K2 base camp gear list: all you need for a successful trek

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Our extensive K2 base camp gear list includes everything you’ll need for this epic trek to the second-highest mountain on Earth

Having just returned from my K2 base camp trek in Pakistan, I thought it would be helpful to share my complete K2 base camp gear list as a point of reference for future trekkers.

I joined Lost Horizon Tours and Treks on a trek to K2 base camp combined with a technical crossing of the Gondogoro La Pass. Lost Horizons provide all camping, cooking and technical equipment (ropes, ice axes and crampons), but trekkers must bring their own sleeping bags, trekking gear, clothing and personal items.

It is possible to buy some equipment in Skardu or Islamabad, but I would advise that you do all your shopping before leaving home to prevent last-minute emergencies.

Some new bits and pieces

I had most of the gear beforehand, but I did treat myself to a couple of new items. First up was a pair of new hiking boots. Two of my favourite outdoor brands (Sherpa and Keen) have collaborated to produce the Innate leather hiking boot. The boots are lightweight, breathable and extremely comfortable, particularly in hot climates. Keen also donate €15 from every sale to support child literacy in Nepal.

my new hiking boots for the K2 base camp gear list
Atlas & Boots My new pair of leather hiking boots

I upgraded my trekking poles to a pair of Leki ultralight folding poles which are super quick to lock into place. I also packed a new front-opening OutdoorVitals sleeping bag with a hybrid of LoftTek and down fill making it lighter and water resistant.

trekking poles for K2 base camp gear list
Leki Quick-locking and ultralight trekking poles

Finally, I treated myself to a pair of Skinners sock shoes. During my recent Arctic Circle Trail trek, I didn’t pack appropriate footwear for the river crossings. The Skinners proved themselves invaluable in Pakistan. In fact, I’ve now added them to the ‘essentials’ section of my trekking spreadsheet. (Yes, I have spreadsheet and I’m not ashamed of it…)

K2 base camp gear list

The K2 base camp gear list below comprises everything I took with me. Some of the electronics and toiletries are optional, but most items are essential unless otherwise stated. Where possible, I’ve included links to the gear I took with me.

Camping / trekking equipment

My new front-opening sleeping bag
OutdoorVitals My new front-opening sleeping bag


My new pair of Skinners sock shoes
Skinners These sock shoes proved invaluable for river crossings

Toiletries and medication

Every trekker should carry a personal first aid kit on them at all times. Try to use biodegradable toiletries in the mountains.

  • Sunscreen (SPF 40+)
  • Lip balm (SPF 30+)
  • Insect repellent (only required at lower altitudes)
  • Soap (biodegradable)
  • Coin tissues
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Roll-on deodorant
  • Toilet roll / tissue
  • Antibacterial wipes (biodegradable)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Imodium (or similar diarrhoea medication)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Plasters / Band-Aid
  • Compeed (blister treatment)
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Diamox – for altitude sickness (optional – I prefer not to use it, but many do)
  • Water purification tablets (50 litres +)
  • Any additional prescription drugs you may be taking



  • Passport + photocopies
  • Spare passport photos
  • Insurance certificate and details
  • Flight information
  • Visa information
  • Spending money (allow $200-300 USD for tips)

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Currently, there are very few up-to-date Pakistan guidebooks available. Therefore, we recommend the waterproof 1:175,000 Karakoram Trekking Map by TerraQuest for the K2 base camp trek.

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