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.
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:
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 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.
- Footwear: 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
- Small sports towel
- Small face washer (for bird baths)
- 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
- Bandaids, 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?
- Camera and charger and spare SD card
- Tablet and charger
- Nepal power adaptor
- Multi-port USB adaptor
- Garmin watch and charger
- Nuts and muesli bars
- Beef jerky
- Chocolate and lollies
- Coffee/tea sachets
- 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.
So, all advice welcome.
What have I missed out?
What should I leave out?
What is your essential packing item or tip for Nepal?
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