Annapurna Base Camp & Poon Hill


Hovering your cursor over the image below will show you the numbers for the items.

01.One Planet Strezlecki (85 l) (Gridlock Waterproof Canvas)
02.OEM Sleeping Bag (Gore Dry Loft, 80% goose down 700 fill, -20 degrees rating)
03.Morakniv Garberg (Bushcraft Knife)
04.Suunto Buff
05.Outdoor Research Stormtracker Gloves
06.360 Degrees Stainless Steel Bottle
07.Camelbak StoAway
08.Salomon S-Lab Peak 20 (20 l)
09.Mountain Designs Firefly Softshell Jacket
10.Salomon S-Lab X Alp Mid Hoodie (Mid Layer)
11.Salomon S-Lab X Alp Pro Pant
12.Blackhawk Medic Roll (Expedition-grade Medical Kit)

13.Epinephrine Kit
14.LED Lenser P7.2
15.Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro
16.Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
17.Sawyer Mini Water Filter
18.Suunto Spartan Ultra All Black Titanium
19.Survival Kit with Suunto A-10 Compass
20.Kindle Paperwhite
21.Travel Documents & Notebook
22.Jetboil Zip (Ultra-portable cooking system)
23.GoalZero Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit
24.Salomon X-Ultra 3 GTX (reviewed here)

Please note though, that the image does not include the food that I brought with me, as well as the camera that was used to take the photo (Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO).

The full list of all the equipment that I own and use can be found on my '100 item list'.

Making things easier

There are many ways to make this trek easier, some of which are:

1 - Trek to Poon Hill and back, and skip ABC in the process.

2 - Trek to ABC and back, and skip Poon Hill in the process.

3 - Hire a porter. Trekking (or hiking in this case) with just a day pack will make the journey significantly easier.

4 - Get dropped off and/or picked up further up the trail. Doing so could reduce the 96 km trek by up to 17 km (7.5 km to Hille and 9.4 km from Sewai), which amounts to almost one-fifth of the total distance.

5 - Descend from ABC in three or four days instead of just two. Doing so will extend the total duration but will also shorten the distance covered daily, which will make it much easier on your knees.

Tips & Tricks

1 - Do it yourself! The ABC and Poon Hill treks are very straightforward treks with very wide and well-trodden trails, and both the treks should prove to be no problem at all for those who have experience with navigation and the outdoors.

2 - Don't be confused by the names. There are two places called 'Banthanti' near Ghorepani, one in the east and another in the south-east. There are multiple places called 'Deurali', one near ABC, one near Pothana, and there is a Ghorepani Deurali, as well as a Deurali Pass. There is also a Chomrong and a Chimrong (which lies just north of Nayapul).

3 - The mobile reception around the Annapurna region is very good by mountain standards, and SIM cards are fairly cheap (Nepal Telecom is usually the cheapest).

4 - Stay at Machapuchare Base Camp (elevation : 3700 m) instead of Annapurna Base Camp (elevation : 4130 m). That way, you can leave your main pack at the lodge and take a daypack up to ABC. ABC is where the crowds gather, and MBC is practically empty in comparison. While the guesthouses at ABC are normally filled to capacity, I had an entire dorm room to myself at MBC.

5 - Head up to ABC the next morning for sunrise. Doing it twice (the first time right after you initially reach MBC) will allow you to enjoy the stupendous views of the mountains and glaciers at various times of the day.

6 - Do not hesitate to pass slower trekkers out when doing sunrise hikes (Poon Hill and ABC). Not doing so might cost you the sunrise!

7 - Ascend slowly to allow yourself enough time to acclimatise. Remember the mountaineering maxim, "climb high, sleep low", and the rule of not exceeding an elevation gain of 500 metres a day (when above 3000 metres). Even though the elevation of ABC is just above 4000 metres, I have heard stories from other trekkers about those who had trouble eating and sleeping due to insufficient acclimatisation. Rushing things could very well ruin your trip.

Next (Day 1) : Pokhara