Less than 2 months now to until we head to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. One of my biggest challenges in the lead up to the trek has been working out a list of all of the clothing and gear that I need. Until I decided to do the trek, I hadn’t been really big into hiking and that sort of thing, so I was really starting from scratch from a gear perspective. I’ve certainly never been to anywhere at a high altitude, and I haven’t even seen snow other than in pictures since I was a little kid (the perils of living in Australia)! I’ve always been more a fan of warmer climates, which has definitely prompted a lot of people to be very surprised when I told them I planned on doing the trek.
My first step was to do plenty of research, mainly online. I scoured blogs, trekking company websites, etc to compile a massive spreadsheet of every item I could potentially need to be comfortable on the trek. The list was huge, and way more than would fit into my tiny 15kg baggage allowance (flights into Lukla currently allow a 10kg main bag and 5kg carry on).
I then culled the list, and below is what I’ve ended up with. I’ll make sure to write an update after the trek on what I did and didn’t use, so hopefully it’s helpful in the future for city girls like me going on their first big trek!
Clothing outer layers:
- Down jacket – will probably only use this at night, and maybe during the day a little as we get higher in altitude and the temperature drops.
- Down vest – rolls up super small, but is really warm, I figured this would be better for those in between times where just a bit of extra warmth is needed.
- Tri-climate waterproof shell jacket – multipurpose jacket that has a fleece that zips out so can be worn 3 ways.
- Goretex lightweight rain jacket – not pictured as borrowing from Mum!
- 2 fleece jackets – 1 for during the day, and 1 to just wear around the teahouse at night (a lot of blogs I read said that it was a good idea to keep a set of clean dry clothes that you just wear at the teahouses – it always feels nice after a hard day trekking to have something cleaner to change into).
- Softshell waterproof pants – I wasn’t going to buy these and just make do with quick-dry trekking pants, but found a pair for an amazing price so I couldn’t resist!
- Quick-dry trekking pants – for everyday trekking.
- Fleece tracksuit pants – for around the teahouse at night, these are so warm and comfy!
Clothing mid layers:
- Merino hoodie – will be good as a layer, as well as a light jacket for warmer days.
- 2 long sleeve t-shirts – lightweight and wicking, also quick dry so I can easily rinse these out as needed.
- 3 short sleeve t-shirts – as above.
Clothing base layers:
- Long thermal underwear (top and bottoms) – 1 pair of merino and 1 pair of synthetic. Merino is meant to be better for less stink (and I’m sure we will be stinky!), while the synthetic should dry out quicker if I want to rinse some out.
- 3 bras – Gents, feel free to skip this one! Ladies, I looked for ages for the perfect bra. I was looking at sports bras, but I really wanted something without an underwire, and everything in Melbourne seemed to have them. I eventually found the perfect bra for me, a really light, moulded, non-underwire bra from Uniqlo. So comfy. These probably wouldn’t be quite as good if you needed a lot of support, but for me, they’re perfect.
- 6 pairs underpants – 3 merino (sounds odd, but they’re really comfortable!) and 3 synthetic quick-dry.
Feet – the most important part of your body on a trek:
- Hiking boots – lightly worn in before the trek.
- 2 pairs merino sock liners – who knew a lot of the serious hikers wear 2 pairs of socks?! If it’s good enough for them I figure it’s good enough for an amateur like me. Sock liners are meant to minimise any rubbing, as well as making your socks last longer without a wash!
- 3 pairs merino hiking socks – 2 pairs medium weight and 1 pair heavy weight. I may buy another pair or 2 when I get to Nepal.
- Down booties – not pictured as I’m going to buy these in Nepal. These are meant to be wonderfully warm and comfy for around the teahouse at night.
- Havaianas – for showering, giving my feet a rest from hiking boots at the teahouse or a quick run to the bathroom at night
Other accessories (I’m planning to buy a lot of these in Nepal):
- 2 beanies – maybe more if I find some cute ones in Thamel!
- 2 pairs gloves – 1 pair of fleece gloves and 1 pair of water proof ski style gloves.
- Cap – to protect my head from the sun on warmer days.
- Sunglasses – good quality, high UV protection.
- 2 x Buffs – these are multi-purpose tubes of fabric that can be worn in a multitude of ways. I’ll mainly wear mine around my neck to keep warm, and over my mouth and nose to help filter out the dust and prevent the infamous Khumbu cough. And yes, I am a major nerd and bought a Buff with a picture of Everest on it!
That’s all of my stuff from a clothing perspective, check out next week’s blog post for all of the other essentials that I’ll be taking on the trek!
Have you been on a high-altitude trek? Any key pieces of clothing that I’m missing?
Header photo credit:
Everest Base Camp, Nepal. by Rick McCharles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.