The below are the gears I have chosen and took with me on the trek. I'll go through them one by one and put some commentary on why I chose them. Throughout the article are Amazon associate links for more details regarding the items (or if you might want to buy them, with the disclaimer that I'll get a small commission 😌). If I missed anything let me know in the comments below. Hope some prospective trekkers will find this useful!
Keep in mind that all my gear, as seen above, totalled to almost 20 kg. The weight limit for the flight into Lukla is only 15 kg. So you might want to consider opting out of certain items below, especially if I regarded them as optional or redundant. Also, weather and condition might change for your particular trekking season or year, so take my commentary regarding warmth and comfort with that in mind.
Primarily one bag is needed to be given to porters, and one bag is needed as a daily personal pack. For the porter bag, I would recommend at least 60L if you pack light. Mine was a 90L North Face Base Camp Duffel, and it was always at least 70% full. Also in the photo below is a Lewis N. Clark combination luggage steel cable lock.
For my daily pack, I have chosen a Mammut Trion Light 40. In reality you can get by with a 20L bag, especially if you don't have an interchangeable lens camera. Mammut makes a Trion Light 28, I could totally have used that instead. Primary reason I have chosen the Trion Light was because it is relatively light, advertised to be waterproof, and it has ice axe loops, which I thought were needed for climbing Island Peak. In the end I found out that there was fixed ropes going up Island Peak, and ice axe is almost never used. So almost any hydration compatible backpack with good shoulder and waist straps should fit the bill. If the bag you have chosen isn't that waterproof, make sure you have a rain cover for the bag.
Outer Wear - Tops
Short of my camera and my phone, the Arcteryx Alpha AR hardshell jacket is the most expensive single item on this list. And if you ask me, not absolutely necessary if you are on a budget. A more affordable rain jacket or poncho would be sufficient for the purpose of the trek. I got this over a year ago for my winter sports and activities. My requirements were Storm Hood and pit zips. The Alpha SV was too expensive and too heavy. The Alpha FL didn't have pit zips and only had 1 pocket. The Beta series either did not have the Storm Hood, or didn't come in the XS size. So I chose the Alpha AR.
Given that I already got this, I brought this to the trek as my hardshell/rain jacket. So this was almost always stashed at the bottom of my daily pack. In actuality it was only used twice on the trek - Day 1 during the rain, and I took this as my only outer shell during the Island Peak summit attempt.
The Arcteryx Tenquille was the workhorse of the trip. Lightweight, wind resistant, and somewhat water resistant. It is basically the outer shell I wore during almost all the times I was actually hiking. Depending on the temperature, I can throw a T-shirt, a base layer, a fleece, and/or even a down jacket underneath. Very versatile. Not to mention that I got it super cheap from REI Outlet online!
Arcteryx Atom LT hoody, synthetic insulating jacket. This is in contrast to the down jacket that is discussed right next below. For more regarding synthetic insulating jacket vs down jacket, see this educational article from the OutdoorGearLab. Main reason I brought this is because I already owned this for a long time. Synthetic maintains warmth even when wet, and down doesn't, so this became sort of a backup jacket. In the worst case scenario, I can also layer this with the down together for ultimate coziness. I used this underneath a shell when it was quite cold hiking outside, when just the fleece with the base layer were not providing sufficient warmth. For ultimate light packing this can be optional and considered redundant to the down jacket.
For a trip like this, you need a down jacket. My down jacket of choice was the Patagonia Ultralight Down hoody. In my opinion it isn't quite the best jacket if purely based on technical reasons. Don't get me wrong, even with that said, this would be still near the top. What really pushed it over was because Patagonia had put this on half price when I was planning for the trip over the summer!
Various reviews have commented that this jacket is nearly as warm as the regular Patagonia Down hoody, but much lighter and packs much smaller. Within the same category, I think the Arcteryx Cerium LT is warmer without being a lot heavier or bulkier. However the Cerium LT is more expensive, and quite a bit more when without the half price.
I used this mainly when I was in the guest houses. A life saver in the early cold mornings. I almost never wear this during hikes because it can get stuffy really quickly. That said because of it's light weight, I often keep this in the day pack in case of stops or rests, etc.
The North Face Summit Series Flux Power 1/4 Zip was my fleece of choice. Not the comfiest nor warmest. Just happens that I already owned this for a long time. I tried the Patagonia R2 in the Vancouver Patagonia store and it's much warmer, much comfier and fits much better. Just wasn't ready to buy another triple digit price tag fleece, so I took the North Face fleece with me to the trek.
Outer Wear - Bottoms
These Arcteryx Gamma MX soft shell pants were really aimed only at Island Peak summiting. Otherwise the Prana hiking pants below would be more than sufficient for the rest of the trekking involved. Only used during the Island Peak summit attempt. On the flip side, I could've wore these every single day and not bring the Prana hiking pants at all.
2 pairs of hiking pants - The Prana Zion pants and the Prana Brion pants. They are really the same pants - same fabric (97% nylon/3% spandex) with DWR finish. The only 2 differences are an extra cargo pocket on the Zion and the Brion with slightly narrower leg tubes. Wore them everyday aside for when trying to summit Island Peak. You can potentially bring just 1 pair if you are comfortable with the lack of backup and not having a relatively fresh pair to interchange with.
Marmot Marmot PreCip Full Zip rain pants. Link is to the women's version of these pants as Amazon doesn't seem to carry the mens' version of the full zip. And yes, my requirement was to at least have 3/4 of the pants being zipped. Ended up finding these which are full zipped. Why full zip? Because you don't want to need to take off your hiking boots in the middle of a sudden rainstorm just to put a pair of rain pants on.
Luckily used only once on Day 1, the only day when it rained. Otherwise at the bottom of my day pack most of the time.
These MEC Trek fleece pants were the warmest pair of pants i got for the trip. MEC is a Canadian outdoor gear and retail brand, similar to REI in the US. Nice, fuzzy, and snug so gives a ton of warmth. Used sparingly inside guest houses and lodges, when it was really cold before jumping into and right after coming out of the sleeping bag.
Billabong Carter shorts, just a random pair of shorts I happened to already own that looks the part. Never wore through the trek. Only wore in Kathmandu. Unless the forecast looks scorching warm and you tend to die in sweat, I'd think not necessary at all.
Another Billabong, purely by coincidence. These Billabong Crossfire X Submersible shorts are a kind of surf shorts, just in case I need to get in water, or shower in some public bath or something similar. Never happened, so never used.
Inner Wear - Tops
A pair of Icebreaker Tech Lite Crew T-shirts. These are 87% merino wool/13% nylon. Almost all my next-to-skin items were merino wool, because merino wool has inherent anti-bacterial/anti-odour properties. Wore when hiking in warmer elevations.
My long sleeve base layers. From thinnest to the left, and warmest to the right:
- Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Crew, 200 g/m² weight, 100% merino wool
- Helly Henson HH Warm Ice Base Layer Long Sleeve Crew, 57% merino wool (outside), 43% polypropylene (inside)
- Minus33 Isolation Midweight 1/4 Zip, 230 g/m² weight, 100% merino wool
- Minus33 Kobuk Expedition 1/4 Zip, 400 g/m² weight, 100% merino wool
They were all used in one occasion or another during the trek. How many base layers you bring to the trek really is personal preference. I think you can probably get away with just bringing 2. In particular the Kobuk Expedition is very heavy weight and almost too warm for any hiking duty encountered on the trek. I only worn it on the Island Peak summit attempt, but could easily have replaced it with more or warmer mid-layers. The thumb holes on the Kobuk Expedition is however a very welcomed addition tho.
Inner Wear - Bottoms
Maybe a little bit of an overkill here - 7 pairs of Icebreaker Anatomica merino wool boxer briefs. Purely personal preference here how many pairs of boxer briefs you want on your trek.
3 pairs of base layer bottoms of different weights, thinnest on top:
- Icebreaker Oasis Leggings with Fly, 200 g/m² weight, 100% merino wool
- Minus33 Kancamagus Bottoms, 230 g/m², 100% merino wool
- Helly Hansen HH Warm Base Layer Pants, 57% merino wool (outside), 43% polypropylene (inside)
Similar to other base layers, I think you can get away with even just one. I'd recommend at least 2 pairs tho.
Hands & Feet
These gloves and gaiters I have owned for quite a while. These Dakine Bronco Gore-tex gloves were originally bought on sale for snowboarding. On the Dakine website they are rated 4/5 on the warmth scale with Gore-tex and touch finger tips. The touch isn't the best but it will do in a pinch given how chubby these fingers are. These were only used on the Island Peak summit attempt. The Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters on the other hand were never used at all during the entire trek.
Most of the time I was in these SwypeGloves texting gloves. They are 100% acrylic and have conductive fingertips for smartphone compatibility. During the Island Peak summit attempt, I wore these as liner gloves underneath the Dakine Broncos. Unfortunately, between scrambling rocks and pulling on ropes, I eventually I wore them out and threw them away. Hence all I can do is put down a stock photo from Amazon below.
Again I went a little overkill with the socks here. 7 pairs of merino wool hiking socks and 3 pairs of liner socks. Going clockwise starting with the pair of brown socks at the top:
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks, Taupe
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mid Crew Socks, Light Gray
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks, Black/Red
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Heavy Crew Socks, Deep Navy
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks, Navy
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew Socks, Charcoal
- Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Mini Socks, Medium Gray
- Smartwool PhD Hiking Liner Crew Socks x3, Black
I say 2 pairs of Light Crews and 2 pairs of Mediums could have sufficed. I mostly wore Light Crews through bulk of the trek. When it got cold I did put on a pair of Mediums to sleep in. I didn't really get any blisters hiking so the liner socks were pretty much completely untouched. I did wear the Heavys for the Island Peak summit attempt. But if your feet do get cold you can always stack socks and do without those Heavys.
1st gen Salomon Quest Origins GTX boots. Top of the line in the Salomon hiking line-up. A rather small size was on steep discount in a local store, and I happened to fit into them. That said, if you are planning to do some mountaineering as part of the trip (eg. Island Peak, etc), you might want to consider looking into mountaineering boots that you can also hike in reasonable comfort. Saves bringing/renting an extra pair of boots.
Head & Neck
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat: Used often during the sunny mornings. No longer retains shape after a wash and dry cycle on hot tho.
Buff Merino Wool: Used very frequently. It gives a thin layer around your neck to block out some wind. More importantly you can wear it over your nose and mouth to breathe through it. The wind in the Everest region is very dry and cold as they come down from well below freezing elevations atop the surrounding mountains. With frequent deep breaths while hiking, your throat can get really dry and develop what they call the Khumbu cough. The buff over the mouth and nose helps keep the air breathed in warm and moist. Merino wool version chosen for it's anti-bacterial properties.
VonZipper Beanie Hat: Keeps the head and ears warm. Worn when it was colder out. Switched to the sun hat when it got excessively sunny.
These Julbo Bivouak mountain sunglasses with Camel photo-chromatic lenses have removable side shields which helps with better light protection coverage. I bought these thinking that there might be blinding snow reflection for at least a portion of the trek. In the end I only brought these for the Island Peak summit attempt. This proved to be useless because we turned back before even hitting the snow-line, as such the sun wasn't even out by the time we turned back... For other times I just wore a cheap pair of beater Flying Fisherman San Jose sunglasses purchased from Amazon.
These Anon M2s I've got for snowboarding before. I brought these along thinking what if we encounter a snowstorm? They were completely unnecessary unless you are going in the middle of the depth of winter.
These I all already own before the trip for various backpacking and camping excursions.
Kelty Ignite Dri-Down 20 sleeping bag: Rated Best Buy by OutdoorGearLab at one point. One of the cheapest down sleeping bag one can buy. I preferred my own sleeping bag over the guest houses' blankets most of the time, so this was used often. Not to mention that some guest houses provided next to no blankets.
Thermarest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad: This one is fancy. Packs down to the size of a 1L bottle, yet inflates to a 2.5 inch thick, 6 feet long air mattress. However since we stayed in guest houses every single night, this was unused.
Thermarest NeoAir pump sack: This is a sack that can be used to inflate the NeoAir sleeping pad. Otherwise the other non-powered method of inflating the sleeping pad is to blow it up by mouth. Probably not a good idea at high elevation. In the photo below, the sack is tucked away into the Thermarest sleeping pad pouch.
Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium: This one is super nice. Blows up into a super comfy pillow. Used several times when the guest houses' pillows sucked.
Howard Leight by Honeywell MAX Disposable Foam Earplugs (Max-1). Brought like 20 of these with me but never ended up using them. I slept like a pig every night regardless how hard neighbours might be snoring. I don't sleep well with ear plugs on anyways.
Eating & Drinking
From top to bottom, left to right:
Camelbak Omega 3L Water Reservoir: Got these for a long time. Best part is the on-off switch. Make sure you buy the Big Bite Valve cover to go with it, otherwise it's really easy to get the bite valve dirty. The insulated hose didn't prevent water from freezing overnight. Note that the orange patch is the repair I have made because the bag was pierced by my hiking poles during transport, as mentioned in Part 1. Osprey have since came out with newer hydration reservoir system so if you are buying from scratch you might want to look into that.
SteriPEN Ultra USB UV Water Purifier: What I did was I got cold untreated water into the Klean Kanteen bottle and then I sterilized the water with this UV pen. Then I took the Klean Kanteen bottle to get the water warmed up by the stove. I can use it to make tea afterwards if needed. Main benefit to the UV pen is you don't get the taste of water tablets, and you don't need to wait the 30minutes / 1 hour for the water tablets to do their magic. The UV pen gets it's work done in a minute or two.
Light My Fire Titanium Spork: Nice and light titanium spork. Never used. Guest house meals provided utensils, and outdoor meals were mostly of the sandwich or snack bars variety.
Steel Chopsticks: Purchased from Walmart in Kunming. Never used, as above.
GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker's Mug: I don't think I drank anything out of this mug. I only used it a few times for brushing my teeth. Not required at all. That said it weighted next to nothing and took up virtually no space if packed the way I did below. So might as well bring it.
Klean Kanteen Reflect 27oz - Brushed Stainless: Mainly used to warm water up by putting this on top of the communal stove in the guest houses' dining area. Hot water can cost up to $5 USD a litre if you buy it from the guest houses. You can also get hot/warm water in the Klean Kanteen and then put it inside your sleeping bag for added warmth. I think superior to a Nalgene bottle in terms of versatility.
Bottleskinn by BBBYO Neoprene Insulated Carry Cover for 25oz bottles: Bottle cover to both keep the Klean Kanteen warm, and to not get burnt by hot water inside the Klean Kanteen bottle.
To save space, this is how I usually packed the GSI Outdoors Mug with the Bottleskinn and the Klean Kanteen bottle. They snugly fit on top of each other as if they were designed to be packed this way!
For treating water inside my hydration bladder, I did not use the UV pen. Initially I was going to bring my Sawyer Mini water filter, but I figured it's too much of a hassle and opt for these Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets instead. There is some after taste to it. And it does say it takes an hour to be ready because the water in the Himalayas come down from the mountains and is freezing cold. I used 1 to 2 a day, so 50 tabs were more than enough. The tabs got a little wet and thus was promptly thrown away after the trek.
I brought with me about 15 Kirkland Ito En Matcha Green Tea Bags. Ended up only going through a few of them. Usually 1 drink was provided with each meal. It definitely was nice to have a cup of tea after that tiny meal drink. Problem was the lack of hot water, as hot water costed quite a bit, up to $5 USD a litre. That's why I sometimes used my Klean Kanteen on top of the dining area communal stove to make hot water.
Multi-vitamin supplement is usually recommended for the trek, even though there is, in my opinion, a sufficient variety of food between the various guesthouses. I brought about 30 tabs of these Jamieson Vita-vim with me. One a day would have been more than sufficient.
Another frequently recommended supplement to bring is some sort of electrolyte for adding into your water. I chose this Lyteshow Electrolyte Concentrate based on Amazon ranking. It gives a little bit of lemon flavour and helps cover up the aftertaste of the water tablets. This is in liquid form, so supposingly it packs denser. However eventually it started leaking, so i would recommend against liquid form electrolytes going forward. The bottle ran out before the end of trek due to the leak and was promptly discarded end of trek.
An item I see recommended from numerous packing lists are lozenges. They were claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread. I did give these TheraBreath Dry Mouth Lozenges a try and they are incredible indeed. It makes you salivate A LOT so it definitely cures any dry mouth issues you might have. That said, bringing just 10 or so should have sufficed.
Last but not least I brought with me a lot of Clif and various brands protein bars, purchased from my local Shopper's Drug Mart. I focused on high protein and high calorie in fear of the lack of meat and insufficient calorie for so much hiking. Both concerns ended up to be somewhat true, but I still only consumed about half of the 15 or so protein bars that I brought along with me. Not to mention that these bars are heavy. So you might want to look for calorie/protein alternatives.
Navigation & Tools
Suunto MCB Compass with Mirror: Never used. Just a backup in-case trekking guide and phone GPS are both out.
SoonFire NS-17 USB rechargeable flashlight: Not really used. Backup to the headlamp. This was purchased just for this trip, replacing a AA battery LED flashlight I used to own, as I wanted everything to be USB rechargeable.
Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles: Not the best, not the lightest, but fairly cheap as CF poles goes. Bought these a long time ago. Still going strong. Snow basket attachments comes with the poles, but have still never been used tho.
All 3 of these ended up used for repairing my hydration bladder, along with at least one of my teammate's hydration bladder also. They were also handy for numerous other occasions.
Leatherman Skeletool CX Muti-tool: One of the lightest multi-tool, but comes at a high cost. Surprisingly it started rusting towards the end of the trip...
UST Duct Tape: Fancy backpacker's tape. Lightweight, waterproof and strong adhesive. Easy to tear if without a knife or scissors. Downside, expensive.
Chinese branded Super Glue: Purchased at Walmart in Kunming before heading into Kathmandu.
Bought this Suunto Core in Ultimate Black as my hiking watch. I looked at other ones with GPS and such, however they are a lot more expensive and requires a charge every two days or so. This runs on a common CR2032 battery and lasts months at a time. Altitude was soso accurate. Eventually I realized that the iPhone 6 has both GPS and barometer based altitude readings. So I I calibrated the watch against my iPhone almost on a daily basis during the trek. The watch face is mineral crystal though, which meant I already had a few scratches on the watch face by the end of the trek.
Santa Medical Gen 2 SM-165 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter: Used very often throughout the trek for another data point on how close one might be to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). By no means is there a definitive number at when you might need to consider descending. However if you are feeling unwell, it will help you confirm whether its because of the altitude or because of other reasons. This costed me some $22 USD on Amazon. At Namche Bazaar a European couple was asking about this exact same model at a shop and they were quoted around $80 USD...
These HotHands Hand Warmers ended up to be make or break during the Island Peak summit attempt. Also rated best hand warmers by OutsideOnline.com. That said, in the usual fashion, anticipating that I was going to use these almost every day, I went totally overkill with these. I think total I brought 12 pairs of hand warmers, 5 pairs of toe warmers, and 5 pairs of insole foot warmers. These stayed noticeably warm for at least 6/7 hours straight, but did not start off hot to touch to begin with. They will however definitely make a difference if stuffed into your gloves or boots. They also sell HotHands Super Warmers if you need the packs to literally be hot for an extended number of hours. Do note that these hand warmers do add up quickly in terms of weight.
Going clockwise from the top left:
- Up & Up Antibiotic Cream + Pain Relief - Never ended up using
- Well at Walgreens Triple Antibiotic - Never ended up using
- Extra Strength Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream - Not used until mosquitoes started biting in Kathmandu
- Voltaren Emulgel Extra Strength - Never ended up using
- Colgate Travel sized Toothpaste - The one brought to the trek isn't actually Colgate
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
- Alba Botanica Hawaiian Water Resistant, Biodegradable Sunscreen - Used often
- Crest Toothbrush - Bought in Kunming. Seems they are same as the Oral Bs in North America
- Gillette Fusion Razor
- Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Shaving Cream - Never ended up using
- Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer - Many gear lists advised to use this frequently, ended up rarely used
- Nail clipper
Last but not least at the bottom left is my pills case, with these pills in it:
- Life Brand Bismuth Subsalicylate - Used only when I had a diarrhea after we returned to Kathmandu from the trek
- Life Brand Ibuprofen 400mg - Used to combat altitude headaches
- Life Brand Extra Stength Cold/Sinus - 10x Used to combat sinus, especially stuffy nose, could've brought more
- Life Brand Antihistamine - Not used until mosquitoes started biting in Kathmandu
- Natural Factors Salmon Fish Oil - 30x Supposed to help combat altitude sickness alongside Quercetin
- Natural Factors Quercetin Complex - 30x Supposed to help combat altitude sickness alongside the Fish Oil
- Prescription Diamox - 25x The only thing clinically proven to help with altitude sickness, could've brought more
I bought this Sierra Dawn Original Campsuds with me, but lost it at a hotel in Kathmandu before the trek even started. I ended up buying some soap and shampoo at Namche Bazaar, which I have since thrown away and have no photos to show for.
Packtowl was used to take the few showers that I did take during the trek. When a shower was not available, Coleman Biowipes were used. Not to mention very handy when a dump was in order...~ It's not the ones shown in the photo below, but I used the 2 packs of Biowipes up so I don't have a package to show for here.
This is my GoPro kit all packed inside this Camkix Case for GoPro Session. In there, there is:
- GoPro Hero 4 Session along with the Standard Frame
- Low Profile Frame & Swivel Buckle
- Low Profile Buckle and Adhesive Mounts from the GoPro Grab Bag
- AmazonBasics Tripod Mount
- PolarPro Polarizer Filter for GoPro Session
- Sandisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I/Class 10 with Adapter
One of the GoPro adhesive was stuck onto the rental helmet during the Island Peak summit attempt. Since we never crossed the snow-line, the GoPro itself was never mounted and never turned on through the entire trip.
I have deliberately made almost all my electronics USB rechargeable. Including the flashlight, headlight, and even my two Fujifilm NP-W126 camera batteries via the OAproda microUSB charger shown below. Powering all these is an Anker PowerPort 5 multi-port USB charger. That said, charging outlets were far and few in-between. I'd say less than 1 in 5 guest houses had free charging, and maybe 1 in 3 had paid charging. And the paid charging were usually just for 1 device, which is supposed to mean your gigantic portable battery, something I did not purchase. Luckily for me, Kuma from Himalaya Exploration was willing to lend me a 15,000 mAH one before we took our flight into Lukla.
To help combat the issue where there were very few charge points, this Instapark Mercury 10W Portable Solar Charger was passed between the team quite a few times. If this was clipped to the back of our backpacks, because of varying clouds and travel direction, it'd half charge an iPhone 6 after 3 or 4 hours of hiking. It'd charge the 15,000 mAH portable battery by about 30% after 5 hours of full stationary sunshine. *Don't quote me on these figures, just from memory.
My myriad of camera gear that I have owned forever, minus the iPhone 6 which is not in any photos, and was used to take this photo.
Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-F4 R LM OIS Lens: Arguably the best kit zoom across all brands.
Rokinon 12mm F2.0 Ultra Wide Angle Lens: Manual focus prime. With super wide angle and large aperture, the ultimate Astrophotography lens. Great for landscape shots also. Not to mention that it's very affordable!
Benro C068M8 Carbon Fibre Tripod with B-00 Ball Head: One of the lightest, most compact tripod given it extends up to 52" in height. Used only for the Milky Way shots. Since discontinued.
Newisland Selfie Stick: One of the few on Amazon that triggers thru the headphone jack instead of Bluetooth (1 less thing to charge). Also with a selfie mirror at the back. Used atop Kalapathar. Since discontinued.
A Domeye 3 filters pouch was also brought along with me to the trek. But I lost the entire pouch in a subsequent trip... In there, there was:
- Marumi DHG 58mm Slim Circular Polarizer
- Marumi EXUS 67mm Slim Circular Polarizer
- Kenko 67mm Pro ND1000 Neutral Density Polarizer - Never had the spare moment to do very long exposures
- 58mm - 67mm Step-up Adapter Ring - Never used as above
I had a lot of accessories to help mount/carry the camera and the phone. This was to help make sure that the camera and the phone is both secure, but also quickly accessible:
- BlackRapid Metro Camera Sling Strap - Used when I was out with camera only, or with 1 lens inside the Ape Case.
- Nite Ize BigFoot Locker KeyRack - A set of 5 mini locking carabiners
- Black Diamond Micron Carabiners - These are not real carabiners and only for carrying stuff
- Peak Design Capture Camera Clip - Secures camera to either backpack strap or waist strap so it won't swing
- eBun iPhone Neck Strap Case - Gives me an anchor point to secure a tether to the iPhone to prevent drops
Last but not least is a variety of stretch cords. A thinner variety was used along with the mini locking carabiners to make a tether between the iPhone case and my belt loop. Unfortunately the cord have since been disposed. Another is a much thicker one, used to create a tether between the camera and a loop on my backpack strap, as seen below.
Last but not least, these were what protected my camera and lens in the event that I had to shove them into a pack.
Ape Case ACLC8 Lens Case: One of the smaller lens case I was able to find. Has a velcro attachment system at the back which allowed me to attach it to the Black Rapid Metro strap if I only wanted to walk around with only my camera and lens.
Tenba 16 Inch Protective Wrap: This is big enough to wrap around my X-T1 and also my XF18-55mm lens.
The main gripe regarding gear are the things for summiting Island Peak. Initially there wasn't much visibility what kind of gear would be provided, hence the lack of preparations in this regards. The equipment provided by the climbing guides were grossly inadequate: old harnesses lacking gear loops, and dated mountaineering boots with poor fitment. If you plan to do any climbing to summit any mountains, unless you are certain about the gear that you will be provided, I recommend at least bringing your own climbing harness if you already have one. Potentially, also consider bringing your own mountaineering/hiking hybrid boots for the trip.
Strictly for trekking, I don't recall there to be any gear that I wished for which I hadn't already brought with me already. Nothing short of a DJI Mavik Pro anyways~ Would've been nice to have my own portable battery, but luckily it did work out for me. Last but not least, you will need a good bit of toilet paper! You can buy them even after Lukla almost at any point all the way to Gorakshep. So it's up to you whether you want to bring them ahead of time.