EVEREST BASE CAMP
PACKING + GEAR GUIDE
Use this Everest Base Camp gear checklist as a guide for what to pack, and also use your own best judgement and discretion when choosing exactly what you'll need (no one knows you better than you)! Our biggest piece of advice is to pack as light and smart as possible and bring durable, multi use items. Keep in mind that your large duffel, which will be provided for you and carried by a porter from camp to camp, has a strict 10 kg weight limit, including your sleeping bag, and that every day you will carry your personal necessities (camera, rain layers, sunscreen, etc...) in your day pack. (While you’re trekking, you’ll be able to store additional luggage safely at the hotel.)
We always choose climbing dates that are within the peak seasons, but the weather is often unpredictable in the Himalayas (that’s part of the adventure)! On any given day, the temperature range can be large, and reach as high as 25°C and as low as -20°C, so be prepared for everything from rain to unseasonably cold or hot temperatures. We also recommend that you protect all your gear by packing it in plastic bags - dry clothes make for a much more comfortable hike!
Your local outdoor outfitter is a great resource if you have any questions regarding the specifics of what you need. Tell them what you are doing and they’ll be able to help you make sure you’re getting the proper gear. Also, keep in mind, you can rent equipment to cut down on your costs. There are several rental shops in Katmandu where you can buy or rent things like a waterproof jacket, pants, and sleeping bag for a reasonable price - it's also a great way to support the local economy! As usual, never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions.
Bring something light with a brim for sunny days, and a warm beanie that will cover your ears for colder nights. Both are great for hiding dirty hair too!
2-3 PAIRS OF GLOVES
Bring one mid weight lightly insulated pair, and one more serious thermal, insulated outer pair with removable liners for colder temps.
3-4 MOISTURE WICKING TOPS
Bring a few lightweight tops, so you can layer and re-wear them. Pack a mixture of tanks and long sleeve options.
2-3 MEDIUM LAYEr JACKETS
These will provide insulation, and include, but is not limited to, thin fleeces, down jackets, and vests that you can easily stuff in your daypack and layer on and off together as your temperature and the conditions change.
1 INSULATED DOWN PARKA
This should be a heavily insulated jacket or parka with a hood and high-quality down fill (with an overall parka weight between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds). This will be worn when temps get cold and/or during breaks.
1 OUTER LAYER JACKET
A breathable, water and wind proof jacket with a hood that you can wear comfortably over all your layers. This is a must-have at higher altitudes and to layer on in the case of rain!
1 PAIR HIKING BOOTS
The most important thing you’ll bring! Make sure they are Gore-Tex, have good ankle support, room in the toe box, and that you’ve broken them in.
1 PAIR CAMP SHOES
Comfy, closed toed, shoes for the end of the day at camps. The last thing you want to do is put your boots back on after a long day of hiking! We love our CROCS or trail runners for this - they’re lightweight and durable.
You’ll want a few pairs of pants to last you the entire trek. Bring at least one pair of shorts or capris for the hotter days, and a few pairs of long trekking pants or leggings to layer on as it gets colder. Make sure at least one pair is thermal/fleece lined for colder evenings.
1 WIND & WATERPROOF PANT
A non-insulated, outer layer pant is a must-have to layer on over your base layers in the case of rain or wind.
ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
1-2 THERMAL BASE LAYERS
A thin, snug fitting, moisture wicking top and bottom set that you can wear underneath everything at higher altitudes to regulate your body temperature by keeping sweat away from your skin. We recommend a sport synthetic fabric like polyester or merino wool.
4-5 PAIRS WARM SOCKS
Bring durable wool socks in a few different weights - lighter for the hotter days, and serious heavy ones the nights and colder days. A couple pairs of liner socks are great to help prevent blisters too!
2-3 SPORTS BRAS
Bring bras that provide support, feel comfortable against your skin, dry quickly and don't bind, smoosh or chafe.
4-5 PAIRS UNDERWEAR
Even better if they’re the quick dry wicking kind! The amount you bring is based on personal preference. Another stay fresh tip we love is to use ultra thin panty liners that you can easily dispose of and change everyday instead of wearing a new pair of underwear.
GET YOUR ARSE IN GEAR
1 DAY PACK
You’ll need a basic, lightweight hiking backpack to wear everyday to carry your water, extra layers, snacks, etc… Something around 25 - 35 L is perfect. We recommend getting one that is compatible with a water bladder and hose, and has a built-in rain cover.
1 LARGE WATERPROOF DUFFEL/BACKPACK
This will store all of your gear and clothing for the trek, and will be carried from teahouse to teahouse by one of our amazing porters. We provide these for you, but if you prefer to have your own, you can bring a duffel or large hiking backpack (approx. 60-90 L), whichever you prefer. And remember, it must be less than 10 kg all packed!
1 WATER BLADDER
Staying hydrated is of the upmost importance! We highly recommend getting a 3 L water bladder with an insulated tube and cap. It’s the easiest way to carry and drink your water while trekking.
1 WATER BOTTLE
Bring a 1 L wide mouth, BPA free plastic water bottle or Nalgene to fill along the way. Along the trek, safe, boiled water will be available for drinking. Bottled water is for sale along the trail, however we strongly discourage this as it contributes to unnecessary environmental pollution and waste in the region.
1 PAIR TREKKING POLES
Collapsible trekking poles. Three-section, adjustable-height models are best.
1 RAIN PONCHO
Sometimes, it’s too hot and uncomfortable to wear your waterproof jacket, so a poncho is perfect to throw on to protect you and your day pack from water when it's raining. If you don’t bring a poncho, bring a light weight waterproof jacket.
1 FOUR SEASON SLEEPING BAG
Blankets are provided at the tea houses, but a warm sleeping bag (around -10°C) is still essential! You can rent one in Katmandu for a reasonable rate.
1 SLEEPING BAG LINER
This will add an extra layer of warmth at night, and is a must have if you’re using a rented sleeping bag.
2 BUFFS + BALAKLAVA
All are MUST-HAVES to protect your head, ears, throat, mouth and lungs from the dry, cold Himalayan air and dust.
1 HEAD LAMP + BATTERIES
Important for when the sun sets in the evening. Start the trek with fresh batteries, and bring a spare set just in case.
You have to protect your eyes from the fierce mountain sun! Make sure they fit well and are UV-blocking.
CAMERA + EXTRA BATTERIES
There are so many amazing photo ops! DSLRs can be cumbersome to have with you while trekking, but nowadays, most smartphones have great cameras and are compact and durable enough to work well in the mountain conditions. Compact point-and-shoots work well too, just make sure no matter what you bring spare batteries and/or portable battery chargers and a huge memory card. Always pack your electronics in waterproof bags/cases.
ALL THE SMALL THINGS
Consult with your physician on any prescription medication you might need for this adventure, especially Diamox, a common medication taken for preventing altitude sickness. Other common medications you might want to bring along include, pain relievers, anti-histamines, antidiarrheals, etc…
WATER PURIFICATION METHOD
It's mandatory to carry a water treatment method; either a chemical-based one, such as AquaMira, or a Steri-Pen device with a long battery life (or both to be safe). Boiled water is available for purchase along the trek, however due to the amount of drinking water you will need everyday it's necessary to have an adequate water purification method.
Bring some small bills to get additional snacks and drinks at the tea houses along the trek (main meals are included but dessert is not)! There are no ATM's, and it can be hard to break a 1000 NPR note in the Everest region.
Bring a Ziploc/waterproof bag to keep it safe and dry you'll because you'll be required to carry it with you all times on the trek. Also, it’s a good idea to travel with an extra photocopy of it.
We’ll have all this stuff on hand, but make sure you have a compact kit with Neosporin, bug spray, band-aids, moleskin, duct tape, anti-septic, etc...
SUNSCREEN + LIPSCREEN
This is a must have for being in the strong mountain sun all day! Bring a new, full tube with an SPF rating of 30+.
Don’t forget the essentials like travel sized deodorant, sun screen, lotion, hair ties, hair brush, face wipes, tampons, contact solution, toothbrush and toothpaste etc…
QUICK DRY TOWEL + WET WIPES
Don't forget about the environment and make sure your wet wipes are biodegradable.
2 LUGGAGE LOCKS
Always lock your things! Have one for your duffel on the mountain, and have one to lock your suitcase that will stay at the hotel while you’re trekking.
REUSABLE & PAPER BAGS
Let’s do our part to reduce plastic pollution around the world! We ask that when packing please only bring reusable bags like stuff sacks, dry bags, silicone bags, and/or packing cubes. We recommend bringing along several different shapes and sizes of these to help organize and separate dirty clothing, gear and toiletries. For waterproofing your phone/passport/money, we recommend using a dry pouch. Having a stash of brown paper lunch bags or sanitary bags is great for collecting and carrying out trash.
There’s plenty of hearty food provided at meals, but bring lots of extra snacks. The days are long and you need to keep your energy up! Bring nutrient rich things like protein bars, trail mix and electrolyte powder. It’s common to lose your appetite at high altitude, so bring some of your comfort foods like crackers and candy too!