Top 10 Essentials for Surviving Everest Base Camp

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Image by Rick Burns

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to climb up to the first Everest Base Camp…so I did. I remember packing for this trip being intense as there are so many unknowns – Will it rain or snow?  How cold will it be?  Not to mention I had a 30 lb weight restriction for my checked bag on the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla – the starting point for the trek.  Of course I had all of the gear I needed to make it through the 3 week trip, but thought it would be useful for someone to list the Top 10 things I took to survive!

Image by Rick Burns

Top 10 Essentials (in no particular order)

1.  -20 sleeping bag – Temps were freezing at 15,000 feet and above.  This bag, in addition to a nightly hot water bottle did the trick!

2.  Ciproflaxin – Also known as Cipro.   Every time I go on one of these trips, at least one person comes down with an intestinal issue and what a drag it is.  Mind you, this stuff is soooo bad for you, but I swear it works like a champ should you need it.

3.  Down Pants and a hefty down Jacket – Bought a good pair of down pants on sale from Mont-Bell. I didn’t hike in them, but I wore them every night while we sat around a dung fire to stay warm! I made the mistake of only bringing a down sweater. Uh no. I needed an expedition-thick jacket to deal with the temperatures at night. I am afraid of what life would have been like had I not bought one!!

4.  Kindle Paper White – Finally broke down and bought one of these gems.  Books are so heavy and with a weight restriction, this was a great option – I got one with the backlight so I could read in the darkness of my tent.

5.  Camera (of course) with a few extra batteries/memory cards and 3 different lenses (50, 24-70 and 70-200).  I also had an extra Point and Shoot for those days I didn’t want to haul the big DSLR around.

6.  Freshette – What is this you ask?  It is an AMAZING gadget for women as it allows us to urinate standing up!  It is the best invention.  No more sitting on unsanitary toilet seats or having to squat in precarious situations – don’t leave home without one!

7. Hand Warmers – To go inside my mountaineering mittens.  If my hands are ever cold, I might as well go home.  Cold hands to me are like death and I will avoid them at all costs!

8.  Sunscreen – I learned from an earlier trip, sunscreen/lip protection 3 miles + above sea-level is critical.  One year, my lip got so burned, I couldn’t drink hot drinks for a week. Every time my lip touched the side of a hot mug, the pain was unbearable!

9.  Gummi Bears – This is one of the simple pleasures I brought with me….can’t help it – LOVE them and they brought bring me comfort in times of need.  Gotta have simple pleasures!

10. Good bath salts, body lotion and a razor for AFTER the trek.  The first thing I do after finishing up a trip like this is to take a long, hot bath.  My skin’s usually so dry and flaky and the amount of hair on the legs is just disgusting!!

I follow this recipe for every expedition type trip I have ever done and all these things have kept me safe, sound and happy!




  1. I’ll have to try the Gummi Bears. In the same vein as the Sipro (and Hepatitis vaccinations), experience has encouraged me to keep an original Steripen for use with all of my “good” water.
    And regarding those thick down items… even without having ever reached the altitude of Everest Base Camp myself, I think it’s easy to underestimate the effects of altitude on the body’s ability to generate its own heat when resting. There’s nothing worse than waking up already cold on a frosty morning… except maybe also wishing you’d brought that Freshette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh, the Steripen….I just bought one – thank you for the reminder. I have no clue where it is come to think of it. In a camping bin somewhere! The Freshette, good investment – get your bad self one!! My thought: bring stuff that makes you happy….Gummi Bears bring me happiness…almost as much as the freshette ;-).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This little conversation is hysterical. Yes I met the lovely Miriam though our blogs and in person. Yes I am pretty hooked to Nepal. We have actually been three times now, And yesterday The Trainer ( aka my husband) mentioned a fourth trek. I swear he’s trying to kill me.
    I know about the freshette, we have “Go Girl” here but I didn’t use it. I definitely advise practising using them!
    I wish I had taken mountaineering mittens on the last trek, I thought my fingers would fall off with the cold.
    When did you do EBC (Month and year) ?
    Looking forward to exploring more of your blog,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love meeting fellow bloggers – I have met Lex from One Foot Out the Door and Julie from Les Petits Pas de Juls. So much fun and both women have inspired me throughout the years! I’ll be seeing Julie in Paris in a few weeks :-). I went to EBC in December of 2012 ? We were one of the last groups before they shut down for the season. One of my favorite trips of my life. Looking forward to reliving it through your blog. and it’s nice to meet you Louise!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Growth meaning new lodges, etc.? We had the tea houses all to ourselves. We rarely saw others on the trail. On our last day in lukla, weather blew in and we caught one of the last helicopters out. If we missed it, we could have been there for many more days. I was soo happy, I wasn’t a fan of that town!


          1. Yes lots more building of lodges. We had a simmialr exereince with the end of season and not lots of other trekkers and being very few people on the trail but I think we might have been a little earlier in the season then you. I like Lukla. WE had good experiences there. Never got stuck there fortunately. we have been very, very lucky with flights in and out. Louise

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m glad Lukla was good for you! We did find a “Starbucks” we liked, but outside of that, it was not wonderful. I’m actually glad we went at the end of the season, the lack of crowds was a blessing I think! It was cool to think we had the place all to ourselves 💜

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I smiled at the Freshette. Yes, I’m very familiar with them (I think it was called a Fem-Kit) and mine got a lot of use. I agree that practicing before hand is a must.

    I thought 7 days on Kilimanjaro was bad. Fifteen days would be tough!! Well done and love the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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