Packing is always important, but even more so when hiking to Everest Base Camp. I knew I would have to carry my backpack for 3 weeks and I wanted to be sure everything I brought was absolutely essential. Before starting our hike, I browsed through many packing lists and from these lists created my own ‘Essentials for EBC list’.
I am a bit of an over planner which sometimes drives me (but most of all my husband?) crazy, but in this case, I’m glad I did so much research. Because once on the trail I had everything I needed and my backpack weighed less than 10kg. And believe me, even one extra kilo will feel like a lot more once you get above a certain height…
My packing list for the Everest Base Camp trek
Preparing for the Everest Base Camp trail in Thamel
Because we traveled around the U.A.E., Sri Lanka and Oman before flying to Nepal, we didn’t have many warm clothes and other hiking essential with us when arriving in Kathmandu. It took us 3 days of shopping in Thamel (the backpacker district of Kathmandu) to find all the items on our ‘Essentials for EBC’ list.
What did we pack for our Everest Base Camp trek?
Below you can find my packing list. Keep in mind I travel with my husband Frank and we split the items in the categories food, toiletries, medicine, electronics and other essential items between both our backpacks. We both had our own set of basics, hiking and lodge clothes and stuff for sleeping.
In the packing list below I indicate for each item if we bought this in Kathmandu or if I brought this from home.
We hiked for 3 weeks and started from Jiri. We hiked to Everest Base Camp in 15 days and back via the Cho La pass and Gokyo. You can read everything about our trekking itinerary and the lodges we stayed at in this post.
• Comfortable backpack ⇒ I carried my Deuter backpack (50+10liter) and Frank had his 70 liter backpack. Both were pretty full when we started our hike, weighing about 10 kilo each. (I already had this item with me)
• Hiking boots ⇒ I love my Lowa Lady Light GTX, they are so comfortable and since getting them I take them with me on every trip… Read my full review here. Be sure to break your boots in properly and take some extra laces with you, just in case. (I already had this item with me)
Clothes for hiking
• 1 short sleeve hiking shirt ⇒ I packed my black merino hiking shirt and wore it for 3 weeks. Gross, I know?. But the great thing about merino is that is keeps you warm even when you are sweating. And it didn’t even smell that bad after 3 weeks… (I already had this item with me)
• 1 long sleeve hiking shirt/sweater ⇒ Once we got above 4000 meters it was too cold for just my short sleeved shirt. I layered my long sleeve merino sweater over my t-shirt and this was perfect for most days. (I already had this item with me)
• 1 down jacket ⇒ when it was really cold (early in the morning or at Gorak Shep) I wore my down jacket over my merino layers. I loved that my jacket has a hood, when it was really cold this kept my head and ears warm. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• 1 lightweight wind jacket ⇒ I didn’t need this until we got to Kala Patthar, that is one cold and windy rock! Then again, what do you expect at 5626 meters… (I already had this item with me)
• 1 pair of hiking pants ⇒ I’ve had mine for years and they are still perfect. I personally don’t like the zip-off versions because the zippers tend to irritate my skin. (I already had this item with me)
• 2 pair of hiking socks ⇒ I found 2 pair of hiking socks sufficient but Frank had 3 pair. (I already had this item with me)
• Scarf ⇒ I don’t travel anywhere without my scarf, it’s the perfect travel item! In warm countries, I use it to cover up in temples but in Nepal I actually used it as a scarf. (I already had this item with me)
• Buff ⇒ I used this to cover my ears from the blistering cold wind that blows above Dingboche. You could also use a buff instead of a scarf and buy a warm woolen hat. (I already had this item with me)
• Gloves ⇒ again, from Dingboche it got really cold and I was happy we both bought a pair of gloves. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Underwear ⇒ I brought a lot of underwear and only did laundry (by hand) once when we were in Namche Bazaar. Obviously it’s up to you how much underwear you want to bring?. I used 1 bra for hiking and another one to wear after hiking. (I already had these item with me)
• Rain poncho + backpack rain cover ⇒ Luckily, we didn’t need these but better safe than sorry… (I already had this item with me)
• Sunglasses ⇒ the sun is very bright in the mountains, even more so when there is beautiful white snow. Which there was during our hike☺. (I already had this item with me)
Clothes for the lodge
• Thermal underwear (top and bottom) ⇒ since almost freezing to death on Hokkaido (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration) I always take my thermal underwear with me. It’s the perfect base layer to wear in the lodges. I also wore this at night, because believe me, it gets pretty cold up there! (I already had this item with me)
• 1 fleece sweater ⇒ I only had a thin hoodie when arriving in Kathmandu and knew that wouldn’t cut it in the Himalayas. After some searching in Thamel (and a bit of bargaining) I was the happy new owner of a nice fleece sweater to keep me warm during the cold afternoons and evenings in the lodges. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• 1 pair of pants ⇒ I didn’t have any other pants than my loose (and very thin) elephant pants. I layered them with my thermal underwear which was fine. But if you have thicker pants that would be better. (I already had this item with me)
• 1 pair of warm socks ⇒ I had 2 pair of hiking socks with me and brought one pair of very warm socks to wear in the lodges. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• 1 pair of warm slippers ⇒ I came across a pair of fluffy yak wool slippers in Kathmandu (on sale for only 100 rupees) and they kept my feet nice and warm in the lodges. Frank had flipflops which I borrowed when I needed to go to the bathroom. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• 1 t-shirt ⇒ I didn’t wear my shirt once because it was too cold during our trek. I wore my thermal underwear and fleece sweater instead. The owners of the lodges did say it was uncharacteristically cold for the time of the year, so perhaps it’s still be worth bringing a t-shirt in case the weather is warmer. (I already had this item with me)
• Sleeping bag ⇒ we bought sleeping bagsfor our camping trip in Oman and took these with us to Nepal. You can also rent a sleeping bag in Thamel.
• Pillow case ⇒ I liked having my own clean pillow case to put over the (not always clean) pillows in the lodges. (I already had this item with me)
• Travel sheet ⇒ I didn’t use this. If you have a rented sleeping bag it may be nice to bring a travel sheet, otherwise I would skip it. (I already had this item with me)
• Ear plugs ⇒ to fall asleep when your neighbor is snoring loudly. The walls in the lodges are very thin.
• Eye mask ⇒ I didn’t really need this because we woke up at dawn anyway…
• Oatmeal ⇒ we took a jar of oatmeal with us so we could make our own porridge. Mind you, this isn’t allowed in all the tea houses. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Raisins ⇒ we bought a 400-gram bag to add to our porridge. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Honey ⇒ mostly to mix through our porridge with raisins but it also tasted very good on the multi-grain bread we found in Namche Bazaar. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Salted peanuts⇒ we bought two 400 gram bags which might be a bit much, but we both really like peanuts… (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Snickers ⇒ we bought a 10-pack of small Snickers in Kathmandu and 3 medium Snickers in Junbesi. For us this was enough for the trek, but if you like to eat chocolate every day you’ve got to buy some more.
• Cookies ⇒ we bought 3 packs of cookies in Kathmandu but they sell cookies in every lodge. Along the way, we bought some delicious freshly baked oatmeal cookies at the Himalayan Java Café in Namche Bazaar and the Snow Lion bakery in Dingboche.
• Instant coffee and plenty of teabags ⇒ it’s cheaper to order hot water instead of tea in the lodges. And by ordering a pot of hot water with our breakfast we could make a cup of coffee AND a cup of tea?. (I brought this item from Oman)
• Instant noodles ⇒ we bought 6 small packs of instant noodles for only 20 rupees a piece (but only used 4 packs). My advice, if you want to bring instant noodles at all, is to go for the sackets, not the plastic pots. The pots take up way too much space, plus, they cost 170rupees. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Baby wipes ⇒ once we got above Namche we didn’t shower anymore because it’s very expensive (500 rupees) and very cold. Instead we used baby wipes to freshen up after hiking. We used 2 wipes each every day, an 85 pack was enough for our 3-week hike. (I bought this item in Oman but they are widely available in Kathmandu)
• Baby powder ⇒ to overcome the worst stench from our hiking socks and boots… (I bought this item in Oman but it’s widely available in Kathmandu)
• Hand sanitizer ⇒ above a certain height (Dingboche during our trek) everything freezes during the night, so no water to wash your hands… (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Shampoo (small bottle) ⇒ during the first part of our hike (from Jiri to Cheplung) we did splurge on a couple of hot showers and washed our hair. So good to feel fresh and clean…
• Travel towel ⇒ we actually forgot to bring one, luckily all the lodges kindly provided us with a towel.
• Sunscreen ⇒ the sun is very strong in the mountains!
• Labello ⇒ to protect my lips from the cold and dry air.
• Deodorant ⇒ made me feel a little bit fresh even when I wasn’t.
• Contacts and glasses ⇒ when traveling I prefer to wear daily contacts. In the evening, I mostly wore my glasses.
• Floss, toothpaste and toothbrush
• Loperamide (stopper) and laxatives (goer)
• Lots of bandages (for blisters)
• Antiseptic cream
• Strepsils (or different brand) for throat pain
• Vitamin C ⇒ I got nowhere near the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit so I felt it didn’t hurt to take some extra Vitamin C.
We didn’t use any of the medicine except for the bandages and a couple of paracetamol when we had a bit of a headache after hiking to Kala Patter and Everest Base Camp. Nevertheless, it’s better to be prepared and I always carry the medicine mentioned above with me on a long-term trip (except for the Diamox).
• Local NCell SIM Card
• iPhone 6s + cable
• Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel and the Goal Zero Venture 30 Power Pack ⇒ we bought both this solar panel and power bank at the North Face shop in Kathmandu. As we love the outdoors and regularly go camping, these items had been on our wish list for a long time. They really came in handy at the EBC trail as the costs for charging increase the higher up the trail you get (from 200 rupees per charge up to 300 rupees per hour!).
• Acer laptop ⇒ I used my laptop to keep my travel dairy. In hindsight I could have used my phone for this as well. I didn’t use my laptop much at all so leaving it in Kathmandu would have saved me 1,5kg…
• Kobo Glo e-reader ⇒ absolutely essential! We had plenty of time to read during our 3-week hiking trip. Make sure you have enough books!
• TIMS Card ⇒ when hiking in Nepal you need to obtain a TIMS Card (Trekker Information Management System). You can buy a TIMS Card at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu for 2000 rupees.
• Sagarmatha National park permit ⇒ at the Nepal Tourism Board office you can also buy the Sagarmatha permit, which you need to hike in the Everest region. Costs for the permit are 3400 rupees.
• Passport ⇒ we needed to show our passport and register at police checkpoints in Jiri and Kinja. Plus, I always carry my passport with me when traveling.
• Plenty of cash ⇒ there are banks in Lukla and Namche but we were not sure if our cards would work there. Plus, we heard the amount of cash you can take out is very limited and taking into account the fee of 500 rupees per transaction we preferred to get cash in Kathmandu (maximum amount per transaction was 35.000 rupees = €318/$350). You can read exactly how much we spent on the EBC trail in this post.
Other essential items
• Lifestraw Water Filter Bottle ⇒ you must have a way to clean your water when you are hiking to Everest Base Camp. I absolutely love my Lifestraw bottle which filters out 99,99% of the bacteria. Other options are chloride pills (but I don’t like the taste) and the SteriPen (which seems to be a really good option, just make sure you have enough batteries with you). (I bought this item in Kathmandu to replace my previous Lifestraw bottle which got lost on the plane from Dubai to Sri Lanka…)
• Trekking poles ⇒ we bought 1 pair in Kathmandu and each used one. It really makes hiking easier, both going up and going down. I particularly feel that my knees hurt less going down when I walk with a trekking pole. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Pocket knife ⇒ always comes in handy. (I already had this item with me)
• Duct tape ⇒ same as the pocket knife?. (I already had this item with me)
• Lots of toilet paper ⇒ we bought 10 rolls of toilet paper in Thamel for 65 rupees a piece and used about 9 rolls during our 3 week hike from Jiri to Everest Base Camp. On the trail prices for toilet paper (as with prices for anything else) increases the higher you get.
• Detailed map ⇒ we bought a detailed map of the Jiri to Everest Base Camp trek (scale 1:50.000). The map is published by Himalayan Map House and widely available in Thamel. (I bought this item in Kathmandu)
• Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya ⇒ I always buy a Lonely Planet of our destination, I love their guides. The one for Nepal was specifically for hiking and I found it very useful. It described the trek for each day and has a lot of practical advice about hiking in Nepal. I had the e-book version (to save some weight) but printed the Everest Region chapter.
That’s it, everything I carried on my back for 3 weeks! You can download the EBC packing list below. A little note about the list:
– The column ‘got it’ means ‘I have this item’ ⇒ I used the ‘got it’ column during our shopping rounds in Thamel to make sure we purchased everything on the list.
– The column ‘packed it’ means ‘I packed this item in my backpack’ ⇒ I used the ‘packed it’ column to make sure I actually packed all the items on the list and didn’t accidentally leave something important in Kathmandu (we stored our other stuff at Hotel Bright Star where we stayed before and after the trek).
You can download the packing list below. Feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment or sending me an email!