Posted by Selena Travel / 01 30, 2023
You are counting down the days until you leave for Mongolia, and it is finally time to start packing. Whether you are traveling in winter or in summer, in Ulaanbaatar or in the countryside, there is a lot that you will need.
You definitely shouldn’t wait until the last minute to get started, but if you have, we’ve put together the perfect packing list for Mongolia to make sure you don’t leave any important items behind.
Of course, versatile clothing for varying temperatures, comfortable walking shoes, and personal toiletries are a must no matter where you go. But what items are unique to traveling in Mongolia?
We’ve figured it out for you. Here is the perfect packing list for Mongolia!
Grab a Mongolian phrasebook before you depart, or even a Russian one will do. It will be useful when you need to find a bathroom, order food, or ask for directions.
Having a physical book on hand will help you communicate even when you’re out of range of Wifi and translation apps. Plus, you can thumb through it in your spare time to brush up on the local language.
Mongolia is not one of those countries where everyone is familiar with the English language, so don’t think you can get by without carrying a phrase book in your bag.
Depending on what activities you have planned, you will need appropriate gear and clothing to venture through some of Mongolia’s incredible outdoor attractions.
Hiking boots are a must if you plan on circumnavigating Lake Khuvsgul, the largest body of water in the nation, or summiting Mount Khuiten, the country’s highest peak.
Sunscreen will be helpful (okay, it’s probably required) in the Gobi Desert, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to carry some bug spray wherever you go.
Waterproof packs, coats, and other gear will help you stay dry in case of unexpected rainy weather while you’re exploring Mongolia’s outdoor scenery.
Tents, sleeping bags, and other bulkier equipment can be rented or bought in the country to help you save space in your suitcase, but make sure you pack whatever items can’t be rented.
Earbuds, Books, Snacks, and One of Those Travel Pillows
Basically, you should pack whatever you need to get through a long bus ride. Because if you intend to travel outside of Ulaanbaatar and into the countryside, you have some long journeys ahead of you.
It can take a day of driving and two different buses or vans to get from the capital to Lake Khuvsgul in the north, and even longer to head out west towards the town of Bayan Olgii.
And these buses won’t be passing through any rest stops, so the food you take is all that you’ll have to sustain yourself during the ride.
Of course, this is a great opportunity to pull out your phrase book too. Traveling via bus gives you the unique opportunity to get to know some of the locals and their way of life.
Just make sure you have something to entertain yourself between conversations, whether it is reading a book or magazine, listening to music, munching on some trail mix, taking a nap, or gazing out the window at the gorgeous Mongolian countryside passing by.
No perfect packing list for Mongolia would be complete without a proper camera! While you’re traveling here, don’t just rely on your phone to take pictures.
When your phone is running low on battery and you happen to be deep in the Gobi Desert, you will be annoyed that you don’t have something separate to help you capture the Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs and other incredible sites around you.
Or when you’re hiking around Lake Khuvsgul and spot a Siberian moose in the distance, the limitations of your phone camera’s lens to zoom will make it hard to get the shot that you want.
You don’t necessarily have to go all out with a heavy DSLR and interchangeable lenses, but a simple point and shoot camera can make the difference between an okay photo and an awesome one.
The experiences that you will have in Mongolia are once in a lifetime, so do not skimp out on how you record them.
Similar to the camera point, your phone may come equipped with a flashlight, but you certainly will not want to waste battery life on it.
If you happen to be journeying in a long van ride through the night, you might want a light to read by. Or if you are packing up to leave your hostel early in the morning, a flashlight will be helpful, rather than turning on all the lights in the room and disturbing your fellow guests.
And if you are camping outdoors, an actual flashlight is just more practical than a phone light. Pack a small but powerful one. It won’t take up too much space, but it will get the job done when you need it.
This is the most delightful item on your packing list! If you have plans to visit with nomadic families in Mongolia, like the Tsaatan reindeer herders or the eagle hunters, you should plan to bring along small presents to show your appreciation for their hospitality. Gifts are important in Mongolian culture.
Hats, t shirts, pens and notebooks, or children’s toys tend to be good choices. When presenting the gifts, always hand them to the adults, even if they are intended for kids.
All in all, if someone is letting you into their home or community for a drink of tea or to observe local customs, presents are a wonderful parting gesture, and they are much appreciated in Mongolian culture.
Now that you have taken a look at the perfect packing list for Mongolia, go ahead and get started on filling up that suitcase of yours!
Be careful not to fill it up all the way, though. You will need to leave a bit of room in order to bring back souvenirs for friends, family, and, of course, yourself. Good luck packing and have a lovely time in Mongolia!