I’m on a serious countdown for the Everest Base Camp trek now – just over 6 weeks to go until we arrive in the Khumbu Valley. Last week I shared my clothing packing list for the trek, this week as promised here’s all of the other gear that I’ll be taking. As with my clothing list, I’ll definitely do an update after the trek with what was useful and what could have stayed at home.
Toiletries: I’m going pretty light on in terms of toiletries, given that showering during the trek is close to non-existent! There are showers available, but usually the temperature drops to levels where taking all your layers off for a shower does not seem like an appealing idea.
- Sunscreen – Absolute must have. There’s so much sunlight as you increase in altitude, and getting sunburnt on even the cooler days is a danger. I’ll be slathering this on any bare skin regularly.
- Baby wipes – The biggest packet I can find! Seeing as the shower situation is pretty grim, I’m counting on baby wipes to be my saviour to keep feeling some sort of cleanliness.
- Hand sanitiser – I’m not really a big user of hand sanitiser generally, even when I travel overseas. I’ve opted to add a small bottle to my bag this time as apparently a lot of the time on the trek there’s no facilities to wash up after visiting the toilet. A stomach bug is the last thing I want to get while I’m trekking, so I’m opting for the safe option.
- Toilet paper – for a bit of the comfort of home. Toilet paper isn’t widely used in Nepal, so carrying a roll will make sure I’m not caught without.
- Tissues – to keep blowing that dust out of my sinuses.
- Travel size body wash – in case I decide to brave a shower.
- Microfibre travel towel – quick drying, this will be useful for a shower, or even to help dry out clothing that I’ve rinsed out.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Moisturiser – I get really dry skin at the best of times, but with the wind and cold I think it will be much worst, so a tube of my trusty sorbolene lotion will be coming along.
- Blistex lip balm – contains SPF so will help stop my lips from getting burnt, as well as keeping them from getting chapped in the wind.
- Dry shampoo – this is probably a bit of a vanity item, but I have never actually gone for more than 3 days without washing my hair! I’m going to take a travel size dry shampoo to help keep my hair looking at least a little clean (although I will probably be wearing beanies most of the time anyway!).
- Solid shampoo and conditioner – I never even knew that this existed! Shampoo and conditioner always seem to be one of those things that leak all through your toiletries bag at one stage through a trip, but no more now I’ve found this! I’ve been testing this out at home, and really like it, plus it smells amazing. Much more compact than bottles as well, so it’s a great space saver.
- Brush, comb and spare hair elastics – I’m sure wearing my long hair out would result in a tangled bird nest of dreadlocks, so I will be keeping it wrangled!
- Deodorant – the ultimate shower in a can.
- Travel size laundry detergent and pegless clothes line – to wash out clothes, I don’t even know if the detergent will get used, but figure it’s better to have it than not. Even if I don’t wash out clothes, the clothesline will be handy to hang stuff over to air out.
First aid kit : Here’s the big one. Any small illness or irritation could really ruin my chances of reaching Everest Base Camp, so although I never usually travel with one, this time I am taking a fully stocked up medical kit. My first aid kit has: Diamox (medication for altitude sickness), a couple of broad-spectrum antibiotics for respiratory infections and stomach complaints, painkillers, loperamide, cold and flu tablets, various sizes of blister cushions and bandaids, Betadine antiseptic, antibacterial throat lozenges, rehydration sachets, small scissors, tweezers and Vaseline. I also have an elastic ankle bandage/brace that I’ve thrown in since it weighs nothing and better to have it just in case (although I think it would be tough to roll your ankle in hiking boots).
- Cameras, lenses, spare batteries and chargers – I’m taking my usual Nikon J2 with 2 lenses (the 10-30mm kit lens and a zoom 30-110mm lens), and my Nikon AW120 rugged camera (which Ash will primarily use). I have 3 batteries for each camera, which should minimise the amount of times I need to charge them. I’m also going to take a Gorillapod tripod, which is super light and easy to carry, but should mean I can get some really great landscape shots.
- iPhone and charger – for music, and I will also get a Nepalese SIM card so I can send a few updates along the trek (there’s mobile reception pretty much all the way up to Base Camp now!). Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for real time updates!
- E-reader and charger – for the nights at the teahouse when you just want to be alone! I’ve loaded up my e-reader with heaps of Everest inspired travel books for inspiration along the way.
- Small travel alarm clock – this also has the temperature on it which will be really interesting!
- External battery packs – again to reduce my reliance on charging my electronics at the teahouses, I’m taking a couple of high capacity external batteries. These can charge every electronic item I’m taking!
- Electricity plug adaptors – Nepal generally uses the 2 round pin adaptor.
Other miscellaneous items:
- Day pack and rain cover – when we set out on the trek each day, we won’t see our luggage again until we reach the next teahouse for the day, as we’ll be using porters and they are way faster trekkers than we’ll be! So we’ll each carry a day pack for any clothing layers, snacks, cameras, first aid etc that we may need to access throughout the day.
- Sleeping bag – our trekking company is providing sleeping bags as part of our package, so I won’t be taking one of these with me. Sleeping bags are recommended to be rated down to temperatures of -10 degrees celcius, and preferably down-filled.
- Water bladder and water bottle – our day packs have 3 litre water bladders in them, so that should cover our water needs for each day. I am also going to get a 1 litre water bottle in Nepal, just to use as a backup as I’ve heard that water bladder hoses can freeze up if the temperature drops really low.
- Head lamp and spare batteries – for night time reading or bathroom breaks. May also need this on the day that we climb Kala Patthar as we’ll be aiming to reach the top for a magical sunrise.
- Silk sleeping bag liner – we’re renting sleeping bags in Nepal, so this will be a bit more hygienic, as well as add a layer of warmth.
- She Wee – I’m sure that everyone has heard of these by now! If you haven’t, they’re basically a funnel that allows a female to pee standing up. The main reason I got this (as from what I’ve heard there are toilet facilities at fairly regular intervals along the trek) is that it means I won’t have to get undressed too much in the cold if I need to use the bathroom! I can safely say that I have tried it out and it’s surprisingly easy to use, I’ll be interested to see how frequently I use it on the trek!
- Ear plugs – teahouse walls are super thin, so I think ear plugs are a must.
- Spare shoelaces – my boots are pretty new, but you never know.
- Trekking poles – I’m still in two minds about getting these, if I do I’ll be buying them when I get to Nepal. At this stage I’m leaning towards getting some, I think that I will use them and they’ll take quite a bit of strain off my knees.
- Ziplock bags – I was going to get some packing cells, but I think I’m going to use large ziplock bags instead. These will be more waterproof in case it’s raining (meaning that we’ll have dry clothes to change into when we arrive back at the teahouse), and should contain any trekking stench well!
- Journal and pen – to write up my blog entries on the trek. I considered taking my iPad or laptop, but I just don’t really want the worry of having to carry them and charge them. Also, electronics with hard drives can fail if switched on above a certain altitude, so I figured it’s easiest to leave them behind and write up my notes the old fashioned way. Plus I think it will be a nice memento of my journey.
- Snacks: a variety of snacks to keep our energy and spirits up on tough trekking days. Snacks are available to purchase along the way, but do get more expensive the higher up that you get, so I might buy a decent amount in Nepal. I also might bring a few favourites from home for if I get sick of the limited variety that they have there!
- Spending cash: all of our meals and accommodation are paid for, but we’ll still need some spending money for any extras along the way. Luxury items like soft drinks, snacks, battery charging, showers and souvenirs will all need to come out of this.
Have I missed any essential trekking items? Let me know in the comments!
Header photo credit: Everest Base Camp – Gorak Shep – Nepal. by lampertron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.