you don’t need to pack on your family trek to Poon Hill Trail:

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Beware of overpacking!

 

  • A journal. I love the idea of writing down thoughts and experiences as much as anyone, but let your phone do double duty on this one. A journal will just take up space when your phone has the same function. If you are adamant about your notes all being in one place, consider typing them out on your phone and then re-writing in a physical journal when you’re back home.
  • Books. For the same reason as above, it’s so much easier to download books to your phone than to take up space bringing heavy books.
  • Makeup. Yes, you will have your picture taken on the trail, but do you really want to be that person who is made up for a multi-day hike? Also consider that you’ll be too tired on early mornings to do your makeup, and may not have access to a mirror.
  • Snacks. You may want to bring small candies or snacks if you’re hiking with children, but there are a ton of small shops you’ll pass on your Poon Hill trail trek with sleeves of cookies, soda, and other snacks for sale. Resist the urge to pack food unless you have a hiking favorite you know you won’t be able to find and can’t live without.
  • Drone. We love using our drone to get fantastic shots of beautiful places around the world, but they are strictly forbidden in Nepal and under special surveillance while on a trek. If you think you could get away with using one think again.
  • Laptop. Yes, I admit we were hoping to get a little bit of work done during some down time on the Poon Hill trek, but it didn’t happen. In the end our laptop was a huge hindrance. Not only did it add weight to our bag, we had to pack everything around the laptop to keep it protected while hiking. Not worth it!

 

Our Poon Hill Trek brought our family closer together. I was so impressed that our 6-year-old hiked the entire way on his own, and that we made it up and back with no injuries. We shared some incredible sights together and were able to leave our comfortable lives behind to rough it as a family.

Hiking the Poon Hill trail was one of the best things I think I’ve ever done. I am so proud that I finished the hike without incident, and the high of such an amazing accomplishment has even left me eager for more hiking!

It’s my hope that if you’re considering a family trek this Poon Hill trail packing guide will help you prepare so you can have the best possible trip!

 

Remember these family hike packing tips. Pin this hiker’s packing guide for later!

 

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