Mongolia Packing List Summer
Mongolia is definitely not a pack-light destination especially as opportunities for washing clothes once on tour are limited. Our biggest piece of advice is to try and pack light and smart, and bring durable, multi-use clothing that you can layer as temperatures and weather change (because they will!). This is only a generic Mongolia packing list for summer (there may well be gaps and you will have to adapt depending on the style of experience you have planned in Mongolia) and you all have our own travel needs but use your own best judgment and get in touch if you have any questions.
- If you are travelling with EL and have items or luggage you bring with you to Mongolia but do not want to take on tour, these can be left securely at our small office in Ulaanbaatar. Just ask Jess for details.
Yes, items you can buy at home may well be more expensive in Mongolia but we’re only talking a few pounds or dollars and exploring the Ikh Delguur (State Department Store) or the Black Market is all part of the experience. You may even find yourself shipping an entire ger home or at least a pair of fabulous Mongolian boots when you were only looking to buy some cashmere socks! Image: EL guest Tammy McCorkle.
- There are no specific dress codes and Mongolian women dress in a contemporary style. Mongolians are open and modern in their approach to clothing and are mostly very well-dressed. You do not typically have to cover up within religious buildings although if visiting western Mongolia, the Kazakhs are slightly more conservative in their dress code.
- A wide range of sanitary products is available throughout Ulaanbaatar. In rural areas, there will be fewer choices of brands. Consider stocking up before departing Ulaanbaatar. Sanitary disposal can also be limited but please do not bury any sanitary items. Although not ideal, wrap them and bring them with you and place them in the main rubbish bin in the vehicle. Alternatively, consider bringing period pants or a menstrual cup with you. Ask Jess for details.
Once you head out of Ulaanbaatar your shopping options will become more limited – unless you’re looking to buy six different brands of vodka or a large selection of plastic Chinese buckets?! But the local markets – especially the markets in the provincial capitals such as Arvaikheer or Tsetserleg – are always worth exploring.
- You can find out about our Covid policy here – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/mongolia-faqs/
- FACE MASKS – These are no longer mandatory although we suggest you bring a few. (Be sure to cut the ear straps of any disposable masks before throwing them out, so wildlife doesn’t get tangled in them!)
- HAND SANITISER – We will provide this but it is advisable to bring your own. It should contain 60% alcohol minimum.
- ENTRY REQUIREMENTS – Mongolia no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. You can use the FAQ link above for the most up-to-date information.
TOP & BOTTOM
- HATS – Bring something for the sun (either a wide-brimmed hat or baseball-type cap) and a warm beanie-style hat that will cover your ears for colder days.
- GLOVES – Medium-weight gloves (wool or polypro).
- 2-3 MOISTURE WICKING TOPS – Bring a few lightweight tops, so you can layer and re-wear them. Pack a mixture of tanks, short, and long sleeve options. For colder days, you will want long-sleeved insulated shirts to wear under your fleece and down. Pro tip: look for wool and/or synthetic garments that, unlike cotton, wick away moisture.
- 2-3 MEDIUM LAYERS – These will provide insulation, and include, but are not limited to, fleeces, down jackets, and vests that you can easily stuff in your daypack and layer on and off as your temperature and the conditions change (which they will)!
- 1-2 PAIRS HIKING TROUSERS (PANTS) – Choose hiking trousers made from strong and light materials that dry quickly – and preferably that are wind and water-resistant. To make sure you’re covered for any cold nights bring a pair of thicker trousers.
- SOCKS – Bring durable wool socks in a few different weights – lighter for warmer days, and heavier ones for the nights and colder days.
- BOOTS / SHOES – A pair of comfortable (worn-in) and sturdy walking boots or walking shoes and a pair of lightweight shoes (or sandals/flip flops) for camp and inside the vans.
- WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER JACKET – A breathable, waterproof, and windproof jacket with a hood that you can wear comfortably over all your layers. If you are on a trekking itinerary, also bring waterproof trousers.
For Multi-Day Trekking/Horse Trekking Itineraries With EL
- Your main luggage is carried by pack animal or tour vehicle so you can bring extra dry clothes with you although we do ask you to leave behind at base any excess items not required on the trek.
- Riding or trekking in the mountains of Mongolia can turn wet and cold at any time so it’s best to be prepared. It can also be very hot, especially for the months of June, July, and August, but turn chilly in just a few hours if a cold front moves down from Siberia. Make sure to pack a water/windproof jacket and non-insulated, outer-layer trousers.
- Our guests who have experience with multi-day horse riding or trekking may have their own preferred clothing and personal items – if yes, bring what you are comfortable with!
- Trekking – you may want to consider neoprene socks or sandals for river crossings on trekking itineraries.
- Horse trekking – It is difficult to obtain protective helmets of a reliable standard in Mongolia. Bring your own if you can. We provide half-chaps that cover the shins/calves.
- While not necessary, we also recommend getting a 3 L water bladder with an insulated tube and cap. It’s the easiest way to carry and drink water while trekking.
ADDITIONAL LARGER ITEMS
- DAY PACK – You’ll need a lightweight hiking backpack to wear trekking or for daily use to carry your water, extra layers, snacks, etc. Something around 30 L should work perfectly. We recommend getting one that is compatible with a water bladder and hose, and has a built-in rain cover.
- WATER BOTTLE – Bring a 1L wide-mouth water bottle. Instead of purchasing bottled water, we use local town pumps to resupply our 20 L water containers, as this helps us to cut down on waste plastic. A Steripen Adventurer / Lifesaver filter will be provided to use with your water bottle. You might even want to consider getting a 3-in-1 filtration system, like Water-To-Go. Learn more here – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/plastic-bottles-mongolia/ (also has EL discount code for those in the UK).
- BATTERY PACK & ADAPTER – Don’t rely on electricity in rural areas! Make sure you bring plug adapter too (they are the same as European ones, with two circular pins).
ADDITIONAL SMALLER ITEMS
- Passport – Bring a waterproof bag to keep it safe and dry. Also, it’s always a good idea to travel with an extra photocopy of it.
- Sunglasses – consider with UVA/UVB filter protection and polarisation
- Bandana or neck gaiter (good for extra sun protection)
- Light-weight travel towels
- Laundry Soap/Travel Wash – biodegradable if possible
- Money Belt/Pouch
- A lock for your bag. There are no secure storage facilities. We suggest bringing small padlocks with which you can secure your luggage.
- Torch (flashlight) with spare batteries
Travel mug. We provide drinking mugs on our tours but if you know you might be tempted by a coffee on the go when in Ulaanbaatar then consider bringing your own travel mug. A number of coffee chains in UB give discounts to people who bring travel mugs into their stores.
- Travel alarm clock
- Spare memory cards for your camera – although a selection is available in Ulaanbataar
- Binoculars – great for early morning wildlife spotting
- Swimming items – you never know! (Also very useful on camping trips for having an outdoor wash!)
- If you enjoy walking then you may want to bring hiking poles with you if you’re used to using them as the terrain is varied. We find the collapsible kind, and three-section, adjustable-height models are best.
Here are a few suggestions for toiletries. Please consider our (Mini) Plastic Free Mongolia Challenge which focuses on keeping single-use plastics out of the places we love. It includes details on what EL is doing to help our guests (and team) minimise their plastic footprint as well as how you, our guests, can help us.
- Remember the essentials such as deodorant, lotion, lip balm, suncream, toothbrush, toothpaste etc. Bring them in reusable bottles. Also, try and bring biodegradable products. (Water run-off from outdoor washes can be tainted with chemically derived suds and impact the natural environment.)
- Wet wipes are invaluable on a tour of Mongolia as they are great for instant washes. Basic brands are available in Ulaanbaatar and rural areas. However, if possible, bring biodegradable options such as the Cheeky Panda Bamboo brand or even bring a washcloth! NOTE: wipes should not be buried or put in family toilets.
- Ear plugs
- Eye/Sleep Mask
- Travel Pillow
Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Mats
- If you’re staying in local hotels and tourist ger camps you will not require a sleeping bag as bed linen is provided. But, summer gers are erected quite informally and so there are always plenty of gaps where the air flows through. The insulating felt can be quite thin as well. You might want to consider packing a liner.
- If you’re staying in family-operated ger camps or at homestays or wild camping, you will need a sleeping bag.
- We do provide sleeping bags that you can use for free. But, do think about if you are a hot or cold sleeper. If you know you struggle with the cold you may want to bring a better quality sleeping bag (if you have one – think about a comfortable rating of minus 5-10). Or, you might want to consider bringing a silk or fleece sleeping bag liner if you have one. And thermals.
- If you are on a trip that involves camping we do provide simple sleeping mats but we suggest you bring your own thermorest or something similar for extra comfort if you have one and can fit it in.
- For trips that include family ger accommodation, the beds can be hard. If you know you need a little back support or comfort at night then also consider bringing a sleeping mat.
Just get in touch with Jess with any questions!
CONCERNED ABOUT BEING COLD
- Hot Water Bottle
- Hand Warmers
If you’re a keen photographer seriously consider bringing a Polaroid camera with you or a mini Bluetooth printer. Taking a photo and just showing it on the digital screen or promising to send it is no longer enough. Bring a Polaroid camera and leave the photo as a small thank you gift. See our guide to responsible photography for more details.
Your own experience will influence your choices.
- Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Pain Killers/Medication (for bad backs, headaches, muscle pulls, constipation etc)
- Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores
- Insect repellent (mainly for May- September)
- Generic antibiotics such as Amoxicillin
- Blister kit. Look for long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages. “Liquid band-aids,” such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister
- Dramamine or other medication for motion sickness (for long days of road travel)
- An antihistamine such as Benadryl Decongestant (daytime and nighttime types) for colds, sinus headaches
- Cough drops (for dry throat caused by altitude)
- Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses
For UNCOMPLICATED Travellers’ Diarrhoea
The following is a GASTRO kit suggested by the Fleet Street Clinic based in the UK
- Loperamide / Immodium 2mg capsules
- Ondansetron 4mg: for powerful relief from nausea and vomiting
- Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin OR Azithromycin 500mg
Of course, you could just bring your own horse and cart – as captured by our guest John Holman
If you still have space in your luggage having packed for Mongolia, why not consider bringing a few additional items to help support Asral – a Buddhist NGO that work with Mongolian families in need – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/stuff-your-rucksack-for-asral-ngo-mongolia/. We often get asked about gifts for families – here is our guide – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/gift-ideas-for-when-travelling-in-mongolia/
Jess @ Eternal Landscapes