Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List (Discover Exactly What To Bring)
EBC Trek Guide
Shares
everest-base-camp-trek-packing-list

Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List – Exactly What You Need To Bring

Shares

One of the more daunting tasks you will encounter on the Everest Base Camp Trek is packing for the trek itself! To help you get a head start we have compiled an easy to navigate and complete list of what you will need for the typical 12 day Everest Base Camp Trek and similar treks in the region.

The guide is by no means definitive in that you have to pack everything listed. It can and should be tailored to your personal need and preferences.

Throughout the article we have linked our personal recommendations for gear that we have either owned and used. These recommendations are based on past experience of trekking in the area as well as feedback from guides and travellers who have completed the trek. We believe this equipment offers the best performance as well as good value for money, ensuring you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the beauty of Nepal.

Most of the equipment listed can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu or in Namche Bazaar, but understand that you run the risk of being sold cheaper, local equipment that may not be up to the standards of equipment bought before you travel.

It is important to purchase good quality and reliable clothes and footwear as you will be facing very cold conditions on the trek.

We recommend using Amazon as a one-stop-shop for your EBC packing list; the links below take you to items we recommend on Amazon and should help you find the needed items faster.

Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List (Quicklinks)

Clothing

What clothing you pack for the Everest Base Camp Trek will depend heavily on the season in which you trek as well as which specific trek you plan on doing. We provide packing advice for the typical trek to Everest Base Camp which involves ascending in altitude by almost 3,000m.

The large variation in altitude, and therefore temperature, makes layering a key concept of the trek. Being able to add or remove layers of clothing while you trek will allow you to readily adapt to the temperature and ensure that you remain comfortable and safe.

If you plan on trekking in the colder winter months of December through February, you will definitely need to pack a bit warmer. Check out our guide on what to expect weather-wise.

Base Layer

As the first layer of clothing you wear, the base layer is important for higher altitudes and colder parts of the trek. This means you will probably not wear it during the first and last parts of the trek.

The fit and material are the most important considerations when deciding on a good base layer.

We recommend Smartwool base layers for men and for women as they are very good at wicking moisture away from the body and are retailed at an affordable price.

Insulation Layer

The second layer is the insulation layer and it is usually made from a fleece type material. They are sold for both legs and torso but we only believe a torso second layer is necessary.

We recommend a Polartec 200 Fleece Jacket for men and for women, which is very lightweight allowing for easy movement when trekking. They are also warm but still breathable and well-priced.

Third Layer

This layer consists of warm and waterproof jacket and trousers often called the outer core layer. These will mainly be used for higher altitudes of the trek or if the weather gets very cold and/or rainy.

As one of the more important and lasting pieces of clothing you will buy, paying a bit more money for a good quality winter jacket should be viewed more as an investment than an expense.

Our recommended brands for jackets are these North Face jacket for men (for women), Mountain Hardware jacket for men (for women) and Patagonia jacket for men (for women). Of these the North Face Nuptse Jacket (for men), (for women) takes the money, as it is seriously warm for its light weight and offers quality second to none. Jackets can be bought from Kathmandu, but will likely be fake.

Recommended brands for fleeced ski-like trousers include O’Neills trousers (for men), (for women) and Trespass trousers (for men), (for women).

General Trekking Gear

Hiking clothes are needed in addition to the three layers mentioned above.

Trekking Trousers and Shorts

We recommend taking 1 x pair of hiking trousers and 1 x pair of hiking shorts (for the lower / warmer stretches of the trek). There are many good trekking trouser brands, including: Craghoppers trousers (for men), (for women) Trespass trousers (for men), (for women) and Columbia trousers (for men), (for women).

Trekking Shirts

Everest Base Camp - 2 long and short sleeve shirts - Mountain IQ

You will need around 5-6 shirts that will be worn on most days. Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture instead of wicking away sweat, resulting in bad smelling shirts after a few uses. Ideal fabric is a breathable, lightweight and quick-drying polyester, merino or nylon. Make sure that your shirts are not cotton. A combination of short and long sleeve shirts are recommended.

Our partner, Mountain IQ, have an awesome selection of branded EBC hiking apparel. Get 10% off Mountain IQ gear with our discount code ‘EBCTrek‘. See their full EBC collection.

Other recommended brands include Hanes trekking shirts or Icebreaker trekking shirts.

Waterproof Shell Jacket and Toursers

Encountering rain on the trail is always a risk, especially if you plan on hiking from June to September (we definitely don’t recommend trekking in the region during these months). As a general precaution we recommend that you bring along some rain clothing – ideally a gore-tex membrane hard shell jacket. The North Face make really good waterproof gear. Check out the North Face Resolve Jacket (for men), (for women).

As for trousers you can usually get away with a cheap pair of waterproof pull-overs.

Underwear

Underwear also needs to be breathable and moisture wicking so we recommend 5 pairs of sports underwear for men and sports underwear for women with 2 sports bras.

Headwear

Hat

You will need a good, wide brim trekking hat that offers protection from the sun. Best options are ones that are lightweight, easy to pack and cover your neck such as these trekking hats for men and trekking hats for women.

Beanie

A beanie is a must for when it gets cold at night or when you get closer to Everest Base Camp. North Face Beanie (unisex) and Berghaus Beanie (for men), (for women) make great beanies that will keep your head and ears protected from the elements.

Neck Gaiter

A buff is another great piece of cheap yet irreplaceable clothing. It will keep your face and neck warm while also preventing the infamous Khumbu cough as you breathe in the cold mountain air.

If you plan on travelling in the winter months, you may want to consider a balaclava (unisex).

Gloves

As one of the most exposed parts of your body, you will want a warm pair of gloves for the colder segments of the trek. I recommend taking two types of gloves, a lightweight inner glove that can be warm when there is a little nip in the air, and a heavier more insulated pair of gloves.

Inner Gloves

Light inner gloves can be used when the temperature is moderate or when performing intricate tasks such as tying shoe laces. We recommend Pearl Izumi Thermal Lite Gloves (for men), (for women).

Outer Insulated Gloves

Your outer gloves or mittens must be warm, waterproof and durable. They don’t need to be super well insulated unless you plan to do some climbing in the region, for example Island Peak, but they should keep your hands nice and toasty when in sub-zero temperatures. Ideally you are looking for a mid-weight fleeced glove. The following brands make good outdoor winter gloves:Black Diamond (for men), (for women), The North Face (for men), (for women) and Outdoor Research (for men), (for women).

Footwear

Footwear is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of gear that you need to get right.

Think about it, your feet are what get you to Base Camp and back, so you want to make sure you have comfortable trekking boots.

Aches and blisters are a nightmare that no one wants to experience, so spend a bit more money on some good quality boots and socks.

TIP: Make sure your boots are well worn-in before starting your Everest Base Camp adventure. Brand new boots will give you blisters.

Hiking Boots

Getting a comfortable boot that is the right size is probably more important than the brand of shoe. You should be able to fit one finger behind your heel to ensure proper fit. Too much space for your finger means too big a boot and not enough room means too small.

Find a middle to light-weight hiking boot that offers good ankle support and that has waterproof uppers. Make sure you can tie and untie the laces with ease and check that the boot has deep cut traction on the sole.

Goods brands of boots include: Salomon boots (for men and for women), Hi-Tec boots (for men and for women), Berghaus boots (for men and for women) or Karrimor (for men and for women).

If you want top of the range, check out Meindl (for men and for women) or the Scarpa Kailash (for men and for women).

Trekking Shoes / Sandals

We recommend that you hike in boots instead of shoes as the former provide a lot more support. The last thing you want is a twisted ankle!

However, you would need a lightweight and comfortable pair of shoes to wear in and around the tea houses after every day’s trekking.

If you are a sandals person check out these trekking sandals (for men and for women) that can be worn with socks or, if not, here are some great trekking shoes (for men and for women).

Hiking Socks

Good hiking socks should be breathable and moisture wicking, so don’t choose anything made from cotton.

Merino wool is our preferred material for trekking socks. Good brands include: Bridgedale (for men and for women), Coolmax (for men and for women), Smartwool (for men and for women) and Point6 (for men and for women).

We recommend bringing 5-6 pairs of socks.

Warm Thermal Socks

Thermal socks are slightly thicker than standard trekking socks and are used for colder conditions, such as those experienced near or at Base Camp.

Smartwool (for menand for women), Bridgedale (for men and for women) and Wigwam (for men and for women), all make comfortable and warm thermal socks that are highly recommended.

Bring 1-2 pairs of thermal socks.

Gaiters

Gaiters cover the ankle-high opening to your boots and are designed to prevent water, mud, rocks and basically anything else from getting into them. From our experience, gaiters are not an absolute necessity for trekking during peak season when it is warmer.

That being said, they are not a large expense and some people swear by them. Check out this range of gaiters for men and this one for women.

Bags and Backpacks

The type of bag you will need varies depending on whether you will have a porter or will be carrying your own gear. In the case of a portered trek then we recommend a 80L duffle (see details below), otherwise, if you are unsupported and carrying your own gear you will need a 50-65L backpack (see details below).

Duffel Bag

A duffel bag is the best option if your gear is going to be carried by porters. Your duffle bag should be waterproof, durable and lockable.

The iconic and most popular duffel bag is the North Face Base Camp Duffel, make sure it is about 80L. Helly Hansen also make a pretty good duffle bags.

Backpack

If you don’t have the luxury of porters on your trek, a good backpack with an opening at the top will be needed.

Any backpack that is 50-65L from either Osprey (unisex) or Black Diamond (unisex) should be perfect.

Daypack

If you do have a porter, you will still need something small to carry water, rain gear, your camera, snacks and other personal items or things that you will want to have access to on the trek.

The Osprey Talon 20-22 (unisex) is the perfect size for carrying things such as water, sun cream, camera, hats and snacks.

Raincover

You should also invest in a rain cover for your backpack / daypack. An Osprey Backpack Raincover will do the trick – just check that you have the right size for your backpack / daypack.

Dry Bag

Encountering rain on your EBC trek is a possible, especially if you plan to trek on the shoulder monsoon months – late May / early June or late August / early September. If you are concerned with the waterproof capability of your duffel or backpack then taking a dry bag is a good idea. These types of bags can fit comfortably inside a duffle, are waterproof and can easily double as a source separator for clean / dirty clothes.

In terms of recommended brands, check out this trendy Duc-Kit Pro bag, available in the UK only.

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping Bag

Along with your hiking boots, your sleeping bag is another critical piece of gear. Teahouses along the route usually provide basic sleeping facilities with blankets but they are generally not clean and certainly not warm enough!

Once you get above 3,000m in altitude the temperature inside teahouses, especially during the dead of night, is very cold. Most teahouses are not well insulated and do not have heating outside of central yak furnaces in the common lounge areas. Therefore a warm 4-season sleeping bag (rated for at least -10°C) is a must. The best sleeping bags are generally made from duck or goose down, but nowadays there are good quality synthetic options too.

Your bag should be a good fit to the shape of your body (mummy-shaped is ideal) and should have an insulated hood for added warmth.

Our recommendations are the Marmot Trestles (for men and for women), North Face Snow Leopard (unisex) or the Mountain Hardware Lamina.

Liner

If you rent instead of purchasing a sleeping bag, a liner will give you a clean environment in which to rest. Any mummy shaped liner, such as this one, will suffice.

Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are a good idea if you are a light sleeper and hate the snoring of fellow adventurers!

Poles and Headgear

Trekking Poles

For most trekkers, the use of trekking poles is recommended as they significantly reduce the impact and stress on your joints. If you have trekked with poles before and don’t like the experience then they are not a mandatory requirement.

Lightweight, packable poles such as those from Black Diamond are recommended.

Sunglasses

A good pair of UV protecting sunglasses are a necessity due to the higher strength of UV at altitude and the glare from snow-covered peaks as you approach EBC.

100% UV protection and at least 80% light reduction glasses such as those from Julbo are recommended.

Headlight

A headlamp for getting around the teahouses at night should be brought along as many of the teahouses are poorly lit.

A Petzl Tikka headlamp with some spare batteries should prove to be useful.

Miscellaneous Accessories

Water Bottle / Hydration Bladder

As dehydration contributes to altitude related sicknesses, proper hydration is vital on the trek.

You should aim to drink between 2-3L of water a day. Some people like water bottles, but we prefer water bladders. In terms of the latter we recommend the Platypus Hydration water bladder, which fits snuggly into the back of most daypacks. Alternatively, if you prefer water bottles then bring 2x 1L standard Camelbak water bottles made from hardened plastic.

Please make sure you purify all water you drink (more on this below!).

Towel

A smallish towel is useful for drying yourself after a wash. Quick drying trekking towels such as these are recommended.

Pee Funnel

All teahouses have toilet facilities, ranging from the most basic squat ceramic toilets to actual flushing loos. Nonetheless, as you get higher up on the route, facilities inevitably get more and more basic. Coupled with super cold nights and poor lighting, the thought of making a toilet run can be a little frightening! A pee funnel is one way you can answer the call of nature without having to leave the warmth of your room. Freshette Pee Funnels are pretty good.

Lock

Usually a good idea if you are using porters or carrying around some more valuable stuff – see these cheap locks.

Waterproof Bag

Does as the label says – will keep valuables dry. See this one for example.

Technology and Entertainment

Camera

You will definitely want a good camera to document and remember your time in the Himalayas. A smartphone, despite being really good nowadays, will just not do justice to the amazing mountain scenery in the Everest region. If you want to invest in a DSLR camera, check out this one for a more a more affordable price. The prices for good DSLR cameras usually start from $250.

For something more modern, light and trendy, try out the Go Pro, and perhaps you can create an awesome EBC trek diary like these on Youtube.

Portable Charger

If you plan on bringing anything electronic like your phone, camera or Kindle, a USB charger is highly recommended! In the 21st century there is nothing worse than running out of battery and having no means to recharge.

Some tea houses have charging facilities but they will likely make you pay and reliability isn’t great.

Books

As there is a lot of free time, especially towards the night, a book or e-reader can pass some free time and also allow you to sharpen your knowledge on the Himalayas! Just make sure you get one with a backlight!

Check out the Kindle eReader and our favourite Mount Everest expedition book, Into Thin Air.

Cards

No trekking trip is complete without a set of cards. We highly recommend bring cards!

Passport/ Money

Don’t forget all your travel documents such as your passport and visa. Also draw plenty of cash in Kathmandu as ATM’s tend to be sparse on the Everest trek! The last Cashpoint is in Namche Bazaar.

Insurance

You should definitely get adequate travel and trekking insurance from a reliable insurance provider. Almost all good tour operators will require that you have insurance. When it comes to the Everest Base Camp trek, standard insurance will not cut it. You need to get insurance that 1. will cover you for trekking up to 6,000m in altitude, and 2. include coverage for helicopter evacuation. The latter point is important as if you experience severe altitude sickness the fastest way to get you to safety is via helicopter.

We are not insurance experts so we recommend you speak with insurance providers to see if they cover the Everest Base Camp trekking adventure and also read the small print. But from our experience, the insurance company, World Nomads, tick the box!

To get a quick quote use the calculator below.

Medications and Toiletries

Water purification tablets

You need to make sure that all water that you drink on the Everest Base Camp trek is purified before it touches your mouth (this includes water you brush your teeth with).

There are many methods to purify water, including boiling, reverse osmosis and treating with iodine tablets. Some tour operators will purify water for you. In all cases we still recommend that you use water purification tablets before drinking water. These water purification tablets will do the job!

If you are not keen on tablets, you can also purchase a UV water purifier such as the SteriPEN Adventure Opti Mini Pack.

Isotonic Powder

When added to your water, this Isotonic powder will help replace lost electrolytes and keep you fit and healthy.

Diamox

Diamox is the most popular medicine used to prevent the onset of Acute Mountain Sickness and related conditions. Please note, Diamox is a preventative medication and does not treat AMS. If you unfortunately get severe altitude sickness symptoms the only effective treatment is rapid descent. Read up on proper acclimatization techniques and consult your doctor before using Diamox.

Common Medications

Some paracetamol for headaches as well as Imodium for diarrhoea.

First Aid Kit

If trekking with a tour group or guide, they will likely have adequate first aid items. If not, bring a first aid kit such as these compact ones.

Sunscreen

Minimum SPF 30 sunscreen and UV rated lip balm will protect you from the rays.

Baby Wipes

For quick cleaning and refreshment bring a pack of baby wipes.

Toiletries

Basic toiletries such as a travel toothbrush and toothpaste as well as 2 rolls of toilet paper should be part of your basic toiletries. You can buy some cheap toiletries such as toilet paper (single ply!!) on the trail.

Plasters

For small cuts and blisters – we recommend 1 pack of Compeed blister plasters and a pack of regular fabric plasters as they last longer than plastic ones.

Oximeter

This optional device will measure the effects of altitude on your body. It gives you spot read on oxygen saturation and your heart rate.

Rough rule of thumb: Oxygen saturations below 80% should be closely monitored. Below 70% and you should descend immediately until you are better acclimatised (this is by no means gospel, and should be used in conjunction with other altitude symptoms to decide the best course of action). Check out these finger pulse oximeters.

Hand Sanitizer

Very useful for a quick wash before eating – you can buy some portables ones here.

FAQ

If you have any further questions on this Everest Base Camp Packing List, please leave a comment below and we will respond within 24 hours.

About the Author Mark Whitman

Hi, I'm Mark! Welcome to EBC Trek Guide - the Web's No.1 Trekking Guide to Everest Base Camp. I have trekked all over Nepal, but the Everest region remains my favourite. I hope you find all the answers you are looking for on this site. If you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below! Happy Trekking!

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
Corin says January 2, 2018

Hi, would you reccomend taking any yak traks or crampons? We are going end of March/Beginning of April.

Cheers!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says January 2, 2018

    Hi Corin, if you are trekking the standard route – strainght up and down the Khumbu Valley – then it is unlikely that you will need yak tracks, but if you have them then there is no harm taking them. If you plan to do any of the EBC trek variations that involve crossing some of the big passes – like Cho La on the Gokyo Lakes route – then I would definitely take yak tracks. Crampons are overkill, especially if you have to change your hiking boots. All the best!

    Reply
Add Your Reply

START PLANNING: Get an EBC Trek Quote now!