The following packing list for the Mt. Everest Base Camp trek has been prepared by Christina. Trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp is a contender on many bucket lists. However, taking the right gear can make or break that lifetime expedition. Here is what I packed for my 12 day trek over March-April 2015 sleeping in both tents and teahouses.
KIT LIST BASE-LAYER
Sports bra x 2
Underwear x 6 (make sure they are breathable e.g. merino wool)
Socks x 2 lining socks, x 2 padded trekking socks and x 2 coolmax trekking socks
Ice breaker long sleeve top x 2
Ice breaker bottom x 1 (for higher altitude/sleeping)
T-shirt x 3 merino wool. TIP: Although black is great for concealing dirt, black is a sun magnet
Wide-brimmed hat x 1 (a wide-brimmed hat rather than a baseball cap is best. Although not very stylish, it offers the greatest protection from the sun)
Buff x 1 (I definitely recommend this. It can be used as a neck warmer, balaclava, head band or in 10 other ways)
Balaclava x 1 (for higher up as it can get cold / to wear at night) NOTE: I did not wear mine as the Buff was sufficient
Sunglasses x 1 (polarised glasses and UV protection)
Water hydration system x 1 (TIP: Buy a 2L CamelBak (not a 3L - you will carry unnecessary weight). The Osprey water hydration systems are also very good - they are easier to fill up and have a sturdy back)
Hiking poles (invest in a good set e.g. Lexi or Black Diamond. These saved my knees and I would not have made it to Base Camp without them. Make sure that they are height adjustable)
Rain cover for your day pack
Drink bottle (1L). I hardly used mine as I continuously filled up my CamelBak. If you do decide to do this, ensure that it can withstand hot water
S-biners / carabiners (very useful for attaching to your bag for drying clothes, hanging gloves etc)
Hiking boots x 1 (most important piece of kit, make sure that they are well worn in)
Crocs x 1 (for the evening)
TIP: I took down slippers and flip flops which were both useless as my down slippers did not have sufficient protection on the sole for walking around in the evening and flip flops were not sturdy enough for the un-even terrain
SLEEPWEAR / EVENING WEAR
Jogging bottoms (fleece lined)
Warm socks (cannot emphasise this enough as I got frost bite)
Sleeping bag (4 seasons is enough, I took a 5 seasons and was very hot). (TIP: Buy a sleeping bag compression sack. My sleeping bag took up 1/2 of my duffle bag. A sleeping bag compression sack will reduce this to 1/4 at a minimum)
Sleeping bag liner (for added warmth as this increases the season by 1 / for hygiene)
Travel pillow (definitely recommend this)
Light weight insulated mattress (Exped SynMat 7) is a self pump mattress
Head torch (Petzl) + batteries (I am glad I took this as opposed to a hand held torch. Useful for night-time toilet trips (due to Diamox) or lack of electricity in villages)
90L duffle bag (TIP: buy a slighter bigger duffle bag but do not fill it to the max when departing. I battled with my duffle on a daily basis due to lack of space, especially with the sleeping bag)
Day pack. DO NOT get a 20-30L backpack. This was my biggest mistake buying The North Face Angstrom 28L pack. It did not have sufficient support, enough pockets nor a sufficient ventilation system. Invest in a good day pack, for example, the Osprey day packs and make sure you go to the store to have this expertly fitted
Trekking towel (I hardly used mine but when it is freezing outside, the last thing you want to do is have a cold bucket shower)
Water proof stuff sacks (and lots of them). Very good for organisation and keeping your kit dry
Gaiters up to knees - it gets very wet and muddy
High energy bars
Berocca / Robinsons (water can get very boring)
Diamox. Help prevent symptoms of Accute Mountain Sickness (AMS) such as headaches or dizziness
Pain killers (Ibuprofen - for the altitude related headaches)
Blister pads / second skins (my trekking boots and socks were very good so I did not need these)
Anti-sepctic spray / wipes
Hand sanitiser (and lots of it)
Baby wipes (an alternative to those cold bucket showers)
50 SPF suncream (UV increases with altitude and the sun reflects off the snow)
30 SPF lipbalm
After sun / moisturiser
Biodegradable travel wash (for washing socks and underwear on the way)
TIP: Do not take anything pressurised e.g. spray deodorant, as this will explode due to pressure. Also take screw lid toothpaste rather than flip toothpaste as the pressure causes the lid to flip
Yet for the
7-million-plus UK adults and children with diagnosed food allergies and
intolerances, it is. I should know – my three-year-old son Gabriel has nine
(yes, nine) severe food allergies. We go everywhere with 2 EpiPens, a bottle of
Piriton and, when visiting restaurants, a lot of anxiety.
Over the last
couple of years we’ve experienced it all – from really helpful restaurants that
can’t do enough to cater for Gabe’s allergies to those who consider us a pain
in the neck and would quite frankly rather we found somewhere else to eat. Now.
The only thing
they’ve all had in common is that I’ve had no way of knowing which restaurants
we could eat at until we got there. Yes, you can phone ahead – but that depends
on who picks up the phone and how busy or knowledgeable they are. Or you can
sometimes find an allergy menu online, but it’s complicated or out of date. And
there are some websites and apps trying to provide a service, but none of them
have menus, which means I can’t be sure what I can eat, or whether I’ll have a
choice, or whether there’s a dish that caters for more than one allergy…
And so, in
desperation, I’ve created Can I Eat There? – an online directory of UK
restaurants launching in March this year. You can search for restaurants by
location, cuisine or allergy; view menus and filter them by allergy to see
exactly what you can eat; and read reviews from other people with food
allergies who’ve eaten there. You can also leave your own reviews, save your
allergy preferences so that you only see restaurants where you can eat, join
discussions on our forums, have your questions answered by our medical experts
– and much more. Can’t wait? Neither can we!
Of course, it’s not
just me – the Can I Eat There? team includes:
– coeliac and gluten-free food supplier, passionate campaigner for better
gluten-free choices in restaurants, and EpiPen-wielding mother to a teenage
daughter with a peanut allergy.
a restaurant consultant, who knows the ins and outs of what restaurants can and
can’t do. This is important to us; we need to understand the challenges of food
allergy from the restaurant side, and work with them to improve their service to
allergic to apples and bad design. She’s the design talent behind Can I Eat
the best marketing director in town. No allergies yet, but we’re keeping an eye
on her as lots of adults develop allergies in their 40s, and she’s only 6 years
last but definitely not least, our amazing Allergy Ambassadors – spread across
the UK, tasked with encouraging restaurants to sign up and organising support
groups in their local areas. If you’d like to be an Ambassador, please get
wider team of techie superstars, PR gurus, and medical experts and
Have you checked out ‘biteappy’? It is a worldwide restaurant search for people with food allergies, intolerances and special diets. Caroline, Founder of ‘biteappy’, has suffered with coeliacs and a lactose intolerance for over 10 years hence her inspiration and passion for ‘biteappy’. It aims to not only help consumers find somewhere to eat whether you are an allergy sufferer, have a special diet or intolerance, but also aims to make restaurant owners more aware of the significance of labelling their menus with the top 14 allergens to make it a safer place for everyone to dine in, enjoy and as their slogan says you can always ‘bite happy with biteappy’.
Free to download from the App Store or Google Play or visit their website www.biteappy.com and start spreading the awareness together.
As many of you already know, I suffer from a severe allergy to nuts which is life-threatening (see my story here: justgiving.com/SmithChristina). The Anaphylaxis Campaign has supported me, and many others, by helping those at risk from severe allergic reactions.
Living with an allergy is a daily challenge. My major threat is the world, and the lack of understanding regarding how severe an allergy is. An allergy does not always mean that the sufferer will be ill and they will "get over it" after a lapse in time, an allergy is life-threatening. Think of it this way, living with an allergy is like "Russian Roulette" with food and drink. Every time I sit down to a meal, eat a snack or have a drink, I could die due to the presence of nuts.
My tipping point on deciding to embark on an expedition to Mt Everest Base Camp raising funds for the Anaphylaxis Campaign (see "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" onitsnutfair.com/blog.html) was the headline news of four-year-old Fae Platten who stopped breathing on a flight home after a passenger ignored three warnings not to eat nuts on board (first reported dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2724684/Nut-allergy-girl-went-anaphylactic-shock-plane-passenger-ignored-three-warnings-not-eat-nuts-board.html). Is eating a bag of nuts on a plane really worth someone's life?I personally would never tell someone what they can or can't eat but think of it this way, if it were a deadly poison, you would do everything you could in your power to avoid the life-threatening consequences. An allergy is no different.
My aim is to raise awareness of the severity of allergies. When I set my target of £1,000 in August 2014, I thought to myself "aim high - whatever you raise will help the allergy community in some way and you will be raising awareness of the severity of allergies along the way". Today, at 16:38 (GMT) I reached my target of £1,000 for the Anaphylaxis Campaign. This money will go directly to the Anaphylaxis Campaign. With three months to go until I leave for Mt Everest Base Camp, I hope to continue raising money for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and raising awareness of the severity of allergies. This is just the beginning....
I would like to thank everyone who has supported my story and trip so far. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people and the support across the world. A special thank-you goes to my corporate sponsors:
Allergy LifeStyle (allergylifestyle.com)
No Nuts Moms Group (nonutsmomsgroup.weebly.com)
Can I Eat There? (canieatthere.co.uk)
Rescue Shot Case (rescueshotcase.com)
Centric UK - First Aid Training (centricuk.com)
Finally, a heart-warming thank-you goes to the Anaphylaxis Campaign (anaphylaxis.org.uk)
Christina (It's Nut Fair) J: justgiving.com/smithchristina W: itsnutfair.com T: @ItsNutFairUK
Christmas and New Year’s is the time
of year to indulge in food, wine, beer and parties. But remember these top tips
around Christmas and the New Year, they could just save your life…
AVOID CROSS-CONTAMINATION. This is
especially true on Christmas Day when all those lovely dishes are sitting in
their pots on the table or when you attend a buffet on Boxing Day. Ensure that
there is one spoon for each dish and once you have put your cauliflower sauce
onto your plate you do not use the same spoon for the cranberry sauce. Avoid
dipping your celery stick in the taramasalata and then into the hummus.
Christmas and New Year is a time to celebrate.
However, drinking alcohol can affect our thought process and the decisions we
make. It can also reduce our immune system causing allergy sufferers to become more
susceptible to allergic reactions. It is crucial for allergy sufferers to stay
alert and ensure that the food and drink (see blog: "Drink Aware? Nut Allergies Beware") we consume does not contain allergens.
3. EPI PEN
Keep your medication handy. There
are lots of gatherings and Christmas parties at this time of the year. Unfortunately,
this increases the likelihood of allergic reactions. DO NOT leave your epi-pen
at home and make sure that a minimum of one other person knows what to do if
you have an allergic reaction.
Stay safe – have a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year!
When people think nut allergy, they tend to associate it with food. However, navigating nut allergies and alcohol is a bit of a minefield. Your bartender is unlikely to know how your gin was distilled, or whether your beverage was brewed in a factory also brewing nut-based drinks.
I have compiled a non-exhaustive list (as of October 2014) comprising brands whose beverages contain nuts.
Although the “Guidance on Allergen Management and Consumer Information” states:
"Nuts used in distillates for spirits, and nuts (almonds and walnuts) used (as flavours) in spirits are unlikely to trigger allergic reactions"
caution must be exercised. Please remember that the consumption of alcohol causes your system to become more susceptible to allergic reactions and can cause more severe reactions. Also be wary of mixers and cross-contamination. Ask the bartender to use a new mixing container/shaker. Even if it is just rinsed out, residue remains.