If you’re off to hike to Everest Base Camp, you might be wondering if you have the right clothing or equipment with you. Having just come back from there myself, I wanted to show you what was in my bag, what I wish I brought with me and stuff I didn’t actually need in the end.
Note: because we were travelling the world at the time, we hired out some of the stuff in Kathmandu and bought a few branded fake copies for various items. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to go on this trek.
There is also a few amazon affiliate links in this post. I may make a very small percentage if you buy any of the products listed.
How many kilos can you take on EBC trek?
Our guide Krishna came over to our hotel to make sure we weren’t bringing too much!
We picked Visit Himalaya Treks for our hike which were amazing (read more here) and we were allowed 15 kilos total for both our main bag and day pack each. You can however pay for more kilos but just remember your porter is going to have to carry your bag and probably more during the entire trek so be mindful with how much you bring.
In the end, 15 kilos was more than enough to have for a 13 day trek.
The trekking company gave us a bag each to pack our things into which would be carried by the porter and we would only need to carry a day pack. Our guide also came to our hotel to check how much stuff we were bringing the day before the trek started to ensure we hadn’t over packed (see photo above). Remember, your porter will be carrying everything for you for 13 whole days!!Our porter with our stuff. He carried our combined 30 kilos for 13 days!!
What to bring in your main bag
A birds eye view of my bag before we left for the trek.
This is everything I can think of that I brought with me.
Shopping at The North Face store in Kathmandu before the trek. There’s also a store in Namche Bazar on the trek as well.
1 pair of lightweight trekking pants to wear over my leggings when it got colder in high altitude.
What I didn’t wear: 1 pair of shorts and knee length leggings which I blatantly didn’t need at all. It’s not hot enough to get your legs out during the trek.
I’ve never been one into tourist t-shirts but this I couldn’t refuse this for the trek. Pick one up in Kathmandu for less than USD$8!
5 normal cotton t shirts – I thought I would need those lycra tee shirts but I didn’t need them in the end because it gets freezing on the trek. I did buy one from a fake store in Kathmandu for USD$17 but it wasn’t worth it. I wore a tee for two or three days, then rotated.
1 North Face fleece hoodie – I wore this every day. The hood is especially handy but I wish it had zipped pockets for my camera and phone.
1 North Face fleece – I only wore this at night time.
1 MacPac merino wool jumper – I only wore this in bed
1 Base layer top to wear in bed. I bought a fake one in Kathmandu for 1,700R (USD$17)
What I didn’t wear: 1 long sleeved lightweight top, 1 strappy vest top
Trying on my fake North Face down jacket I hired in Kathmandu for USD$1.50 a day.
1 Marmot waterproof jacket (we didn’t bring waterproof trousers although we had all types of weather). Make sure your jacket is windproof. Lots of people were wearing Marmot, and I was surprised on how good mine actually was.
1 fake North Face down jacket we rented from a shop in Kathmandu for 150R (USD$1.50) which especially came in handy at night. This is a must buy or rent for the trek.
SCARPA trekking boots – I bought these six months before I left for my around the world trip to brake them in. I bought a pair from them before and they were so painful because I didn’t buy a size up. I’m usually a EU38 and I bought a EU39 which made a huge difference. I actually had to change socks to make sure that they fit absolutely perfectly. This was the first ever trek I have done where I didn’t get any painful feet at all. Steve wore a pair of Salamans which he swears by.
1 pair of flip flops – you’ll need these for the few times you can get a shower during the trek.
What I didn’t wear: 1 pair of Nike trainers – I brought these along as a backup in case my trekking shoes became painful. I didn’t need them in the end but I did see some people wearing trainers for the entire trek which is definitely not advisable.
Enough to last the entire trek although I had heard there’s laundry along the way, I didn’t actually see any. I also brought only 3 pairs of hiking socks and had one pair to wear in bed and the other two during the day. This was enough.
Stevo trying out his buff he bought in Kathmandu before the trek!
I also carried two hats with me, one warm beanie and one baseball hat. Sometimes I wore both at the same time when it got really cold, windy and rainy. The baseball hat is good to give you extra protection from the snow, wind, or rain!
Neck scarf also known as a buff to cover face in the cold as well as the dust. I bought one in Kathmandu for USD$3 and it was my saviour. I never took it off and it’s a definite must bring with you to help prevent the infamous Khumbu cough which everyone seemed to have picked up along the way.
Make sure you buy a decent pair of gloves. I picked some up in Kathmandu for USD$8 but they were pretty crap. Just don’t buy massive gloves as you’ll need to use those trekking poles so make sure they are on the thin side but obviously warm too.
1 quick dry towel for the shower!
shampoo, conditioner, soap, nail clippers, deodorant.
Lucas Paw Paw cream. Make sure whatever lip balm you buy doesn’t require you to put use your fingers. You wan’t to avoid contact with your hands in your mouth to avoid getting sick.
Hand san – you’ll definitely need some of this!
Wish I brought with me: Baby wipes. Why oh why did I not bring any with me? This is a must as we only had 2 showers in 13 days!!
Hydrolite – make sure you bring loads, you’ll need them especially when you go high up
Clorine tablets – if you want to purify your water.
Diamox will become your best friend when you can’t breathe in high altitude.
Paracetamol for headaches.
Just buy a water bottle to fill up your water along the way as there’s shops throughout the entire trek. We bought a bottle in Kathmandu. I had a lifestraw bottle but I didn’t actually use it and ended up just buying bottled water along the way. I didn’t bother using the clorine tablets and was fine. Be prepared though, water in Kathmandu costs USD25C and will go up to USD$4 a bottle when you reach Base Camp.
With my Canon 6D and 24-105mm F1.4 lens just outside of Everest Base Camp.
Because Steve’s camera is much heavier than mine, we decided in the end to take my Canon 6D with the 24-105mm F1.4 lens and my ultra lightweight 50mm F1.8 lens. Originally I was just going to carry the 50mm lens because I was worried about carrying it for so long but in actual fact I had no problems carrying my big camera the entire time.
Lots of people bought small point and shoots or mirrorless cameras specifically for the trek and personally I’m glad I bought mine in the end because the scenery is out of this world. I even saw people carrying tripods with them which you won’t need at all. Even at night-time the skies were cloudy so you couldn’t get a good night scene shot. It was sunny in the morning and then would cloud over by the afternoon.
I also had my GoPro 5 and Karma Grip in my day pack (definitely bring the karma grip or similar gimble to get the smooth walking shots with you’re making a video) as well as my Canon G7X2 to get the close up videos. And lastly I had my iphone X with me too for social updates.
We have a Goal Zero Venture 30 charger which we used as charging cost USD$5 an item at the hotels on the trek so it can get pricey. I saw many people with the solar panel chargers too so I’m not sure how good they are, and whether they are worth investing in if you’re buying them purely for this trek.
1 head torch – you’ll need this for any power cuts and for the sunrise walk up to Kala Pather.
Sports watch – I brought my Garmin 235 watch with me which I absolutely love! It’s awesome to be able to track how far you’ve walked each day. I never take mine off!
Our trekking company, Visit Himalaya Treks gave us our poles for free! You’ll definitely need them even if you think you’re super fit. Getting up those mountains in high altitude isn’t easy without them.
We hired out a -20C sleeping bag each in Kathmandu for USD$1 a day. You’ll definitely need one at this temperature as it’s freezing at night. Don’t expect central heating in the hotels. The fire is lit around 5pm in the restaurant and that’s it.
I had a North Face backpack I bought years ago. I’ve used it on many hikes and it certainly didn’t let me down this time either. We were told by Visit Himalaya Treks that we would need a small backpack around 25-30 litres.
Steve bought a 30 litre pack from a fake store in Kathmandu for approximately USD$50 which was fantastic. At the end of the hike, he gave the pack to our porter who looked beside himself with his fully stocked bag full of goodies to take home to his family!
In my day pack I had the following:
Hand San – this is a definite must have. The bathrooms aren’t exactly the best on the trek and you’ll need this in your bag at all times.
1 litre of water – you can buy water all along the route so you don’t need anymore than this at any time.
Sunscreen – be prepared because my nose got burnt big time!
Toilet roll – you never know when you need it!
Gloves – for when you’re above 4,000 metres, you’ll honestly need them for sure!
Hats – I also carried two hats with me, one warm beanie and one baseball hat. Sometimes I wore both at the same time when it got really cold, windy and rainy.
Cameras – The G7X and iphone both went in my jacket pockets which had zips so I could get them out easily and the Canon 6D camera went across my shoulder. I also had my GoPro 5 and Karma Grip in my day pack.
What did I wear during the day?
To be honest, you’ll be wearing pretty much the same thing every single day because it gets so cold, you won’t want to be changing much!
For the first 5 days of the trek I wore the following in the day:
Fleeced North Face hoodie I bought in Kathmandu (this would go into my day pack after about an hour or two of hiking)
Leggings – either North Face or Nike (the Nike one’s were much better).
Marmot waterproof jacket – it had zips which was awesome for my phone and G7X camera. I specifically bought a bright red jacket as I knew it would go well against the colour of the mountains. I know that sounds stupid but it’s what I wore on the entire trek. Make sure you buy a windproof jacket!
Then after Day 5
Wearing as many layers as possible at the top of Kala Pather mountain, -20C
I included a lightweight pair of trekking pants I bought in India from Quechua to go over my leggings during the cold days in high altitude.
An extra fleece when I climbed up to Kala Pather for sunrise.
At night time
During the night on the trek it’s freezing. As soon as we finished the hike, I would try to change as quickly as possible because it gets colder as the night goes on. I wore leggings and warm tracksuit bottoms in bed, a base layer top, Merino top from Mac Pac and a fake North Face down jacket, as well as my beanie and buff in bed.
We also had a -20C sleeping bag we also hired for 100R a day (USD$1 a day) and usually a douvet supplied by the hotel in bed.
I also used a scarf to put over the pillow every night to provide a big of extra warmth too.
Well, that’s it! If you have any questions about what to bring with you, write a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it!
Have you checked out my other posts on the Everest Base Camp trek yet?