Top Kit Tips for E.B.C
Updated: Jan 10, 2021
If you've never been trekking before then not only know what kit to pack, but how much kit to pack can be a bit of a conundrum. This short blog will highlight some key considerations such as the climate and trekking conditions, what to pack, as well as top fabrics which are well worth investing in.
At Everest Base camp, sporting an EDZ Merino Tee
For trips such as Everest Base Camp that start with an internal flight to Lukla airport, you also have the consideration of a 15kg maximum baggage weight limit - that's for everything you're taking, including your rucksack. In reality, this is a figure that is not tricky to meet when your trek doesn't require technical equipment such as climbing boots, metalwork and harnesses.
Here are my top tips on how to pack sensibly for the trip:
- Invest in Merino wool
The main disadvantage of Merino wool over a synthetic sports style top is that it won't be quite so efficient at wicking away sweat. The positives however far outweigh this. A merino wool garment is excellent at regulating your temperature, is super comfy on the skin and most importantly for treks - doesn't hold odour! This is a huge plus point for multi-day treks as you can wear merino garments day after day and it doesn't get super stinky (you may smell still, however!) unlike sports tops which are so often wearable for one day, maybe two at a push without offending your fellow trekkers. On that note however, everyone is in the same boat with regards to personal hygiene. There are opportunities to have showers on-route (some are showers, some are warm buckets of water) and there are opportunities to wash clothes on rest days, but as a team no-one is exactly going to be smelling of roses!
You can get merino tees, jumpers, leggings, socks and underwear to name a few. It is more expensive than cotton or synthetic products, but if you think you only need one merino top for say four sports tops, the cost is justified.
We have links with Cumbria based EDZ Layering. We have tried and tested their kit in the Himalaya and cannot recommend it enough.
If you book on with a trip with us you will get a merino tee from EDZ as part of the trip cost.
-It's warmer than you may think during the day
Particularly in the opening days of the trek to EBC expect to be hiking in shorts and T-shirt. As you get to Dingboche and beyond you may opt to wear a trouser (or have a trouser which can zip off) and also have a lightweight mid layer to pop on. It is rare, apart from right at the start of the day, or on the walk up Kallar Pathar that you wear more than this on the trail.
So, really you only need one set of trousers and one mid-layer jacket.
T-Shirt Weather on the trail
- It's chilly at night, but not unbearable!
A good quality down or synthetic jacket comes in very handy for the night times when in the teahouse. There is generally a fire on inside and plenty of hot drinks to keep warm. When you get into your sleeping bag (which again would preferably be down) it's best not to wear too many items of clothing otherwise your body heat just can't warm the bag effectively. After just a few minutes you'll be toasty.
- You can wash your clothes as you go
With a few rest days scheduled into the trip there is ample opportunity to wash dirty clothes. The heat of the day will easily dry a T-shirt or some trousers. If you plan on doing this, bring some environmentally friendly soap / soap flakes so you're not polluting the locals water source.
-Mid height boots, or even walking shoes are suitable.
You don't need heavy boots for E.B.C. As you approach EBC it is a bit more rugged, but a vast amount of the trail is pretty good underfoot. A lightweight, or 'Mid' boot would suit perfectly. For those who have many years of walking / running under their belts, and therefore good ankle strength and flexibility, a solid walking shoe would also work. It goes without saying, whatever you wear on your feet should be broken in and comfortable.
Lightweight and comfy trekking boots
-Treat your feet in the evenings
After spending 6 hours in your hiking boots the last thing you really want is to have to wear them all evening in the teahouse too. A set of slippers, or down booties (widely available in Kathmandu for £10 or so) will go a long way to making your evenings that bit comfier.
-Take two pairs of sunglasses
You want to make sure your main pair of sunglasses are at the very least category 3, but ideally category 4. This will be the best protection for your eyes. As we all know, sunglasses are easy to lose and easy to break, and so I recommend having a spare set, even if they're not quite as good, just in case.
Recommended Kit List
TECHNICAL GEAR Walking Poles – Highly recommended to help with stability, energy saving and taking pressure off the knees.
Rucksack - 25-30L daypack is ideal.
TREKKING CLOTHING □ Lightweight Waterproof Jacket and Trousers – Hopefully rain will not be expected, but these are essential, especially if windy. □ Trekking trousers – A pair of lightweight trekking trousers or leggings. With UV blocking capability is a bonus. □ Shorts – It can be pretty warm trekking whilst at the lower elevations. □ T Shirts – Of technical fabric or ideally Merino. Do not bring cotton T-shirts on the trek. 2-3 T-shirts is enough. □ Warm Layer – A fleece or power stretch layer □ Thermal Layers - Top and bottoms, good to sleep in, and use for those colder days at altitude if you feel the cold. □ Warm Jacket - A synthetic (primaloft or similar) or down jacket. Perfect for use in the evenings. HANDWEAR & HEADWEAR
□ Lightweight Gloves – A thin fleece pair of gloves
□ Thicker Gloves – A pair of thicker gloves or mittens
□ Wool Hat or Beanie
□ Sun Hat
□ Buff or Similar
□ Sunglasses - Ideally category 3 or 4. They must have limited gaps for light to come through around the frame. A spare pair of any quality is wise.
□ Headtorch – Plus spare batteries.
□ Sleeping Bag – A synthetic or down sleeping bag which as a lower comfort limit of at least 0 degrees.
□ Water Carrying – One 1ltr water bottle, plus a 2-3 ltr bladder style hydration system is ideal.
□ Water Purification – Enough Chlorine Dioxide Tablets or Drops to purify 60 litres of water. NOT IODINE. Quality Water Filters OK.
□ Sunscreen and Lipsalve – Higher the SPF the better
□ Dry Bags for Personal Kit
□ Universal Plug Travel Adapter (Nepal has same voltage as UK)
□ Snacks – Can be bought in country.
□ Books, Ipod, Cards. Electronic charging unit (Charging is available in most teahouses at a charge)
□ Wet Wipes, Personal Wash Kit and Hand Sanitiser
□ Camera, spare batteries and memory card
□ Travel Clothes – For travelling and R&R days.
□ Personal First Aid Kit – A small personal kit is recommended even though the trek team will have a more comprehensive kit. Items such as Blister plasters, Rehydration powders, Paracetamol, Ibruprofen, Asprin, Plasters, Zinc Oxide Tape, Throat lozenges and Diamox.
□ Money Belt & Spare Wallet
Nearing EBC - Trekking in trousers and a midlayer