Looking to contact fellow trekkers to swap information on gear, recommended hire shops in Kathmandhu etc. I have been on a Base Camp trek in January/February 2011 which I enjoyed but was very cold at night in my 3 season bag. Determined to be better prepared this time around. Do any of you have any previous trekking experience in Nepal and is anyone planning to rent some of the gear required in Kathmandhu? I have been in contact with one supplier called 'Bam' who is at email@example.com. He says he can supply all the kit required. For the record I will be 53 for the trek and physically quite fit.
Hi my name is John, booked and rearing to go. Have done the EBC trek 2010/11 (with a member of Exodus staff) Sorting out kit at the moment and preparing for the cold and tents !! planning on hiring some kit in Kathmandu, climbing gear/harness ect, the sleepping bag from Exodus the last time was great so getting that again. SGeoffrey any questions ??? information shared is always helpfull. What kind of sunglasses are folks taking esp for high uv protection and on the snow/ice? Also sleepimg matt/thermarest ?? could also be on the hire list rather than buy.
Hi, I did the High Passes of Everest trip a few years ago and also have been talking to the Nepalese Exodus guide (who has led this trip in the past) during the Stok Kangri climb in India this July (his name is Ngima). I have all the kit and have not used the rental shops over there before, so can't comment on the rental shop quality, however a few other points:
- SGeoffrey, definetely not a 3 season sleeping bag :). I was so cold in my 4-5 bag on the High Passes, I have since bought a super warm 5-season Rab but most people wouldn't need that in my experience (I feel the cold at night); but if in doubt, I would choose warmer if I were you - you can always unzip it.
- John, definetely a thermarest, mat would be either too cold (if thin) or too bulky for the kit bag
- climbing boots are important: I did Stok Kangri in my normal 4-season leather ones, but Ngima has told me it is significantly cold on the Mera trip and "plastic" boots are a must for the climb. These can be rented in Kathmandu but I have read that the quality/fit is very variable, you might want to investigate renting them from the UK. I am going with La Sportiva Spantiks which apparently are a good option for this trip. Needle Sports has a good guide for the type of boots required which you might find helpful http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Footwear/Mountain-Boots
- regarding sunglasses: important to have ones which fit the face very well, i.e. sports-type with little gap around them and a reasonable uv rating. I have researched a little bit getting special glacier goggles but really we are only going to be on the glacier for 3 days so I decided against buying those. I have a pair which fit closely with wide-ish sides so will be going with them
Any other questions - shout; I have done quite a few of other high-altitude trips in the past (hence own all the kit!) so more than happy to give you my view.
Dear John and Katya
Sorry for not monitoring the chat room and for a late reply.
I am planning to rent much of the gear and have been reassured by Alistair at Exodus that the company will recommended a rental/sales shop close to the hotel. To be safe I have purchased a silk liner and asked about reserving a sleeping bag in advance. Also I have been chatting to Bam who runs a shop called Sportswear International. He says he can deal with all aspects of equipment needs and manufactures his own brand of down clothing and sleeping bags called 'Hi Himal'. He has sent directions to his shop. On the glasses front I think I will puy two pairs in Kathmandhu, one for backup as better safe than sorry. When I was last there we found that you can buy fairly good ones (fake brands but with genuine UV protection) at very cheap prices. Mine lasted EBC OK but am prepared to spend more if required.
Katya - Thanks for your assistance. Are you coming to Mera with John and I?
Yes, indeed - I am also coming on this trip - really looking forward to it!
All the best
1. Either of you know about tent warmers - Small lamps which raise the temp of the tents by a degree or 2. Do we need to consider taking them or will they be provided.....
2. Any recommendations re dry throats. Any tried and tested products?
3. Have obtained a good Mountain Equipment hooded down jacket and will use a Camelback inserted into my daysack for daily water rather than a loose thermos which was a pain last time.
4. Either of you considering taking an SLR camera to the top or a compact?
1. I have never come across tent warmers - so most certainly they will not be provided. What many people do (including myself) is bring a metal Sigg 1L water bottle (in addition to Camelback or other "day" water bottles), which gets filled with boiling hot water after dinner and goes straight into the sleeping bag, like a hot-water bottle. It is surprising what a difference this makes! Once, on a trek in Peru, we were provided with actual hot water bottles but I find that the Sigg does the job nicely - the staff always make enough hot water for this purpose in my experience. Then in the morning this becomes just normal drinking water. It doesn't have to be Sigg-branded - there are many alternatives, just needs to be metal and with a secure screw-top closure.
2. I am not sure dry throats are really such a big worry - not heard many people complain of this unless they actually had a cold. I normally bring a few Strepsils, and - for coughs - I find aniseed-flavoured Fisherman's Friends are unmatched in effectiveness, I get them on the internet as shops don't tend to stock them. I also always bring a nasal spray for use at night - for some reason, blocked nose seems to happen to a lot of people at altitude and spray just helps me breathe at night and so sleep better.
3. Good choice on both fronts; I use a similar system to Camelback. The only problem you might have with it, is on the final ascent day - the tube will most likely freeze (happened to me and others on Kili despite having a wrap around it). However, you won't need or want to drink very much during the night of the ascent (as it will be very cold and we won't be moving fast), so I would suggest you then either leave the Camelback behind that night and just use another bottle - eg if you bring a Sigg bottle after reading my comment above, or take both up but keep your Camelback and its tube inside until we are at the top or descending, i.e. when it is warmer, and drink from the other bottle during the ascent. I might bring a small thermos for this reason in addition to my Sigg + Camelback and put it in with the climbing kit so it gets delivered to us at base camp; otherwise even the water in the Sigg will get cold very quickly.
4. I am not much of a photographer so only a compact for me - on the Stok Kangri trek 2 people had SLRs; one used his at the top and one didn't.
Hope this helps - shout if you have any other questions.
Evening all not long now,
1 Never heard of them, good thermals and sleeping bag you will be right enough, sure it will be cold higher up, have your down jacket close at hand. Sigg flask is an ideal bed warmer as Katya mentioned. wear a hat at night to keep your head warm makes a real difference and zip sleeping bag right up, that works for me.
2 Dry throats was a problem on the Everest base camp trek, taking more strepsils this time and some lemsips, again drink plenty and breathe through your nose and cover your mouth in dusty conditions. Bearing in mind this was done in December/January so it was pretty cold. I am assuming at this time of year it will be a little warmer ????
3 For hydration sigg flask and a wide mouthed nalgene bottle as backup, the latter also good for storing small odds and ends and on summit (if we get that far) less likely to freeze when inside your down jacket. Bladders freeze higher up even when insulated and to be honest don't use mine anymore on trips.
4 Small digital compact for me panasonic tz-5 and/or tz-18 with 2 sets of batteries which go at the bottom of the sleeping bag at night to keep the worst of the cold at bay. SLRs are good but bulky and eat into your weight limit. If all else fails take a disposable with you for that summit shot if technology fails.
Other than that we're all sorted, gear spread out in the spare room and to work out the best way to pack this lot!!
Cheers for the comments and advise. I know the bottles you have refered to and will buy one in Nepal. I have a small Thermos from the last trip and will try to squeeze it into my luggage.
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