Revised gear list for trekking the Himalayas

This is an update to the Everest packing list I posted before my trip to Nepal. Looking back, there were items I wished I’d brought or brought more of, and a few things I didn’t use and subsequently gave away to save my porter and me some extra ounces.

Things I didn’t need or need as much of:

  • International plug adapters. I brought three, only needed one with a USB input.
  • Baby wipes. I brought three packs of 42-count, only needed half of a single pack.
  • Paper shower wipes. I brought a dozen, and only needed four for the coldest and highest parts of the hike where there was no running water.
  • Gaiters. Never needed them.
  • Laundry detergent pods. Never needed them. I was able to pay for a three or four, small pieces of clothing to be laundered during certain stops along the trip. Underwear would have been considered rude to give to the Nepalese to wash, so I was glad I brought enough for the whole trip. At lower altitudes, you can also wash and dry underwear yourself and leave it in the sun to dry.
  • Camelback water bottle. I should have tested this out on a few local hikes before bringing it to Nepal. But like a rookie, I tested it out on the trail and hated it. I was so grateful I was able to pick up a trusty Nalgene bottle in Namche Bazaar.
  • Hand and feet warmers. I tried once to keep them in my gloves for a 15,000 foot trek and either the altitude impacted their effectiveness or it was too cold to feel them. They were useless.
  • Rugged camera. I took a single test picture below 12,000 feet, and then kept it packed the rest of the trip. All images were captured by my iPhone 7 plus.
  • Keen sandals. I donated the them to one of the girls who worked in a hut. They were heavy and clunky and unnecessary. My gyms shoes were softer, more comfortable, and warmer in the huts.

Things I used every day or almost every day:

  • Deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen – all of it religiously
  • Toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste – same
  • Body soap, shampoo, and body sponge
  • Moleskin or some kind of blister repair tape
  • Talcum powder surprisingly – reduced moisture in socks and kept feet fresh
  • Backpack (no brainer) and hiking poles – saved a few tumbles
  • All of the jackets I brought – raincoat, down puff, fleece hoody, fleece jacket
  • Beanie and buff – everyday above 13,000 feet
  • Baseball hat – everyday below 12,000 feet
  • Sunglasses – everyday no matter what
  • Jolly ranchers – they were nice to have on a the dusty trail, plus made for nice gifts for the hut staff and breaks with the sherpas or porters

Things I wished I brought or had more of:

  • Airborne chewables instead of EmergenC powder
  • Nail clipper (purchased in Namche)
  • Nail file
  • Pumice stone
  • More moleskin or blister tape

Trekking the Himalayas especially over 16,000 feet is tough and grueling. But it can be made oh so much better with the right gear. Most of my feedback on gear and supplies is completely personal preference. Test all available and reasonable options and do what works for you.


Packing list for trekking the Himalayas

cubshat

The Chicago Cubs have won the 2016 World Series. What a delight to be alive right now.

While the ticker tape parade was assembled, five million fans gathered in the streets of Chicago for the celebration. I only wish I could have been there. Instead I spent that time packing for the trek in the Himalayas. But rest assured, my Cubs hats and hoody will accompany me to Nepal.

Packing for a twenty-two day trip is a bit of a tricky thing. It warrants a lot of thought, research, and a little intuition. Who knows exactly what you’ll be encountering at 18,000 feet, be it weather, altitude sickness or a blistered foot. It might, perhaps, be all three. There are weight limits and space limits, not to mention my own physical limits for how much I can conceptually carry while trekking on the highest mountain on the planet for sixteen days.

Things find a way of working out. Hopefully, this is enough and not too much. For anyone curious about what I packed, I assembled it below.

  • soft duffle bag (for trek) and carryon to leave in Kathmandu
  • daypack
  • 3 padlocks and keys
  • insurance info
  • 2 sets of passport photos (visa and trekking pass)
  • passport
  • US cash in smaller bills
  • coloring books, pencils, stickers, markets for children
  • ibuprofen, Imodium
  • ziplock with toilet paper and hand sanitizer
  • toothbrush, floss and paste
  • Acetazolamide(altitude) and Z-pack (antibiotics)
  • jolly ranchers and cough drops
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • wet/dry shower wipes
  • hand/feet warmers
  • waterproof matches, rope and iodine tablets
  • 1 liter water bottle and camelback bladder
  • moleskin, bandaids, first aid kit
  • swiss army knife and whistle/thermometer/compass
  • emergenC
  • rugged camera + batteries + memory card
  • international plug
  • extra ziplock bags
  • 5 packets of laundry detergent
  • body soap and shampoo
  • quick dry towel and washcloth
  • rubber ring band
  • sunglasses
  • sleeping bag, liner, and stuff sacks
  • Cubs baseball cap
  • gaiters
  • raincoat and pants
  • beanie hat
  • fleece jacket and pants
  • balaclava and buff
  • down jacket
  • thermal under layers (2 sets)
  • 20 pairs of underwear
  • 5 warm wool socks; 6 lighter wool socks
  • 3 long sleeve smart wool shirts
  • 2 pairs of hiking pants
  • jeans
  • hiking boots, sneakers and sandals
  • light and warm gloves
  • Cubs hoody for sleeping

While in Kathmandu I will pick up trekking poles and anything else I’ve forgotten before departing for Lukla.