1). BUFF: One of the most important pieces of clothing on Everest and other high and cold mountains was my buff. A buff keeps your neck and back of your head warm. Most importantly it was used it to cover my mouth. At high altitude the air is cold and dry, if you can keep moisture in your mouth you are less likely to be coughing, and damaging your throat and lungs. You are also retaining moisture in your body which helps keep you better hydrated at altitude.
2). DOWN JACKET: Having a down jacket with you at all times is vital. Depending on the trip you will need 650 – 800 Fill goose down. Used on an off the mountain it is a vital
piece of my kit. I use a down jacket on all our adventures. There are different graded of down jackets but any 100% ethically sourced goose down jacket is a vital piece of kit for any adventure. We can help you pick the right jacket for you.
3). TREKKING BOOTS: Having a comfortable, warm, water proof and broken in pair of trekking boots is so important on any adventure. Looking after your feet and keeping them warm and comfortable can mean the difference between success and failure. We have used Scarpa, Merrell, Berghaus and Mammut Hiking boots.
4). GLOVES: At high altitude and in cold weather conditions, the body moves towards survival mode and blood flow is moved to keep the brain, lungs, heart working and pulls blood flow from the extremities. Keeping your hands warm is also vital in making sure you have a comfortable and enjoyable adventure. Also having liner gloves helps when taking your hands out of gloves to take pictures and keep your hands warm at all times.
5). THERMAL LAYERS: I am a big fan of Merino wool base layers. I have used the same layers on 30 different expeditions. I have a mix of short sleeve and long sleeve 200/260 grade . They can be used for sleeping in, night climbing and the first layer in my layering system in keeping my body warm and keeping cold conditions at high altitude at bay.
6). TREKKING BOOTS: Your feet are what carry you through your trek. You will walk for 4 to 16 days. Your trekking boots need to be water proof, quality leather or other water proof boots. The more rigid the sole the better in my opinion. You also need to break them in and being out hiking in them a lot prior to your trek. We can help you pick the right boots for you.
Key items needed for Trekking trips:
- Shorts (light weight) good for hiking while at lower elevations. Nylon or synthetic
fabrics are best
- Synthetic T-shirts – for lower altitudes Merino wool 200
- Sun hat
- Warm hat to protect against cold and winds
- Warm Fleece to be used in layering system
- Dark sunglasses Category 3/4 I use Julbo Nomad (wraparound) – protection against harsh UV rays at higher altitude. Have a spare pair.
- Sunscreen Factor 40 +
- Hiking Boots – well worn in, ideally leather upper, waterproofed (mountaineering boots for Island peak, Mt. Blanc, Mera peak, winter skills. Check in with us on the correct boots.
- Lightweight shoes – to wear in camp at night after a day hiking
- Sleeping Bag & Inner sheet or liner rated -10C minimum
- Thermarest /self inflating mattress (not essential for lodges)
- Water bottle Nalgene X 2
- Purifying tablets – Oasis / Puritab or similar- to sterilize all drinking water
- Powdered drink, Vitamin c to flavour the water
- Synthetic Socks – thin & thick pairs. 2 thick 3 or 4 thin socks. Thin socks help protect against blisters by extra support and dryness.
- Thick socks – hiking socks for warmth and comfort
- Warm gloves/ mitts – inner thermal fleece plus outer glove or mitts (waterproof)
- Day Pack – around 35 litres, to carry your daily items in (camera, waterproof clothes, water etc). Ideally lightweight inner frame and Hip belt for support.
- Kit Bag for the porters. Around 80/100 ltr, for the porters to carry your gear in (MAX 15kg). Soft, sports bag – ideally canvas or waterproofed
- Thermal underwear – preferably Polypropylene / Thermalator or similar, with wicking properties for the higher altitude. Top is more important than pants. Ladies stockings or cycling pants are useful and warm. Icebreakers or Smartwool are excellent.
- Pants -Tracksuit pants, or fleece pants for colder days/evenings
- Waterproof pants – Lightweight pants, preferably breathable
- Fleece – All clothing should be layered for maximum warmth. Lightweight (e.g. fleece, polar neck, polartec) layers, usually thermal plus 1/2 layers and a down jacket for cold and evenings. Do not take heavy jerseys, jackets or cotton clothing.
- Waterproof Jacket – Gore-tex or similar. Breathable waterproof jacket to cover your bottom (longish) for both rain and wind. Lightweight ideal, particularly at lower altitudes – then at higher altitude one layers underneath, and it acts as a guard against the wind and cold. Must have a hood.
- Lightweight Poncho/ splash cover – for heavy rains and keeping the rain off your packpack (as it covers the whole thing) as well as your rain jacket. Ideal too in a rain forest, when it’s quite hot to wear a rain jacket. (optional)
- Down Jacket 700/800 fill Goose down
- Towel – Small Sports towel
- Wet wipes – Handy for freshening up, or wiping sticky hands and helps when you can not shower.
- Hand sanitizer – very important
- Head Torch – Essential for both evenings, and night walking. LED headlamps are perfect
- Spare Batteries – For torch and camera/video. Cold weather tends to shorten the
life of batteries.
- Pocket knife / Multi Tool – Always handy!
- Trekking Poles – Adjustable ideal.
- Gaiters (to the knee) – Stops scree and mud getting into boots (optional) depend on the trek and time of year.
- Lip Balm or Zinc cream – To protect against the fierce sun
- Toilet paper & matches – Please burn toilet paper carefully!!! (not in the bush!) or take a small plastic bag to dispose of toilet paper on the return to camp
- Trail munchies – Bring along your favourites – chocolates, nuts, etc
- Garbage bags – sufficient to wrap all your clothes inside your kit bag to protect against rain etc –
- Small mirror – Not essential, but some people have suggested it
- Small personal first aid kit plasters, compeeds, diamox, vitamins, antobotics and all personal medication and items you think you might need.
- Book / diary / game /cards / pen – In the evening at camp
- Camera & plenty of film or memory cards – Take a spare battery
- Cash (USD) – For tips at end of climb, for food, drinks and souvenirs.
- Contact lenses / glasses – Take spares if you use them. Avoid metal rim glasses, as they may freeze on your face in the cold.
- Personal toiletries – Toothbrush, paste, hairbrush etc..
- Buff to keep neck and face warm, essential.
If you are joining one of our Everest Base Camp Treks:
This exhaustive list does not have to be followed word for word. We appreciate that trekkers have their own preference regarding clothing, but we hope this list will ensure nothing is overlooked.
Shorts: (light weight) good for hiking while at lower elevations. Nylon or synthetic fabrics are best and you will only need one pair.
T-Shirts: We recommend Merino wool or synthetic fabrics (NO COTTON) 2 short sleeve shirts and 2 long sleeve shirts. (Merino is best)
Base Layers: Merino Wool Base layers are recommended, however a synthetic material will work as well. You will want one pair of warm bottoms to wear under your trekking pants on the final days of the trek. We would also recommend one or two more long sleeve Merino/synthetic tops. These will have ‘wicking’ properties to keep you warm when you are cold and cool when you are warm.
Mid Layers: This is going to be your warm, insulating layer. This can range from Merino Wool 200+ weight, to fleeces, to light down or synthetic jackets. You will need just one or two of these layers as they do not touch your body.
Outer Layer: Heavy down jacket. You will wear this every night and morning and you will want to have a high quality 700 or 800 fill goose down jacket. This is an essential piece of your kit to keep you warm in the freezing temperatures.
Trekking Pants: We recommend bringing one or two pairs of trekking pants that are quick drying, synthetic material. The type that can be zipped off into shorts can be helpful.
Fleece Pant: Every night when you arrive at your lodging, you will want to change your clothes from your trekking clothes. We recommend a pair of warm fleece pants or a track suit pant. You will only need one pair.
Waterproof Jacket: You need a Gore-tex or similar waterproofing material in an outer wear jacket. This should be light weight and will help protect you from rain/snow as well as help block the wind. Must have a hood.
Waterproof Pant: You will need to have one pair of waterproof pants that can be worn over your trekking pant in case of rain/heavy snow. These can be Gore-tex or similar waterproofing materials.
Socks: We recommend either Merino Wool or a synthetic material (again not cotton) as they will help to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Usually you will need 3 or 4 pairs of thinner socks and 2 or 3 pairs of thicker socks.
Gloves: You will need one pair of warm, waterproof outer gloves plus one pair of smaller liner gloves. The warmer gloves need to be a warm glove, similar to what you would wear to ski in. These are essential to keep you warm in the freezing temperatures. You will also want a thin liner glove to the less frigid temperatures or to wear inside your thick outer gloves for extreme temps.
Sun Hat: The hat needs to have a brim all the way around it to cover your ears, neck and face from the strong rays of the sun. You will rely on this to keep you from burning and dehydrating, which could potentially ruin your trip.
Winter Hat: You will need a warm fleece or wool hat to keep you warm in the cold temperatures. You will wear this every night/morning.
Buff/Neck Gaiter: This is an essential piece of gear to keep your neck warm as well as to cover your mouth and keep in the moisture high up.
Hiking Boots: You will want to purchase these early and break them in (do not go on the trip with a never been worn pair of boots). They ideally will be leather and must be waterproof.
Lightweight Shoes: You will want to take your boots off when you arrive in the lodge each night. We recommend a light trail running shoe or trainer (Salomon Brand are ideal).
Sunglasses: You need a dark, wraparound pair of sunglasses. Preferably category 3 or 4 to protect against harsh UV rays and ice-glare at higher altitudes. It is recommended to have a spare pair as well.
Day Pack Backpack: Approximately a 35 liter pack, for you to carry each day with your daily items/personal documents/camera/money. This MUST have a hip belt for support/weight loading and should have an inner frame for comfort on your back.
Backpack Splash Cover: In the case of heavy rains, this cover can go on your backpack to keep the contents of your pack dry. If you are carrying your camera/important documents in your pack, you may want to bring this, however it is optional.
Duffel Bag/Kit Bag for Yaks/porters: We recommend a duffel bag around 90/100 liters in size. This will be carried by the porters/yaks and is not to exceed 15kg/33lbs. This ideally will be a waterproof material (ie. North Face Base Camp Duffel or Patagonia Black Hole Duffels). You can buy from us.
Sleeping Bag: You will be sleeping in a bed in the lodges, however you must bring your own sleeping bag. We recommend that it is rated to -15°C (5°F). You can also bring a liner sheet for your sleeping bag if you know that you run cold.
Thermarest: This self-inflating mattress is not needed unless you are on a sleeping at base camp trek, however if you feel that you will not sleep without it, it can be included.
Sunscreen: We recommend having a Factor 50 + to protect you from the extreme rays at altitude.
Water Bottles: We recommend having two Nalgene or similar bottles. These are a thick plastic bottle that you can fill with boiling water at night to act as a hot water bottle and then drink when you wake in the morning. You will not be able to do this with metal bottles.
Camelbak: This hands-free hydration system is essential to keep you drinking plenty of water on the trail. We recommend a 2 or 3 liter bladder that you can fill each morning before hitting the trail so that you can easily sip water all day without having to stop walking.
Water Purification Tablets: Purification tablets to purify the water along the trail. These can be purchased in Kathmandu. We do not recommend buying water on the trail as there are no facilities to recycle the plastic bottles in the mountains.
Vitamins/Powdered Drink: Sometimes the water can get boring to drink, so we recommend bringing some vitamin C or multivitamin tablets/powders to add to your water.
Towel: A small sports towel that is quick drying is recommended.
Baby Wipes: While there are options to shower along the trail, we recommend always bringing a pack of Baby Wipes to keep yourself clean in the wilderness.
Hand Sanitizer: This is essential to keep your hands clean on the trail.
Head Torch: Essential for mornings/evenings in the lodges as well as night trekking.
Spare Batteries: This is for your head torch and your camera. The cold weather tends to shorten the life of batteries. If possible, a solar charger is an excellent solution to this problem.
Pocket knife/Multi Tool: Although this is not essential, it is always handy!
Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles are always ideal.
Gaiters: These are optional, however these can stop scree/mud/snow from getting into your boots.
Lip Balm/Zinc Cream: This is essential to protect you against the fierce sun.
Toilet Paper & Matches: This is for when you are on the trail and have to go to the bathroom. You will either carefully burn the toilet paper or take a small plastic bag to dispose of toilet paper when you arrive at the lodge.
Trail Munchies: Bring a few of your favorites: chocolates, nuts, sweets, etc. You can buy some of these items on the trail as well.
Garbage Bag: This is a great way to wrap all your clothes/items inside your kitbag to protect it against rain.
Small Mirror: Not essential, but some people are happy to have.
Book/Diary: You may want to have a book or diary or cards to use in the lodges at night when you have down-time.
Camera: You will want to have plenty of memory cards/film and spare batteries. The lodges do have the option to charge along the way but it does get expensive.
Cash: It is best to have USD for tips at the end of the trek. We recommend approximately $150 for tips. You will also want to have some spare cash for any extras you may need on the trail, such as drinks, snacks, etc. You will also want extra spending money for items in Kathmandu like drinks, souvenirs, food. The amount you bring will depend on how much you plan on buying/spending. We usually recommend at least $350.
Personal Toiletries: Everything you need on a daily basis (contact lenses, glasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.).
Small Personal First Aid Kit: This is just a guide of what we recommend you to bring, you may have other personal items you need to add to your kit:
1). Painkillers. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Disprin.
2.)Antibiotics. Two courses as prescribed by your own GP. One for chest and upper respiratory tract infections and one for abdominal, bowel infections.
3). Cough Lozenges.
4). Wound Dressing. One should be sufficient.
5). Triangular Bandage. One should be sufficient.
6). Melolin Dressings. Four 10 cm by 10 cm
7). Band-aid/Plasters. An assortment package of these.
8). Antiseptic Cream. One small tube.
9). Diarrhoea Treatment.
10). Insect Repellent. One small bottle of 50% DEET repellent.
11). Foot Powder. Important for keeping feet in good condition.
12). Anti-inflammatory Tablets. To bring down any inflammation.
13). Antihistamine Tablets.
*There will be a group medical kit that will contain more of the above plus extensive supplies for a wide range of medical problems and emergencies. You will need to make sure you have the above and keep your personal medical kit with you daily on the trail.
We are available 5 days a week when we are not on trips and happy to go through the kit list individually to make sure you have the right items for the trek.