The Ultimate Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek
When our Australian Facebook community member, Audrey Lee, posted that she'd just returned from a 9 month trip including Everest Base Camp, we immediately wanted to know more. So we asked her, "is it really a once-in-a-lifetime experience?" and here is what she had to say. THEN, she took it one step further and put together this packing list!
Planning on trekking to Everest Base Camp? If my previous write up has anything to do with giving you a mental head start, then you’ll need to be well prepared.
From Lukla to EBC and then back, the entire journey makes up approximately 136 km in distance and 3 km in elevation in just two weeks.
The idea is to strip down to absolute essentials, but still have the right gear on you, whilst not breaking the bank.
Through first-hand experience, tried and tested, here is a complete breakdown of a two-week EBC packing list.
NB: This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed. All opinions and recommendations are my own. All prices shown are in Australian Dollars.
TIP: Avoid wearing cotton as it absorbs moisture (which can actually take you dangerously close to hypothermia in certain circumstances) and tends to stink pretty quickly. No matter how cold it gets, you WILL perspire while trekking. Merino wool is most recommended; however they can be quite pricey (a Merino thermal top is between $60-80). As an alternative, I personally use UNIQLO HEATTECH ($29.90) and they work like a charm!
4 short sleeve dri-fit tops (I bought mine for $6 at Kmart)
1 long sleeve dri-fit top (again, $12 at Kmart!)
1 thermal pants (for sleeping; I bought a pair in Kathmandu city for $8; I personally didn't need to wear thermal pants when I was trekking.)
2 long-sleeve thermal tops (1x for sleeping)
2 trekking pants (you can easily get good quality trekking pants in Kathmandu city from as little as $10!)
2 sports bras
1 waterproof shell (Gore-Tex)
What I wished I brought: A lightweight windproof jacket would have been handy at lower altitudes. Without it, I was adding and removing layers quite a lot during the trek. Your body warms up considerably when you’re on the move, but it also cools down very quickly when you’re stationary (e.g. having lunch).
TIP: Getting the right pair of hiking shoes is probably the most important item on the list. After all, your feet are what’s going to take you to base camp and back. Go for light-to-mid weight high-cut, waterproof hiking boots that fit comfortably and have been well broken-in prior to the trek. Avoid using brand new shoes as it may lead to getting those nasty blisters. Your feet will thank you later.
High-cut waterproof hiking boots
2 pairs of trekking socks (you can buy them at Kathmandu for $2-4 a pair)
1 pair of woollen socks (for sleeping)
What I wished I brought: I had left my trainers in the hotel back in Kathmandu, which wasn’t a good idea. A pair of lightweight trainers would have saved my feet from a world of pain especially after a long day of walking and would've been good for getting around town on acclimatisation days.
TIP: Do not underestimate the intensity of the sun, after all you are approaching it the higher you ascend. Protect your eyes and skin from harmful rays even when it’s cloudy.
Head buff (highly recommended, especially at higher altitudes where the air is thinner and extremely dry, which can trigger the dreaded Khumbu cough.)
Sunglasses with UV protection
Thin woollen gloves (Merino gloves are recommended but they cost around $35-$50.)
Waterproof thick gloves
TIP: Do not underestimate the importance of basic hygiene! Sounds silly, but getting into a habit of keeping your hands clean is one of the most vital steps you can take to avoid spreading germs. Your body would have to work twice as hard to combat the cold and higher altitudes. The last thing you need is to fall sick, all because you didn’t sanitise your hands before eating.
Also don’t expect to take regular showers during the trek. Due to subzero temperatures and a shortage of water, hot showers are a luxury and can be quite expensive the higher you get. Instead, wipe yourself down with body wipes, and for the ladies – don’t forget the feminine wipes.
Shampoo + body soap
Toothpaste + toothbrush
Mouthwash (Past Dingboche (4,410m), I wasn’t physically able to brush my teeth because of the cold, and sometimes even the taps don’t work because the water freezes)
Baby powder (prevents chafing)
Quick drying bath towel
2x toilet rolls (toilet rolls are for sale from $2-4 per roll at shops and teahouses on your trek; they are not provided at any of the teahouses)
SPF 50+ Sunscreen
Lip balm with UV protection
Hand sanitiser (AT LEAST 100ml - I ended up using most of it by the end of the trek)
Tampons; Lunette cup; Sanitary pads (whichever you prefer)
Body + feminine wipes
TIP: Free electricity is provided up until Namche Bazaar before it starts costing you. A full charge per device ranges between $5-10. A 20,000 mAh portable battery was able to last for a week with more to spare from charging two iPhones, 1 camera and a GoPro every day.
20,000 mAh portable battery
Canon 60D with 17-50mm lens
GoPro Hero 5
Spare batteries (GoPro & Camera)
Multi power adaptor (4 USB ports to share with my partner)
-10°C sleeping bag (comfort rating)
3L water bladder
Sawyer water filter (For the same price you’d pay for water purification tablets, the Sawyer can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water without the need to wait to purify the water before drinking.)
Trekking poles (I bought a pair of counterfeit Black Diamond trekking poles for $20)
PERSONAL + MEDICATION
Vacuum bottle (Keeps your hot drink hot for up to 12 hours)
Coffee/ tea sachets (It’s not encouraged to drink coffee in high altitudes as it causes dehydration. On the other hand, tea is readily available in every teahouse. There’s additional cost for hot water so it’s redundant to bring your own tea sachets.)
Energy bars + chocolates
Medication (Diamox, ibuprofen, paracetamol, loperamide (diarrhea), stomach ache and gastrointestinal relief, antibiotics, antiseptic cream, cold & flu tablets, nasal spray, lozenges, band aids, vitamins & supplements)
Got a question or feel like the list is missing something? Leave a comment below!
Follow Audrey on Instagram at @ourwildchapter