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One of the biggest questions that went through my mind when we started planning our Everest Base Camp Trek was what the heck do I pack? Having spent most of our time in warm tropical countries like Thailand and Bali, Tom and I were definitely not prepared to traverse through -20° weather.
To help you plan your Everest Base Camp Trek, here’s our complete packing list guide for both men and women featuring a list of travel essentials that you need for the trek. Throughout the article, we have listed recommended products and brands which we have used.
Having been to Nepal before, I know that the streets of Thamel or Namche Bazaar are lined with vendors selling trekking gear. While most of these knock-off products are great, just remember that the quality of these products might be different compared to those that you buy before your trip. When it comes to gear, there are a few things that I am not willing to have sub-par gear for like a good jacket and trekking shoes which is why I advise you to purchase these ahead of time.
- 1 Pre Everest Base Camp Trek Preparations
- 2 Clothing
- 3 Trekking Footwear
- 4 Trekking Accessories
- 5 Other Trekking Essentials
- 6 Bags
- 7 Trekking Electronics & Essentials
- 8 Medications
- 9 Discounted Trekking Package
Pre Everest Base Camp Trek Preparations
Before you go, one of the main things you need to make sure you have is travel insurance. Whatever company you go with, read the fine print as most insurance companies charge you an extra fee for medical evacuations higher than a certain altitude. We personally recommend World Nomads as their baseline coverage includes all this and more.
Every day, we saw at least 2-3 helicopter rescues a day due to altitude sickness. The minimum price for a medical evacuation starts at $5000 so reading the fine print to make sure you’re covered in any policy that you get is highly recommended. Use the widget below to get a quote for your Everest Base Camp Trip.
Although you might get tempted to bring everything that you have to keep you warm, I recommend being strategic about what you take with you as you really don’t need much apart from a few key items.
Naturally, what you will bring will totally depend on when you are going. If you’re planning on trekking up to Base Camp during the months of November or December, bring warmer clothes to help you with the cold.
FACT: You will only take about 1 shower (if you even bother) throughout the 12 days of trekking. You are also bound to get sweaty, dusty, and generally dirty. It is also really really cold which means that you won’t really fuss about what you’re wearing as long as it is warm and comfortable.
Having a good set of thermals is one of those things that I highly recommend. Being that this is your first base layer, you will want to go with something that is made up of Merino Wool. This fabric makes it warm, breathable, lightweight and has anti-bacterial properties. Trust me, it comes in handy when you’re trekking for 12 days!
Although Merino Wool is pricier than the usual thermal gear, it will keep you warm for during the cold evenings in the tea houses. I recommend getting at least 2 sets (top and bottom) of these thermal baselayers. Click here to see some of the brands that we recommend for men and women
Now that you have your base layer sorted, the next step is to get a solid insulation layer to keep you warm. Some people buy fleece top and bottom but we found this a bit too warm for our liking. So depending on when you’re going to go, you might be able to get away with just a top layer. We recommend going with brands like Colombia or Polartech Click here to see our recommended fleece jackets
Buying a good down jacket is a solid investment and a good one will last you for years. While there are TONS of rip off jackets being sold in the streets of Nepal, this was one thing that I insisted we bought ahead of time.
During my last trip, I purchased a waterproof rain jacket from Kathmandu and while it served me well, mid-trek during a torrential downpour, I realized it wasn’t so waterproof after all. (Damn you, charming Nepali Grandpa who sold me that coat!)
When choosing a down jacket, get the warmest one that you can get- most jackets tell you what temperature they are designed to withstand. We recommend looking at North Face, Patagonia, orArc’teryxwhich are all really reputable brands with great warranties!
Apart from the other jackets that you have, I recommend bringing one outer shell jacket incase of heavy rain. As we got to the top, I had my thermals, fleece, down jacket, and rain jacket on (yes, I was that cold!). Although we only experienced one patch of rain, having this for bad weather is a must! Click here to compare prices ofrain jackets. Depending on when you go, some people also opt to bring rain trousers which are relatively inexpensive. For more information, you can also read through our list of the best travel jackets to help you select the perfect one.
I recommend taking at least 2 pairs of trekking pants for the trek. One leightweight one (convertible to shorts) for the warmer parts of the trail and another heavy duty one which you can use. I personally like trekking with leggings but during my time in Everest so I alternated between both. For good quality trekking pants, we recommend Craghoppers for men and women. Alternatively, you can also check out Columbia’s trekking leggings for women.
Next up are trekking or sports tops. I personally like using lightweight quick-dry fabric while some recommend cotton. You will need around 5 sets which you can use throughout your trek. It is up to you if you want to use short sleeved ones which you can layer on top of your long sleeved base layers. During the warmer days, I got away with wearing just my thin long sleeved trekking shirt but as we got higher, I would layer them with my thermal undershirts. Click here to compare prices of trekking shirts.
Getting good footwear is arguably the most important piece of gear that you can take with you to your Everest Base Camp Trek. If there is one piece of advice I can give you…it’s to make sure that the boots that you bring are broken in. We saw one dude who bought a brand new spankin’ pair of boots in Kathmandu only to suffer with an insane amount of blisters on his feet afterwards. Invest in a good pair of boots and you will have them for life!
We both went with lightweight mid-cut boots that had solid ankle support and good traction on the soles. Although there were a lot of knock-off brands, we knew we wanted high quality shoes which were comfortable. I’ve had mine for a while and although Tom bought brand new shoes, he made sure to take them on a few treks around Thailand before going on our big trip. A few reputable brands that we recommend are Salomon, Northface, Karrimor or Merrell. For more information on how to choose good trekking boots, check out our post: Best trekking boots for men | best trekking boots for women.
Trust me, as soon as you get to your tea house, one of the first things you would want to do is to take off your trekking boots. This is why we recommend having a pair comfortable sandals to change into. Both Tom and I used sandals from Tribu, a local brand in the Philippines and they were a lifesaver! (They deliver internationally too!)
While a lot of these are obviously optional, we highly recommend getting them as they will help you during your trek. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses is something that I am really happy we did as we used them every day.
Obviously, some people prefer to have a clean pair of socks for every day so the quantity is totally up to you. Whatever you do, please make sure that you get good quality socks with that are both padded and warm. Merino Wool is the best material as they stay pretty clean. Click here to compare prices of Merino Wool socks. If you are heading to Everest Base Camp during Winter, consider getting waterproof leg gaitersto cover your ankle and boot opening to prevent mud, water, or snow.
If there was one thing that saved us from the cold during our entire trip, it had to be our Headware neck gaiters. Made in the Philippines (but also available in Amazon), this fantastic local brand has been a staple in my travel wardrobe for years. We got the neck gaiters that were lined with fleece and used it to cover our neck and even our faces when it got so cold. I am also in love with their travel kokoon which I use as a blanket, sleep sheet, scarf etc.
During our trip, we decided to go with these awesome Polarized sunglasses from Sungod and were more than happy with our choice. Not only are their glasses fully customizable but they also are “adventure proof” meaning they have a lifetime guarantee in case of breakage. This means that they will repair or replace your glasses free of charge. How awesome is that? Coming from someone who has gone through tons of sunglasses, this is what appealed to me the most. From experience, I’ve so far dropped my Sungod glasses in a small waterfall, while hiking in Thailand as well as in Everest and they are still as good as new.
As we were looking for a pair to take with us to Everest, we looked for lenses with the lowest visual light transmission (VLT). Their website is easy to use (and they deliver anywhere in the world!) We got ourselves a pair of Renegade glasses but you can also check out their other styles such as the Classics or Pacebreakers. Click the link If you want to read our SunGod glasses review.
Other Trekking Essentials
- Fleece Hat (available in Kathmadu)
- Down Booties(we recommend getting a pair if your feet tend to get cold)
- Trekking Underwear (6 pairs | 2 sports bras)
- Water Bladder (at least 1-2 liters)
- Head Torch
- Microfiber Travel Towel
- Female Pee Funnel (I ordered one but in all honesty didn’t bother with it as I most often forgot I had it!)
If you are carrying your own bag (without using a porter), you will have to get a slightly larger backpack to fit all your gear. For those who are making use of a porter and a guide, we recommend getting a day pack to carry all your travel essentials and a waterproof duffel bags for the porters to carry. Whatever bag you get, make sure you also get a good raincover for protection.
Trekking Electronics & Essentials
As we were technically “working” during our trip up to Everest Base Camp, we carry more electronics than the average traveler. Here’s our minimal list of things to bring during this trek which includes cameras, spare batteries, and more.
If there is one thing you need to make sure of, it is that you bring with you a well stocked med kit. I got really ill during our trek and having an arsenal of medicines helped me a lot as after all, you are in the middle of no where! Here are a few essentials that I recommend you take with you.
- Diamox (Read up on this and research if it is something you want to do. Diamox is a pill taken as a preventive for altitude sickness which you are meant to start at least 2 days before your trek. Some get side effects so take it at your own risk.
- Headache Tablets- Due to the altitude, both Tom and I had nightly pounding headaches so having some sort of tablets to help you combat this is recommended.
- Chapstick / Lip Balm
- Electrolyte Powder
- Blister Kit or Moleskin
- Cold Medicine
- Vicks Vaporub
- Immodium or any anti-diarrhea
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Wipes (A LOT OF IT!)
- anti nauseant medicine
- band-aids | blister bandaids or moleskin
- eye drops
- advil cold and dinus
- nasal moisturizer – altitude causes nasal cavities to be very dry, nasal moisturizer was very helpful.
- tiger balm
Aside from these items, other things that you need to remember to bring are your travel documents, permits, and a lot of cash. There are no ATMs past Namche Bazaar so make sure you have enough with you. We also brought A LOT of snacks. In fact, thinking back, I am rather ashamed of the absurd amount of snacks that we brought with us which is why I won’t list them down here. However, I recommend picking up a couple chocolate and energy bars to help you get through the trail! Although chocolate bars are available in most tea houses, they tend to be quite pricey. We recommend picking up all your snacks at Shop Right Supermarket in Thamel as they will have everything that you need.
Discounted Trekking Package
If you’re interested in using the same company (read our full EBC Trek Review here) which we did during our trek and avail of our AIY readers discount, inquire directly at the bottom of this post or from our sidebar for exclusive discounts.