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When it comes to the Everest Base Camp Trek there is one statement that holds true.


“We can control everything except the weather”


The only way to get around this is to embrace the weather fully and prepare for whatever it throws your way. It is also fair to say that during the 12-day trek to Everest Base Camp you will experience high temperatures in both humid and dry conditions, wind and rain and our personal favourite, snow and ice! You may even have all of these in a single day. In order to be prepared for this, there is one word you should keep in mind. Layering. A good layering set up will help you stay comfortable in whatever conditions the Himalayas has to throw at you. It's also important to recognize that what you need to wear at the end of the trek may be very different than what you wore at the start.

When you are trekking to Everest Base Camp there is one piece of clothing that stays on throughout the day, whatever the weather and that’s the Base Layer. It will keep you cool when its hot and warm when its cold.

As the name suggests this is the base of your whole layering system and is worn next to the skin and as such, should have excellent sweat wicking ability and insulating properties. Some materials such as Merino Wool are also antimicrobial, meaning you wont have to wash them as often. A real bonus during your trek to Everest Base Camp.

Here are my top 5 Base Layers for the Everest Base Camp Trek.



#1 Icebreaker 200 Oasis long sleeve 1/2 zip

This is a top of the range base layer made from 100% Merino wool and is reflected in the £80 price tag. It is very breathable and has excellent sweat-wicking so it works well to keep you cool, especially during the early days of the trek when you are climbing steep hills in the heat. Once you have stopped it will dry quickly and keep you warm as the sweat moves through the layer and evaporates. The Merino wool also is also very insulative so keeps you warm when you arrive at Everest Base Camp. Any base layer that you can wear on the hike up Namche Hill and while sitting on the summit of Kala Patthar is definitely right for the Everest Base Camp Trek.




#2 Helly Hansen LIFA 1/2 zip

This is a great base layer and one I've used myself on numerous treks to Everest Base Camp. Coming in at only £40 it is half the price of the Icebreaker but definitely not half the performance. I have used these on most days of the trek. I find they are comfortable, quick drying and the 100% Lifa fiber that Helly Hansen use is very breathable and lightweight.




#3 Rab Interval Long Sleeve Tee

I used this for the first time on my most recent trek to Everest Base Camp in April 2019 and I was very impressed with what you get for the £35 price tag. It is a very lightweight and breathable so is best used for the warmer days at lower altitudes. If you run hot like me this is perfect for keeping you cool and dry on the trek.




#4 Montane Dart Zip Neck

This is a great base layer that again can be used in both hot and cold temperatures. It's lightweight, fast drying and is really soft so it stays very comfortable to wear day after day. Not bad for £30-£35. A good solid base layer for base camp.




#5 Rab AL Pull-On Baselayer

This is best used when the colder weather sets in. Head Yeti Andy used this in January and February trekking to Everest base camp and he can't stop shouting about this one. Its Polartec fabric is great at providing extra warmth while maintaining its sweat wicking properties to ensure you remain in that comfortable zone while trekking to Everest Base Camp. It also has the deep venting chest zip to control your
temperature and a high neck collar for extra coverage in colder conditions.


Those are our 5 favourite base layers for the trek to Everest Base Camp. There are many, many options available out there but if you stick any of these 5 base layers you won't go far wrong. You can even pick some of these up in Kathmandu although the quality is always better here in the UK.

If you need more information around what equipment you need for the Everest Base Camp trek then check out this article where I have put together a comprehensive list of everything you need for the trek. You can also download the full equipment list HERE.


Dave Carpenter

Head of Operations & Painted Yeti








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