Ultimate Female Packing List for the Everest Base Camp Trek

everest base camp packing list

The following packing list for the Everest Base Camp Trek has been prepared by Tammy Lowe. All affiliate links are denoted by an asterisk*.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is one of the most spectacular things you can do as a trekker, but it is really important to take the right gear with you. I did my trek in March and everywhere I looked beforehand said that the climate would be warm, which is partly true, but mountains can be mean in that sense and weather can change from one one minute to the other. Also while it might be warm during the day it gets freezing cold at night. So cold that the water in your bottle freezes. I am a person who feels the cold a lot (that’s why I moved to Cambodia) and I wish I had taken more warm clothes with me for these cold nights.

everest base camp packing list - Tammy in a cold weather outfit
Tammy in a cold weather outfit.

I trekked for 12 days, so here are my recommendations for the ultimate female packing list:

Clothes:

2 pairs of trekking trousers (one convertible, one that can be turned into shorts)

2 T-Shirts (all Icebreaker*, as they don’t smell. You won’t be able to do much washing during the trek, so have to wear your shirts a few days in a row)

3 long-sleeve shirts (Icebreaker* as well-I swear by these. They are comfy, they warm you when it is cold, cool you when it is warm and you don’t stink like a beast after those numerous steep ascents.)

1 vest top

6 pairs of socks (2 lining socks, 2 coolmax trekking socks and 2 padded trekking socks, under which you don’t have to wear lining socks.)

6 pairs of breathable underpants (Icebreaker is good, but I just bought some sports pants in a sport shop, which were much cheaper)

2 sport bras (you will sweat so much during the day that sport bras will be much more comfortable)

Long johns (not exactly sexy, but necessary for trekking above 5000m and at night time)

Fleece lined tracksuit bottoms or down trousers (I wore those at high altitude when it was cold during the day, in the evenings and at night on top of of my long johns)

Hiking boots (The most important piece of kit. They can make or break your trek. Make sure they are comfy, big enough to be able to wear two pairs of socks and are broken in properly.)

>> Read why these are so important in the article: My Camping & Hiking Packing Disasters

Trekking sandals (to wear in the evenings to let your feet breath a bit)

Down shoes (you can buy them during your trek and I wore them in the evenings to keep my feet warm)

Lightweight windproof fleece (for daytime trekking)

Warm fleece (for the nights – I slept in mine)

Down jacket (it is too hot wearing it during the day apart from when you reach base camp which is freezing cold, but I wore it in the evenings and at night in my sleeping bag)

Synthetic raincoat (should also be windproof)

Waterproof raintrousers (the ones you can wear above your normal trousers)

Fleece headband (mine had a lining on the inside which wicked away sweat. You can get these in sport shops in the running section. I wore my headband in addition to a hat when it was really cold.)

Fleece hat (this one had a lining as well)

Lining gloves and windproof gloves (normal fleece gloves are no good, as they let the wind through)

Neckband (can be worn as a scarf, facemask and headband to keep your hair out of your face)

>> Check out the Buff for this purpose.

Balaclava (you do look like a bank robber, but you really need it above 5000m, as the winds can be really icy)

everest base camp packing list - long johns, trekking trousers and fleece lined tracksuit bottoms
Long johns, trekking trousers and fleece lined tracksuit bottoms.
everest base camp packing list - Fleeces and raincoat
Fleeces and Raincoat
everest base camp packing list - Boots, sandals and gaiters.
Boots, sandals and gaiters.
everest base camp packing list - tops
Tammy’s tops brought on the trek.
everest base camp packing list - Gloves, hats and more
Gloves, hats and more.
everest base camp packing list - lining gloves
Lining gloves

Medication:

Diamox tablets (They can help you prevent symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness [AMS], such as headaches or dizzyness. They don’t necessarily prevent you from getting AMS though [I got it at 4900m despite taking Diamox], but they certainly helped me at lower altitude. I usually suffer from a lot of headaches, and was worried that I’d get them at high altitude too. I didn’t have a single headache. They do make you pee a lot though, which can be annoying at night when you have to leave your warm sleeping bag to venture out to the freezing outdoor toilets.)

Blister plasters (my trekking boots and socks were so good that I didn’t need them, but a lot of other trekkers did)

Painkillers for those altitude related headaches (If you are taking Diamox check with your doctor which ones to take. I used Paracetamol.)

Diarrhea tablets

everest base camp packing list - Gear - camelback, trekking poles, etc.
Gear – camelback, trekking poles, etc.

Gear:

2 trekking poles (They saved my life literally. When I got AMS my guide had to hold my left arm to aid me down the mountain and if I hadn’t had my poles on the other side I would have stumbled a few times. They are also invaluable for steep ascents as you can lean your whole bodyweight on them and they help your knees getting less battered during descents as well.)

Head torch and spare batteries (some mountain huts don’t have electricity at night and you will inevitably have to go to the toilet at night – it is the mountain air and Diamox tablets that make you pee a lot)

Trekking towel (I personally didn’t have to use mine very often, as I didn’t tend to wash with water. Disgusting I know, but when it is that cold in the mornings and evenings, the last thing I wanted to do was to wash with cold water.)

4 season down sleeping bag (You really need to get a warm sleeping bag. Even my English husband who usually doesn’t feel the cold was glad that he had one, as it really gets bitterly cold at night. I cannot stress that enough. They are quite bulky and expensive, so I hired mine from the trekking company and let our porter carry it.)

Sleeping bag liner (gives you an extra layer and is more hygienic if you are renting your sleeping bag)

Water sterilizing and neutralizing tablets (Buying water during the trek is fairly expensive and if you have to drink 2l plus each day it soon adds up. I used to ask for tap water in the mountain huts and then sterilized the water with chlorine tablets. After 20 minutes I added a neutralizing tablet which took away the chlorine taste.)

Rucksack (If you are carrying your own stuff it is really important to have a comfortable rucksack that is adjustable according to your height. My rucksack with most of my gear was carried by our porter, but it is nice to make it as comfy as possible for your porter too. They work really hard!)

Daypack (again comfort is everything, but I also recommend one with an airflow on the back, as it will make your back less sweaty)

DSLR camera (this is a trip of a life time and so photogenic, so you really need to make sure that you take a decent camera with you.)

Polarized sunglasses with UV protection that can be worn at 5500m altitude

Hydration sack (i.e. Camelpak. It is really important to drink plenty of water and I just find it too difficult reaching to the side of my backpack to get my bottle out all the time, especially when carrying trekking poles. A hydration pack includes a hose which can be put through the top of your backpack and you can then put it through your shoulder strap, which makes it really easy to drink the water, as it is always accessible.)

Camelpak drinking bottle (I always carried 2l of water with me and when my hydration pack was empty I used my bottle. I prefer Camepak to other bottles as it is more convenient to drink out of these, as you don’t have to unscrew the bottle.)

Gaiters (to protect your boots and trousers from mud or rain)

Waterproof stuff sack (for your electronics)

everest base camp packing list - Tammy in a medium temperature outfit
Tammy in a medium temperature outfit.

Toiletries:

Baby wipes (They were the most invaluable thing I have taken with me on my trek. As mentioned above I didn’t wash with water as it was too cold for me, but I did clean myself with baby wipes, which was a great relief after a sweaty days trekking. Plus I was the only one in the mountain huts that smelled like baby.)

Foot wipes (you can use baby wipes, but I had some antibacterial foot wipes from Dr Scholl as well, which were great as foot hygiene is really important when trekking)

Talcum powder (Due to the sweat your feet will swell a lot and your skin starts looking like you have been in a bath for 10 days. Talkum powder helps take the moisture out of your feet and you will look less like a wrinkly old woman.)

Travel sized shampoo (used once during the trek)

Hand sanitizer

30 SPF plus suncream

30 SPF lipbalm

Face masks (The ones that doctors wear. The trek is very dusty at times, which is not nice when you are breathing and it can cause you getting coughs, which is not good when you have to trek 6 hours each day for 12 days.)

Travel wash (I only used it to wash underwear and socks)

electrolyte sachets
Electrolyte Sachets

Other:

Deck of cards (it can get a bit boring in the evenings)

A book (Everest related books are good to get you motivated, i.e. Into thin air)

Electrohydrate sachets (they help you rehydrate, which is particularly important when taking Diamox, and will also make sterilized water taste better)

If you have any other questions you can contact me through my blog, facebook or twitter. If you would like to read about my experience of trekking EBC you can do that here.

Happy hiking Ladies!

*All photos except for title photo by Tammy Lowe.

Book a Viator Tour Before You Go

7 Night Llasa to Everest Base Camp

7-Night Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Classic Tour – $798.00*
This is a classic multi-day tour that provides the opportunity to visit Lhasa and Everest Base camp. The tour will get you acquainted by covering all main tourist sites like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkor street, Drepung and Sera monastery with Gyantse Kumbum and Tashi Lhunpho monastery. Tourists can also see natural scenery like the beautiful, sacred lake of Yamdrok Tso, and Karo glacier, and beautiful views of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, from Everest Base Camp.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Barbara says

    HI! Our outfitter referred us to your list. Were you able to take everything you listed here on the flight to Lukla? We are being held to a 33 lb total weight limit on the flight and are having a lot of difficulty meeting it.

    Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated! We leave on 10/7.

    Barbara

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hi Barbara,

      I think there was some restriction on the luggage when I went too. The planes are tiny, so there is a good reason for it. I have left the majority of my luggage in my hotel in Kathmandu for the duration of the trek and I only took my trekking gear with me. I had one 65l backpack with me incl. sleeping bag and down jacket. My bags weren’t heavy though and I wore a lot of clothes, i.e. down jacket and fleece, so it didn’t count as my luggage. It was freezing when I landed in Lukla too, so I was glad that I had those clothes handy. I hope this helps! Have a fantastic trip!

  2. Barbara says

    Thanks, Tammy! This is very helpful! It’s good to know we won’t be broiling when we land in Lukla under all of our clothes!

    So, did you bring your sleeping bag on the flight, or did you rent one, as I thought you mentioned in your post?

    Also, how cold was it sleeping in the tea houses?

    Thanks again!

    Barbara

  3. kristy says

    Hi there,
    I’m doing the EBC trek later this month and the one thing i can’t get much information on is having to pee while trekking. Silly i know, but really…do you just have to sqwat behind a tree/boulder adn hope no one sees your butt? I bought a she wee but it hasn’t filled me with confidence.
    Thanks!!

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hey Kristy, No worries, I was worried about that too at first. There are actually guest houses/restaurants every couple of hours or so, so I tried to use facilities when we reached those. You won’t actually have to pee very much while you are trekking though, as you will be sweating a lot, however if you have to pee and there is no toilet in sight you should use your she wee. I used mine too and loved it. So convenient. Enjoy the trek.

  4. Lorraine says

    I need to carry all my luggage (travelling without porters) what could you have done without? I am doing the trek early December so will be cold.

    lk

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hmm, tricky one. I guess if I had handwashed more or not washed my tops , underwear or socks at all then I wouldn’t have needed as many of them. I guess you could get away with only one fleece too. In December you probably also won’t need a facemask. Apart from that everything above is probably pretty essential, especially the warm clothes. Have fun! It is an amazing trek!

  5. Sonya says

    Hi Tammy – leaving for Kathmandu next Sunday for a Dec 18 departure for EBC. What would you recommend for little gifts for village children? I’ve heard toothbrushes and pens… And of course the porters and guide – anything from Australia take their fancy??
    Love your info…

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hi Sonya,
      Colouring books and pens are always nice. Toothbrushes and toothpaste would be good in theory too, however the problem is that most people/children wouldn’t know how to use them properly. Some NGOs have started hygiene and health workshops though, so I think it is worth bringing them. You can always demonstrate to the little ones how to use them. Will be a nice way to interact with them. 🙂 Have a wonderful time!

  6. kirsten Quinn says

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks for the info on the list. Im doing 18 day trek in April. What would u recommend in addition to your list for me to take? What size was your daypack? and what did you carry in your daypack vs left in the backpack for the sherpa? and what did u know to wear each day? thanks and regards Kirsten

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      I don’t think there is anything I’d take additionally actually. The less you take, the better. My daypack was 30l and I had a fleece, rainjacket, rain trousers, water, shewee, pain killers, blister plasters, hat, gloves and snacks in there. Basically anything you need in case the weather changes quickly. Everything else was in my main pack and I hired a porter to carry it. You will not know what the weather is going to be like each day as it can change so quickly. So in the morning I wore the onion look (base layer, mid kayer, outer layer). As I got warmer through walking I took layers off and put them in my daypack. I hope this helps!

  7. Pia says

    Hi Tammy! I’m doing the EBC in February. I have a pair of hiking boots that I’ve been breaking in for a while, but they seriously hurt my ankles on the surface (severe rubbing against my skin, causing abrasion and bleeding). I’ve tried wearing them with multiple pairs of socks, with moleskine tied underneath and even with a few tennis wristbands worn over the socks for extra padding. Nothing eases the pressure. I’ve decided I might be better off with hiking shoes instead (still leather and waterproof, but not up to my ankles). Do you think I’d get away with those on this trek during that time? Thanks!

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hey Pia,

      Don’t use your hiking boots if they hurt you. If you couldn’t wear them in properly by now they won’t get any better during the trek. Trekking with painful feet is the worst one can do actually, as it will seriously spoil your trek. It is possible trekking with shoes as well-I have seen people doing it, however I personally prefer boots as they give you ankle support. The terrain can be quite rocky at times and you have to do a lot of up and downhill walking and boots give you a much better support for this. Also once you get closer to base camp there might be snow and boots are better for that too, otherwise your feet get wet. If you have time I’d buy a different pair of boots (ideally one size bigger than your normal size, so that you can comfortably wear two pairs of socks). If you haven’t got time your shoes should do the trick, but I would invest in some gaiters too to keep your feet dry for those high altitudes. Good luck!!!

  8. Deborah Thomas says

    Hi Tammy,
    What time of year did you go? I’m going mid April, after speaking to others who’ve done it in April, they said they only wore a down jacket on a couple of evenings.
    Deborah

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hi Deborah,

      I went in late March/early April. Weather might be slightly better in mid April, but the weather is really unpredictable. I would definitely take a down jacket with you, as nights can still be very cold and base camp is also freezing, even in mid April. You can always rent one in Kathmandu. That’s what I have done. Have fun!

  9. John says

    Great list! (even for a guy 🙂 ) A few questions… How did you carry your SLR? Just sort of placed it in your day pack or did you have a case for it in there? What lenses did you find most useful. I’d like to keep mine to a minimum, but don’t want to be upset for the lens I left at home. Did you find much use for a zoom (out to ~300mm?). The company I’m going with recommends a bag like the North Face Base Camp Duffel XL (155L), which looks HUGE! I guess my sleeping bag would go in there as well, but it would seem like you could take a fair amount of extra clothes assuming you can keep them under the weight limit.

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hi John, you are right this list can absolutely be used by men as well. I carried my DSLR around my neck and then tucked the lens into the hipbelt of my backpack. Otherwise it would have bounced off my belly all the time, which would have been annoying. When the weather wasn’t as good I connected my camera bag to my hipbelt and cheststrap with carabiner hooks. That way I could close the lid of the camera bag to protect it from the rain. It wasn’t ideal, but I preferred it to putting my camera in my backpack all the time, as it takes a while to get it out and you can miss out on great photo opps. I think there are some trekking/photography backpacks out there though (Lowe Pro and Jack Wolfskin). I think it is easier to get your gear out of those as they have easy access pockets for your camera. I personally haven’t tried them out yet though.

      I only had my box standard 55mm lens with me, because of the weight. Zoom lenses would be good animal shots (there are some goats and dears higher up). And also if you want to get a close up shot of Everest, which you can see twice during the trek. But my lens was perfectly fine to be honest, so if you are worried about weight, I’d leave the zoom lens at home.

      My company gave me a duffel bag too and I put our sleeping bags and the down jackets in there. The rest was split between my daypack and backpack. I hired a porter who strapped the duffel bag and backpack together and carried both. My backpack was fairly light though (despite all the kit) and my porter looked quite happy. He was expecting to carry my hubby’s backpack too, but he decided to carry it himself. If you are hiring a porter you can ask him if he prefers carrying your backpack or a duffel bag. Our porter found my backpack more comfortable.

  10. Pip says

    Hi Tammy,

    This is going to sound like a girly girl question but is it very scary? Like many narrow ridges, cliff faces etc to walk along? I’d love to do it but don’t wanna get up there and freak out and freeze.
    Thanks, Pip

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hey Pip,
      During the first and second day you have to cross a few suspension bridges, one of which is 100m high. I am scared of heights and I didn’t like those bridges at first, but after a few you get used to them. The secret is to go really fast and DO NOT look down. 🙂 I didn’t find any of the ridges or cliffs scary though. The patgs are all pretty wide.

  11. Carol Hardy says

    My siblings and I are planning this trek April/ May 2015.. A few of us are over 50, so I am concerned about fitness, reassured about headaches after reading your post, and realizing anew how hard this is going to be on the feet.And I didn’t realize it would be so cold. Did you got any higher than Base Camp ??
    Carol
    Bribane, Australia.

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Hi Carol,
      Sorry for my late response. My husband went higher than Base Camp to the viewpoint at about 5700m. He is super fit and even he had to walk extremely slowly and had to stop every 10 m on the last day on his way to Base Camp. So this trek is doable if you are fit and acclimatised, but a lot of people don`t make it due to the altitude.

  12. Amelia says

    Hi Tammy!

    This list is the best thing I have come across, such a help!

    I am doing the trek this November would you recommend the same list of clothes?

    or skip the t shirts and just invest in more long sleeves and fleeces?

    I read your bit on your hiking boots aswell and unfortunately I cant find them anywhere as they are sold out! would you recommend another pair or are these the only ones you have experience with?

    with regards to training did you use anything to help you with adjusting to the altitude, ive invested in the elevation training mask 2.0 but im reading mixed reviews.

    Thank you,

    Amelia

    Thank you!

  13. helen says

    Hi tammy

    Thats really useful thanks. I’m doing the trek in january 15. a few questions if you don’t mind..

    roughly how much did all that gear weigh?

    i’m hoping not to have to charge anything in lodges, but if i did what kind of sockets do they have? usb/ 2 pin plug ? etc. can you buy a usb plug in charger in nepal?how did you charge if you needed to..?

    how much did the down shoes/booties cost in namche?

    could one buy down pants in namche too?

    many thanks.

    helen

    • TammyOnTheMove says

      Sorry for my late reply. In terms of trekking gear, you can buy everything in Kathmandu. It is a third of the Price you`d pay back home, but a lt of gear is fake. It is still good quality though. Down boots are around $10 I think. The higher you get the more expensive everything gets, so I`d buy everything in Kathmandu. I am not sure about chargers though I `m afraid. Betst to buy that beforehand. My daypack only weighed maybe 5kg and the big backpack was about 10kg, but I hired a porter to carry that. Have fun!

    • Carol says

      Most lodges have an outlet for charging. Although they sometimes have a fee. Bring a plug with multiple outlets so can charge several devices at once. That way you only pay for one plug in.

  14. John says

    Did you find that it was hot/warm enough that it would have been helpful to have a trampoline style daypack to keep your back from sweating?

  15. Piya says

    HI!
    Great post! I’m going in January and this is exactly what I’m looking for, thank you. I was wondering, you mentioned they sell stuff in Kathmandu, can you give me some general items they sell in terms of clothing and their approximate price range? Do they sell trekking poles there?

    Let me know, thank you!! 🙂

  16. Yvonne says

    Thanks, this is super helpful. As for rain gear (waterproof trousers and raincoat), is it better to have a snow jacket and snow pants versus a regular, thin rain pants/jacket? Or is that too heavy and unnecessary? Thanks!

  17. Joanna says

    Hi ! I really liked your post, it’s very useful. Could you tell me the specification of your sleeping bag? We are going in March/April and I don’t know if we should have a sleeping bag with extreme temperature -10 or -20.

    Also I’d like to ask you about the porter. Where did you hire him? How much porter cost?

    Btw I love the she wee I’ll definitely buy one online. They don’t sell them in Poland though.

    Greetings Joanna

    • Tracy says

      Joanna, I’m going 2017 same time. My trekking company recommended a 0-degree bag but said if I ran cold, a -20 would be good too…so that’s what I’m opting to bring.

  18. Carol says

    I would add a plastic coffee canister with lid and wide mouth. I used it to pee in at night in the lodges. The toilets were a hole in the floor surrounded by frozen piss. I would use it in my room and empty and rinse in the morning. So glad I had it!

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