After 5 weeks in Nepal, I’m finally back home. I’m going to kick off the Nepal posts with the Everest Base Camp Trek packing list, for the month of October. Kathmandu was t-shirt weather in the morning and light jacket for the evening. During the trek, the temperature became increasingly colder as we moved to higher elevation.
So let’s get started…
EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK PACKING LIST
Staying warm while trekking everest can help you stay healthy. I brought clothes that I could layer. In the morning it was colder, but it usually gets warmer as you start hiking and the sun comes out.
My t-shirts, sweater, zip-up sweater and socks were all merino wool from Icebreaker. From my experience, merino wool doesn’t stink as fast as polyester. I don’t think it’s necessary to use the Icebreaker brand, especially for shirts since I’ve had a couple of them rip at the seams. However, I’m loyal to their socks, which has extra cushion and a lifetime guarantee.
Merino wool also dries quickly. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing laundry past Namche. The nights get too cold for the clothes to dry properly. Also, in high altitude I didn’t have energy for extra chores.
If Merino wool is above your price range, stick to a synthetic fabric. Whatever you do, do not bring cotton. It won’t keep you very warm and cotton shirts are more likely to stay wet when you start to sweat during your hike. This will make you feel even colder.
- Hiking Boots – The EBC has some very rocky terrain. I used my 3 year old Salomon hiking shoes. It laces up to my ankles, and that helped me in the rocky terrain. Unfortunately, it’s an older model. They have a newer version the X ULTRA 3 MID GTX® W . Whichever hiking shoes you choose, make sure they are worn in and comfortable.
- T- SHIRTS x2 – 2 Merino wool t-shirts worked out well for me. I wore the same shirt 5 days in a row. At the end of the day, it just smelled like deodorant.
- Pullover Sweater – I brought one light Pullover merino wool sweater which was great for layering under my zip up sweater and down-jacket. Early on in the trek, I just used it for sleeping. However, once we passed Dingboche, I also wore it while trekking.
- Zip-up Sweater – You guessed it, this sweater is also merino wool.
- Hiking Pants x2 – I wore wind and water resistant hiking pants. I preferred my gray pants instead of black, simply because the black pants shows more dust.
- Underwear – I brought polyester underwear from Wal-Mart. Underwear doesn’t take up much space so if you have room bring one for each day.
- SportsBra X 2
- Socks X 6 – I used medium weight hiking socks.
- Down Jacket – A packable down jacket is a must have.
- Winter Hat – I brought a wool hat with fleece lining, which I also wore while sleeping
- Sun Hat
- Gloves – If you’re not using hiking sticks, you may be able to get away with stuffing your hands in your pocket. I needed the sticks, so I used my fleece lined wool gloves.
- Buff – Surprise! I used a merino wool buff. I also had a polyester buff but it got pretty smelly really quickly. I wore the buff all the time. While hiking, I put peppermint oil on it to help when I had trouble breathing. It was also helpful for masking the scent in the bathrooms. I also wore it at night.
- Rain Gear – Luckily, we didn’t have any rain during our trek. But just in case, I always carried my rain jacket, rain pants and rain cover.
- Sunglasses – I bought a pair for 700 rupees in Thamel and it served me pretty well for both EBC and ABC.
- Fleece Pants/Warm Tights
- Warm Long Sleeve Shirt
- Sock – A separate sock for sleep was a nice way to keep the fresh feeling after wet wiping my feet clean at the end of the day
- Sandals? – This one is up to you. I brought sandals but even with socks, my feet were too cold. I wore my hiking shoes instead.
Everest Base Camp Trek Gear:
- Backpack – I used an Osprey 35 litre as my day pack. The rest of our stuff was carried by our superhero porters. You might need a bigger pack if you are going solo.
- Garbage Bag – The trekking company provided waterproof duffle bags. The garbage bag just help us separate our clothes from other items in the bag. It made unpacking and packing easier.
- Sleeping Bag – The trekking company provided us with -20C sleeping bags. We also had very thin sleeping bags from home and we used it as a liner.
- Water Filter – We used a Steripen but after Namche, we started to receive an error message. We changed the battery but it didn’t help. We met other hikers that also had the same issue. We ended up buying boiled water for the rest of the trek. One hiker suggested another water purifying device called GRAYL. We’ll probably try this for our next trek.
- Hydration Pack – I used a 2 litre hydration pack from Eddie Bauer
- Nalgene – The one litre bottle was a lifesaver. I got a cold so it was nice to carry hot water on the hike. I also filled it with hot water at night and kept it in my sleeping bag. So I could stay hydrated and warm.
- Packing Cube – I used one cube for my teahouse clothes and another for my trekking clothes. I always kept them in my sleeping bag so in the morning my change of clothes was nice and warm.
- Ductape – Just in case you need to ductape your shoe or your hiking poles mid trek
- Hiking Poles – bring at least one pole
- Head Lamp – great for going to the washroom at night. sometimes there’s no lights at the teahouse.
- Zip Lock Bags – I used it to separate dirty socks and underwear from clean ones.
First Aid Kit:
We all got pretty sick so we ended up using a lot of this stuff.
- Diarrhea Pills – enough for each person
- Throat Lozenges – I brought Fisherman’s friend and Strepsil
- Hydration Tablets
- Blister Band-Aid
- Polysporin – or some type of antibiotic ointment
- Alcohol Swabs
- Peppermint Oil – I brought a roll-on bottle of something called peppermint halo from Sage. I used it for the whole trip. I rolled some on my buff to help with the bathroom stink. I also got a cold so it helped clear up congestion. It also helped with any headaches or trouble breathing caused by high altitude
- Eater’s Digest Oil – This one is also from Sage. It came in handy for when I got diarrhea. It has a liquorice scent that helped to settle my stomach.
- Echinacea Throat Spray– This too is also from Sage. It was great for when my cough worsened.
- Tiger Balm / Arnica – These are great for muscle aches. I brought both, but Tiger Balm made me feel cold during the night. If the smell or sensation of tiger balm bothers you, Arnica is a great option. It helps soothe muscle aches and it has a light smell and no hot/cold sensation that Tiger Balm has.
- Nasal Spray – I questioned this item when my sister added it to our kit. But the air is cold and dry, so when we got a cold and cough this helped ease the itch in our nasal cavity and throat.
- Toilet Paper – this is bulky stuff but you’ll need it. We packed 1 roll per person and bought them at the tea-house once we ran out.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Q Tips
- Wet Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer – sometimes there’s no tap and this is the only way to keep your hands clean
- SPF Lip Balm
- Eye Drops
- Ear Plugs
- Contact Lens Solution
- Reading Glasses
- Camera + USB cord
- Phone + USB cord
- Power Bank
- Solar Charger Power Bank
- Snacks – To be honest, we didn’t have much appetite for snacks because of the altitude. But I did regret not bringing gummies because I really missed that citrus-y taste
- Money – If you book with a trekking company, you won’t need much cash on hand. We exchanged $100 USD per person and still had money left over. We only spent our cash on large thermos of Hot Water and toilet paper.
- Money Belt
- Tip – We talked to the trekking company about the appropriate tip and he said that if we were happy with the guide, a good tip would be 20% of the cost of the trek. For the porter it’s 10% of the cost of the trip per porter.
- Playing Cards – a lot of people like to hang out in the heated dining halls to pass time after hiking.
- Journal – I feel like a fool for not bringing a journal. Instead I brought a watercolor set.