Travelling into any alpine environment, like the Everest Base Camp Trek, requires plenty of preparation and the right equipment. Going in early winter means the weather can be highly varied, from warm days in the lowland valleys to temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius and thick snow in the higher altitudes. There are also some very specific requirements for our trek to meet the needs of Jay. Below is a list with some of the bits and pieces we’ll be taking.
Team uniform: iO Merino Gloves/Hooded Zip/Neck warmer
A quality and comfortable mid-layer is something you’ll wear most of the time throughout the days, either on its own or as part of a layered system of clothing. Apart from waterproofs and a puffer, it’s the next most important garment. A hood is really helpful and wool is a must. The other two ‘everyday’ items are an adaptable neck warmer that can cover your mouth, and a thin pair of gloves that are good for when it’s not too cold but also double as an under-glove for those bitter mornings.
Lightweight Footwear: Under Armour HOVR Ridge Trail Running Shoes
For mostly dry weather conditions a quality pair of trail running shoes is ample. They provide protection and cushioning, are lightweight relative to boots, have good traction and some waterproofing. For us, these will be the go to at lower altitudes where we don’t expect to encounter snow, and also for ‘end of day’ footwear when we’re at tea houses and want to get the boots off after a day of trudging in snow.
Jay’s Trekking Shoes: Hoka Kaha Low
These things are built to last! Super durable and very comfortable, for Jay they are the right fit to enable him to wear his braces and move with confidence. The tread is very grippy and sheds mud and snow well, plus the upper is able to withstand the battering created by the unique forces placed upon them due to the way Jay has to walk.
Snacks: Chief Bars (Both collagen and beef)
You’ve gotta have good trail snacks, and these are not only healthy and nutritious, but they taste great too. The collagen bars will help keep our tendons in check and the beef bars will provide much needed iron and protein as we will be avoiding local meat while on the trek. Both products are also great to break up the flavour profile of the constant consumption of dal bhat and thukpa that will constitute most meals.
Eyewear: Oakley Clifden Sunglasses
On an alpine trek that will see you exposed to not only a lot of sunshine, but also snow, you want wrap around eyewear that protects you from harmful UV rays and glare. In the snow, the sun comes at you from every angle and when you’re trekking you need sunnies that are durable, have some flexibility so they can handle being squashed into a pack, and ideally have a leash so you can easily take them off and on as needed. These are performance sunnies that are both stylish and versatile.
Daypacks: Under Armour Summit Backpack
We’ve gone for these packs for a few reasons. They’re extremely rugged, so can take a pounding. They’re waterproof, which means there’s never a concern when trekking in rain or snow. Plus, they are simple, with minimal parts like fiddly zippers and straps that can break. It’s easy to pile a load of gear into the main compartment, roll it up and be confident it’ll be safe, regardless of what the elements throw at us. There’s room for bottles on the sides and the elastic straps on the front make it easy to stash clothes as you de-layer through the day. An added bonus is that you can use them as a seat on the snow and they’re not going to soak through or wear out.