Working out what to pack can be tough. Before we went on the EBC trek we looked at a lot of resources, I will link some below. In general we think we took the right amount of stuff with us and this is what has formed our Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List. We also bought and rented a few things in Kathmandu, and so I have given details of this below.
Disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links. They cost you nothing, but if you click on any of them and buy something we will get a little something in return. Thanks!
A quick note on cash; we budgeted about 30 USD each a day, this turned out to be about right. Many places say 1,000 rupee notes won’t be accepted on the trek. This isn’t true, though make sure some of your cash is in smaller notes. One night’s accommodation and meals will cost over 1,000 rupees, so it’s rarely an issue. Skip to the bottom if you want to see a full breakdown of our expenses.
Our bags weighed 9.5kg and 12.5kg each (without any water) which was manageable however our bags themselves (especially Jenny’s) were particularly heavy without putting anything in them. If we had a porter we would probably have taken more, but we wouldn’t have needed any of it, though saying that a change of clean clothes on the way down would have been nice!
Both of our bags are from Decathlon and we use these while travelling. They are both quite durable, Jenny’s comes with a waterproof cover and mine has many different pockets to stow away all our items. We also took a packing cube each which helped to keep our bags organised.
The key to packing clothes is wearing layers, during the day we didn’t need more than a pair of trousers and a long sleeved top. But once we stopped walking we were glad to have some warmer clothes. By the end our clothes (and bodies) smelt awful, some people get washing done but we decided to bear the smell and just wash our underwear a few times in the sink, see washing leaves below.
Many people hire down jackets but considering we were trekking at the end of May we decided and were advised that they were not needed. In any case, Jenny bought one in a bargain bin in Thamel for 1,000 NPR and she was very glad she did, though it is a personal preference since I did not have nor need one.
5 pairs underwear
2 pairs normal socks
2 pairs hiking socks
1 pair trekking trousers
1 wick-away tshirt
1 thermal top
2 thermal bottom
1 long sleeved tshirt
1 spare tshirt
1 pair hiking boots
1 pair flip-flops
1 packing cube
1 baseball cap
1 pair thin gloves
1 medium thick buff
1 warm hat
1 pair polarised sunglasses
5 pairs underwear
2 pairs hiking socks
2 pairs teahouse socks
1 lightweight sandals (for teahouse)
1 trekking trousers
1 wickaway t-shirt
1 long sleeved top
1 hiking boots
1 medium thick buff
1 warm hat
1 sun hat
1 thin leggings
1 thermal bottom
1 cotton tshirt
1 thermal top
1 light down jacket
1 polarised sunglasses
1 thin gloves
1 hair tie
1 waterproof jacket
Medical / First-Aid
We really only needed pain killers for our light headaches, plasters (lots of them) as well as special blister plasters (lots of these too)! But we brought a few additional items just in case. Nearly everything can be bought on the trek, but it is a hassle and can cost a lot more. We suggest bringing at least the minimum items from home or at from Kathmandu.
Quick note on Diamox: There are many websites talking about the benefits and downsides. We found the tablets in India for ~2 GBP for two people for two weeks so we decided to take some with us as a precaution, but in the end did not take any of it.
|First Aid Kit||This is the one we carry backpacking. Used only a few of the items in here – mainly plasters and bandages|
|Plasters||Took about 50 with us – Jenny needed a lot on her feet|
|Blister plasters (Compeed)||A must for Jenny – only the Compeed brand was any good. You can get them in Nepal but they are hard to find and very expensive. Buy before you go.|
|Indigestion tablets||Indigestion is common at altitude, but we only took a few of these on some off days.|
|Paracetamol||Took about 50 tablets with us|
|Ibuprofen||Took about 100 tablets|
|Diamox tablets||We did not use these, many people do, we acclimatised slowly, which may have helped.|
|Diarrhoea relief||The unusual food, water and bodily strain can lead to issues. We didn’t need these, but we would be glad to have them if we did.|
|Electrolyte powder||The brand we bought in India was disgusting, so we only drank one. Bring from home if you can|
|Throat sweets||The dry air, dust and strain can lead to coughs, colds and sore throats, these can really help. Rob needed these for the last few nights to sleep|
We took as few electronics as we felt possible, but we did end up with a couple of cameras and many wires! Charging is a bit of an issue after Namche because the cost can be very expensive, upwards of 200 NPR (1.45 GBP) per hour. A good power bank is essential and I wish we had had a solar panel with us, you can get lightweight ones to strap on your backpack.
|Power Bank||We already had one each so we took these. This one was mainly used.|
|Cameras||We took one for photos and one for the vlog video. We recommend cases, as there is a lot of dust, which damaged one of our cameras.|
|Kindle / book||There is a lot of downtime in the evenings, especially on a short day, a book is very useful to pass the time. There are many book swaps on the trail|
|Sim card||Reception is patchy on the trail, but most stops have at least 2G for whatsapp messages. We had an Ncell and a N-Telecom, and the Ncell had better 3G coverage, but N-Telecom had better phone reeption|
|Torch||Headtorch is best, I forgot to check my batteries… But this is the one I use. luckily we had a spare handheld torch as backup.|
|Chargers and wires and adapters||Bring items depending on what you need of course|
The sleeping bags were 3-season bags recommended by the rental shop. We really only needed a 2-season or even less which would have been much lighter (the sleeping bags were the heaviest items in our bags). Apart from that, we were pretty happy with everything we took. The water bottles we used are very good as you can put in hot water to use as a hot water bottle at night.
|Sleeping bag||We hired this from Shona’s for 100 NPR a day. We took a three season, but two season would have been enough|
|Map||There are loads of options, we just chose one randomly, this is a common option. A map may not be essential for most people, but good to have.|
|Water Bottles||We had one 750ml each and another 1 litre bottle|
|Water purification tablets||There are many taps along the way, and guesthouses will fill bottles for you, but the water may not be clean. These tablets are quick and easy to use, small to pack and do not use batteries.|
|Ear plugs||Some people use these on the plane, we found them useful for some loud co-trekkers at night|
|Duct tape||Fixes everything, we only used a small amount but very useful.|
|Compass||We used our phones to navigate the whole time, but we had a compass in case, to go with the map|
Of course take what you need, but remember you need to carry it. Call us dirty and disgusting but given the grotty looking and expensive showers up the valley, we felt a wet-wipe shower each day was sufficient. We admit we did smell quite bad when we got back to Kathmandu!
|Wet-wipes||We took a pack of 80, and used them all.|
|Toothbrush||1 each, of course.|
|Toothpaste||100 ml size was all we needed for the trip|
|Soap bar||Remained unused (!) :$|
|Clothes washing leaves||These are great for a light wash of underwear|
|Suncream factor 50+||The sun is strong at altitude, do not forget this|
|Feminine hygeine||You never know what the altitude can do… so be prepared.|
We took a lots of these (take less, we didn’t eat half of it) as we were told that snacks were extremely expensive up the mountain. This is true in Dingboche and upward, but probably not worth the weight. All our snacks weighed more than 2 kg! The Nature Valley were by far most sensible thing to take and are hard to find in Kathmandu, but who doesn’t love a Snickers, you’ll feel deserving of a treat!
|15||Nature Valley bars|
|500g||Cashew Nuts (Unsalted)|
|200g||Vitamin C Orange Drink – Never drank this.|
Things we wish we took
As I said above, we were mostly happy with our packing, but there were just a few things that we would probably add to our Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List.
|Dryer sheets||To put in the packing cube to keep our clothes marginally fresher|
|Deodorant||We were trying to save weight, but this would have saved our noses…|
|Solar Charger||Lots of people had these hanging off the back of their backpacks and we wish we had too as we had to pay to charge once for 200 NPR.|
|Multi Vitamins||People advise that taking these maintain your vitamin levels and stop you getting sick. This might have stopped me getting a cold along the way.|
Where to buy/rent
Three main shops seemed to show up on forums and guidebooks quite prominently; Shona’s Alpine, Sportswear International and Mount Everest Equipment Store, so we tried all three for different items.
Shona’s Alpine is great, they have everything you need at a high quality, advice on what to do and will not try to push any products on you. This unfortunately comes at a price, since their prices are a lot higher than alternative shops. We bought trekking pants (1500 NPR), gloves (300 NPR), wickaway tshirts (1500 NPR) and socks (250 NPR) here and they were all good quality. We also hired 3-season sleeping bags for 100 NPR/day, these were great, if not a little too warm for the time of year we went! Note that there is no negotiation possible, the price is strictly fixed, no matter what you say.
From our experience, Sportswear International would not really be recommended. Although the prices are lower than at Shona’s, the quality is also a lot lower. The thermals (1,300 NPR) we bought there had to be thrown away at the end of the trek since the seams all came apart. On the upside, they were ready to bargain, but maybe we didn’t get their prices low enough.
Finally, Mount Everest Equipment store is probably our top recommendation. We only bought a few things here, warm hats (325 NPR) and some thermals (950 NPR), but everything was good quality and lasted the whole trip. They also were up for bargaining, and we tried a little harder, so we were able to convince the manager down to those low prices.
Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List Summary
Independent trekking to EBC is absolutely manageable if you carefully consider every item that you pack. The sense of achievement you will feel from hauling your own equipment up the mountain past large groups all struggling with their small day packs (some not so small – what are people packing?!).
If you feel that the strain of carrying your own bag seems too much, be aware that we are very unfit and were able to do it. There are many hours in each day and some days have only short distances to cover. Trekking independently allows you to take it at your own pace, so start packing! You will not regret a moment of it!
Our total spend on the EBC trek was: 200,678 NPR (GBP 1,408), the full breakdown is below. By far the most expensive cost is the flight at £140 each way. Food is actually quite reasonable considering you are in the mountains, but a few splurges at Herman Hellmers in Namche for Pizza and the bakery in Dingboche start to add up, plus there is only the option of bottled water in Gorak Shep, which at £3 a litre really starts to add up. Food and drink; however, is not an area to try and save money, you need the energy and hydration to cope with the altitude and strain.
|Category||Cost in NPR||Cost in GBP|
Downloadable list of the above
Please click here to download a list of all the above items.