Trekking to the Everest Base Camp? Here’s What You Should Carry

Gathering gear for the trek of a lifetime.  
Trekker, Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Make sure you pack the right gear. Photo: Christian Kober/Jai/Passage/Corbis/Imagelibrary

Hiking boots are the most important thing needed for this trek. They can make or break your trip so don’t skimp on this. Invest in a sturdy, comfortable pair. Break in the new shoes by walking in them for at least a month before the trek. Most of the gear required can be bought from adventure gear stores. You can also buy or rent a lot of equipment in Kathmandu or even Lukla or Namche Bazaar, for a reasonable price. It is possible to trek till Namche and then hire a sleeping bag as most lodges till there provide clean, warm blankets.

Sun protection is important even when the sun is not out. At high altitudes, the UV rays will burn your skin before you realise it.

Gear Checklist

• 40-60 litre backpack
• Day pack for basics
• Waterproof covers for your packs
• Water bottles, 2 litres (hydration bladders often freeze in winter)
• Sleeping bag (rated at least 0°C for summer and -15°C for winter)
• Sunglasses
• Warm hat and scarf
• Headlamp with extra batteries
• Sunscreen lotion with SPF above 50
• Woollen gloves
• 3 pairs of woollen socks
• 2 running T-shirts
• 2 full-sleeved thermal undershirts
• 1 fleece jacket
• Rain and windproof jacket
• Thick down jacket for winter treks
• 4-6 underwear
• 2 pairs of long johns
• 2 pairs of synthetic material hiking pants.
• 2 trekking poles (optional but helpful)
• Lip balm
• Oil-based moisturiser
• Toilet paper
• Hand sanitizer
• Water purification filter or liquid/tablets (iodine)
• First aid—personal medication, paracetamol, diuretics, a course of antibiotics for stomach infections, antacids, anti-inflammatory and analgesics, electrolytes, band-aids, pain balm, and antiseptic cream.

Appeared in the April 2016 issue as part of “Top of the World”.

Also see Everest Base Camp: A DIY Guide to Trekking to the Top of the World


    Natasha Sahgal is a traveller and writer. Her itchy feet take her around the world, making friends wherever she goes.


    Niloufer Venkatraman ’s idea of unwinding is to put on boots and meander through wilderness or the bylanes of a city, and to instill in her daughter a love for the outdoors. As Editor-In-Chief of National Geographic Traveller India her gig involves more of pummelling stories into shape than actually travelling.

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