Using our RTW Minimalist Packing List as a base, here is our comprehensive Everest Base Camp packing list. We did our trek over the last week of October and first week of November which is during the high season for EBC. Do make adjustments if you travel later in the year as temperatures will drop.

We shared one porter between the two of us. Porters are able to carry up to 50kgs, but we opted to pack as light as possible for our porter.  We packed all of our gear into one bag with a total weight of 13 kg, we each carried a day pack with our own water and extra layers. A majority of this gear can be purchased in the Thamel district of Kathmandu,  but you will need to be prepared to bargain.

Travel Insurance

As you ascend higher towards Base Camp, the buzz of a helicopter flying overhead is a part of Himalaya soundscape.   Most of these are tourist departing on mountain view flights, however those that fly low and are rescuing climbers who have succumbed to altitude sickness.  We unfortunately saw many of these each day, including this rescue directly in front of our lodge.

Person with altitude sickness being rescued

Some rescue helicopter service ask for a $5,000 guarantee in Katmandu before they will take individuals down. Though we never needed it, we were glad to have that security with our travel insurance policy documented by our tour agency Sherpa Society Trekking who would serve as our guarantor.  While both of us luckily completed the hike without AMS, we were not without illness.  Stomach and cold issues are inevitable as you ascend. We were each treated by the Himalayas Rescue Association on the way up and down, and these fees were fully covered by our coverage at World Nomads Travel Insurance.

Trekking Equipment

As we completed the standard EBC hike, there wasn’t much equipment required. Those that ventured to Island Peak required helmets and additional climbing equipment that is typically provided by tour providers. The one item we’d highly recommend are hiking poles. We bought ours in the town of Namche for $10 for a pair. They were also available from the vendors of Thamel.

We also brought a steri pen water purifier, water purification tablets, we had one wide mouth nalgene bottle (to use the steri pen), and 2 Sigg water bottles – these were key on cold nights, we filled them with boiling water and slept with them in our sleeping bags.
         

Inside our 12 KG Bag

Toiletry Kit::

  • Eye Mask
  • Toothbrush, tooth paste, floss
  • Eye drops
  • Lotion, chapstick
  • Travel body wash (we showered twice during the 12 day trek)
  • Face wipes & baby wipes
  • Hand sanitize
  • Travel quick dry towel

 

 

2 Sleep Liner:  Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner with Insect Shield This is the closest thing to carrying your own sheets with you. We plan to use this on our camping trips as well as when we are staying at unsavory hostels where we would prefer to not sleep on the sheets.

2 Sleeping Bags: You will want to bring your own sleeping bag. The tea house comforters are re used over and over again. In some of the higher locations, you will be glad for the extra insulation. We bought ours in Katmandhu and were grateful for the -10C/15F insulation.

To Carry The Load

Our Top Pick: Osprey Packs Fairpoint 5 Travel BackPack

Our combined gear fit into the large bag and we each carried a day back. Here is what the bag looked like fully zipped:

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    • Travel Money Belt & Passport Holder: You have to pay by cash for the food in the tea houses all the way up and back down. Namche (Day 3)  is the last village with an ATM. A money belt comes in handy for holding all the cash

Women’s Packing List

Women’s Footwear List:

    • Hiking boots: After a lot of trial and error, these happen to be the shoes that work for me, but I would highly recommend trying out yours long before your trip. A good a pair of hiking shoes can make or break a trip.

Woman’s Accessories:

Men’s Packing List

 

Electronics

Our phones were our camera. Charging gets expensive as you go higher up the mountain. At Namche it is $2.50 to charge a device, beyond Namche it is $3 an hour or $5 to charge a device.

  • Battery Phone Case: These are great because in the evening you can charge the case and the phone at the same time. We had 3 of these that served as back up battery devices.
  • Anker External Battery: We opted for this one which holds 5 Days of Charge but still retains a fairly light weight.

With 3 back up batter phone cases and one external battery we were able to save from paying to charge our devices past Namche.

Snacks for Trekking

 One of the best things about the EBC trek is that you get 3 hot meals: in the morning at your tea house, at lunch at the half way point, and upon arrival to your next tea house.  You are expected to pay for the food at where you stay as that is where the locals make their income so do not plan to pack food for any meals. It is helpful to bring snacks for the trek, we were also mindful to bring enough snacks to share with our team of 1 guide and 1 porter. Here was our snack list. Most of these items are available on the mountain, but will come at a much higher cost.
  • 2 bags of chocolates
  • 1 can of Pringles ( we celebrated with these after EBC)
  • 2 packs of peanut butter granola bars (~24 pieces)
  • 2 jars of peanut butter (great to mix into the morning porridge or bread you can buy at the tea houses)
  • 1 pack of oreos
  • 2 of biscuits
  • 12 packs of asian snack packs we found in Kathmandu

Here is our porter Jambo with our shared bag on his back and his pack on the front:

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