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Climb Island Peak with Berg Adventures – Gear List

Climbing and trekking in the Khumbu presents opportunities and challenges that call for unique choices in clothing and equipment. You will be inside Sherpa homes and in monasteries, yet you will also be outdoors in a demanding and changeable mountain environment. High altitude is a factor, and clothing that provides efficient insulation and versatility is important. You will have many comforts available in the Sherpa villages along the way, but life is simple and the days are full during your trip. The porters and yak-drivers who transport your equipment leave very early in the morning, and are not normally seen during the day. You will need to keep your layers of clothing, simple health and toiletry items, cameras, journals, and other supplies with you in your daypack.

Much attention is given to modesty in dress for visitors coming to Nepal. We feel practical athletic and mountaineering clothing, supplemented with some casual travel wear, is the best solution. You will be more appropriately dressed in lightweight long trousers than in shorts. Temperatures are almost always cool enough in the Khumbu to make long pants preferable anyway.

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running shoes: For travel and easy walking

Hiking boots: Leather with a sturdy mid-sole and Vibram sole. Half or ¾ shank boots should be warm and fit well over light and heavy sock combinations. Fit is much more important than brand. Take the time to select a pair that fits your foot, and break them in well (Asolo, Merrill, Scarpa, La Sportiva).

Climbing Boots: Plastic double boot. (La Sportiva, Koflach, Scarpa)

Gaiters: Short, simple gaiters are best. Gore-Tex gaiters are not necessary. (Outdoor Research "Rocky Mountain Low").

Sport sandals: They are excellent in camp during evenings when worn over wool socks and perfect for living in tea shops, Sherpa lodges, and for visiting monasteries (Teva, Chaco).

Booties: Down or synthetic. An optional luxury, any brand with thick foam soles is recommended.

Light-weight socks: Three pairs of synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Wigwam, Fox River)

Heavy socks: Three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale, Wigwam, Fox River)


Light-weight pants: Two pairs, any brand of Supplex or “stretch woven” pants

Light-weight long underwear top: (Patagonia-Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op).

Mid-weight long underwear top: Zip-T neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers (Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear).

Light-weight long underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable (Patagonia-Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Mid-weight underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt (Patagonia, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op).

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work well. Shirt material should have vapor-wicking capabilities (North Face, Patagonia-Capilene).

Jacket synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended (Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia Puff Jacket).

Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polargard HV. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Compressor pants are an example. An acceptable alternative are fleece pants Polartec 100 or 200, but they are bulky, heavy and less versatile.

Down insulated jacket: A medium-weight down fill jacket with a hood. The hood is optional but is highly recommended (Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia).

Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants: The jacket must have a hood and the pants must have full-length side zips (Arc'Teryx, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op).

Head & Hand Gear

Liner gloves: They should be lightweight and synthetic (Patagonia Capilene).

Windstopper fleece gloves: Any brand of Windstopper fleece

Gortex mittens with pile liners: (Outdoor Research)

Bandana: Two to three traditional cotton style. This is an important item with many uses. Large sizes are best. You may also like one or two circular bandanas like those made by Buff.

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor

Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over your ears.

Balaclava: Should fit underneath your wool or fleece hat or be thick enough to be worn alone.


Sunglasses #1: For high altitude. One pair of high quality 100%UV and 100%IR with a minimum of 80% light reduction sunglasses. Side shields such as those found on “glacier glasses” are not required, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum coverage of the eyes to protect them from bright light on snow.

Sunglasses #2: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR, for lower elevations, also as a backup. It is important to have a spare pair of sunglasses.

Headlamp with spare bulb: AA or AAA battery powered (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Spare Batteries: Bring plenty for reading in tents at night.

Climbing Equipment

Ice Axe: General mountaineering axe. 60 cm length is good for most people but it does depend on your height. Shaft should be straight, not curved. You will need a leash to attach your axe to you harness as well as a “wrist loop”. Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6 ft of 9/16 inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one (Grivel, Black Diamond).

Crampons: 12-point step-in (Grivel, Black Diamond)

Harness: Alpine style, you should not have to step through leg loops to put it on and off. It should be lightweight and fully adjustable (Black Diamond).

Carabiners: Two large locking “pear” shaped, six regular mountaineering carabiners (avoid small gate specialized sport climbing carabiners) (Black Diamond, Petzl, Clog)

Prussik Cord: 20 feet of 6mm perlon. This is also known as static accessory cord (don’t cut it, bring in one piece).

Ascenders: One left or right hand orientation, does not matter (Petzl).

Rappel device: Figure 8, ATC or Trango Pyramid

Camping Gear

Backpack: Medium sized rucksack (2,500-3,500 cubic inches or 40-55 liters), internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively (Dana, ArcTeryx, Black Diamond).

Pack cover: To protect from rain, snow, and dust.

Sleeping bag: Minimum 0 F to maximum -30F (-20C to -35C). Down 700 fill minimum (Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face).

Water bottles: Two one-liter, leak-proof, wide-mouth (Nalgene or Lexan type bottle)

Pee bottle: This is optional. One-litre, leak-proof, wide-mouth (Nalgene or lexan bottle).

Pee funnel for women: Optional (Freshette)

Pack towel: Small or medium size pack towel. Do not bring terrycloth. They are too bulky and difficult to dry. Bandanas work in a pinch (PackTowl).

Trekking poles: Recommended. Useful for going up and down trails of the Khumbu. Adjustable poles are better for packing (Leki, Black Diamond).

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flight.

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or Terrapin)

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher (any brand)

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids).

Large trash bags: For waterproofing some items inside your duffel

Zip-loc bags: These are always useful.

Baby/Wet Wipes

Earplugs: Very useful for sleeping in tents and lodges. Available in most hardware stores.

Water purification tablets: Such as Potable Agua brand iodine tablets. You will be given plenty of purified water during your trek, but one bottle of backup purification tablets is always a good idea for your travels. They are especially useful in hotels on your way to Nepal. You should not drink untreated tap water anywhere in Asia and bottled water, in some rare cases, might not be available.

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: Important. Large size with strong zippers (Wild Things, The North Face, Eagle Creek, Black Diamond).

Small travel bag: Can also use as a second duffel bag. For storing travel clothes and personal items at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Nylon stuff sacks: Two or three, for organizing your gear and clothes. Lighter colors are preferable for easy labeling, and for leaving a few items in Namche at the lodge.

Clothes for Kathmandu and international travel: Two or three changes of comfortable simple travel clothes. Evenings in Kathmandu can be slightly cool in autumn and spring whereas Bangkok is very hot.

Work-out clothes and/or bathing suit: Simple and versatile, for hotels.

Simple and versatile, for hotels.

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bags




Memory cards: Bring lots!