Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek! This phrase has excited us for the longest time, and finally, the dream of completing the trek became a reality. The journey was nothing short of fantabulous, and calling it a treat for a trekking enthusiast and an explorer would be an understatement. The mountains, natural habitat, and almost everything about the trek left us mesmerized.
Although the trek was challenging, what came to our rescue were the things we packed. We completed the EBC, Kalapathar, and the three passes trek without any guide or porter. We carried our belongings for the 16-day journey and managed to keep the backpack weighing about 5 Kg without water.
So, if you plan to do the Everest Base Camp and the three passes trek, here’s the complete packing list of items that you must carry. There are a few optional items that we didn’t carry, but you can carry them based on your needs.
Packing List For EBC & Three Passes Trek
1. Clothes/ Body Gear
- Three breathable underwears
- Three breathable bras (for women): We prefer merino wool underwear and innerwear as they are breathable, odour-resistant, and temperature-regulating.
- A set of thermal wear (top + bottom): Useful while sleeping at higher altitudes
- A down jacket: We carried a 0° down jacket, which was enough in September.
- One fleece (Optional): Carry depending on the season in which you do the trek.
- Breathable trekking full-hand tees (2 and preferably merino wool): Avoid cotton tees. Full-hand tees will help you protect yourself from the sun and the cold.
- One pair of convertible trekking pants: Extremely helpful during rain when it can be converted to shorts or trousers.
- A pair of lightweight trekking full pants: Serves as a backup to the convertible pants. You can use these pants during acclimatization hikes or when the other needs to be dried due to dampness or the smell. We recommend using lightweight and loose-fitting pants.
- Raincoat/ Poncho: A must-have gear while trekking. Raincoat or poncho is always a debate, but choose whichever you’re comfortable with.
2. Head & Face Gear
- Regular hat or cap with sun shield: The hat safeguards your face from direct sun rays, while the sun-shielded cap also covers the back part of your neck and ears. The brim will guard your face, keeping the rain out of your eyes. You’ll be wearing them on all the days of your trek.
- UV-protected sunglasses: This is essential as it will protect your eyes from UV rays and to look at the snow-clad mountains.
- Neck gaiter or bandana: The gaiter and bandana cover your face, mouth, and ears from the harsh UV rays, cold air, and dust. We wore one throughout the trek.
- Winter hat or beanie: These are helpful at higher altitudes where the temperature is low, especially at night. We used it when it snowed at the Chola pass and for our hike to Kalapathar.
- Headlight: The headlight will come to your rescue when you hike at night or early morning, like Kalapathar (a sunrise/ sunset hike done from Gorakshep). It is also helpful when the solar-powered light in the tea houses is dim or not good.
3. Hand Gear
- One pair of inner gloves: These gloves prevent your hands/fingers from getting cold and enable you to perform ordinary tasks such as hiking with trekking poles in your hands.
- One pair of outer insulated gloves: These are waterproof and serve as a lifesaver during morning treks when the temperature is drastically low. They are also used in tea houses and at night while you camp at higher altitudes.
It is an added advantage if the gloves have touch sensitivity to operate the mobile phones. It will save you the hassle of removing and wearing them whenever you need to use your phone to look at the offline maps and navigate.
- One pair of trekking boots: Trekking boots are crucial for hiking as they safeguard your feet and legs. The best boots would ideally be lightweight, waterproof, and provide great ankle support. Please avoid the newly worn and over-used poor-quality boots.
- One pair of sandals: An alternative footwear that you’ll use once you remove your boots. Useful for wandering to tea houses and while using restrooms. You can layer up with socks if the temperature is too cold.
- Two pairs of hiking socks: Avoid cotton. Socks play an important role as you’ll be wearing them every day and reuse them a lot. We used Injinji toe socks and the Quechua hiking socks (one pair each). It didn’t smell as we get to air dry them every night after removing the shoes.
- One pair of winter or thermal socks: At higher altitudes, when the temperature drops, winter socks are a savior. You must carry at least one pair with you.
- One pair of microspikes: If you’re doing the three passes trek, microspikes are a must to cross the frozen hard snow while crossing the Chola Pass. We had microspikes with us, but we didn’t use them. It is highly recommended to have one for the three passes trek.
5. Sleeping Gear
You don’t need a sleeping mat or a sleeping bag. The tea houses provide good blankets to withstand the frigid temperature. If you need an additional blanket, you can request one at the tea houses. Layer up before you sleep to add extra warmth.
- Sleeping liner (Optional): The sleeping blankets at the tea houses are not washed frequently. If you are concerned about cleanliness, carry a lightweight silk sleeping liner.
- Sunscreen (50 grams): Your sunscreen must have a minimum SPF of 50 with UVA and UVB protection. Apply it every day before stepping outdoors and once every 3-4 hours during the day, even if you can’t feel the sun.
- Moisturizing cream (50 grams): The moisturizer will protect your skin from getting dry and offer protection from the mountain winds. Apply on all days.
- Lip balm (Small): Moisture your lips often. Dried lips often lead to wounds around them. It’ll be more advantageous if you have a lip balm with an SPF of 25 or above.
- Toilet paper (One roll per person. Subject to usage): The toilets in tea houses have only cold water. If you don’t like using them, toilet paper can come in handy. Make sure to dispose of them responsibly.
- Hand sanitizer (50 grams): Water won’t always be accessible when you’re on a trek. In such times, hand sanitizer is what will come to your rescue.
- Wet tissue (10-15 per person): To wipe off the sweat and dirt from the body once every 2-5 days (if you don’t shower every day).
- Towel: A quick-dry trekking towel of a small size is more than enough.
- Toothbrush & Paste: A lightweight toothbrush and a small toothpaste for everyday use.
- Shower gel and Shampoo (Optional): You have the option to pay and shower at most of the tea houses.
7. Electronics & Entertainment
- Mobile phone & charger
- 10000 mAh Power bank: Charging your devices is expensive as you gain altitudes. A 10000 mAh power bank is enough to cover your whole trek if you take pictures and videos but are not connected to the internet. However, it also depends on your usage and your mobile battery capacity. We were able to manage with 10000 mAh per person. Solar-powered power banks are lightweight and better alternatives to traditional power banks.
- Camera, lenses, and chargers (optional): We understand that you are trekking on a scenic route, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to click memorable pictures. So you can carry your DSLRs and relevant equipment. However, this is optional if you have a good phone. That way, you save yourself from carrying so much weight. We had iPhones and photographed picturesque landscapes to relive the memories.
- Books/Kindle (optional): A few tea houses have books even at higher altitudes at Gorakshep. To be honest, we were too tired to read. We slept super early and woke early. If you’re an avid reader, you can carry a couple of books or a Kindle.
- Dairy & pen (optional): If you are an artist who draws frequently or a regular journal writer, you can bring a notebook and a pen to scribble your thoughts.
- Portable games (optional): Cards, ludo, monopoly, etc. Alternatively, you can also download the gaming apps on your mobile phones.
The medicines mentioned below are just a checklist you can use to carry the right tablets and medicines you might require on your trek. Since you’re going through remote regions, these medicines will help you in an emergency. We carried all of the below-mentioned medicines with us. Make sure a professional prescribes your dosage.
We didn’t mention the name of the medicines as the name differs for different countries. Carry medicines for the following purposes:
- Diamox or Acetazolamide – for altitude sickness
- Blister tapes
- To control vomiting
- To prevent diarrhoea
- To avoid nose blockage
- Cold and cough
- Paracetamol – for mild headaches and body pain
- For sore throat
- Cotton roll
- Dressing gauze
- Pain killer
- Digestion tablets
- Water purification tablets
- Your prescribed medications, if you were taking any before
- 30L backpack: A 30L backpack is enough to carry all the essentials mentioned on the list. For the day hikes or acclimatization hikes, we would drop all the unnecessary belongings back at the tea houses and carry whatever is needed: Rain gear, trekking poles, snacks, and water. Carrying a separate day pack adds up the weight.
- Rain cover: To protect your backpack and belongings from rain and snow.
10. Other Accessories
- 2 reusable water bottles of 1 L capacity: It is extremely necessary to keep yourself hydrated while trekking. A lightweight water bottle, waterbag, or hydration bladder is recommended.
- Water filter: We used Sawyer, a water purification filter that we used to filter the tap water from tea houses and also from the streams. We saved a huge amount of money on the trek.
- Five reusable plastic bags: One to put the used laundry and the other to pack lunch while crossing the passes (if you’re doing the three passes trek). An additional one is to dispose of sanitary waste for women. One to put the cash and another to put electronics.
- A pair of trekking poles: There are numerous benefits to carrying a trekking pole, and we highly recommend carrying them, especially if you are carrying your own bag.
- Eatables: Chocolates, protein bars, dry fruit mix, and electrolytes. Make sure to carry a mix of carbs and proteins.
- Documents: Passport, VISA, money, credit card, travel insurance, permit card and trek card.
- Fanny pack: Easy access to the documents like passports, cash, energy bars, chocolates, etc.
- Physical map: Although you have your offline maps downloaded on your mobile phones, it is highly recommended to have a physical map with you. It’ll help you in emergencies when your mobile phone runs out of battery, for instance.
- Sunscreen, moisturizing cream, hand sanitizer, and paste can be shared if you’re going in a group. We kept the common sharing items on the waist belt and took turns carrying it.
- Chocolates and most toiletries can be bought at the village shops and tea houses.
- Hiking gear and basic medicines are available at Namche. It is hard to find at higher altitudes.
- We didn’t carry a travel adapter as Nepal and India have similar plug types. In Nepal, they use types C, D, and M. Make sure to cross-check with your country plug types.
We hope this packing list is useful for you guys. If you have any queries, make sure to drop them in the comments or feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org