If you are planning or joining Everest Base Camp Trek, you are well on your way to experience one of the finest adventures in the world. However, your sense of adventure will be intact only if you are comfortable against the basic elements of nature and surroundings. Mountain terrain is rugged and dramatic with notoriously unpredictable weather. So, you need to be well equipped to make your journey safe and comfortable. Here is a trekking gear list that comes handy when you are planning for this amazing Himalayan adventure to the Everest Base Camp or any other trekking regions in Nepal. Mountains can move you only if you can move yourself comfortably!
Kitbag (duffel bag)
A simple design without wheels and without foldable handles is best for your gear to be carried by porters. You can buy in Kathmandu, although they are not as tough as the North Face Base Camp Duffel.
Down-filled bags are fluffy, light and thick. 4-5 season sleeping with a muff (an extra section around the neck that makes a big difference to the overall warmth of a bag) is recommended. You can rent reasonable sleeping bags cheaply in Kathmandu.
Sleeping bag liner
Cotton, silk or fleece – it saves washing your sleeping bag and adds warmth. Cotton or silk ones can be made in Kathmandu but are more easily brought from home. Fleece ones are readily available in Kathmandu.
Extremely light, warm and easy to pack – they are very handy in cold regions especially during chilly mornings and evenings. Better to get the down jackets that can hold against -10 °C upto 3000m and -20 °C for altitudes above 3000m. They can be easily bought or rented in Kathmandu.
This should be comfortable with a good waist band that transfers some of the weight to the hips. It needs to be big enough to hold all the items you need for the day till you reach the next camp like jacket, water, camera and odds and ends.
Lightweight boots with good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion are the best. Look at the inner lining -leather is good and Cambrelle is even better, a material that eats smelly feet bacteria. Try them in some steep terrain before trekking to find trouble spots.
Quality cotton mix sports socks (3-4 pairs) are good while in low country. Thick trekking socks (3-4) are better for higher up and cool evenings. Mostly modern trekking boots fit snugly so wearing two pairs of socks at the same time is impractical.
A luxury for your feet at the end of the day is the most important thing. Sandals or running shoes are good. Flip-flops, available for cheap in Kathmandu, are a necessity for showers during the trek.
Most trekkers consider this essential, but alternatives are a thick thermal top or a light down jacket. In Kathmandu you can get almost any sort of fleece you need.
Windproof and breathable jackets are a comfort during windy days. Make sure they have hoods. Gore-tex (or similar) jackets are recommended for treks over passes or climbing trips. Lighter jackets should be a second jacket, easy to throw in the daypack in warmer days.
Rain coat or Poncho
Bringing a raincoat or poncho is a sensible thing when you are in mountains as you never know when Mother Nature wants to have some fun.
Light weight thermals are great for warm nights in the sleeping bag!
Great for the chilly evenings, thicker is better (except for when the stoves in the teahouses really heat up!). Readily available in Kathmandu.
T-shirts are popular but a cotton shirt or mixed yarn travel shirt is more versatile. The collar protects the back of your neck and the sleeves can be rolled up or down. Take two or three so you can swap damp for dry.
You will live in these. Light material, loose and dark-colored is the best. You can survive with only one pair, although two/three is better.
If your trekking pants are reasonably windproof then special wind pants are not needed. If you do bring a pair, it is not necessary to have Gore-tex. Similar, waterproof is quite OK.
Warm skull cap/balaclava
Woolen/mixed synthetic warm cap or balaclava is nice for the evenings.
For winter trekking they are really the best for staying warm!
Definitely useful, especially on steep, rough terrain, but if you are not used to using them you can survive without.
Suitable for snow, it’s bright up there, but specialized glacier glasses with side pieces are not needed. Contact lens wearers report very few problems except cleaning them in the conditions. Ski goggles are unnecessary.
Fleece gloves are also a must. However, a good pair of wind and water proof/ gloves is also essential for foul weather. Available in Kathmandu for cheap if you don’t have a pair.
Should be one liter or more in capacity, take boiling water and be leak-proof. Nalgene or a similar brand, or European fuel bottles are the best. You need at least 2 water bottles, or at least 1 water bottle in addition to a Camelback or hydration system.
Torch / Flashlight
Petzl Tikka’s and other similar torches with LED bulbs rule. They are quite helpful for trips to the toilet at night!
Toiletries and odds & ends
The smallest tube of toothpaste is perfect for a month. You need to bring or buy along the way. Your personal toiletries come in the list. Make sure you also have toilet rolls or tissue paper for emergencies.
Bring only a small one trekking, or a camp towel. In Kathmandu the hotel supplies towels.
Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
Sunburn doesn’t look and feel as cool as the beach burn. Get sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher depending on the sensitivity of your skin. You should also use lip balm with high SPF. Also have a wide brimmed hat to go with.
First Aid Kit
We carry one with aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants, lozenges, various antibiotics for Nepalese varieties of diarrhea and chests infections, Diamox (an acclimatizing aid drug), antiseptic, antihistamine cream, rehydration, bandages and band-aids, tough blister tape (but not moleskin). As we are not certified to prescribe medicines you have to use them at your own risk.
You have to bring any personal medicines that you need.
Bring a bottle of iodine tablets such as Potable Aqua, Polar Puror Couglans etc or any other similar tablets. Bottled water is available on the trail.
Most people find wearing one while trekking is a hassle and keep it buried in their kitbag or daypack. But they can be handy. The Kathmandu hotels have safety deposit boxes.
Book and Note Pad
When you are free for independent activities, especially in the evenings books can be a good friend. Kindles are also fine. Note Pad is also important for making diary entries and taking notes of things that catch your interest.
Though there are charging facilities available in the hotels, lodges and teahouses en route, bring power bank when you are in mountains. You never know when there will be power cut or occur some technical emergencies.