Trekking to the most popular base camp in the world, namely Everest is an adventure of a lifetime that will stay with you forever. The main concern in the Himalayas or any mountain for that fact is preparation. And as a guiding company we plan for worse case scenarios. Mountains are volatile places and the weather cannot be predicted. So yes sunshine, we are going to spend some time with you to ensure you have the correct equipment for your Everest Base camp trek.
And yes, you are going to have to sell the dog and invest in some top quality trekking clothing and equipment. Did you notice we used the words ‘investment’? Well done. Because that is exactly what it is, especially if you are keen on trying other adventures to say Kilimanjaro, Elbrus or the Drakensberg mountains. So don’t try and save a buck or two on inferior products.
Savvy? Rather go for quality products that will make your trek into base camp way more comfortable. And of course, you don’t want to lose a finger to frostbite because of crappy gloves. Or get hypothermia because of an inferior wind jacket. Dramatic I know. Just suck it up sunshine and get proper equipment.
WHAT ARE THE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON THE EQUIPMENT?
The Everest Base camp trek will take place over a 12 day period. This could equate to quite a bit of equipment. There are limits to what you can take. The first is the weight limit on the flight to Lukla. You are allowed 15kg in total. That includes your hand luggage.
If you are over that you are going to have to mortgage your house to pay for the penalties. The second is the weight each porter can carry. Although the Himalayan Sherpas are frikken strong, we limit the amount of equipment they carry. And the limit is 96kg per porter. Okay, calm down. We are only joking….It’s 30kg.
RENTING VS BUYING
So yes, there are ways to save on the costs. And that is by renting the equipment needed for the trek into Everest Base camp. You can definitely save some cash on rentals. Especially on the expensive type items like down jackets, windproof jackets and sleeping bags.
And if you know how to work excel and have the time, I’m sure you could slap together a spreadsheet that includes all the variables, like the savings from renting, versus the cost for overweight luggage on the flight to see if it is in fact worthwhile to rent.
Booking your EBC experience with Soul Adventures will also qualify you for a cheeky discount at Mountain Mail Order on equipment and clothing purchases.
“WHY HIRE EQUIPMENT IN NAMCHE BAZAAR AND NOT KATHMANDU???” THE MAN IN IN THE BACK SCREAMS OUT.
All right, keep your Allans on. It would appear I have some time on my hands so allow me to indulge you shall I? Firstly. The cost for extra weight on the flight to Lukla is pretty harsh. So you would most likely save money by renting in Namche Bazaar.
Even though the prices are about 10% higher than in Kathmandu. And stress not young panda whacker, there are plenty of rental shops with an abundance of items pop all shapes and sizes. So you will never get to Namche to find nothing is available. Trust us. We have been doing this for over 15 years. As a precaution however, we do send through our orders so that the rental shop can keep the equipment aside when we get there.
TIPS ON CUTTING WEIGHT AND COSTS?
This all depends on your level of hygiene and energy levels. For example. I take only 2 pairs of trekking pants, 3 shirts, 4 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of underpants on the Everest Base Camp trek. Of course I also take fleeces, windproof jackets, gloves and so forth to survive the elements of the mountain. Items like underpants, shirts etc.are washable.
So guess what? On our rest days, I wash these items and let the dry over the yak ovens. All you need is a small bag of washing powder, a bit of water and a face mask (so no-one can see who the extra small underpants belong to.) So as you can imagine, washing can save on weight and the cost of buying equipment.
EVEREST BASE CAMP EQUIPMENT LIST
Hiking boots: 1 pair. Try and get the Leather or fabric/leather with a sturdy mid-sole and vibram sole. Must be waterproof.
Trail shoes: For travel and easy walking days where there is no rain or cold.
Sandals: They are great for shower day, visiting Monasteries and relaxing on rest days. They are also the best thing to change into after being in a hiking boot for 6 hours. Make sure they are the ‘slip on’ type. So you can wear them with socks without your big toe being jammed on between a strap.
Gaiters: For use with light hiking boots, short and simple are better. The function of these little suckers? To keep the rainier snow from getting into your hiking boot. A wet foot=blisters and possible zombie foot.
Lightweight socks: Three to four pairs synthetic/wool blend
Thermal hiking socks: One or Two pairs synthetic/wool blend
Liner socks: Three to four pairs. Maybe and apple or two if in season.
Thermal Underwear top: 1 will do. But 2 better if you don’t feel like washing equipment on your rest day or don’t mind wearing it for multiple days. You will most likely sleep in it until you get to higher and colder altitudes like Kala Patthar and Gorek She where you may have to trek in it .
Thermal underwear bottoms: 1 will do. But 2 better if you don’t feel like washing equipment on your rest day or don’t mind wearing it for multiple days. You will most likely sleep in it until you get to higher and colder altitudes like Kala Patthar and Gorek She where you may have to trek in it .
Unerpants/panties/thongs/g-strings/nickers/whatever you call them: Four pairs synthetic or cotton, running shorts also work well for underwear.
Long sleeved hiking shirts: Four synthetic; mostly nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work. Must be able to wick moisture away from your body and be quick drying. NO Cotton shirts as they do not dry and will result in you getting cold.
synthetic jacket or fleece: Synthetic insulated jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended.
Waterproof/windproof outer shell jacket & pants: Ideally the jacket will have a hood.
Light shell jacket: Perfect for wind and not so cold conditions.
Trekking Pants: 2 pairs
Head & Hand Gear
Liner glove: lightweight synthetic
Insulated outer gloves: To protect from wind and rain
Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.
Wool or fleece hat: Bring two, one lightweight, one heavier for the Kala Patthar ascent. Try get ones that that can go over ears.
Balaclava: Perfect to protect you afce from the sun and wind
Sunglasses: One pair high quality 100% UV, 100%IR, for travel and lower elevations.
Headlamp w/ spare bulb: Bring two AA or AAA battery powered units (Petzl or Black Diamond)
Spare batteries: For headlamp and other gadgets you bring. We like lithium AA’s and AAA’s and find they are worth the extra expense for cold expedition conditions.
Day pack: Should be simple, useful for airline carry on and used while trekking. Capacity must be 40litres to accommodate your rain jacket, fleece, gloves, phone and water. The porters will be ahead of you and the weather could change at any time. So you will need to carry these items with you to base camp.
Sleeping bags: -8C. Only need one.
Sleeping Bag liner: Adds extra warmth to the sleeping bag. Also a necessity when hiring.
Compression stuff sacks: To reduce the volume of sleeping bags and clothes. There are a variety of lightweight sacks now available
Water bottles: Two 1 liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene).
Quick dry Hiking towel: For showers and DBRD ( dirty body rinse down)
Trekking poles: 1 or 2. Should extend and shorten
MEDICAL & PERSONAL:
Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily
Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand.
Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).
First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids).
Water purification tablets: Such as Potable Aqua brand iodine tablets. You will be given plenty of purified water during your trek, but one bottle of backup purification tablets is always a good idea for your travels. They are especially useful in hotels on your way to Nepal. You should not drink untreated tap water anywhere in Asia and bottled water in some rare cases might not be available.
Zip-loc bags: Always useful, and not available in Nepal. We especially like the large storage size for organization and storage at Base Camp.
Baby wipes or wet wipes
Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents.
Expedition duffel bag: One large, 110 Litre waterproof bag.
Small travel bag: Optional. Useful for storing things in Kathmandu, most soft sided ‘carry on’ type bags work well.
Nylon stuff sacks: Several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling.