One of the daunting tasks after you have decided on an Everest Base Camp Trek is packing for the trek itself.
To pack, you have to know what is essential for the trek and what to avoid. You want to pack everything you need. Yet you do not want to overpack or underpack.
While trekking, you will either be carrying all your things by yourself or hire a porter. A porter will carry between 15-20 kgs. Hence, you have to make sure everything you carry is within this weight limit.
Carrying this load by yourself is no joke either. You will be trekking on rough terrains at altitudes of over 4000m. Along with the focus on your feet and balance, you will have to worry about the extra weight.
The list of things you need also depends on what season you travel in. You may need to make adjustments according to the weather on the trek.
October, November is the peak season for treks in Nepal. With pristine weather conditions and clear views, you will be packing only the essentials. December is the beginning of winter season in Nepal. So, you might need to make some additions to the essentials.
Hence, deciding what to pack can be a great deal. To assist you, here is a typical Everest Base Camp trek packing list for October, November and December.
The given list is by no means definitive. You can and should tailor to your personal need and preferences.
Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List for October, November and December
The clothing you pack for your Everest Base Camp Trek will depend on the season you travel in. The large variations in altitude and temperature means layering is favorable.
Layering gives you the freedom to easily add or remove layers of clothing during your actual trek. You can adapt to the changing temperature and altitude.
October and November are autumn months. These have warm weather with clear visibility. The essentials mentioned below should suffice. For December you will need to pack more warmer clothes.
Base Layer (around 2 sets- tops and bottom)
This is the first layer of clothing you wear. This is an important layer so make sure the fit and the material is good and comfortable. Be sure that the fabric is warm, breathable and lightweight. It can also have antibacterial properties.
Insulation Layer (a pair for the day and another for night)
The second layer is the insulation layer. These are either fleece or materials similar to it. These are available for both your legs and torso.
During October and November, you can have these only for your torso. During December, you need these for your legs as well. Make sure you get these in a lightweight fabric. It is best for easy movement while trekking. They are warm and breathable.
Third Layer (1)
This is the outer layer of warm, insulating and waterproof jacket and trousers. During October and November, the chances of rain is minimum. This layer keeps away the dust, mud from the trails.
For December, these are a must. There is chances of snowfall on the higher regions of Everest Base Camp trek. This layer is great if the weather gets very cold/snowy/rainy.
General Trekking Gear
Along with these, you need hiking clothes for your Everest Base Camp trek in October, November, and December.
A pair of Hiking trousers and shorts
In December, you can avoid the shorts and instead have two pairs of Hiking trousers.
For October and November, shorts are great for the lower regions. They also come handy for the longer trekking days. If possible, get convertible trekking trousers.
Trekking T-Shirts (around 5 pairs)
For October and November, you can opt for a combination of half and full sleeve ones. Make sure the fabric is breathable, lightweight and quick-drying polyester. Avoid cotton. It absorbs the moisture and results in bad smells.
For December, carry more full sleeved tees. At lower regions, the temperatures vary between a cool 8-12 degrees Celsius. So, it is fairly cold.
Waterproof Shell Jacket and Trousers
October and November has very low chances of rain but it is always best to carry a lightweight pair. In December, these are great during snowfall.
These can include your underwear, vests, sports bras and so on. Make sure the fabric is breathable and moisture wicking. Make sure you have enough to last for the duration of the trek.
The ideal pair is 5 pairs of underwear, 2 sports bras.
A good, wide brimmed hat is great. These provide protection for your head, face and neck from the sun. Choose a lightweight and portable one.
For December, this is ideal protection for your head and ears. These provide warmth and provides protection from the elements. You can also bring this for October and November. It can come in handy during the cold nights and early morning walks.
A buff is great. It is cheap and light. It keeps your face and neck warm and also protects them from the elements. In December, you can opt for balaclava.
Your hands are some of the most exposed parts of your body. At higher regions gloves are great. You should have two types of gloves.
These are lighter and come handy when the temperature is moderate. Have these for all the three months of October, November and December.
Outer Insulated Gloves
These can be your mittens. Make sure it is warm, waterproof and durable. In October and November, these will come in handy during the higher regions or colder mornings.
In December, make sure you have at least two. Invest in a pair that is mid-weight and also fleeced on the inside.
Your choice of footwear for the Everest Base Camp Trek can make or break your experience. Footwear is a crucial piece of trekking gear.
The right pair of footwear will provide you with support and comfort. The wrong pair can cause itchiness, sore feet, bruises, tiredness, blister and discomfort.
Make sure you break in your footwear a month or two before your actual trek. This way, your shoes will get adjusted to your feet.
Regardless of the brand, you must get a comfortable pair of boots for your trek. Choose one that is middle to light weight that offers ankle support. If possible get one that is waterproof. Check the sole for deep cut traction. It helps with walks on rough terrain and slopes.
Trekking Shoes / Sandals
Having trekking boots instead of shoes is ideal. It helps reduce the risk of injuries. A light pair of trekking shoes and sandals is also a must have.
During the warm rest days and nights, these are great. It helps your feet breath and is comfortable for walks in and around the tea house.
For December, have trekking sandals that can be worn with socks. It helps keep the cold away.
Choose good hiking socks that are breathable and moisture wicking. You should have enough changes of socks to last for the duration of your trek. The ideal pair is 6 pairs of socks.
Warm Thermal Socks
Thermal socks are slightly thicker. They are used for colder conditions. In October and November, you can have 2 pairs. You will use them only near and at Everest Base Camp.
In December, the weather will be colder and these can come handy to keep your feet warm and cozy.
Gaiters cover the ankle-high opening to your boots. These are designed to prevent water, mud, rocks and anything else from getting into them. It is not absolutely necessary during October and November.
Yet, if you are doing the Everest Base Camp trek during the last week of November or December, you should have these.
All the tea houses provide you with blankets. Sleeping bags are essential to warm up quickly and get a good night’s sleep. In October and November, due to the number of guests, you may not get extra blankets during the cold nights. Having your sleeping bag provides the extra warmth.
Most of the tea houses are not well insulated. They usually have a central furnace in the common lounge areas. Thus, a warm sleeping bag is a must. It must be suitable for negative degrees.
A liner is also a must have for your Everest Base Camp trek. These are easy to clean and change. Having an extra doesn’t occupy much space either.
This is optional. It is good for light sleeper. You will usually be sharing a room with a fellow traveler. It might come in handy if they snore or are prone to loud noises.
Theses are not mandatory for your Everest Base Camp trek. These can come handy when you are walking on the slopes. These are great for balance and reduces the impact and stress on your joints.
In December, these are great. The trails will be slippery and muddy from the dew and snowfall. These provides the necessary support.
Opt for light and packable poles.
During the days, the sun can be bright and warm in October, November and December. A good pair of UV (polarized) sunglasses are great to protect your eyes from the glare.
A good and strong headlight is a great addition to your trek. You may have to take early morning treks. These are useful to light up the trail and remain safe.
These are also great for midnight bathroom breaks. Not all tea houses have proper lightings.
Bags and Backpacks
The type of bag you should carry depends on your personal choice. It also depends on whether you choose to have a porter.
A duffel bag is a great option if you use porters. Make sure to choose one that is water resistant and durable.
If you choose to carry your own bag, then a good backpack is the way to go. Any 50-65 litre backpack should suffice for your trek. Make sure these are made of durable and waterproof material.
This is needed if you use a porter. This daypack will be carried by you. It will hold all the essentials that you need during your walk for the day.
These can include water bottle, extra layer, snacks and other personal items.
This is optional for October and November. In December, you should invest in a good rain cover for your backpack/daypack. Make sure it is the right size. It will protect your belongings from the elements- snow, rain, mud and dust.
These bags are great to separate your clean clothes from the dirty. It is also great to keep your belongings safe and dry inside your duffel.
Water Bottle / Water Bladder
Proper hydration is a key for a successful trek. At high altitude treks like Everest Base Camp trek, keeping yourself hydrated helps keep illnesses at bay.
You should drink 2-3 litres of water a day. For this, you can choose to carry water bottles or water bladders. Make sure your bottles are made from hardened plastic.
These help to reduce the waste of plastic water bottles. It also helps reduce cost. The cost of plastic water bottles can reach $1 per bottle on the higher regions of the trek.
Ensure that you purify all your drinking water. This reduces the risk of water contamination.
This is a safety precaution when travelling. You can safely leave your bags at the hotel or rest places without worrying yourself.
You can use these to keep your drinks from freezing on cold mornings and nights. In October and November, you will have to queue for almost everything. Having these helps save time and effort.
In December, this is great even on the lower regions of the Everest Base Camp trek.
Technology and Entertainment
Everest Base Camp trek in October, November and December provides you with clear blue skies. These ensure amazing visibility making for spectacular views of the mountains and landscapes. If you want to capture these sceneries and the moments spent on your trip, having a camera is a must.
These are a must if you plan on bringing and using anything electronic. These can include your phone, camera, Kindle. USB charger are the way to go.
Most of the tea houses do have charging facilities. As you trek higher, you may have to pay for this facility.
You will have free time during your trek. This can include the nights after your trek, acclimatization days and so on. Good books are great way to spend your time in the cozy of your tea houses.
This is another great way to spend your free time. This can also be great to get to know your fellow travelers.
Make sure you have enough cash to last for the trek. Many tea houses at the Everest Base Camp trail do not accept cards. ATM’s are sparse on the trails and not reliable.
Don’t forget all your travel documents such as your passport and visa. You need photocopies of these to get permits for your Everest Base Camp trek. Don’t forget these.
You will need two permits for your Everest Base Camp trek. These are the same for October, November and December.
- Local Entry Permit
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
Have these with you at all times. You will need to present them at the checkpoints present on the Everest Base Camp trails.
Almost all good tour operators demand you to have insurance. Make sure your insurance is up to date. It also should covers high altitude treks like Everest Base Camp trek in foreign lands including Nepal. It is also good if it covers emergency rescue and evacuation.
During October and November, the weather and perfect views may encourage you to push yourself a bit further.
Water purification tablets
You need these to purify your drinking water and you can do so using many methods.
Water purification tablets and gels are great for this. You can easily carry and use them when needed.
If tablets and gels are not for you, you can choose to use UV water purifiers or water purifying bottles.
First Aid Kit
- Diamox – for altitude
- Vicks vapor rub, tiger balm
- Sunscreen (SPF 30+)
- Chapstick (UV rated ones)
- Anti nauseant
- Imodium for traveler’s diarrhea
- blister bandaids or moleskin
- Fabric Plasters
- Eye drops
- Isotonic Powder- helps replace lost electrolytes
- Advil cold
- Nasal moisturizer
This device helps measure the effects of altitude on your body. It provides readings on oxygen saturation and heart rate.
- Travel sized toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner.
- Toilet Paper (some toilets may not have them)
- Female Hygienic products (not easy to come across on the Everest Base Camp trails)
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby wipes (quick cleaning and refreshment)
- Microfiber towel (easy to dry)
Extra things to remember for your Everest Base Camp Trek- October, November and December
- Always try your hiking boots with your hiking socks on. For December, try with both hiking and thermal socks on.
- Let your guide or trek doctor know of any medical complications you may have.
- You should closely monitor oxygen saturations below 80%. If it goes below 70%, you should immediately descend. Consult with your guide or trek doctor if possible.
- October and November are the busiest season for treks. Pre-book your tour package, guide, flights, tea houses.
- Test all your trekking gear.
- Check the batteries of your headlamps and cameras. Be sure to have plenty of spares.
- All of these essentials are available for rent and purchase in Kathmandu. Some are also available on the Everest Base Camp trails.
- Make sure you have a day or two to spare. This comes in handy for flight delays, extra rest days and for tours in the local villages.
It is always important to dress in layers for your Everest Base Camp trek. Even on peak months like October and November, the weather conditions on the higher altitudes can and do change.
The Everest Base Camp trek is a dream come true for many trekking enthusiasts and travelers around the world. Make sure you enjoy every second of it.
For any queries you may have regarding your trek to Everest Base Camp, feel free to contact us.