EBC Series: Packing and the Weather

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Can you believe we begin our travels to Nepal in five weeks? Thirty something days.  Soon this will be a collection of memories in which to reflect. Photos, videos clips, and stories.  

Last weekend we found time to walk the aisles of REI, trying on hiking pants big enough for under layers but not too big that they fall off on warmer days. I have also spent time researching/reading online sources to help us finalize the packing list.  

One thing is certain... it doesn't matter if you are packing for a beach vacation or a rugged trek,

the weather is always a wildcard.

June through August fall into the rainy season on Everest.  Rainy season at high elevation means snow!  It was -4F on the summit and 30F at base camp at 10AM today.  The forecast calls for heavy snow today through September 3.... a whopping 186 inches of new snow in nine days.

Did you know that the best season to do trekking in Everest Region is from Oct to Nov? After monsoon season but before winter arrives.  I'm curious to see how many will attempt to summit this fall - something we don't often hear about since summit attempts are popular in the spring, after a long cold winter.  

Confession: I have a weather/forecast obsession... and will be checking the weather HERE daily.

I'm find myself becoming worried/obsessed about our nutrition on the mountain.

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This is our first trek/extended camping expedition without carrying food - we will be relying on the food prepared at each village.  A wonderful cultural experience, but it does create a tiny bit of concern.  Last week I read a blog post about a trekker falling ill from a pastry bought at the bazaar, to water added but not boiled to recipes.  

How to balance local culture while staying healthy is my biggest concern.  One of my worst illnesses happened in Mexico, getting a parasite from the water used to clean vegetables.  I do not want this adventure impacted by making a food choice error. Since I lived on peanut butter and bread on Kilimanjaro, we will travel with nuts, tea, and nutrition bars.  

What to pack for 16 days on a mountain 
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In addition to the few items listed above, UV SteripenDown Booties, and Liquid IV will be in my duffel.  

Looking at the list below, it is hard to believe we will pack this much gear.  It will total about 45 pounds per person.  A 33 pound duffel plus carried by a porter, and what we carry in our backpacks.

Here's the suggested list, provided by our guide:

  • Sun hat, scarf and/or bandanna
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat (maybe 2 hats in case one gets wet)
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • T-shirts x 2 (preferably quick-dry)
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece jacket or pullover (Wind-Stopper)
  • Waterproof, breathable shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket (optional, but highly recommended for Fall trips)
  • Lightweight gloves x 2 (WindStopper liners work great)
  • Warm heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof outer shell
  • Underwear x 4 
  • Hiking shorts (2)
  • Lightweight hiking long pants
  • Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms (Capilene or wool by Icebreaker)
  • Fleece or wool pants
  • Waterproof (breathable fabric) shell pants
  • Thin, lightweight inner sock liners (2)
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks (3)
  • Comfortable, worn in hiking boots with spare laces
  • Camp shoes
  • Gaiters
  • Sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees F for lodge treks
  • Headlamp
  • Small bag to leave at the group hotel which holds items not needed on trek
  • Small padlock or combination lock x 2 for your trek duffle bag and to lock spare bag left at the hotel
  • Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry inside your duffle bag
  • One liter water bottle x 2 or a hydration pack with large bladder
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • Outlet adapter for Asia 
  • Toiletries
  • Small wash towel
  • Plentiful supply of sunscreen and hand sanitizer
  • Trekking poles

I washed my hair just one time while climbing Kili, in just a few cups of water. While I hope to wash 2-3 times on this trek, wearing a hat or headband will make me feel human (HA). Planning for this, I bought yarn to knit a cap with a pop of color.  Now to select a simple pattern and start knitting.  

In closing, I love hearing from you and welcome replies/comments with advice and tips you have to share. Soon I will share our final preparations, along with a link to travel virtually with us. Can you believe it?!