Packing for the Everest Base Camp trek can be challenging. How much should you carry? What type of backpack can you bring? And what should you buy in Kathmandu? I had all of these questions leading up to my EBC trek and below you will see my Everest Base Camp packing list as well as questions I had answered from my experience on the trek.
Complete Everest Base Camp Packing List
I purchased the majority of my gear for the Everest Base Camp Trek before I departed for Nepal. Individual packing lists will vary but the essentials will remain the same. I recommend purchasing the essentials before you leave and below you will see everything I purchased for my trip with Active Adventures.
Jump to the end to see my complete EBC packing list or browse by section below.
- Trekking Backpacks
- Camera Gear and Accessories
- Hiking Boots and Socks
- Tea House and Lodging Gear
- What to Buy in Kathmandu
- Trekking Shirts
- Trekking Pants
- Jackets and Other Outerwear
- Long Underwear and Base Layers
- Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear
- Other Essentials
Which Backpack is Best for Base Camp?
This completely depends on the type of trek you are going on. If you are carrying all of your own gear you will obviously need a larger backpack. If you are using a porter you will want a small to medium sized daypack with enough space to carry daily essentials.
I carried the 28 liter pack on the left from Osprey. It had enough room for my heavy down jacket, a light long sleeve shirt, GoPro, Camera, and backup batteries. At 6’2″ I would go with a 35-40 liter pack next time. The straps were a little narrow on this pack and caused me some pain a few days into the trek. Wide straps and comfort are key to a pain free trek.
28 liters was plenty of space for my daily trekking gear and 6 liters of water. I had a porter on my trek which is why I was able to carry a small daypack.
Everest Base Camp Camera Gear
This is going to vary for professionals and amateur photographers but there are few keys to packing camera gear. You will need backup batteries and you will want to pack light. A small point-n-shoot, light DSLR, or a GoPro are great. Small or light tripods are also great additions. Below you will see the camera gear we carried on the EBC trek.
The Canon s120 takes great photos and is a perfect lightweight solution. The Sony a7 is an amazing camera and is also lightweight compared to most DSLRs. It has a small body and is easy to carry.
The Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip proved to be one of the best items I packed. You can use it to attach your camera to your shoulder strap while you’re trekking. This is great for when you aren’t shooting or when you need to use trekking poles on the trail.
Best Hiking Boots for Everest Base Camp Trek
Before arriving in Kathmandu you should break in your hiking boots for weeks during your training. You don’t want to develop blisters on the trail and want to be sure they are comfortable. Look for lightweight and comfortable hiking boots that offer a lot of stability and comfort. My boot of choice: Scarpa Men’s Kailash GTX Hiking Boot
Scarpa Boots were recommended to me by a friend who makes 30, 40, and 50 day treks. I had zero blisters when wearing one or two pairs of socks on the trek.
Also See: Everest Base Camp Training Guide
Comfortable hiking socks are key to a comfortable and enjoyable trek. There may be a few spots to wash your socks along the trek but don’t plan on it. Pack merino wool socks. They reduce odor and can be worn over and over again. I carried one pair of heavy merino wool socks, 2 medium weight hiking socks, and 1 light weight pair of socks.
Trekking Shirts for Everest Base Camp
A shirt you can wear everyday on the trek to EBC is important. Cotton t-shirts are not good for hiking. Investing in merino wool shirts is a great idea. Just like merino wool hiking socks the shirts will last for the duration of the trek. I packed two Icebreaker Tech T Lite shirts , one long sleeve shirt, and a merino wool sweatshirt.
Trekking Pants for Everest Base Camp
My EBC trek was during the month of April and shorts were a common sight on the trail at lower altitudes. They are completely optional and I did not wear shorts during the trek (unless I was in the tea house at night). Another common option is shorts with compression tights underneath. Carry what is most comfortable for you.
I carried two pairs of hiking pants and did not carry running tights but I would pack them next time.
Jackets for Everest Base Camp Trek
A good jacket is essential for your trek to EBC. If you are traveling with a company your tour group will likely supply a warm down jacket for you. These are also available in Kathmandu (real and fake). Kathmandu is full of fake gear but it is decent and cheap fake gear. I bought a few fakes in Kathmandu but an authentic and warm jacket is important. This also goes for sleeping bags and boots.
I was supplied with a large down jacket but I carried a light down jacket and light-weight zip hoodie.
Tea House and Lodging Gear
On the trek to Everest Base Camp you are going to work up a sweat and get a little dirty during the day. You are going to want clean and comfortable clothing to wear in the evenings at the tea house and inside your sleeping bags.
This is easy gear to pick up in Kathmandu but I bought my gear before I left with exception to a warm pair of sweatpants I purchased in Namche.
My nightly gear included: Long sleeve merino wool shirt, wool long underwear, warm socks, and a sweatshirt. You will also want a pair of shoes to wear in the tea house at night. Many people wear down booties but I don’t recommend wearing those to the bathroom in the middle of the night. My shoes of choice in the tea houses were Nike Frees. They are light weight and easy to pack.
Long Underwear, Base Layers, and Rain Gear
This gear is similar to what you may wear in the tea house. The difference for me as the long underwear or base layers I wore during the day were lighter than what I wore in the evenings at the tea house.
Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear for EBC
Warm gloves and a hat are important but these are easily available in Kathmandu for very little money. I was often too warm to wear gloves or a hat at lower altitudes but later in the trek they were vital for staying warm. I purchased heavy (and very fake) gloves late into the trek to stay warm. They ran me $5 and did the job for two days.
My daily gloves were light weight gloves and that is what I wore the majority of the time.
One of the most important purchases I made was a buff. The trails were dusty and buffs help keeping the dust at of your mouth even when you don’t need the extra warmth they provide. They are versatile and can be warn as a headband, scarf, or completely cover the head.
Other Everest Base Camp Essentials
There are a lot of little things that are important for your Everest Base Camp trek. Many of these can be picked in in Kathmandu such as Diamox, a deck of cards, and granola bars, but these were my essentials on the trek.
There is a lot of down time on the trek and having a Kindle was great in the evenings. The battery lasted throughout the trek and helped me fall to sleep nightly.
Electricity isn’t free on the Everest Base Camp trek and can be down from time to time. I carried three charged portable batteries on the trek. This kept anything powered by a USB charged.
Dry bags are great for protecting cameras, hard drives and even laptops. Backing up a hard drive can only be done with a laptop or at internet cafe. These are available in Namche but don’t expect a lot of places to backup your photos along the way. A solution is to bring multiple memory cards for shooting each day so if you lose one you don’t lose everything.
I actually carried a Macbook Air because we were shooting a ton of photos and videos. Losing our footage was not acceptable but I don’t recommend the extra weight.
My Complete Everest Base Camp Packing List
Camera Gear and Accessories
- Canon PowerShot S120
- Sony a7
- GoPro HERO4
- Joby GPod Mini Magnetic TriPod
- Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
- Lifeproof iPhone Case
- Backup GoPro Batteries
- Memory Card Case
- Rugged Hard Drive
- Backup Portable Batteries (3x)
- Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip
Hiking Boots and Socks
Tea House and Lodging Gear
- Hiking Body Wipes: Paper Shower (24x)
- Ibuprofen (50x)
- Headlamp (1x)
- Dry Bags (1x)
- Diamox (Get from doctor or in Kathmandu over the counter)
- Toilet Paper (you won’t find this in the majority of bathrooms)
- Blister Band-Aids
- Athletic Tape
Jackets and Other Outerwear
Long Underwear and Base Layers
Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear
What to Buy in Kathmandu (Optional)
You can buy everything in Kathmandu if you like but I don’t recommend it. The majority of the gear is fake and they will tell you it is 100% fake. Most of it is functional and will survive the trek but it won’t keep you as warm or comfortable as authentic gear. There are stores that sell real gear but you aren’t going to see them in Thamel (tourist zone of Kathmandu).
Real trekking pants, merino wool shirts and socks, authentic hiking boots, and cold weather gear should be purchased at home or from a store selling authentic gear.
Here is what I purchased in Kathmandu.
- Diamox (use as directed by doctor)
- Tea House socks
- Rain Gear
- Heavy gloves
- Granola bars/snacks for the trek
- Tiger Balm
- Sweatpants (purchased in Namche)
- Toilet Paper (it can be purchased all the way to EBC)
What Did I Pack My EBC Gear In?
Everything I brought fit in my GORUCK Echo 16 liter backpack and a small Base Camp Duffel from The North Face. The small Base Camp Duffel is 42 liters-close to the maximum for a carry-on bag. I packed my trekking daypack inside my carry-on and packed it with gear once arriving in Kathmandu.
If you have a porter you will have plenty of space to bring that size bag and carry the rest on your back. However, I left a lot of gear back at a hotel storage locker in Kathmandu.
Packing for Everest Base Camp
It is easy to overthink and over research packing for Everest Base Camp but you don’t need to. If you forget anything it can be purchased in Kathmandu (real or fake). As long as you have your hiking boots, a comfortable daypack, and the basic essentials you will be fine.