After all that packing, none of us carried anything more than water, a jacket, an extra t-shirt, gloves, a hat, and maybe some snacks in our own packs.
Our guide and porters highly encouraged us to empty our packs into their North Face duffle bag for the porters to carry. It was for the ease, safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our trek to Everest Base Camp. Plus, we had enough trouble with breathing, so 30 lbs on our backs would have made it worse.
Since hindsight is 20/20, looking back at what I packed into my backpack made me realize how much of it was unnecessary. Here are my notes:
- 3 pairs of underwear (94% nylon / 6% lyrca)
- 3 pairs of merino wool socks
- cleaning /baby wipes
- hand sanitizer
I am putting these things all together because you need to clean your private areas and feet often and change your underwear more often than not. You don't want to get caught in the wild with jock itch or smell too foul for your companions.
- 4 dry-fit / moisture wicking short-sleeved shirts
- 4 dry-fit / moisture wicking long-sleeved shirts
Since it's important to layer up, having both short and long sleeved shirts is helpful. If I could do it over again, I'd change every 3-4 days. Luckily for those on the trip with me, I only changed my shirts ONCE! Hahaha. So from my perspective, I was doubly overpacked.
- 1 fleece
- 1 North Face outer shell jacket
- 1 winter hat
- 2 pairs of North Face convertible (to shorts via zip-off legs) pants
- 1 pair of leggings/tights
Without a doubt this is all necessary because it gets really cold above the tree-line.
- 1 REI Travel Sack (sleeping bag) rated to 55 degrees;
- sleeping bag liner that adds 15 degrees of warmth
- 1 pair of fleece pants & 1 (or more) pair(s) of athletic socks
Great for sleeping in since it's nice and warm.
- 1 light pair of sneakers - excellent for walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night and/or for just hanging in the common room after a long day's trek.
- 1 running/baseball cap (with visor)
- 1 pair of sunglasses (in hard case)
- 1 small towel
- 1 pack rain cover - extremely helpful as the weather is really unpredictable. It rained the first 2 days of our trek, so we were glad to keep our things dry
- contact lenses (daily disposables)
- chapstick - with the wind blowing and your heavy breathing, keeping your lips moisturized and protected from the sun is important.
- travel toothpaste
- extra ziplock bags and small plastic bags (for random use) - very handy for separating dirty clothes, random items, or even for use as a cover for your camera in the rain
- 1 first aid kit with various OTC medications, bandages, mylar blankets, and moleskin (important for blisters) - with the variety of ailments and discomforts some of us experienced along the way, this kit become increasingly important
- 1 headlamp / flashlight - useful on the mountain and in Kathmandu at night, where there are no street lights
- sunblock - extremely important as you are basically walking towards the sun everyday; sunburn happens almost twice as fast in altitude than at sea-level
In terms of food, I feel like we were suitably fed along the way at each of the teahouses. I'd cut back on the snacks and bring the protein and electrolyte supplements. We ended up giving some of the snacks away to the guides and porters.
- 14 CLIF bars
- 10 sticks of beef jerky
- 5 snack sized almonds/peanuts/cashews
- powdered Gatorade