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.
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.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.
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
- 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 combined gear fit into the large bag and we each carried a day back. Here is what the bag looked like fully zipped:
- 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
- Travel Lock: Travel Combination Cable Lock to lock our valuables into our backpack
Women’s Packing List
- 12 pairs of underwear – several of which are the quick dry ExOfficio Women’s
- 3 hiking socks, 1 wool socks
- 3 pair of sports bra
- 1 pairs yoga pants: To wear in the evening at the tea house
- One pair of hiking pants: I love these! After a lot of trial and error these are the only hiking pants I swear by
- 2 quick dry t shirts: It’s too cold to wear these on their own, they are good to use as a base layer
- 2 Zip Up Long Sleeve Tech Shirts
- 1 Long Sleeve Quick Dry: I saved this as my “clean” shirt to wear upon arriving to the tea house
- All in One Jacket: An outer shell wind breaker + an inner fleece. This jacket is amazing for the changing climates on EBC. Within one day you’ll switch from both layers, to just the fleece, to just the shell to protect from the wind and keep cool under the afternoon sun.
- 1 Columbia Women’s World Trekker Vest: Sometimes worn as an additional layer on cold hiking days, worn every night for extra insulation!
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.
- Teva Women’s Original Universal Sandal: This item has been a real MVP on the packing list! A great post hike shoes paired with a thick pair of socks they are perfect for the tea houses.
- Winter Hat: Mine is a knit hat that Jesse bought for me in Peru. Here is a similar one.
- Henschel Aussie Crushable Mesh Breezer I sadly lost this hat early on, but have since replaced it with this sun hat
- 1 pair of cheap sunglasses
- A set of thermal underwear
- A neck warmer, and an extra pair of thick winter glovers
Men’s Packing List
- Shoes: Hiking boots,
- Tevas and flip flops though we are considering throwing away the flip flops as the Tevas have been a MVP on the packing list.
- 1 All In One Jacket & Fleece
- 2 pairs of hiking pants
- 1 pair of long underwear
- 1 pair of sweats
- 1 wicking t-shirts
- 3 long sleeve wicking shirts
- 6 pairs of underwear ExOfficio Men’s
- 3 pairs of hiking socks, and 1 pairs of regular socks
- Winter hat, gloves
- 1 pairs of cheap sunglasses
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
- 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: