Once you’ve picked your vacation spot and made plans for your dream vacation or an adventure of a lifetime, the one thing that keeps nagging you is – Packing! Every destination has a different climate, terrain, activities to enjoy and a socially acceptable dressing code that you have to consider. If you chose Everest base camp trek for your next trip, we have prepared a full packing list for Everest base camp trek for you that have been tried and tested by many successful trekkers before!
Nepal is a country of extremes, with terrains ranging from flat plains to the highest summits and climate that goes from tropical to alpine in a matter of hours. Within a short distance, you can experience a variety of terrain, culture, and weather. Everest base camp trek is a high altitude, moderate difficulty trek that does not require technical climbing, but what you pack and take on the trip makes a huge difference on how you enjoy the trek. The following is a list of essentials for EBC trek.
What You Cannot Miss
The essential items on any international trip have to be the following. Make sure to carry them securely in your backpack or a travel pouch at all times.
Your passport is your source of identity that allows for a safe and secure passage from one country to another. Make sure to keep your passport with you at all times to avoid any hassle.
Some parts of the mountain region in Nepal still require permits for international tourists. Once you receive them in Kathmandu or at the entrance of such areas, keep them with you at all times.
If you are traveling to rural parts of a country, chances are you won’t be finding ATMs everywhere, especially when you need them. There are hardly any or no ATMs in trekking trails which might cause problems during emergencies. It is important that you carry enough cash that you can convert to Nepali rupee in one of the many exchange centers in Kathmandu. You are allowed to carry $2000 without having to declare at the customs on your arrival.
Though people like to stay optimistic and avoid the idea of accidents or emergencies during vacations, they are highly inevitable in some. As Everest base camp is a difficult trek with a huge risk of altitude sickness and other hazards, all trekkers believe that travel insurance is a must. Pick the one that has coverage for stolen items, trip or flight cancellation, medical emergency and others. For EBC you specifically need a plan that covers medical issues at high elevation and also emergency evacuation from high altitudes. As altitude sickness is pretty common in EBC trek, such insurance makes sure that you face no difficulty (financially and medically) during and after the trip.
Clothes for Everest Base Camp Trek
Clothes are next on the packing list which you can either bring from home or easily buy in Kathmandu. As you travel from Lukla at 2800m to Kala Patthar at 5554 m, you will experience a wide range of temperatures and climatic conditions. So, layering is the key word for clothing in EBC trek.
Clothes of a wide variety and price-range are available in the trekking shops in Thamel. You should make sure that you have clothes to combat the heat and sweat during the day and then the chill of the early mornings and nights. Most trekkers recommend extra clothes to layer up or down during too hot or cold situations. Here is a list of clothing to be included
You can carry few pairs of short sleeved t-shirts and a pair of long-sleeved ones for layering. Make sure you have spares to change and layer to protect from the wind and the sun. The shirts should be lightweight and breathable to wear for a few days without smelling. Quick drying shirts are easier to wash and dry during the day as you trek.
Carry a pair of pants that are easy to trek in. Trekking pants with zip-off bottoms are useful for very warm as well as cold days.
Carry wool-blended trekking socks to protect from blisters as well as the cold. Carry extra pairs to change or wash during warm days.
Carry enough (4 – 6 pairs) underwear for days when you cannot wash your clothes. Breathable, sweat absorbent sports underwear is usually preferred.
IF you are trekking during the colder months, carry 2 fleece sweaters (one light and one heavy) to protect from the cold.
Fleece jackets that allow proper breathing while keeping you warm are recommended for normal days. But the winters can be too extreme and will require down jackets. There are different types of high-quality jackets to choose from or you can even opt for the cheap yet durable ones found in Kathmandu.
Some days or places are just windy and not too cold. Windbreakers can come in handy during such times or for lower elevations with high temperatures.
If you are traveling between June–September, there are chances of rain in some parts of the trek. You have to carry umbrellas, raincoats, extra waterproof trousers and ponchos to make sure all your belongings remain dry too.
You need a pair of hiking boots to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the trek. Make sure they are well broken-in to prevent any blisters or bruises during the long trip. You can opt for any good-quality trekking shoes. Cheap and high-quality knock-off boots are also available in Kathmandu. Make sure the shoe is comfortable and soles have good traction.
You can carry light-weight, quick drying, and inner gloves for moderate weather. However, you might need a warm, waterproof and durable outer glove for extremely cold days.
During the day, you need a hat to protect your face and neck from the harmful rays of the sun. Carry a lightweight hat that easily fits into your backpack and protects from the sunburns.
The weather can be cold and dry and a buff can help to protect your face and neck and also prevents pollutants while breathing. A neckband/headband can help protect from the cold to some extent.
Carry a pair of sandals or slippers for the tea-houses and toilet runs.
Sleeping Bags for Everest Base Camp Trek
It is usually recommended to bring a bag that can hold everything you need and has enough space to be divided but is still light enough for your porter to carry. 80-100 L duffel bags made of waterproof materials, with sturdy zippers and easy access to hand and shoulder straps.
If your duffel is being carried by a porter, it will be practical to carry a daypack that consists of a pair of clothes, medicines, important documents, water, snacks, cash and other items that you may require throughout the day. Pick one with compression straps to reduce stress on your back and side pockets to hold water bottles.
If you are traveling independently (without a porter), it will be easier to carry a 45-65L rucksack.
If you are traveling during the cold or rainy season, a rain-cover for your bags is highly recommended.
Some nights can get really cold and a sleeping bag will ensure you receive proper warmth and comfort for a good night’s rest. You can rent one from Thamel at a really cheap rate rather than buy your own.
You can also buy a sleeping bag liner for extra comfort and cleanliness inside the rented bag. If you need a comfy pillow to fall asleep, you should carry an inflatable, lightweight pillow that is easier to carry. Ear plugs are also necessary if you are a light sleeper and need to get rest for the next day.
Other Gear While Trekking Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking poles reduce the impact on knee and other leg joints to great extent, especially while descending. Pick light-weight, durable, and adjustable trekking poles that are easy to carry.
You might need headlamps for the late night runs to the toilets outside the teahouses or for early morning treks. It is good to carry one for tea-houses without electricity.
The UV intensity is very high during the trek due to altitude and snow glare. You need to protect your eyes with UV protection sunglasses with light reduction.
Dehydration is a major problem that can lead to other severe conditions in high elevation treks. Trekkers are advised to drink up to 5 liters of water every day for energy retention. You need to carry a water bottle or hydration bladders in your backpack for regular water intake.
This is optional but a smaller, quick drying towel can help you freshen up after a quick clean.
You can get small bag locks for your rucksack or duffel bags for security.
Waterproof Zip lock bags
You need them to store your valuables like passport, money, camera, electric items, and others during rain or snowfall.
Try to carry lightweight cameras that are easy to use. Carry enough batteries and chargers to capture all the breathtaking views and moments of this beautiful journey.
You have enough leisure time on rest days and during the night after dinner. You can bring books or kindle for lighter weight.
People usually keep a journal to keep records of everyday adventures. Keeping one helps to relish your journey in the future.
If you are bringing electronics, be sure to carry the required chargeable batteries as many might not be available in Nepal.
Few tea-houses provide paid charging facilities but they aren’t reliable. It is better to carry USB portable battery chargers.
Medicine While Everest Base Camp Trek
It is a preventive measure for altitude sickness, a common and very serious problem for high altitude trekkers. It delays the onset of altitude sickness but is not a substitute of a descent that cures the sickness. Get a proper medical advice before using it.
Water purification tablets
The water available in the trails is not very pure or safe. Carrying your own purification tablets will ensure you do not get any waterborne diseases. You can buy bottled mineral water too but they will be costly and create more waste in the mountain region.
Adding these to your water will enhance the taste as well as energy levels and water absorption.
General medicines include Paracetamol for headaches, cold medicine, Neosporin, Imodium for diarrhea, painkillers, and others that you generally need for your own medical conditions.
These will help you feel fresh and smell good after sweaty treks or days when you don’t take showers.
The UV radiation is very high up in the trails. It is very important to protect the skin from sunburns with a proper application of sunscreens regularly.
Lips are very sensitive and the extreme cold, dry wind and the sun during the day will make your lips chapped.
You might not get hand-washes or safe water to wash your hands all the time. Hand sanitizers will keep you healthy, fresh and safe.
First aid kits
You should carry one for personal use in case of wounds, bruises or blisters. It can also be helpful for other trekkers.
For easy and quick washes.
Bring enough rolls to last the duration of the trek as the ones found on the trail are often of poor quality.
For foot blisters.
These are useful devices that update you about the effects of altitude on your body and how you are acclimatizing to the altitude.
These are for safety and you should make sure they are attached to your backpacks.
Lonely planet maps and guides can be fun and helpful as you explore and get to learn about the different places, people, and cultures.
These can help to divide and organize your trekking wear, tea-house clothes, dirty clothes and other belongings.
Small roll of duct tape
If any of your gear break down and need a temporary fix, duct tape can be a blessing.
You have enough leisure time to listen to your favorite music and relax.
You can hang them on your backpacks so they get charged throughout the day. They last for a few recharges in places where you might not find electricity.
To keep your shoes smelling fresh.
You can bring your favorite chocolates, trail mix, protein bars and other snacks from home. These will make you feel better after exhausting days or when you don’t like the food served on the trail. Many chocolates and protein bars aren’t available in Kathmandu so bring them from home. Also, carry Muesli mix and instant tea or coffee that you can enjoy anytime with just hot water to buy.
These are general items that will ensure that you have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable trekking experience. The clothing items might differ according to the personality and needs of individual trekkers. Just make sure to check the weight and carry everything you need and nothing extra. Adhering to the packing list will make sure you have a financially, medically safe and personally exciting EBC trek.