This list is a companion post to Everest Base Camp – A Survival Guide, providing a comprehensive kit list for those attempting the challenging journey. A sensible equipment list for trekking in Nepal should include the following:
Footwear – a good pair of boots or approach shoes which have been adequately broken in on various terrain prior to departing are essential. Explain your ambitions to the salesperson and take time to ensure a comfortable fit. Reliable brands include 5:10, Scarpa, Meindl and La Sportiva.
Socks – several pairs of synthetic/wool blend socks are necessary. A mix of light/heavyweight socks is recommended.
Gaiters – short, ankle protecting gaiters are adequate.
Sandals – or even flip-flops are excellent in for relaxing at teahouses during evenings. If cold feet is an issue forget the fashion police and wear socks!
Booties – an optional but unnecessary luxury unless cold feet is a big issue, available with down or synthetic fillings.
Thermal clothing – a selection of lightweight and mid-weight thermal clothing will provide an effective layering system. Light colours are preferable for tops as they are easier to keep cool in hot conditions, and multiple layers still retain heat. Dark colours are better for bottoms as dirt is less visible. Icebreaker have a comprehensive range of excellent thermal clothing.
Trousers – two lightweight pairs. Keeping a clean pair for evening wear will feel comfortable.
Trekking pants – a quality heavyweight pair of trekking pants will be useful in cold conditions and additionally be hardwearing.
Mid-weight fleece – a fleece top is useful to retain warmth during stops and cold evenings. Synthetic jackets or pullovers are also an alternative to fleece because they are lighter and compressible.
Down insulated jacket – a medium weight down or synthetic filled jacket is not essential but will provide some warmth during cold evenings.
Waterproof jacket & pants: a good windproof/waterproof jacket is a must and pants with full-length side zips are recommended. Gore-Tex is an excellent material because all companies using the breathable material must first submit designs to the company for approval.
Gloves – layering is as important for the hands as the rest of the body, therefore pairs of thin liner and Windstopper fleece gloves are recommended.
Mittens – optional for those that suffer with cold extremities.
Bandana – an extremely useful and versatile piece of kit. A Buff is even more versatile, they are lightweight and pack down small, some also come with fleece attached. They can be converted for use as a bandana, balaclava or beanie style hat, a couple are suggested.
Sun hat – Any lightweight foldable hat which will keep the sun off the head and neck.
Sunglasses – two pairs of good quality sunglasses suitable for use at high altitude trekking in Nepal, wrap around styles are useful to prevent light infiltration at the sides. A spare pair is recommended, as it is important to have sunglasses.
Headtorch – a good quality headlamp from Petzl or Black Diamond with spare batteries and bulb.
Luggage – a large backpack or duffel which can be loaded with the spare clothing and equipment which will not be needed during each day trekking. This will be carried by the porters. Lockable with a padlock is recommended.
A daypack sufficiently large enough to carry spare clothing, water and other necessities each day. Ensure it is comfortable, fitted correctly, with a waist belt for supporting the weight and a pack cover for wet conditions. Osprey, Arc’teryx and Gregory are a few companies making good backpacks.
Sleeping bag – down bags are recommended in the generally dry conditions of the Himalaya. A good three season bag and silk liner is a versatile combination.
Hydration system – Camelback or Platypus bladder systems are good options for clean water, ensuring regular hydration is easily achieved.
Water purification – iodine or chlorine tablets are a simple purification solution and are useful at least as a backup. Bottled water is available but can work out expensive. Drinking bottles which have in-built filtration systems are expensive, but viable options and worth researching prior to travelling.
Pee bottle – an optional luxury which will avoid frequent visits to the often unpleasant toilets during the night. Women may wish to consider a Shewee or similar product for ease during trekking.
Pack towel – a medium size pack towel from Lifeventure or similar. Lightweight and easily packable.
Trekking poles – a recommended accessory as they will reduce the strain of trekking in the Khumbu region. Ask the advice of the leader how to use them properly, otherwise they will be much less effective.
Sunscreen – choose a quality brand of at least SPF 30.
Lipbalm – SPF 50 is recommended.
Toiletries Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shave kit and aftersun/moisturiser. A hand sanitizer is also useful.
First-aid kit – Paracetamol or similar, Dioralyte, assorted plasters, various gauze pads, adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. (Diamox should be carried).
Stuffsacs – Various sizes for keeping backpack contents dry. Plastic or zip-loc bags can be used as a cheaper option.
Fresh wipes – Useful for freshening up or if a shower is not an option.
Earplugs – optional extras that will be welcome if your roommate is a heavy snorer.
Packable bag – Recommended for leaving superfluous clothing and other items in Kathmandu, which is usually offered as an option. Lifeventure produce a reasonable one.
Camera – Carry extra batteries, and memory cards for your camera. Adaptors to fit the outlets in Nepal can easily be purchased in Kathmandu.
Solar charger – Regular charging of devices in teahouses can work out expensive and is not always available. These allow devices to be charged during the day while trekking and can be invaluable. Powertraveller offer a number of suitable devices.
Portable powerpack – Another optional extra for charging devices, storing up to 20,000Ah. and can charge multiple devices They can however be expensive, bulky and heavy.
*All images were taken on a Samsung WB250F compact WiFi camera.