Mongolia may be known for its vast emptiness, but there are plenty of things to do and to see all year round. Whether you are taking on the epic journey by train courtesy of one of our Classic Trans-Siberian Trips or devising your own itinerary, Mongolia’s long history and its previous status as the largest empire on the planet is certainly one thing we should observe in our lifetimes.
From the wildlife rich Bayan Gobi to the city heights of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia provides a powerful insight into a more ancient way of life and the nomadic lifestyles of its people. However, itinerary planning aside, one question probably stands out as your Mongolian trip edges ever closer is – what should I pack? In this article, we deliver an essential guide to packing for Mongolia.
Preparing for the great outdoors
You can’t visit Mongolia without experiencing the natural beauty of its countryside, and stocking up on the kit you need to survive its temperature extremes should be a central part of preparations. If you are planning an outdoor excursion, be sure to pack the following:
- Trekking shoes – keep them light and comfortable
- Blister pads – an essential for long hikes
- Comfortable shoes – for when you’re not trekking
- Large water case – a 1-litre capacity is recommended
- Rain jacket – preferably wind and waterproof
- Trekking poles
- A warm and sizeable coat, jacket or pullover
- Scarf, hat and gloves
- Thin trousers – great for quick drying but pack a couple of pairs
- Long and short sleeved t-shirts and sweaters
- Head scarf – again take two
- Socks, underwear and nightwear
- Towel – keep it thin for quick drying
- Toiletries – include sanitation products
- First aid kit
- Battery powered travel alarm – because you don’t want to miss a thing!
Clothes for all weather
Whether you are venturing into the great outdoors or staying in the city, packing clothes for hot and cold days is essential. Whilst the Mongolian summer (high season) boasts warm and mostly dry weather, you may experience cooler temperatures, especially during the evenings. Throughout the rest of the year, the weather is very changeable with cold snaps, winds and dust storms being particularly common.
Her Packing List (@HerPackingList) offers some great advice for packing for a summer in Mongolia. This excerpt is taken from their Ultimate Female Travel Packing List for Mongolia:
“Mongolian summer days can be hot in the sun but cool in the shade, while the nighttime can get downright cold. The golden rule of travel packing definitely applies: layer, layer, layer. You want clothes you can pile on and peel off as you’re charging across the countryside on a horse, or hiking desert dunes on a camel.”
The optional extras that make a big difference
Whilst all of the items we’ve mentioned so far are essential to a successful trip to Mongolia, the following optional extras can make your journey through this beautiful country’s villages, towns and cities even more enjoyable.
Although sleeping bags are often provided by tour operators, taking your own will ensure you enjoy a good quality night’s sleep wherever your trip takes you. Top tip: if you are particularly cold blooded adding a bed sheet inside your sleeping bag can give you the extra warmth you need. Sleep sacks, also known as travel sheets, are a great alternative for those looking to pack lighter. Portable mosquito nets, Ziploc bags and laundry detergent for instant washing on the go, earplugs, and sunglasses (remember Mongolia averages more than 250 sunny days every year) are also great investments. For those staying in ger camps, rubber slippers are an excellent choice when using communal bathrooms.
Read more about Mongolia here or contact our team directly for further advice about planning your trip.