Continuing on from my post on ‘What to pack for your Everest Base Camp Trek: Part 1′ in which I gave you a list of the tops that I took with me on my trek a couple of years ago, and which I’m intending to take with me when I head into the Himalayas again in a few weeks time, today I’m focusing on bottoms (not actual bottoms you’ll be pleased to hear, but the trousers you put over those bottoms).
The trousers that you take with you on your Everest Base Camp trek are just as important as the tops – having unsuitable clothes for your bottom half could definitely be an issue. As with everything that you take with you, you need the lightest you can find – weight is everything when you fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, generally the maximum allowed is 15kgs which includes your kitbag and day pack. On my treks we take porters but I know that some people just head up into the mountains without them (not a good idea and please do lots and lots of research beforehand if you’re even considering this) but, if you’re carrying everything yourself, lightweight matters even more.
My *bottoms* list includes:
- 2 pair lightweight trekking pants – the ones I took had an adjustable waistband and as it turns out it was a good idea – I lost around 6kgs on the trek (even though I ate everything that was put in front of me) so being able to pull the trousers in at the waist was ideal. Some people like the zip off trousers where you can remove the lower half and turn them into shorts. This can be handy on the lower tropical slopes in the first couple of days on the trek but personally I didn’t feel the need for them.
- 1 pair heavier weight pants for the colder weather at higher altitude – ski pants or soft shell are ideal.
- 1 pair tracksuit pants – warmer, thicker and comfortable for wearing around camp or in the lodge at the end of the day. There is nothing better than to be able to change into something loose and comfortable at the end of a trekking day.
- 1 or 2 pairs thermal bottoms. For me these were multi purpose. I slept in them and I also sometimes wore them under my trekking pants for added warmth up higher.
- Waterproof over trousers – there is a vast array of different waterproof trousers you can get and which ones you take are going to be dictated by your budget. I took a relatively cheap pair and they were perfectly adequate for the couple of days of wet weather that we encountered late in the trekking season. If you’re considering that you’re going to need them on other treks or you think you’re going to be encountering a lot of snow or rain than maybe a more substantial pair is warranted. Think this one through.
Something you should consider when purchasing trekking pants and tops is the fabric that they are made of, not only do they need to be a light weight it’s also worth considering the drying time of the fabric. There’s every possibility that you’re going to need to wash a couple of t-shirts or a pair of trousers while you’re on the trek so bear in mind that thicker, cotton fabrics will take a lot longer to dry.
As I mentioned in my post on tops, this is what I took and what worked for me but it’s just a guide if you’re considering this type of trek. Please do plenty of research before you outlay lots of money on this gear, which is going to have to see you through some extreme conditions.