2023 dates are now live for K2 Base Camp Trek. Check them out now.

K2 Base Camp Trek Packing List

As always, when planning a major trip into the mountains, having the right gear is one of the bests ways to prepare yourself for a happy and successful trekking experience.

Showing up unprepared is pretty much a one-way ticket to the ultimate suffer-fest.

Whether you decide to do this trip with Epic Backpacker Tours or not, please, don’t be “that person” who shows up to trek to the base of the world’s second highest mountain with a summer sleeping bag, no down jacket, and city trainers. 

You will suffer the consequences, and you will possibly put yourself and your group at risk by being underprepared.

Below, I have assembled a list of everything we recommend our clients to bring on the K2 Base Camp trek.

Keep in mind that we provide each trip participant with a 15-kilo porter ”weight budget” for the trek.

This means that you should not have the carry the bulk of your stuff as you move between camps. This porter service allowance is also a game-changer regarding what you can bring and how much weight you actually have to carry on a daily basis.

Click here to see our downloadable PDF K2 Base Camp Trek Packing List if you are just looking for the standard checklist. 

Read on to get our more in-depth packing list suggestions. This is the ultimate K2 Base Camp Trek packing list!

k2 base camp trek

Packs and Duffel Bags

  • Expedition Duffel Bag
    These bags are great for keeping the majority of your “camp” stuff organized. Expedition bags are typically very tough, weather-resistant, and are very easy for the porters to strap onto the mules.
    To make sure you have plenty of space, we recommend bringing a large 100-120 liter duffel.

    This bag is where the majority of your stuff will be, sleeping bag, clothing, alpine boots, spikes, helmet, harness, excess snacks, etc. Be sure to not overpack your duffle (it’s easy to do) as you will have to pay more for porter services if the bag weighs more than 15 kilos

    Recommendation: NorthFace Base Camp Duffel XL

  • Trekking Backpack
    Since you will be packing the majority of stuff into your expedition duffel, you do not need to bring a massive backpack.

    This is the pack that you will hike with daily. Going with a 25-36 liter backpack is enough.
    You will use this backpack to carry your daily essentials like water, rain gear, clothing layers, snacks, camera, suncream, and passport. You must have experience using this backpack. Make sure it fits properly and is comfortable to wear for long periods.

    Recommendation: 
    Osprey Talon 36

Boots and Footwear

k2 base camp trek
  • Trekking Boots
    Perhaps the single most important piece of kit you pack is your hiking boots. If you are going to splurge on something, splurge on quality hiking boots.

    For most of the K2 trek, you do not need a serious alpine boot. That said, you want a hiking boot that can take a beating from all of the rocks found on the Baltoro Glacier, stay dry when splashed with water, and crucially, do not give you any soon-to-be festering blisters.

    As always, BREAK YOUR BOOTS IN BEFORE GOING ON A LONG TREK.

    Without fail, someone always turns up to tackle the K2 trek with a shiny new pair of hiking boots. After one day of trekking (also without fail), they have blisters the size of small grapes swelling up on their feet. Break in your boots and save yourself from the day one blister blues.

    Recommendation: Lowa Renegade GTX

  • Alpine Boots (B1/B2) (Optional)
    These more heavy-duty boots are great in case heavy snow is encountered. Also, if you use crampons instead of microspikes, you need a boot that has the welt to receive the crampons.

    Recommendation: La Sportiva Trango Tower

  • Sandals/Tevas/Keens/Crocs
     A pair of camp shoes to change into after a day of hiking is always good. 

    Recommendation: Keen Targhee 3 Sandals

Essential Personal Gear/ Sleep System

k2 base camp trek packing list
  • Sleeping Bag
    A sleeping bag is another piece of gear that you DO NOT want to skimp on. Temperatures can plummet well below freezing at any time of the year, especially around Concordia, Goro 2, and Ali Camp. If you bring a summer-rated sleeping bag, you will be putting yourself in a potentially life-threatening situation. Plus, nobody wants to be cold for days on end. Invest in a good sleeping bag and guarantee yourself many nights of solid (and warm) sleep.

    Recommendation: Marmot Lithium 0 or Mountain Hardware Phantom 0

  • Inflatable Sleeping Pad
    We provide you with a basic ground mat. They do make for a good barrier to the cold ground (you are sleeping on a glacier for most of the trek), but in terms of comfort, you’ll need to bring an inflatable air pad as well.

    Recommendation: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping Pad

  • Camping Pillow
    Self-explanatory and an absolute game-changer. Having an inflatable pillow will make you sleep better night after night on the trek.

    Recommendation: Nemo Filo

Safety Equipment and Speciality Gear

For the majority of the trek, some stuff like your climbing harness, helmet, etc will stay in your bag, though this kit is needed for descending Gondogoro La. 

Here is all the specialty kit we recommend:

Personal Clothing and Layering Systems

k2 base camp trek packing list

What is the key to staying warm in the mountains? LAYERS!

Casual clothing for air travel and our time in cities: whatever you need to be comfortable in the plane or in the jeep. 

Other Personal Gear

  • Dry bags (optional)
    Be 100% sure that your most important items are dry.
    Recommendation: Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag

  • Camera / Extra Battery
    Recommendation: A mirrorless camera by Fuji or Sony – or just a good quality smartphone.

  • Power Bank and Chargers/Phone Cable: We will have a generator on the trip for charging electronics, but always good to have your power bank as well.

  • Personal First Aid Kit 
    Bandaids, hand sanitizer, lip balm with spf, tampons, strong quality sun cream (50 spf+), antibiotic cream, paracetamol, throat lozenges, electrolyte tabs, moleskin for blisters, antibiotics for stomach/general, earplugs, and Diamox for altitude sickness (optional)

  • Polarized Sunglasses or glacier glasses: The Karakoram sun is strong and having a good pair of polarized sunglasses is essential.
    Recommendation: CAMP Eyewear Trail Polarized Sunglass

Non-Essential Optional Gear

  • Satellite Messenger Device
    Stay connected to people back home
    Recommendation: Garmin In-Reach Mini

  • A Good Book / Kindle and Podcasts (Downloaded)
    These are almost essential items! Bring what you need to stay entertained at camp.

  • Pee bottle – (Optional)
    Wide mouth Nalgene clearly marked “pee bottle”. This is to avoid having to leave your tent at night.
    Recommendation for Women: Pibella Travel Device

  • Combination Lock
    Easily lock your portered bag if you wish. 
    Recommendation: Pacsafe Loc

Toiletries and Personal Hygiene

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Bodywash / Shampoo
  • Wetwipes
  • Lipbalm
  • Sunscreen (minimum 30 SPF)
  • Deodorant
  • Fast Drying Microfiber Travel Towel
  • Whatever else makes you feel clean and comfortable

That’s a wrap on our K2 Base Camp Packing List blog.

If you have any specific gear-related questions, drop us a comment below!

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Welcome to our Journal!

Here at Epic Backpacker Tours, adventure is constantly on our minds. 

Our blog – or Journal as we like to call it – contains epic trip stories, photo diaries, and news about new tours. 

Thanks for checking it out! 

What's new in the journal?

The trip we're most stoked about

PAKISTAN
K2 BASE CAMP TREK

Next trip: July 4th – 24th, 2023

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare.

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions.

After his trek to K2 Base Camp and other adventures in the north of Pakistan, the love of the country and the local people resulted in his desire to share these feelings with world.

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic Backpacker Tours team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Backpacker Tours, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Saisun

Touring Iran with EBT in May 2022 was way above our expectation: itineraries well planned and carefully executed, perfect mix of sights and trekking, delicious food, nice accommodation, great guides and wonderful fellow travellers. Trekking can be handled by anyone physically fit. Highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Iran.

– Sumera

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Backpacker Tours and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 base camp trek guide

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Backpacker Tours, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

For the last eleven years, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 65 countries along the way. 

Since 2011, Chris has logged more than 6300 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

In 2017, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and people of Pakistan led Chris to found Epic Backpacker Tours at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 15 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

Long-distance hiking, learning languages, meaningful conversations, all things Turkish food, mountaineering, and making tasty coffee above 6,000 meters rank among his favorite things in life. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

When he is not leading or planning tours, Chris works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan. 

 

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Alicia Anne Bjerkseth