There is a wealth of information out there advising what to take on the Everest Base Camp trek. With plenty of people advising it can all be bought or rented in Kathmandu. Although this is predominantly true, there are some items worth bringing from home. These are my recommendations:
What to bring from home
▪️Broken in trekking shoes / hiking boots. Although these can be bought in Thamel they won’t be broken in and they only have limited sizes (particularly relevant for the big footed among us).
▪️High factor sunscreen (P20 SPF50 recommended)
▪️Rehydration salts (these are available in Kathmandu but taste horrible – bring some nice flavours from home)
▪️Merino wool tshirts / long sleeved tops – by far the best tops to trek in (stop you stinking!)
▪️Gloves (it was hard to find good quality gloves in Thamel).
▪️Trekking clothes and thermals (if you have them already).
What to rent in Thamel
These are items that are required for the Everest Base Camp trek but you may not own, or have with you on your travels. For example a down jacket and 4 season sleeping bag. Thankfully there are many places to rent such gear in Kathmandu.
A recommended rental shop is Shonas in Thamel (on Armit Marg). Unlike many of the shops selling knock off North Face gear, Shonas is open with the fact the items are made in Nepal, and do not attempt to imitate brand name gear. Their products are remarkably good quality and good value for money – you can rent a sleeping bag for $1 a day and a down jacket for $1.50. If you’re impressed by the quality, they also sell these items for a fraction of the price you would pay in the Western world.
What to buy cheaply in Thamel
These are generally the ‘little extras’. If you have them at home already then bring them. Otherwise it’s easy to pick them just before the trek:
Water purification tablets
Diamox (if you plan to take it)
Snacks (snickers etc)
Trekking clothes (you can get pretty much everything but the quality varies – bring your own where possible).
There is a supermarket type shop in the heart of Thamel that sells the majority of the things listed above. It’s an easy place to stock up and they have fixed prices (no bartering required).
Finally at the end of the trek, if you have gear you no longer need, there is a place to donate such items to the porters. This is located in the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) building in Thamel. KEEP also offers advise to independent trekkers is it’s worth popping in before the trek too.