Although one tends to think of Nepal as all yaks, glaciers and yetis, few roads in the country reach any great altitude and at the time of year we plan to visit, the lowlands are likely to be hot, maybe very hot. For this reason it's important that you are prepared with lightweight, yet protective riding kit. As with all our tours, we like to get around and so climatic conditions will vary. Best then to wear highly-vented riding gear, with a light, waterproof layer to put on over the top. It is possible we'll meet some rain and if it does come, it may be heavy...
Compulsory on tour. As it's difficult to find headgear of a similar quality to that found at home, please bring a well-fitted helmet with you. If buying a new 'lid' specifically for your tour, then consider one with a venting system. If an open-faced helmet is your preference then one with a drop-down visor is ideal. If bringing a basic open-face, remember to bring some eye protection, including clear lenses for low light conditions. Also good for these tours, with a good blend of face-protection and ventilation is an enduro-style helmet. A decent full-face helmet is also perfectly adequate for these tours, but you will definitely appreciate any venting.
Vented summer gloves are the best bet to beat sweaty digits, but you may get cold hands up high or if it rains. Summer-style, waterproof gloves are ideal for all-round use and will be good in the mountains, but may be a little warm on the plains.
A traditional leather bike jacket will be too damn hot on the plains and will still require you to bring a waterproof over-jacket, or an over-suit. Although armoured textile jackets are generally better than leather, especially those with venting and breathable waterproof linings, but something even cooler would be a little better. Some kind of light, vented, armoured jacket is ideal. Also carry a wind/waterproof over-jacket. This way you can stay reasonably cool, but add a windproof layer for instant warmth or weather protection.
As with jackets, armoured textile trousers are the best way to go, but waterproof ones tend to be very hot, so better go for a cool pair and carry waterproof over-trousers for chilly days. Likewise, protective jeans are ideal when backed-up with over-trousers.
Sturdy boots, covering the ankle, are a minimum requirement. We would recommend, though, that you wear 'proper' bike boots with shin protection. Touring-type boots fit the bill fairly well, as do race boots, especially those with ventilation. There are also now a number of protective ankle boots available, some of them even waterproof.
Other clothing & kit
The list below isn't everything you might need to bring on one of our tours (some undercrackers might also be nice), but highlights things that are best not forgotten. Some of these items (insect repellent, hats, etc) can be bought cheaply in Nepal, but as there may not be the time to nip to the shops on the first day, it's as well to bring them from home.
- A sleeping bag
- A snood is great for keeping dust out of the nose, for added warmth when needed and can even be worn as a hat to keep the sun off, or warmth in
- Sunglasses with UV protection are important.
- Bring cool, thin socks
- Sandals are great for off-bike footwear, but also bring trainers or light walking boots if you intend to trek
- If you have a weak back, a kidney-belt may be helpful
- A fleece is good for both cool evenings and for under-jacket warmth
- Day bag sufficient to carry a water bottle and rain suit, or tankbag
- A money belt, or waistpack in which to carry valuables, documents and International Driving Permit
- A sun hat, especially if you're bald!
- Very strong bungees or cargo net in case you tire of the day bag or need to carry that bit extra
- Basic first aid kit: a few plasters and antiseptic cream (we carry a very comprehensive medical kit)
- Any regular medication you need
- Spectacles: bring spares, or your prescription with you
- Swimming Cossie if you fancy a plunge with the crocodiles
- Insect Repellent only ones with DEET content are reliable
- Sun Block and plenty of it
- Lip Salve with UV block
- Alarm whether on phone or not
- Watch for telling the time, so you're not late
- $30 (USD) for visa fee you can pay in other currencies, but it's easier with Dollars
- Whiskey for sharing with staff