Getting ready for Everest Base Camp trek was definitely one the hardest tasks of the whole trip. Going there in May when the weather is usually quite warm made it a little bit easier and yet we (me and my bf) knew it was impossible to avoid cold and rains at that time. Plus we never planned to hire porters or a guide to help us so all the weight we would pack was only for us to carry. In the end we set up 2 main goals that were kind of controversial: 1.to keep the backpack as light as possible and 2. to have everything needed for the constantly changing weather. Pain in the ass, right? I’m here to help! Relying on my good experience I’ve made a packing list for Everest Base Camp trek of things necessary to keep yourself comfortable while being out of your comfort zone.
Also read How I handled the Everest Base Camp trek
Everything I mention in the list was tested by me or my boyfriend or it is something I’d definitely buy to renew my ‘toolkit’. Every picture is linked to its Amazon product page or another useful website. Some things I bought in Kathmandu or during the trek but if you want to be sure about the quality I’d recommend buying everything in advance. So, here we go!
I cannot recommend you the exact backpack I used as it’s a really old model and not that comfortable but I’ve put my eyes on that little guy from Osprey that looks very alike. It’s 66L and weights less than 2 kilos. It already has a raincover, a lot of pockets, back support, ventilation, and etc. Plus I do trust Osprey to be a product of quality and comfort.
Daypack is needed for the days-off to carry all necessary stuff for acclimatization trips like a water bottle, snacks and camera, for instance. It should be capacious but not too big and heavy, be adjustable to fit perfectly while you ascend and have a back support. This model has it all.
It’s an essential thing for this trek, especially when you go in May when it rains a lot. If your backpack doesn’t include one consider buying something like this from Amazon or right on the trek. But I have to warn you that my raincover that I bought after passing Namche Bazar didn’t work well and my backpack got wet under heavy rain.
1.Warm windproof jacket
This is an ethically-made jacket from Patagonia that will keep warm when it’s really cold and doesn’t take much space when you have to put it in your backpack. It’s a product I’ll have with me next time I’m on the trek but in Nepal I wore my snowboard insulated jacket from BettyRides. If you have the same kind of jacket go on and pack it!
A little addition to longsleeve fleece shirt and works for the same cases. I also wore mine inside the lodges to stay warm and feel just a little bit cleaner (no shower for a week is no joke for a city person).
I’d recommend you taking trousers that fit you well with leggings or thermals. These pants will be useful all the way to Everest but you’ll need to put on 2 layers in the final part of the way where it’s cold and windy.
When the weather’s ok and you need to refresh casual leggings can be a life-saver, just make sure they are thick enough. Mine are from The Balance Collection and it was a great idea to have such a comfortable option.
«Dry, fresh feel in sweaty situations. This short sleeve scoop-neck tee stays hidden.
— AIRism fabric provides light, refreshing comfort even in the warmest weather.
— Microfibers create a feel so smooth you’ll forget it’s there.
— Lots of comfort features including quick-drying DRY technology plus self-deodorizing and anti-microbial/anti-odor properties.» — says Uniqlo website and I can approve any of these words. Better take 3 of them, one was definitely not enough.
I used it a million times, its a lifesaver! The higher you go the more you realize how important this shirt was to pack as it keeps you dry and warm.
This shirt cannot be 100% cotton to absorb moisture from your body so look for a shirt like this.
Perfect for the first days! Base tee + flannel shirt + puffer vest + leggings and you’re good for a warm day in the mountains.
I never put this layer off as we reached 4000m due to non-stopping wind and temperature that started to get really low. My weapon of choice was these leggings from Nike that are warm, light and thin and absorb sweat.
Sometimes I wore them as an upper layer on a warm but windy day as the cleanest and funny-looking alternative I had.
Comfortable and solid (scroll down here for a bad example) shoes are a must for this trek — especially if you have big feet lol — because you’ll spend most of the time wearing them and walking on rocks and dirt. I’ve tried on a lot of hiking boots and was completely happy I wasn’t greedy to buy exactly this pair.
These boots feel light no matter how long you’d be walking, are waterproof but still let your feet breathe. I always felt safe even stepping on wet rocks or steep terrain in them. And they do protect your ankles which is important.
Here’s another Asolo pair I tried on and absolutely loved but I wanted something lighter for my feet in May.
And don’t forget to wear them enough before you start the trek not to get blisters!
Your feet will need rest after all the hard work they do at least on a day off and the best you can give them is a lighter pair of shoes. I was short on budget so I took the Reebok trainers I already had and they worked perfectly.
If you don’t think these shoes will work for you look for trekking sandals like these.
Because you don’t want to shower in your hiking boots.
It’s a must for keeping your feet dry and less tired! I loved Columbia socks and here the rule ‘the more the better’ works the best way possible. Take at least. 3 pairs
You’ll need them at the end of EBC trek where the temperature can get below zero and some hikes start before sunrise. 2 pairs will work.
For days off the trek and evenings when you can wear just your trainers.
For evening rest and sleep
It’s hard to get things dry in the mountains and usual towels weight too much so a quick drying towel is an essential thing for a trek.
2.Toothbrush and toothpaste
Look for something like Plantlife or Hugo Naturals.
Take the biggest pack available for you: at some point it’s gonna be the only shower you get. And that’s what we used instead of toilet paper as the paper is quite expensive up there.
Something I always have with me on any trip so, of course, it’s a must-have in the mountains.
7.Tampons with no plastic holders
The less plastic you use the better.
10.Sunscreen (at least SPF50)
Should be really warm with thick fabrics, better with fleece inner layer.
2.Neck gaiter or buff
An irreplaceable thing in the mountains! It can save your ears from wind, your neck from cold and sun and many more. A bought mine in Kathmandu for 3$ and it worked perfectly but here’s another option for you.
Mine was with a warm linen.
I bought mine in Kathmandu but it’s not the best approach as the word ‘polarized’ on fake sunglasses can actually mean absolutely nothing and your eyes can hurt after strong sun. Don’t be like me, look for models like this, this or this depending on your budget.
These can be helpful when it the temperature is moderate but there’s a strong wind or as a 2nd layer on your hands when warm gloves can be not enough. They were definitely useful when we went for a sunrise hike to Kala Pattar and I froze to tears.
It’s always winter up there so be sure to make your hands warm and dry. I again used my snowboarding gear and it saved me a thousand times.
Make the road much easier for your knees, just learn how to use them right.
7.Water reservoir for at least 1l/person
If you haven’t read What my first time in the Himalayas was like then you don’t know how I suffered when we ran out of water in the middle of a forest with no shops or cafes around. I did. That’s why a water reservoir of at least 2 liters is a necessary thing on a trek.
8.Sleeping bag or liner
The lodges are pretty cold themselves but also the blankets they provide are not warm enough or at all. A good bag is something to choose carefully but a lot of people claim that fleece bags are a thing and I believe them. I took an old piece that was too thin for temperatures of Gorak Shep even though I slept in clothes. My night there was completely ruined by a lot of things but the cold 1st place.
An alternative to buying a bag can be renting it in Kathmandu but in that case be sure to buy a liner.
I bought a headlight in Kathmandu and was actually pretty satisfied with its work.
9.Portable insulated seat
This thing was the one to get a lot of attention from non-russian tourists in Nepal but I assure you it is something to save your ass from cold stones in the mountains! Can be found on Ozon or in Decathlon shops. Or you can easily make it yourself!
First Aid Kit
- Diamox — it helps your body to acclimatize faster and prevent altitude sickness. Be careful with those pills and ask your doctor first
- Activated carbon — for your stomach, just in case
- Coldrex or anything similar- it can be very cold at night and if you catch a cold this will be useful
- Vitamin C or any alike — to boost your stamina
- Throat lozenges — hiking high altitudes becomes nothing but fun when you have a cough or pain in your throat, it’s not a treatment but can help for some time
- Bandaids — for blisters or bruises
- Elastic bandage — in case if you sprain your ankle or knees start to hurt
- Gauze pads
- Anything against herpes — if you get this easily it’s better to pack a set of pills and an ointment
- Any antibiotic ointment — to help bruises heal faster
- Antibiotics against food poisoning
This I’d recommend bringing from home so you’re sure what you eat and some things can’t be found in Kathmandu or on the trail.
- Protein bars — for us it served as a great energy supply on-the-go and a replacement of tea-house orders that made us kind of independent in terms of time and places to eat
- Muesli bars — because at some point you get sick of protein bars, honestly
- Chocolate bars — for a treat. Can be found in shops on the trek but are pretty expensive there
- Tea bags — you’ll need something warm to drink while hiking when it gets cold. We brought our own tea but mostly ordered mint tea at the lodges and drank it from our thermos
- Isotonic — to drink in the evening and help your muscles relax and recover after a hard day
- Camera — to capture all the beauty you see on the way!
- Extra batteries for the camera— it takes a lot of time to go from one lodge to another and it’s really sad to run out of charge in the middle of
- Extra memory card — just in case
- Portable charger — if you use your phone as a camera and as a compass and for other things too this will definitely come in handy
- E-book — I carried 2 books and would surely exchange them for a lighter Kindle
- Local SIM-card — look for NCell to stay online even when you’re 4000m high
- Small tripod
- Adapter for sockets
- Solar battery — it’s expensive but every time I saw someone carrying it I wished I had this little saver
- maps.me app — it has all the paths