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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.

Read: Everest Base Camp Trek Review

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.

Clothing

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.tom-anna-cliffside

Thermals: Merino Wool Base Layers

Quantity: 2 sets | 1 sleeping bottom

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

Fleece Jacket

Quantity: 1 fleece jacket | 1 fleece top for sleeping

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

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Outer Down Jacket

Quantity: 1 high quality jacket

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!

Rain Jacket

Quantity: 1 jacket

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.

Trekking Pants

Quantity: 2 trekking pants/1 leggings (women)

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.

Trekking Shirts

Quantity: 5 trekking shirts

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.

Trekking Footwear

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!everest-anna-and-tom

Trekking Boots

Quantity: 1 solid pair (broken in)

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 MerrellFor more information on how to choose good trekking boots, check out our post: Best trekking boots for men | best trekking boots for women.

Trekking sandals

tribu sandals

Quantity: 1 pair 

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! If you’re looking at ordering some online, some other brands that we recommend are Merrell sandalsor North Face sandals

Trekking Accessories

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.anna-everest

Hiking Socks

Quantity: 3 pairs thermal trekking socks / 1 liner socks

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.

Headware Neck Gaiters

headware arctic

Quantity: 1 half size and 1 headband size

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.

Other items include Headware Essentials or other fleece headbands.

Polarized Sunglasses

sungod

Quantity: 1 but you might want to have an extra pair in case yours breaks

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.

Trekking Poles

 I would be the first to admit that I thought trekking poles were for old people. However, as soon as I started using them during our training hikes in Thailand, I immediately fell in love. Coming from someone who is extremely clumsy, trekking poles just help you find your balance, help distribute weight and more. When going downhill, they also helped alleviate the impact on our knees which by day 10 were starting to hurt. I highly recommend using them! Click here to compare different trekking pole prices.

Other Trekking Essentials

Bags

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.tom-trekking-everest

40-50L Backpack

 If you are carrying your own bag, I don’t recommend taking anything bigger than a 40L as you really don’t need anything more. We even know of some people who trekked with a small day pack but had their sleeping bags attached on the outside. We recommend taking the Osprey Farpoint which is a fantastic bag which we love (you can check out our Osprey Farpoint Review here). If you’re only packing one bag, make sure that you put your essentials like cameras, music, etc. in an easy to reach place.

Day Pack

 A few important things to consider when getting a day pack is to make sure it has enough compartments for everything that you need. We got 30LQuechua day packswhich had a compartment for our water bladder, side pockets for essentials like lip balm and sunblock, as well as an easy to reach netting for our bigger water bottle. Our bags held everything from our camera gear to jackets. Other day pack brands that we recommend are Osprey and Arc’teryx.

Waterproof Duffel Bag

 If you are getting a porter to carry your bag, most of them will ask you to get a waterproff duffel bag so that they can easily pile them on. The porters usually tie them together so the weight is equally distributed. If you know you are getting a porter, you can preorder a duffel bag and use it to carry all your gear for the trip. Otherwise, there are loads of these duffel bags available in Kathmandu. I would stick to a medium sized one as the flight to lukla charge you for extra baggage. (Baggage Restrictions are: Weight allowance 12kg for your main bag and 3kg for your day bag)

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.anna-and-tom

Steripen (Water Purifier)

 Water is probably one of the most expensive things up on the mountain so highly suggest that you take some sort of water purification system with you. The company that we trekked with, Explore Himalaya had their own water filter so in every tea houses, they would refill our bottles for free. It was only in the last two towns where we had to purchase water and trust us, this saved us a lot of money! Although you can easily pick up water purification tablets from local drugstores, we didn’t want to risk it so opted to go with filtered water. Click here to compare prices of Steripens
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Sleeping Bag

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 Along with good shoes and a jacket, having a high quality sleeping bag is a must! We recommend getting a -10°C to -20°C degree bag as although the teahouses provide you with blankets, it is freezing in the evenings. As we were coming from Thailand, we couldn’t find a place to purchase  good bags so we had to rent at Kallapathar Trekking Store in Thamel. Thankfully, they were great quality as we opted to get the best ones. The best ones are usually filled with goose or down feathers but the synthethic ones work fine as well as long as they are rated for a minimum of -10°C. If you need help in choosing the perfect bag to take with you, check out our full post of the best travel sleeping bags and jump on to the Winter section to see our recommendations. Otherwise, Click here to compare prices of Winter Sleeping Bags

Solar Power Bank

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 Along with water, charging your electronics can get pretty expensive the higher you go up. If you want to charge your camera, spare batteries, your mobile phone and more then we highly suggest you bring your own power bank. These solar powered ones are the best as you can hang them outside your bag during the day to collect power and charge up your stuff in the evenings. This particular make by Dizaul is well recommended. Click here to check solar power bank prices. 

Camera

 Before we set off for this trip, we bought a brand new camera and couldn’t be happier with our choice.  We got the Sony a7ii mirrorless camera and have loved the shots that we got. All around, it’s an amazing camera with tons of lens options which we could upgrade to later on. We also made sure to get at least 2 sony batteries and 2 64gb memory cards as we didn’t want to miss out on anything! If you want more information on how to choose the best travel camera, check out our full article. 

GoPro

 

 Aside from our camera, we also had our trusty GoPro with us to record quick moments throughout the trip. If you have a long selfie stick, you can also take some pretty cool shots with the GoPro featuring interesting angles from the suspension bridges.

Kindle

 During most days, you will reach your tea house at around 3 or 4 in the evening, giving you loads of free time. Having a Kindle or any electronic reader is something I definitely recommend. I used my iPad and read 2 books during the trek (I’m an insanely fast reader) and also used it to listen to Podcasts. Trust me, you have a lot of long hours walking so take all the entertainment you can get. 

Medications

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.
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick / Lip Balm
  • Electrolyte Powder
  • Bandaids
  • Blister Kit or Moleskin
  • Cold Medicine
  • Moisturizer
  • Vicks Vaporub
  • Immodium or any anti-diarrhea
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Baby Wipes (A LOT OF IT!)
  • Sunscreen
  • chapstick
  • anti nauseant medicine
  • Immodium
  • 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.
  • Q-tips
  • tweezers
  • 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.


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