09 September 2013

Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek

To read all posts on my Everest Base Camp trek, click here for the complete series.


packing for Everest Base Camp
Some of my trekking stuff on my hotel bed in Kathmandu.
So--what to pack for the standard 12-day Everest Base Camp trek?

It's a pretty long list, but when you assemble everything into one bag, you'd realize eventually that everything on that list is quite essential. Be ready to carry everything on your back for 12 days--or if you're like me, hire a porter to carry 15 kilos of your stuff while you bring a day pack for all your essentials.

The key to staying comfortable all throughout the trek is to wear your clothes in layers.  For bitingly cold weather, expect to have 4-5 layers on you.  But in lower levels where it's hot and you get to work up a bit of a sweat, you must be able to easily strip off your fleece or outer layers.

My trek agency Himalayan Planet Adventures helped me a lot by sending a list of suggested clothing and equipment to bring, but I've also added some items which I think are useful. Unless indicated otherwise, all the stuff listed here are items I really brought with me on the trail.

Note: Some of the stuff here can be bought last-minute in Thamel, Kathmandu before your trek--such as the headlamp, trekking poles and even fleece jackets and such. You can even restock on toiletries and other sundries in Kathmandu, Lukla or Namche Bazaar. Will discuss this more in my very last post on this Everest Base Camp trek series.


Trekking Clothes

Head
  • cap / sun hat - Ideal for the first few days and the last days of the trek when you're at lower altitude levels and it isn't so cold. I forgot to bring one, which was quite silly of me. 
  • wool/fleece hat - to keep your head and your ears warm as you ascend to higher, colder terrain
  • face scarf - I wish I had brought one! You will need it to keep out dust and the cold wind. Plus, it will help keep your nose (and any other unprotected part of your face) from being sunburned. 
  • neck scarf
  • sunglasses

Upper Body
  • 2-3 quick-dry long-sleeved tops - Use 2 for the entire trek and keep an extra one for indoor use
  • 1 sweater - I used this for indoors
  • 2 fleece jackets - I used one for outdoors and one for indoors. Again, always have a complete, clean set of clothes to change into when you reach the teahouse. 
  • 1 waterproof shell jacket - I used a North Face tri-climate waterproof shell jacket which can be detached or separated from its inner fleece jacket layer. For trekking in humid monsoon weather, just remove the fleece jacket and wear the outershell waterproof one.
  • 1 down jacket - My trek agency provided me with one, although I ended up not using it, since it was too warm to wear it in May/June. But bring one for the colder trekking months.
  • thermal underwear or base layer - You can buy those pricey base layers from Columbia or North Face, but my Uniqlo and Debenhams thermal wear kept me wonderfully warm


Lower Body
  • 1 pair of lightweight thermal leggings - These may be too hot to wear under your hiking pants on the first few days but will be useful as you head nearer to Everest Base Camp.
  • 2 pairs of trekking pants - Have a lightweight one for most days and another one that's waterproof (outer shell pants)
  • 1 pair of fleece pants - For indoor use and for sleeping.  I cannot stress enough the importance of having 1 clean pair of pants to change into when you reach the teahouse after a hard day's trek. 
  • disposable underwear - This one is really more for the females.  I know this isn't the most eco-friendly suggestion, but admit it--women feel a greater need to stay hygienic, especially when it comes to the sensitive nether regions. And because of the cold weather, you won't be able to launder your regular undies with soap and water since these won't dry in time. I wasn't really keen on wearing the same undies for two to three nights in a row (sorry, that's just roughing it way too much, at least for me), so I brought 10 pieces of disposable underwear with me, plus some regular undies. Every day, it felt great to change into clean underwear. I didn't see any other website that recommended bringing disposable underwear; I only saw several packs in my local Watson's store, and thought it would be a great idea to bring these on the trek. They're cheap, hygienic, lightweight, biodegradable, and disposable. Hurray! 

Hands
  • 1 pair of fleece gloves
  • 1 pair of waterproof gloves (although I never got to use them)

Feet
  • hiking boots - Your hiking boots are the most important thing in this trek, so do not forget to bring them. Invest on a good pair, or bring your reliable old ones. Do not assume you can buy boots in Kathmandu before the trek, as you may have a hard time looking for a pair that will suit you. I used mid-cut waterproof Columbia hiking boots which had great traction.
  • slippers / sandals / sneakers - For indoor use. Although I would recommend bringing slippers/sandals instead of sneakers to let your feet breathe a bit.
  • 3 pairs of warm trekking socks - For the colder months, bring more than 3 pairs. Use a clean pair when you sleep, so that your feet remain warm.


Trekking Gear
  • headlamp - very useful especially when you need to make your way to the toilet in the middle of the night when all lights are out
  • trekking poles - your lifesaver in the most difficult parts of the terrain, whether going up or down
  • day pack and/or back pack w/ pack cover - If you are hiring a porter to carry majority of your things, just carry a day pack with you that contains the essentials.  Your porter will not necessarily be with you all the time on the trail (as he may be going way ahead of you sometimes), so place in your day pack the things you need, like a water bottle, sun screen, money, camera, waterproof jacket, etc. Himalayan Planet Adventures provided me a duffel bag where I stuffed all the things I only needed at the end of the day.  And then my porter Dhan Kumar just carried the duffel bag.
  • 1-liter water bottle
  • extra batteries
  • sleeping bag with liner - Himalayan Planet Adventures lent me one but I didn't really need it apparently for the monsoon season. The thick blankets inside my teahouse room sufficed. But bring a sleeping bag for the colder months, and ensure that it can keep you warm in subzero weather.

Documents (keep all your documents protected in a ziploc bag; otherwise they will get wet!)
Clockwise, from L-R: My copy of Lonely Planet Nepal, a handy
journal and pen, a map of the Everest region, and my Kindle Touch
(I NEVER go anywhere without my Kindle). Naba of Himalayan
Planet Adventures gave me the map before I left for the trek.
I really love this map!
  • passport w/ Nepal visa
  • Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card - I've discussed in this blog post more about the TIMS card, how much it costs and how to get one. If you've hired an agency, they will arrange to get this for you.
  • Sagarmatha Park entrance permit - Same as the TIMS card above. Check my blog post on how much it costs and how to get one.
  • map of Everest region (optional but pretty good to have)
  • extra copies of your passport photo (for your Nepal visa and TIMS card)
  • copy of your travel insurance policy
  • international flight e-ticket and domestic flight tickets (in case you need them as reference)
  • money - keep 'em safe and dry


Toiletries & Personal Hygiene Items

  • personal medical kit - should contain the following: Diamox to counter altitude sickness (even if you don't plan on taking it, just have some on standby in case you do need it!); pain relief medicine for headache/migraine; medicine for diarrhea; oral rehydration salts (optional but good to have); medicine for cold, cough, fever and flu; multivitamins; bandaids, bandages, other medicine you may need
  • water purification tablets / Steripen - I brought water purification tablets with me as an extra precaution but I opted to buy mineral water on the trail, even though this would cost me more. It all depends on each trekker's comfort level.  My personal reasoning is this: I spent so much money for this trek. And if I happen not to make it to Base Camp because my drinking water was not 100% sterilized and I've managed to contract diarrhea, I have only myself to blame.
  • standard bath toiletries, toothbrush & toothpaste
  • 1 to 2 large packs of baby wipes / anti-bacterial wipes - your ultimate best friend on the trek especially on those days when you can't take a bath
  • toilet paper & tissue paper
  • quick-dry bath towel and face towel - Don't bring the regular heavy bath towel, unless you want to deal with a soggy towel all throughout the trek. Those lightweight, quick-drying ones are the best.
  • sunblock - The higher you ascend, the more exposed you are to the sun, even if it's abysmally cold and the sun doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight. Avoid being sunburned. 
  • hand sanitizer / isopropyl alcohol - Sometimes there is no running water and soap in the teahouses for proper handwashing. You need to sanitize your hands to avoid diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
  • lip balm and face moisturizer - Really important. The cold will really dry up your face and lips.
  • small comb and mirror 
  • deodorant


Other Travel Items
  • camera w/ charger and spare battery - It would be very tragic if you forgot this. 
  • books to read - Rather than carry a bunch of books, bring an e-book reader! I always travel with my Kindle and I get a lot of reading done in the airports, on the plane, and in the teahouses. 
  • guide book - Optional but still nice to have. I brought my printed copy of Lonely Planet Nepal as well as a Kindle version. That's how I roll.
  • small journal and pen - Even if you're not the type to write, a notebook will be handy to jot down your day-to-day notes or even your expenses on the trail.
  • energy bars / trail mix / chocolate - The stuff you need to keep yourself happy and energized on the trek
  • playing cards 
  • ziploc bags
  • medium or large clear plastic bags - Preferably the ones that are sold in rolls (10-20 plastic bags per roll). Compartmentalize all your stuff and place them into medium or large plastic bags. Have one plastic bag contain all your clean indoor teahouse clothes. Have one bag with your towel and bath toiletries, another for your dirty clothes, and another for your toiletries, etc.  At the end of each trekking day, you're quite exhausted and one of the last things you want to do is to keep rooting around in your bag, looking for all the stuff you need. Whenever I reach the teahouse, I'd easily be able to pull up whichever plastic bag I needed. This method saves me time, and I avoid having all my dirty and clean clothes mixed up. Biodegradable plastic bags are sold widely in groceries and supermarkets.
my room inside Namche Bazaar teahouse
Inside my nice, spacious room at the Namche Bazaar teahouse. I get a big bed--hooray. I'm usually a neat person, but
the trek left me so tired every day, that I'd end up placing my stuff everywhere! Sorry for the mess. 

* * *

If you want the same Everest Base Camp trek experience I had, visit Himalayan Planet Adventures and go for the 16-day Everest Base Camp trek package.



7 comments:

  1. I bought the same model sock from the same company after they had changed up the sock a little and had added in some nylon. So far they've lasted me a whole summer of hiking and will likely last a couple more. Ropa Termica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annapurna Sanctuary Trek or Annapurna base camp trek
      Annapurna Base Camp is one of the best treks of Nepal as it is the combination of splendid natural scenery with the blend of cultures. The major attractions of this place are the Annapurna Himal including Himchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna, Annapurna II, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhre and many more.
      The terraced farmland above Pokhara and the pastures, the deep forests of oak, bamboo and rhododendron provides an alluring sensation. The view of Dhaulagiri and Kali Gandaki is even more appealing. The visit to the inner sanctuary of Annapurna gives you the panoramic views of ten peaks over 6000m. The Natural hot spring at Jhinudanda is quite relaxing.
      The ABC is suitable for any trekker who has enough stamina to walk few hours a day. Previous trekking experience is not necessary and one does not need to be super fit. Daily exercise prior to the trip is strongly recommended. February to June and September to December is the favorable time to enjoy this trek.
      Trip Facts
      • Trekking Duration: 14 Days
      • Grade: Medium-Hard
      • Maximum Altitude: 5424 m
      • Best Seasons: March - Jun, Oct - Dec
      • Type of Trek: Lodges / Tea House
      • Commences At: Kathmandu
      • Ending At: Kathmandu


      http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/Annapurna-Sanctuary-Trek.php
      http://www.hikehimalayas.com/trekking-in-nepal/trekking-region/annapurna-region/annapurna-sanctuary-trek.html
      http://www.nepalguideinfo.com
      Email-:sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com
      Myfacebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanjib.adhikari

      Delete
  2. Annapurna Sanctuary Trek or Annapurna base camp trek
    Annapurna Base Camp is one of the best treks of Nepal as it is the combination of splendid natural scenery with the blend of cultures. The major attractions of this place are the Annapurna Himal including Himchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna, Annapurna II, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhre and many more.
    The terraced farmland above Pokhara and the pastures, the deep forests of oak, bamboo and rhododendron provides an alluring sensation. The view of Dhaulagiri and Kali Gandaki is even more appealing. The visit to the inner sanctuary of Annapurna gives you the panoramic views of ten peaks over 6000m. The Natural hot spring at Jhinudanda is quite relaxing.
    The ABC is suitable for any trekker who has enough stamina to walk few hours a day. Previous trekking experience is not necessary and one does not need to be super fit. Daily exercise prior to the trip is strongly recommended. February to June and September to December is the favorable time to enjoy this trek.
    Trip Facts
    • Trekking Duration: 14 Days
    • Grade: Medium-Hard
    • Maximum Altitude: 5424 m
    • Best Seasons: March - Jun, Oct - Dec
    • Type of Trek: Lodges / Tea House
    • Commences At: Kathmandu
    • Ending At: Kathmandu
    Annapurna base camp Trek or Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Day By Day Itinerary



    http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/Annapurna-Sanctuary-Trek.php
    http://www.hikehimalayas.com/trekking-in-nepal/trekking-region/annapurna-region/annapurna-sanctuary-trek.html
    http://www.nepalguideinfo.com
    Email-:sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com
    Myfacebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanjib.adhikari

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your series of posts on the EBC! I am really thinking of trekking the EBC, and your posts gave a good insight as to what to prepare for, and the overall costs! I see that you are doing the ABC now too. Good on you! Continue on the informative posts, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, Pin! So glad to be of help. Am done with the ABC trek as well last April (still finishing the blog posts) and I'm saving up for my next trek. :) Looking forward to your EBC trek in the future; I'm sure it's going to be a fantastic one!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete