Packing for a Himalayan Expedition

Preparing for a Himalayan Expedition or any High altitude Expedition takes careful planning. Luckily for me I hire a professional guide company (Madison Mountaineering) to help me with a lot of it. They handle group gear, logistics, guides, and local knowledge/experience. Such as food, tents, ropes, stoves, and so one.

I am responsible for my personal gear, (clothing, snacks, technical gear, meds, etc.) Everything I have, needs to fit into two large duffel bags, and preferably weigh less than 100 pounds. This is not easy considering you have to be ready for 40 degree days and -40 degree days and have enough stuff to survive two months on what you pack. Most of the time you only bring one set of clothes for the entire trip, as I am going to be gone for two months I am bringing a second set of clothes so when the first set practically rots off in a month I can put on the second set. haha, only kinda joking, I was told that there are ways to take a shower at basecamp for a price. I know after 21 days without a shower on Denali I was willing to sell my unborn child for a shower, guess we will have to wait and see.

Out of my 100 pounds, 25 pounds is just candy and snacks. You burn between 6000 – 8000 calories a day while climbing, mostly from you body just trying to keep itself warm. I ate nearly 40 snickers on Denali (spring of 2017) sounds like heaven but I have not had one since, this time I have a large variety of candy bars and other teeth rotting treats. A funny saying that most climbers will say is: lunch begins when you set your breakfast spoon down and it ends when you pick your dinner spoon up. Meaning that you need to be eating all day long to try and keep your body fueled. I lost roughly 20 pounds on each trip when I climbed Aconcagua and Denali, the longest being 21 days. This will be close to 60 days in the mountains, I can only hope my belt has enough holes in it.

Well it all fit and still left room for my tooth brush. I am at 99.5 pounds between the two bags and I have a small carry on pack for my travel clothes. Just going through the 8 page gear list was exhausting, but it sure gets me excited! 6 more days and I am on my way!


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