Geology Field Camp

Himalayas, Nepal



May 22 -  June 10, 2025

Three Semester Credits


Application Deadline: Dec. 31, 2024

Register online





Cost: $4,995.00 for undergraduate and $5,695 graduate students.

Cost includes $300 deposit (non refundable once accepted) which is due at the time of registration. If  minimum required enrollment is not reached by March 15, 2023 course will be cancelled and your deposit will be refunded. Students will have the option to register for other  BHNSFS camps. So far the camp has never been cancelled.


This camp is ideal for undergraduates and graduate students who can earn three semester credits 



Expected weather during the camp: The Annapurna field camp coincides with the main climbing season in Nepal. This pre-monsoon time is typically calm, dry and cool. The air temperature in the area varies with the altitude. At low altitudes temperatures are warm (60-80 deg F) and air is humid. However at high altitude the average daily air temperature is 40-50 deg Fahrenheit. Typically the daytime temperatures feel much warmer as the days tend to be sunny. Nights are cold dropping close to 32 deg F. Good quality sleeping bag and down jacket are essential.

Required gear (without required gear you will not be allowed on trail)

Keep in mind that everything has to be carried and therefore light weight and small size are preferable. Everyone is limited on the trail to medium size duffel bag of less than 30 lbs of weight (extra travel gear can be stored in Kathmandu).

Clothing: Avoid fancy expensive gear because working in the field is rough on clothing which tend to get torn and broken. Manmade materials are preferable over cotton because man made dry quickly and are light weight. 1) field pants long with detachable legs, 2) long sleeved field shirts (shield against cold and sun), adequate underwear including socks and t-shirts, 3) high quality hiking boots with ankle support (sturdy for rough terrain, check with instructor or your local REI store if in any doubt, no one in sneakers or high top sneakers will be allowed on trail), 4) goretex or rain coat (against rain and wind), 5) fleece jacket, 6) down jacket, 7) thin cotton gloves (for detailed work in cold weather; often sold in hardware stores), 8) leather work gloves, 9) warm mittens,10) hat with full brim to shade from strong sun, 11) insulated, wind proof hat (for sleeping and work in cold weather), 12) high quality sunglasses with high altitude UV protection (+ optional inexpensive spare pair with UV protection, check with your optometrist, they can check the UV protection on any pair of lenses), 13) flip flops or sandals for camp use and washing (can be bought in Nepal), 14) long underwear manmade material (for cold days and sleeping), 15) quick-drying and loose shorts (+ tops for women) for washing yourself in public water sources such as rivers

Sleeping: sleeping bag (warm, rated to 32 deg F or below)

Trekking: 1) backbag, midsize: comfortable well fitting for full day of carrying and working, 2) midsize duffel bag (where your gear will be transported by porters during day), 3) two 1 quart water bottles (Nalgene) or equivalent non breakable water carrier (camelbag) that can take boiling water, 4) headlamp + spare batteries (led type saves difficult to find batteries on the trail), 5) trekking poles (optional; for stability, safety, and added climbing power)

Toiletry: sunscreen with spf about 50 (yes fifty), large towel (in public wash sites you dress inside the towel), bar soap and travel box for washing in public, regular personal hygiene items (no room for bulky items or opportunity to restock), ear plugs for sleeping (can be found in drugstore), few needles and yarn for simple repairs of torn clothing

Medication: Discuss all medication related issues with your doctor. Also ask if you should have antibiotics for bacterial diarrhea (such as ciprofloxacin) and eye infection, and medication for altitude sickness (such as diamox). Appropriate vaccinations should also be discussed well ahead of travel as some vaccinations require considerable lead time

At the bare minimum you need in your personal first aid kit: small number of band aids for minor scrapes, mole skin (for blisters in your feet), Imodium AD for diarrhea, general head ache and pain medication , motion sickness medication (such as Dramamine for bus travel), lip palm with spf about 10 (+ spare stick), iodine pills for emergency water purification, adequate assortment of all your regular prescribed medications, small containers of alcohol hand sanitizer (such as Purell)

Personal field gear: write in the rain field note book No. 350 F (sold in the internet and well stocked University bookstores) or other sturdy water resistant note book, one large format 8 by 11 inches note pad for scribbling and sketching in the tent (~100 pages/pad), several good quality pencils (+ few colored) and pens for writing, eraser, ruler/protractor, small inexpensive pocket calculator + spare batteries, wrist watch, whistle, topographic map of Annapurna area

Optional gear: small binoculars, camera + spare batteries (no opportunity for recharging batteries or downloading images while in the field), alarm clock, diary, Nepali phrase book

Discouraged gear: personal music player (such as iPod) you pay big bucks to experience another culture and nature, not to experience your own, please talk to instructor if you insist on bringing one, cell phone.

Extra gear and clothing: extra gear and clothing that you may bring to Kathmandu but are not taking to the field can be stored in Kathmandu for the duration of the field camp.


The metamorphic rocks north of Khudi and the major fault will be the topics of the first mapping project which is based on field observations, topographic maps, use of Brunton and other field skills. The terrain is challenging and the access is via trails.

The Second large project involves mapping of Geomorphological landforms and measuring active processes in the high altitude field area near Sundar Mountain.

 The third large mapping project takes place just South of Annapurna peaks (some of the highest mountains on Earth) in an alpine valley that bears moraines and other Quaternary features of former glaciations. The field work is aided by airphoto analyses, topographic maps, soil analyses, and other field skills.

The fourth project requires students to pull together all the maps they have generated over the course of the camp into a comprehensive regional view of the geologic history of the Annapurna area.

The course includes preparation of geologic maps, and completion of formal reports for selected locations in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The projects involve all the main fields of geology that are accessible in the area.


Prerequisites include: completion of junior year of study, Physical Geology, Mineralogy, Petrology, Geomorphology, or consent of the Director

The cost (including all food outside of Kathmandu, the charter bus travel between Kathmandu and Annapurna, and lodging during the whole camp) is $4,995 for undergraduate students. The camp fee covers everything else, but your meals in Kathmandu before and after the field work (a good meal would cost about two dollars in Kathmandu).

Lodging in Kathmandu is in hotel (two students sharing a room), in the field we stay in tents (two students sharing a tent). In the field we travel from place to place and stay in a location for only a few days.

There is a course limit of 18 persons.

Students will utilize standard Brunton and simpler orienteering compasses for detailed mapping.

Eight-hour days (sometimes longer) are expected in the field with reports and maps completed during evening hours. We will do field work and/or hike every day of the week including Saturday and Sunday.

The camp will start in Kathmandu and end in Kathmandu. We will travel to Annapurna on a small plane where we start the hiking and the field work. After finishing the field work we will return back to Kathmandu (these transportations are included in the course fee).

For more information Contact:

Jaakko Putkonen,  Ph.D, Himalaya Camp Coordinator

 Assistant Professor, Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND 58202


tel: (701) -777- 3213

fax: (701) -777- 4449


Dr. Nuri Uzunlar, Director, BHNSFS

Ph   (605) 394 - 2494   Fax: (605) 394 - 6703




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