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!
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!