Packing for Everest Base Camp – Must-Haves vs Luxuries

A cartoon of a pig strapped to a backpack that it is about 10 times bigger than the pig
Source: braveandawake

In a few short weeks we will be taking our first few tentative steps on our way to Everest Base Camp in deepest, darkest Nepal. Or should that be, brightest, whitest Nepal?

The training regime is now rigorous and consistent (amazing what fear can do to motivation levels) and the waist line has been steadily shrinking.

Now it’s time to address the pile of gear that has been growing like a mushroom on the lounge room floor…

Ever since we booked this trip I have been avidly following blogs and reading articles in an attempt to glean as much information as I can about conditions, terrain, and the all-important gear. When sitting at my kitchen table in Australia, it is a bit hard to picture what lies ahead of us and, having never done a hike like this before, it is a struggle to get my head around what gear is essential and what is an optional extra.

Backpack, boots and walking poles with Australia sew-on patch
My usual kit

The most important and exciting aspect of packing for this trip is the fact that I don’t have to carry all my own stuff! On previous Spanish caminos and on my latest trek through Italy, my pack probably weighed 13-14kgs (including water). This trip I will be able to spring from step to stair (Yes, I am an eternal optimist) only carrying my day pack. Bless the porters who will do the hard yakka carrying our main packs and will no doubt still spring from step to stair while I stumble along exhausted at the back of the group.

So, here is what I will be attempting to fit into both backpacks. I suspect that this will all be sifted out again once the packs are weighed. The total weight limit for the small plane journey from Kathmandu to Lukla is 15kgs and the trusty porter is to carry a maximum of 10kgs. Our luggage scales are going to get a real work out.

Without itemising every piece to kit, here are the main things:

A person stands with an over-sized backpack on their back
Source: takemy.money

Luggage & Carrying:

  • Backpack: Deuter 42litre with rain cover. Maximum packed weight = 10kg
  • Daypack: Osprey 24litre with rain cover. Maximum packed weight = 5kg
  • Internal dry sacks
  • Suitcase/Duffel Bag: to transport packs from Australia and to be left in Kathmandu with our additional clothing.
  • Small hip belt bag: for camera, lip balm, muesli bar etc.
  • Garbage bags: for our dirty clothes which may very well walk back from Everest Base Camp on their own.

Walking Gear:

  • Walking Poles: I never leave home without them and they will be vital for the endless ascents and descents in the Himalayas.
  • Dust Mask: Apparently a mask will be very handy on the first day of the trek as we have been told it can be dry and dusty at lower altitudes. I can’t picture it being like that, but I bow down to wiser people.
  • Scarpa walking boots with pink striped socksFootwear: Scarpa boots.
  • Socks: 2 x thin wool and 1 x thick wool
  • Legs: 2 x zip-off trousers, 1 x long tights, 1 x compression shorts, 1 x rain pants
  • Top: 2 x long sleeve merino shirts, 2 x short-sleeve merino shirts, 1 x zip merino light-weight jumper, 1 x rain jacket, 1 x down jacket.
  • Other Warm Gear: 2 x Beanies, 1 x Buff, 3 x gloves, scarf, neck warmer
  • Sun hat and sunglasses

Other Bits of Clothing:

  • Thermals/Long Johns for sleeping
  • Undies x 3 etc

Bathroom:

  • Small sports towel
  • Small face washer (for bird baths)
  • Toiletries

Steripen - Amazon.comOther Equipment:

  • Down sleeping bag
  • Silk sleep sheet
  • Head torch and extra batteries
  • 2 litre water bladder
  • 1 litre water bottle
  • Steripen for water sterilisation
  • Small thermos
  • Spare boot laces
  • Small clothesline kit
  • Sewing kit

Medical Kit:

  • A photo of a pile of medical tablets in blister packsBandaids, elastic bandage, blister pads
  • Antiseptic cream and powder
  • Anti-inflammatory cream and tablets
  • Diahorrea and anti-nausea tablets
  • Altitude sickness tablets
  • Headache tablets
  • And some cold/flu medication.
  • Sounds like a barrel of laughs, doesn’t it?

Tech:

  • Camera and charger and spare SD card
  • Tablet and charger
  • Nepal power adaptor
  • Multi-port USB adaptor
  • Garmin watch and charger

 A close up photo of trail mix nuts and cranberries. Photo by Maksim Shutov on UnsplashSnacks:

  • Nuts and muesli bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Chocolate and lollies
  • Coffee/tea sachets

Other Essentials:

  • Toilet paper!
  • Journal and pen (yes, a luxury for some, but essential for me)
  • Hand sanitiser and wipes
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Sense of humour!

How am I going to get all this to weigh in under 15kgs?

I have no idea! I suspect there will need to be a lot of ruthless decision making to really par it back.

A rear view photo of a person carrying a backpack across Spain
Here I am – loaded up and heading across Spain..

So, all advice welcome.

What have I missed out?

What should I leave out?

What is your essential packing item or tip for Nepal?

Namaste!

#travelinspo #everestbasecamp #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #nepal #outdooradventure #backpackadventure #packingtips

28 thoughts on “Packing for Everest Base Camp – Must-Haves vs Luxuries

  1. June kerr March 4, 2020 / 12:47 pm

    I think a donkey might be helpful ?

    Like

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 4, 2020 / 1:01 pm

      Excellent tip! Do you know where I can buy one?? Alternatively I could just hire a yak when I get there!! 🙂 Melx

      Like

  2. Andrada Costoiu March 4, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    OMG!! I wish you guys the best time and the best of luck!! DO update once in a while!! I too, have this on my list and hope to go sometimes soon! Have lots of good times! Enjoys the views and everything!!

    Like

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 4, 2020 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks so much for the best wishes! I think I will need them. I will try to blog along the way, but am not confident there will be internet access. As soon as I am back in range I will hit you with a flurry of photos and words! Have a good day, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  3. pam@ichoosethis March 4, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    Ok, a couple things my friend…..the dust is bad and actually scratched my eyeball! So I couldn’t put contacts in for a few days. See if u can find some good eye drops to help heal. Our guides had em. I also had to buy a massive puffy jacket to deal with the cold. Mountaineering level warmth. I bought it In Namche bazaar. Cuz I wasn’t sold on the idea when we left khatmandu. If u wait, it gets expensive so definitely check weather. Will u be staying in tea houses or tents?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 4, 2020 / 4:12 pm

      I have been told about the dust, but I just can’t picture it. Thanks for tip about eye drops. I will add that to the packing pile. What time of year did you walk? I do have a down jacket, but not a down sleeping bag (i have swapped that with a different one). We will be staying in mountain lodges/tea houses so I am hoping that being inside a building and the fact that I am a ‘hot’ person (take that anyway you like! 🙂 ), I will be warm enough at night. Temps are currently getting down to -9C at night…..Thanks for the feedback, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

      • pam@ichoosethis March 4, 2020 / 11:32 pm

        We went in December- the last trip of the year. So very cold. I had down pants, a -15 bag and a mountaineering down jacket we wore at night sitting around dung fires!! The tea houses arent super insulated – at least not ours! Maybe that’s changed. They do have blankets on the beds that I used to layer with. They did help but weren’t always fresh smelling! It didn’t stop me from using them! Hiking during the day was really nice, light layers worked. It was the night when it was chilly and required the heavy duty stuff. The eye drops had some kind of healing ointment in them. Excited for you!!

        Liked by 1 person

          • pam@ichoosethis March 5, 2020 / 11:00 am

            I hope so! I did wash some socks and things – hung them on the curtain rods – woke up to popsicles the next morning. It was such a FUN trip. You’re gonna be great and love the experience.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. The Year I Touched My Toes March 4, 2020 / 6:36 pm

    Hi Mel, So excited for you. I would take some lip balm. Re the dust mask I think the buff should enough but then I haven’t been to Nepal in March April. I will be interested to get your report on that. Clothes line not sure where you are going to hang that from. Some rooms don’t even have hooks. And you won’t be washing much I would have thought, because it might not dry. We did hang washed socks on the pack hooks during the day on one trek. Generally we didn’t wash clothes until the end. Just recycle and air!!! I took Macpac merino wool knickers and they are great. Let me know if you use the neck warmer or not…We plan to go on the Camino in June so I will visiting your posts for info. What date do you leave for Lukla? I will be eagerly looking out for your posts. Last tip the porters don’t spring from step to step. Watch the way they walk up stairs and you will learn something. Best of luck. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 5, 2020 / 8:53 am

      Thanks so much for the feedback. The closer I get to this trip, the more I realise that washing and general hygiene may be an ambitious goal!! 🙂 Coronavirus excepted of course! 😉 We start walking from Lukla on 22 March – flights allowing. Many thanks again for your support Louise. I will share all on my return! Now how is that for optimism!! 🙂 Melx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 5, 2020 / 8:23 am

      I understand there may not be much opportunity to connect to the outside world as we walk, but I will definitely inundate you with info and photos when I return! 😉 Thanks, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Angela March 4, 2020 / 11:57 pm

    Incredibly exciting. Be safe and have an amazing adventure. Can’t wait to read about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 5, 2020 / 8:20 am

      Thanks Angela – it certainly is going to be memorable and you can be guaranteed I will share both highs and lows…

      Like

  6. Dr B March 5, 2020 / 10:17 pm

    Throw the Diamox away and add two Sigg bottles to your pack. Fill them with boiling water at night, put a sock on each and warm your sleeping bag. In the morning treat the water and drink +++ during the day. At night, repeat. Most headaches are not altitude sickness but severe dehydration. You can avoid this.

    Like

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 6, 2020 / 7:15 am

      Thanks for the tip. I especially like the idea of a hot water bottle at night. I always drink plenty of water, but I will be extra conscious now. Many thanks, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dr B March 6, 2020 / 7:28 am

        Here’s more that probably won’t make sense till you get there: After Thyangboche on the trail, if you have influence, do NOT go via Dingboche, instead go via Pheriche where they have an altitude medical research station. Get your blood oxygen level measured and go to their 30 min lecture. Then en route for Lobuche do NOT go all the way, overnight at Dughla, it’s a short walk but a big enough altitude gain. This is where most altitude sickness kicks in if you keep going to Lobuche! I’ve done this route 8 times.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Life...One Big Adventure March 6, 2020 / 8:38 am

          Thanks again for sharing your experience. I am not sure I will have any influence at all but, we stay at Pheriche on the way back down so will see if we can visit the research station. It sounds interesting, Have a good day, Mel

          Liked by 1 person

  7. The Travel Architect March 9, 2020 / 2:41 am

    I have absolutely no practical advice for you except this: don’t leave the sense of humor at home. It weighs next to nothing. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 19, 2020 / 10:10 am

      If only! It has all been put on hold with all this virussy-stuff! Should have been flying out tomorrow. Hoping to reschedule, but everything is chaos at the moment.

      Like

  8. Nadia Willemse April 30, 2020 / 12:44 am

    This is honestly my biggest dream! I guess your plans have been interrupted by Coronatimes 😦

    Like

    • Life...One Big Adventure May 1, 2020 / 11:37 am

      Yes, it was a great disappointment that we couldn’t enjoy the beauty of Nepal last month, but we have it all ahead of us in November! I am trying to stay optimistic that it will all come off then. And then I get to pack all over again! 😉

      Like

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