Trekking in Nepal is one journey which is at least as important as the destination. Those prepared to take up the challenge are rewarded with stunning views and a sense of achievement beyond the scope of the average vacation.
Following is a list of items you should consider including in your medical kit - consult your pharmacist for brands available in your country.
Aspirin or paracetamol (acetaminophen in the USA) for pain or fever
Antihistamine for allergies for example hay fever; to ease the itch from insect bites or stings; and to prevent motion sickness
Cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant
Multivitamins for long trips, when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate
Antibiotics, particularly if you're travelling well off the beaten track; see your doctor, as antibiotics must be prescribed, and carry the prescription with you
Anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) for muscle and joint overuse and pain; also for headache and fever
Lopeamide or diphenoxylate 'blockers' for diarrhea
Prochlorperazine or metoclopramide for nausea and vomiting
Rehydration mixture to prevent dehydration, which may occur, for example, during bouts of diarrhoea; particularly important when travelling with children
Insect repellent, sunscreen, lip balm and eye drops
Calamine lotion, sting-relief spray or aloe vera to ease irritation from sunburn and insect bites or stings
Antifungal cream or powder for fungal skin infections and thrush
Antiseptic (such as povidone-iodine) for cuts and grazes
Bandages, crepe wraps, Band-Aids (plasters) and other wound dressings
Water purification tablets or iodine
Scissors, tweezers and a thermometer, noting that mercury thermometers are prohibited by airlines
Sterile kit in case you need injections in a country with medical hygiene problems; discuss with your doctor
Dangers & annoyances
Despite the continual stream of bad news headlines that flows out of Kathmandu, the most touristic areas of Nepal remain remarkably safe.
You can minimize the chances of bumping into trouble by heeding the following general advice:
Register with your embassy in Kathmandu.
Seek out local advice on safe/unsafe areas, but be skeptical of official tourist information and trekking touts.
Keep an eye on the local press to find out about impending strikes, demonstrations and curfews.
Don't ever break curfews - instructions have been given to shoot those who are found breaking curfew.
Don't travel during bandhs (strikes) or blockades. Get very nervous if you notice that you are the only car on the streets of Kathmandu!
Be flexible with your travel arrangements in case your transport is affected by a bandh or security situation.
Avoid marches, demonstrations or disturbances, as they can quickly turn violent.
Don't trek alone, even on a day hike. Lone women should avoid travelling alone with a male guide.
Be familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness when trekking and observe sensible acclimatization.
Consider flying to destinations outside Kathmandu to avoid travelling through areas where there have been disturbances.
Avoid travelling by night buses and keep bus travel in general to a minimum.
Be prepared to pay the Maoists a 'tax' if approached while trekking and budget the cash for that eventuality. Trekkers have on occasion been beaten up for not paying this tax. It's just not worth arguing with these guys.
Keep photocopies of your passport, visa, flight ticket and travelers cheques separate from the originals.