The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is one of the most popular treks in the world. Everest year more than 40,000 people fly to Namche for EBC trek. The route leads you to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp isn’t as difficult as most people assume it to be. However, the trek demands the use of certain equipment to conquer it. Footwear can greatly determine the quality of the experience you derive from the journey.
It is also necessary to note that trekking with a lighter backpack is always more convenient that trekking with a heavier one. Carry the minimum amount of clothes or simple only those that are required.
Things you will need
Listed below are things that you will need. The checklist is a generous one giving you a lot more options than what is actually required. Note that it is not necessary to have all of it. Use your own sense of judgement to decide the things to take.
- Thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Wind cheater jacket (optional)
- Best waterproof softshell jackets
- Thermal gloves
- Cotton trousers/pants T
- Thermal bottoms
- Sun hat or scarf
- Hat or light balaclava
- Sunglasses with UV protection (opt to but this at your home country)
- Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
- Head lamp, spare bulbs & batteries
- Small padlock to lock trek bag
- Plastic bags
- Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
- Camping mattress
- Water bottles
- small wash towel
- Footwear (see footwear section below for details)
- Waterproof shell trousers/pants (preferably breathable fabric)
- Basic first aid kit. It must consist of-
- Bandage for sprains
- Iodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin – for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/Paracetamol – general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhea stopper (Imodium – optional)
- Antibiotic for Giardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox (altitude sickness – can be bought in Kathmandu)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- They must consist of:
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
The list below consist of items that will facilitate trekking.
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Down vest and/or jacket (optional)
- Fleece or wool trousers/pants
- Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces. If you have plantar fasciitis problem, use one of these best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Footwear for around camp, (running shoes and/or sandals)
- Gaiters (optional)
- Telescopic trekking/ski poles (optional)
What should some of your equipment be like?
Be very particular while selecting a footwear. Uncomfortable footwear that will leave you with blisters will ruin the whole experience of trek for you. The shoes should help your walks through long distances and difficult tracks.
Purchase lightweight trekking boots especially designed for trekking. Ensure that they are waterproof since you will be walking through snow. Do not compromise on the fabric of the boot. Leather is not recommendable for snow.
There are many brands selling trekking boots in the market. Explore options and chose the brand as per your preference.
Keeping your feet and legs warm is as important as wearing a comfortable footwear for the purpose of which Gaiter is a highly recommended equipment. They are leg-warmers that encircle around your calves and are held in place with a strap that goes below the boots. They will help in keeping your legs warm in extreme temperature.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp includes high altitude and extreme weather conditions. Dressing in layers in advisable. When you dress in layers, you can easily regulate the body temperature by taking off or putting on clothes according to the prevailing weather.
Purchase clothes that are specially designed for trekking. Trekking outfits are made up of special material that trap body heat. These outfit do not soak up moisture. In fact they wick away moisture from your skin.
You must avoid cotton because it absorbs moisture that you will be releasing as sweat. As a result, the cloth will get damped due to which you might fall a victim of viral cold.
Your clothes should be light in weight. Purchase a jacket, pants and shell outerwear that has a water-proof exterior. If you happen to be trekking during monsoon, ensure that every single of your outer layering is waterproof. If you are trekking in summer, wear half sleeve top and shirt. But you will require warm waterproof layers at the Base
Along with keeping your body warm, you need to keep your hands and head warm as well. A balaclava and inner gloves should keep your hands warm enough. For the head, wear a fleece hat or cap and use earflaps to shield the cold air from blowing into them.
3. Sleeping Bag
Carry along a 3-4-season sleeping bag rated to at least zero degrees for any kind of trek. The interior of the sleeping bags should have a fleece liner to shield you from the cold temperature of the night. The fleece also makes the bag comfortable. Use thermoset mattress underneath the sleeping bag to insulate yourself from the cold ground.
4. Sun Protection
It is very easy to be a victim of sunburn at high altitudes. The sun rays are stronger and less filtered. If not shielded well, you will end up with extreme sun burns and might also damage your eye sight.
Use scarf or sunhat to protect the head from sun rays. Use sunglasses with-
- 99-100% UV absorption
- Polycarbonate or CR-39 lens (lighter, more comfortable than glass)
- 5-10% visible light transmittance
- Large lenses that fit close to the face
- Wraparound or side shielded to prevent incidental light exposure
Use ample amount of sunscreen lotion on the exposed parts of the body. Sunscreen lotion with SPF above 50 are recommended. Any sunscreen below that will not be effective in high altitude. Also, sunscreen with high SPF last longer and are more sensitive.
Walking to the Base Camp of the highest peak in the world sounds difficult and thrilling. However, the route can be achievable with relatively lesser amount of effort than what is perceived to be required. And if you happened to have the right equipment on you, the trek will be, with no doubt, a life time experience for you.