Travel to Mongolia requires special consideration due to the climate and required travel documents. Your packing list will depend on the type of activities you plan to do while in Mongolia and the time of year you travel. Temperatures range from the low 40s to the mid 60s in the summer months. Winter temperatures range from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to -23 degrees Fahrenheit. The thermometer stays below freezing for seven months. Packing the right kind of clothing is essential.You should pack everything in a soft bag or backpack rather than in a suitcase or trunk, which will make it easier to load into vehicles and on pack animals. The following general packing list gives recommendations on the type of equipment or clothing we have found most practical, based on our experience in Mongolia.
Isothermic clothing is perfect for Mongolia as it traps the warm air and body heat helping you stay warmer. Consider wool long underwear as your base layer. Fleece pullover shirts are comfortable year round for an insulating layer. Use Isothermic clothes for sleepwear if you plan to stay overnight in a yurt. Pack hunters socks for your feet. Even in the summer you will need cool weather clothing. Plan to layer your clothes for maximum warmth. Come prepared for at least some rain, wind, and some very cold nights and mornings and also dry hot days. Night time temperatures can drop to 30ºF! A dusting of snow is not uncommon on Altai Mountains, even in the summer. That said, there are also many beautifully clear and sunny days with bright blue skies.
backpack or soft bag – best if foldable.
sleeping bag - rated comfortable down to -5C- 20C for summer trips and -40C for winter
waterproof bag cover (on treks and horse treks, expedition style trips) – one large enough to cover your backpack or bag and a smaller one for your day pack.
day pack – should have wide, comfortable shoulder straps.
head lamp/flashlight – a head lamp is preferable
personal medications – our first aid kits are equipped with basic first aid supplies, but by Mongolian law we are not allowed to dispense any medications. You should bring common medicines for headache, stomach upset, colds or allergies, based on your experience and your knowledge of what you might require. Bring a sufficient supply of all prescription medications.
towel – a travel towel that is compact, very absorbent, and fast drying is the best kind
riding boots (for horse treks) – almost any style of riding boot will be sufficient, but the taller ones are more comfortable for longer rides unless you will be wearing chaps.
hiking boots (for treks) – should be waterproof and breathable, with Gore Tex boots being the best for Altai Tavan Bogd treks. This is a permafrost area, and water is trapped at the surface, so it will be difficult to avoid some wet ground.
hiking shoes (for all trips) – it is best to wear hiking shoes for all trips, which give good support and protect your feet from rocks, loose stones, etc.
waterproof shell/rain jacket or poncho – in most cases a waterproof/windproof shell with a hood is ideal. Ponchos are more practical on a horse trek as they can cover your saddle and prevent your seat from being wet. Jackets or ponchos for horse treks should be of a subdued, darker color, and preferably of a material that does not crackle or rustle much. Some Mongolian horses are spooked by unfamiliar bright/light colors and noises from plastic or nylon rain gear.
waterproof pants – should fit over your other pants, and from May through September need not have a lining or should have a very light, breathable lining.
fleece jacket or warm sweater/jumper – we find a fleece jacket with a full length zipper in front to be the most practical, and wind-stopper fleece the best for spring and autumn.
chaps (for horse treks)
riding helmet (for horse treks)
cotton t-shirts – two to three T-shirts will usually suffice
long sleeve shirts – one light weight, fast drying, light colored one, preferably with buttons down the front so you can wear it open over a T-shirt for sun protection – and one medium weight for cool evenings.
lightweight trousers – two pair, and if you have one with zip-off legs that can double as shorts, this is ideal
shorts – the fast drying kind are ideal
warm hat – wool or fleece, which can cover your ears
long underwear – (for treks and horse treks) in summer a lightweight top and bottom will suffice. Your long underwear should be the synthetic kind that wicks away moisture from the skin and keeps you dry
socks – socks should be of a material that keeps your feet dry
underwear – fast drying. Sports/athletic bras offering good support are best for countryside portions of all trips – roads are bumpy here!
sun hat – should shade your face, ears, and the back of your neck
gloves – lightweight for trekking and riding, warm for spring and autumn trips
sandals – to be worn around camp, in the shower, and wading in streams or lakes. The best kind have adjustable straps around the ankle, and will stay on your feet if you are walking in a slippery stream bed
sun glasses – should be dark and offer UV protection
sun cream – choose one with stronger protection (SPF 20 or more) if you are light skinned. A sunscreen in stick form that can be applied to lips, nose, cheeks, and the tops of your ears is a very handy item
spare glasses – carry them in a sturdy case
walking shoes – should have sturdy soles and good support
insect repellent – read the label carefully and avoid those that are toxic to fish and amphibians, or wash these off well away from rivers, lakes, and streams
resealing (ziploc) plastic bags – bring enough to protect your documents, money, camera, binoculars, and other items from wetness, sand, and dust. A few extra bags are handy for repacking wet clothing until you reach your next camp and can dry them out
binoculars/camera – carry in a soft padded case if possible
water bottle – for treks and horse treks, should have a wide mouth for refilling easily
wet tissues – choose unscented ones that will not attract insects
watch/alarm clock – an inexpensive watch with an alarm is a handy item
money belt/pouch – it is preferable to have a flat pouch that can be worn inside clothing
emergency contact number – must be left on file in our office
casual clothes for travel/city – you may want to bring an extra folding bag so you can leave any spare items at our offices
It is a good idea to try on clothing at home to ensure that what you bring is sized for comfortable layering. Weather in Mongolia is unpredictable, and layering your clothes for warmth is a practical alternative to packing bulky items you may never wear.
updated: 21st Nov, 2016 for more information please email email@example.com