In late December Sondre Amdahl and I took on the trek route to Everest Base Camp (read the full blog here). This was done in 7 days (normally takes about 11 days) and we were self-sufficient, meaning we did not have any porters or guides. We bought all our food and drink along the way and we stayed in lodges. Here is the kit list and a few comments of what I would change. This advice refers to a winter trek when temperatures are lower than in the normal trekking high season. Total weight of the kit including backpack was approximately 5kg. In order to achieve a weight as light as this you need too look at high quality materials, particularly high fill power down for the sleeping bag and jacket. If you don’t you have to carry more weight and more volume so you will need a bigger backpack. That is not necessarily an issue but for moving fast, keeping weight down is of the essence. This time of year is the dry season so you don’t need to worry about rain. It can snow a bit higher up and the main concern is staying warm in the cold.
- HOKA ONE ONE Speed Instinct 2 (My favourite trail shoes at the moment which I also used for the Everest Trail Race and for most trail running I do)
- Lightwave Firelight 650 (excellent quality and warmth to weight ration – coming soon to myRaceKit!)
- Raidlight Responsiv 20L (very comfortable, extremely light – if you pack more gear you need a bigger backpack though)
- GORE extremely light GoreTex jacket
- Icebreaker Merino women’s Sphere T-shirt
- Montane Primino 140 Merino Long Sleeved shirt
- Haglofs L.I.M Mid Jacket light weight Polartec base/mid layer (perfect mid layer for both running and rest)
- Compressport 3D Thermo Ultra Light Base Layer (extremely light and surprisingly warm)
- Raidlight Lazer Ultra T-shirt (being discontinued sadly)
- Raidlight Trail Raider EVO long running tights women
- Raidlight Stretch Raider Shorts (with pockets, very practical and comfortable)
- RAB Infinity G Down Jacket (extremely good warmth for weight – Men: check out the impressive Zero G jacket!)
- Gore overshorts (Gore-Tex – lent to me by Sondre)
- Tierra Nallo Polartec® Power Grid™ light weight fleece pant
- Montane Prism Mitt
- Montane Primino Liner Glove
- Haglofs Gore-Tex Shell Mitts (excellent but no longer part of the range sadly – check out the Montane Minimus Mitt for a great alternative)
- Montane Via Trail Glove
- Montane Primino Beanie
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Cushion women’s socks – 1 pair (in hindsight would have taken two pairs as they were good for the cold)
- X-socks Marathon Socks (my favourite running socks for everything – perfect at the lower elevations but needed wool in the cold higher up. 2 pairs)
- Underwear: Calvin Klein Invisibles thong (extremely light, laser cut and chafe free!) – 1 pair per day.
- Shock Absorber N109 Sports Bra x2. One for running, one for resting.
- Raidlight buff
- Fleece buff (old, have had for ages)
- myRaceKit buff
- Astucas Sestral Pants (synthetic insulation, very warm and useful for both moving in and for resting)
- Astucas Foratata Socks (Down Booties – to keep feet warm when in the lodges)
- Sziols X-Kross Sun glasses with Red Small Running lens (my choice of sun glasses since 2011 for all my races and adventures. Simply the best.)
- Head Torch Black Diamond Ion with 2 x AAA batteries
- iPhone 7 (water resistant) with protective cover and short charge cable
- Ncell SIM card with 5GB data preloaded (bought in Kathmandu)
- Garmin Fenix 5 with gpx route loaded and charge cable
- Charger Goal Zero Flip 20 (very reliable, even in the cold)
- 1 x Euro wall plug with USB socket
- Garmin InReach Satellite Phone (one for the two of us – Sondre’s)
Personal care and various other items
- Sea to Summit multi-purpose soap leaves
- myRaceKit personal Care Travel Kit
- Small first aid kit, a variant of the myRaceKit Footcare Deluxe Kit
- Rocktape H2O for preventative ankle taping
- Gurney Goo x 2 small tubes
- Victorinox Alox multitool with scissors and knife
- Medications. I recommend you pack Ciprofloxacin in case of diarrhoea. Consider Diamox for altitude sickness though it is banned by WADA and has side effects (I didn’t use it). Be aware that Ibuprofen is not recommended to take with strenuous exercise due to potential kidney damage. Paracetamol is better for pain. However, don’t take pain killers to mask signs of altitude sickness, be aware of the symptoms and what to do.
- Small travel toilet roll (toilet roll can be bought along the way to resupply)
- Feminine hygiene wipes
- PackTowl body towel (only used when back in Lukla – towels were supplied at Hotel Nache)
- Hand Sanitiser 30 ml
- Credit cards
- Cash, approximately NRs 50,000
- Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano dry sack 20L used as backpack liner
- Zip-lock bags for electronics and toiletries
- Raidlight Eazy Flask 600ml with tube. Took two. The nozzle froze above 4,400m and it was better to use a normal PET bottle higher up.
- Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z-Poles
- Probiotics and Vitamins
- Nescafe Espresso Instant coffee in zip lock bag – to top up coffee strength – I like my coffee strong 🙂
You can buy all food, snacks, water and drink at regular intervals along the way. As such it is not necessary to carry food in advance unless you have specific dietary requirements.
What would I change?
For the days we were above 4,400m it got very cold. The reports were of -27 degrees C at night and -15 degrees C during the day. The sun warms up a lot but you also get wind chill. I would take a pair of down mitts for the colder days next time and possibly a warmer hat. I would also take own extra pair of Merino socks and swap out one pair of X-socks Marathon socks. I had 3 pairs of socks in total. Everything else worked a treat.