14th  to  28th October 2011 | Nepal

Everest Base Camp Challenge 2011

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Everest Base Camp Challenge


October 14 - 28, 2011

Trek – 12 days – 5,545m

This was G4G's 35th challenge.

On top of that, it was our fourth adventure to the mightiest mountain in the world.  12 days on the trail, including 2 rest/acclimatization days, took us to altitudes of over 5,500 metres where, surrounded by the majesty of these mountains, life took on a new perspective.

The Solu Khumbu region is famous not only for its proximity to the world’s highest mountain but also for its Sherpa villages and monasteries.  The terrain is immensely varied with rhododendron forests, roaring mountain rivers, alpine meadows and impressive glaciers, all towered over by the awesome backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayas.

Level: Extreme, a very good level of fitness required

Number of participants: maximum of 25

Registration fee: Dhs 2,200

Minimum sponsorship: Dhs 19,000

Assistance provided in advance by G4G: Fund-raising ideas; training & fitness suggestions; safety & medical advice; clothing & equipment advice.

What G4G provided on the Challenge: flights and transfers; hotels/tents; all food & water; guides; medical assistance & back up.

Essential to leave behind: Day-to-day problems.

Essential to bring: Determination & a sense of humour!

Everest Base Camp Challenge


October 14 - 28, 2011

The Everest Base Camp Challenge took us to the foot of the mightiest mountain in the world, through immensely varied terrain.   This 15-day adventure challenge, with 10 days of trekking and 2 days of acclimatization, was classified as an extreme hike, averaging 5 – 6 hours per day of sustained walking at altitudes of up to 5,545m.

The following itinerary is pending confirmation

Day 1: Friday 14 October, 2011

Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m)

On arrival in Kathmandu, we were met by the guiding company transferred to the hotel.  After a quick freshen up, we were able to experience the sights and sounds of the city, followed by a trek briefing, equipment check and welcome dinner.

Overnight at hotel

Day 2: Saturday 15 October, 2011 - Trek Day 1

Kathmandu – Lukla (2,860m) – Phakding (2,652m) : 3 hours

Today, we took a short 45-minute flights to Lukla where we met the Sherpas and explored this small bustling hilltop town.

After lunch, we started our first trekking in beautiful surroundings, descending to camp at Phakding (2652m) and dinner.

Overnight in tents

Day 3: Sunday 16 October, 2011 - Trek Day 2

Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3,447m) : 4 – 6 hours

The trek started gently, passing through small rural villages and a monastery.  In the afternoon, we passed through the Sagarmatha National Park to Jorsale.  After crossing a rickety suspension bridge, we began the steep climb to Namche Bazaar, enjoying the first views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 4: Monday 17 October, 2011 - Trek Day 3

Namche Bazaar - Acclimatization Day

As the name suggests, the bustling village has numerous shops selling items of every description!  We rested, explored and visited the National Park Visitors Centre.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 5: Tuesday 18 October, 2011 - Trek Day 4

Namche Bazaar - Thyangboche (3,863m) : 5 – 6 hours

Following a brief uphill stretch, the path levels out for two hours, with dramatic views of the “big three”.  Down through the rhododendron forest to the Imja Khola river for a lunch stop at Phunki next to several water-driven prayer wheels. The afternoon was spent climbing slowly to the Thyangboche Monastery, one of the most beautiful spots on earth. It is the traditional place where Everest expeditions receive their blessings as they walk in towards base camp.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 6: Wednesday 19 October, 2011 - Trek Day 5

Thyangboche - Pheriche (4,220m) : 5 hours

The day started with a steep muddy descent through mixed woodland to the meadows of Devouche, across the river’s suspension bridge and on to the village of Thyangboche. Trekked along a trail cut out along a sheer rock cliff, to the upper Pangboche village followed by a steep climb to Khumbu Khola into the windswept valley of Pheriche for the night.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 7: Thursday 20 October, 2011 - Trek Day 6

Pheriche (4,220m) - Acclimatization Day

A wonderful day of relaxation and acclimatization at this altitude before resuming the ascent tomorrow.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 8: Friday 21 October, 2011 - Trek Day 7

Pheriche - Lobouche (4,931m) : 5 – 6 hours

Today’s trek traversed an open landscape, with a short steep ascent cresting a ridge, taking in the beautiful view of Mt Cholatese to the west.  After an early lunch, we had a steep trek to the Sherpa memorial for those who have died during Everest expeditions.  Then, we continued to follow the trail through the moonscape of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, to emerge at the Campsite at Lobouche.

Overnight at guest house

Day 9: Saturday 22 October, 2011 - Trek Day 8

Lobouche - Gorak Shep (5,160m) : 7 – 8 hours

A fascinating hike along the Khumbu Glacier, through jumbled moraine and scattered rocks preceded a steep climb up to a ridge, from where Mt Everest could be seen, looming behind Nuptse.   The small community of Gorak Shep is a short way down the ridge.   After lunch, we could choose to rest or join an arduous climb to Kala Pattar (5,545m) for the breathtaking views of the giants of the earth: Pumori, Everest, Changtse, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and many others!

Overnight at guest house

Day 10: Sunday 23 October, 2011 - Trek Day 9

Day trek to Everest Base Camp (5,360m) and back to Lobouche (4,931m) : 8 hours

Finally, the day we were all have been anticipating!   Mts. Lhotse and Nuptse also loomed over the site of the camp and we were able to explore the area, including the entrance of the Khumbu Glacier and sites of several base camps.

Overnight at guest house

Day 11: Monday 24 October, 2011 - Trek Day 10

Lobouche - Devouche (3,800m) : 7 hours

Today’s walk to Devouche was delightful, made easier by decreasing altitude and warmer, softer climes.

Overnight in Tea House

Day 12: Tuesday 25 October, 2011 - Trek Day 11

Devouche - Monjo (2860m) : 6 hours

The walk to the small riverside village of Phunki with its water powered Prayer Wheels was “up and down”, cresting ridges and bridging rivers with many beautiful spots, following the Dudh Kosi river to Monjo for the night.

Overnight in tents

Day 13: Wednesday 26 October, 2011 - Trek Day 12

Monjo – Lukla (2,860m) : 5 hours

The morning’s hike started with a 2-hour descent to Phakding, but then we had a 3-hour uphill climb to Lukla, where we had a farewell party for the Sherpas at the campsite.

Overnight in tents

Day 14: Thursday 27 October, 2011

Lukla - Kathmandu

We caught the early morning transfer flight to Kathmandu, where we had time to explore and shop, as well as visit the charity project to be supported by this challenge.

This evening we enjoyed farewell cocktails before dinner!

Overnight at hotel

Day 15: Friday 28 October, 2011

Kathmandu - Dubai

Return flight home


Notes: This itinerary may change due to border regulation changes, unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, group strength, etc. We will endeavour to keep to the planned itinerary, but cannot be held responsible for last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, the group leader will have the final say.

This itinerary is tough and you may encounter poor weather. The trek is not for the unfit or the faint-hearted.

Most mountain treks have occasional exposure to sheer drops. Therefore, should you suffer from vertigo, you should discuss the itinerary with a member of our team.


Daytime temperatures in October will range from 22-25C in Katmandu and from 6-8C at Everest Base Camp.

Nighttime temperatures will decrease to 12-13C in Katmandu to minus 10C to about 0C at Base Camp. Temperatures may fall well below freezing.

Please note for every 1000-meter gain while climbing up, there will be a 1Degree Celsius temperature drop. Warm clothing is needed (see kit list).


The most important and simple thing you can do to prevent illness is to be properly immunized. Our medical adviser recommends that you should be immunized against Hepatitis A and B; Typhoid; Tetanus; Diphtheria; Polio, Meningococcal (meningitis), Rabies and Yellow fever. Malaria risk is extremely low.  Ideally, all necessary immunizations should be taken 6-8 weeks before travel to allow time for the shots to take affect. Contact your GP for more information.

In Dubai, these are available at Medicentre International in Motor City: Telephone: 04360 8866 & Prime Medical Center - 04-3494545. Dr. Kersten Elliot, a chiropodist/Podiatrist from Dubai Physiotherapy and Family medicine Clinic, 04 349 6333 is happy to provide a 50% discount on consultation on the basis of your G4G Registration Cover Letter.

Some people may be troubled by altitude sickness.  The risk of this can be significantly reduced by taking Diamox 125mg twice daily, starting a day before arriving at altitude and continuing for two days after (Please consult your Physician for all medical advise, but we recommend trying Diamox before departure, as it can have strong side effects for some people).

The trek is described as EXTREME and reaches altitudes of 5,360m.  You need to be fit and healthy to participate.  It is essential to walk slowly and drink a lot of water throughout your trek. 

 The itinerary is tough and you may encounter poor weather. The trek is not for the unfit or the faint-hearted.

Most mountain treks have occasional exposure to sheer drops. Therefore, should you suffer from vertigo, you should discuss the itinerary with a member of our team.


You will be walking for several hours per day, so it is important that you start a gym or training programme at least three months prior to the Challenge.  Most gyms will be happy to assist you in achieving your fitness (and some may even help you fundraise!)  We can also supply names and numbers of personal trainers; some recommended by previous Challengers and some who are ex-Challengers themselves.

Visas and Passports

Check if your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to travel. You should also have a couple of clean pages (no stamps!) left in the passport.

It is recommended that the visas be obtained in advance even though visas can be obtained on arrival from the immigration authorities with fees payable in US Dollars provided travelers are in possession of valid travel documents, i.e. 2 passport size photos and the relevant fee.

Visas can be got the same day from the Nepal Embassy in Abu Dhabi. You only need to present your original passport, one passport size photograph and a fee of Dhs. 100/-

 We encourage all travelers to check what the visa requirements are for their particular nationality in advance from the Nepal Embassy to avoid surprises at the airport.

Nepal Embassy in UAE:  For more information regarding visas, Contact Tel: 971-2-6344767, Fax: 971-2-6344469
E-mail: ; Website: www.nepembassyuae.ae Address: VILLA # 52 (A), E-4/02, Muroor Road, P.O. Box: 38282, Abu Dhabi, UAE. (near Kerela Social Centre)

Travel & Medical Insurance

G4G can arrange travel insurance for all participants.  You will be required to pay your insurance premium in addition to your sponsorship target. Further details about the premium, type of cover, insurance terms and conditions, etc. are available on request. If you will use your own Insurance, please ensure that you are covered for activities such as trekking in Nepal and provide us a copy of the same.


A comprehensive fundraising booklet is included in your challenge pack.  It is always good to arrange private fundraising "events" as well as asking family, friends and colleagues for money.  Fundraising in this way increases your profile, creates more goodwill and raises awareness of the work of the nominated charities.  The G4G office can give you names of previous challengers who will be happy to offer advice and maybe even assistance.


We take your safety very seriously.  It is our first and never forgotten priority.  Please listen to your guides and follow their instructions. 

Respect for the Environment

We maintain a firm commitment to conserve the areas we work in and ask you to do the same.  Take only photographs and leave behind only footprints!

What We Supply

Return flights from Dubai, internal transfers, accommodation, guides & porters, daily meals & water. 

 A Typical Day

A typical day varies according to the different terrain, disciplines and distance.  However, you can expect a normal day to start at 6.00am with breakfast served around 7.00am, and departure by 8am. Packed bags will be uplifted from outside your tent for transport by porter or yak. In the morning there is usually a 3-4 hour trek before the stop for lunch, followed by 2-3 hours in the afternoon.  On arrival at the campsite there is time to relax, socialize or explore the area before dinner. 

A dugout latrine will be made at every camp and a toilet tent pitched over it. Washing facilities are limited but there will be warm water provided for washing morning and night.  Drinking water is available throughout the day.

Special dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice. 

Mental   Preparation
It is well within you to complete this challenge. Remain in a positive state of mind, without being overly confident. This mental stamina will make the more difficult parts easier to complete.  Always focus on your goal and do not get involved in inconsequential matters that will rob you of your concentration. Being physically prepared assists a great deal in being mentally confident for the physical part of the Challenge.

Miscellaneous Information

Electricity - 230V 50HzHz

Electric Plug Details - European plug with two circular metal pins

Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin

Nepal is 1¾ hours ahead of UAE time.

Take US$ in cash to change.

USD 1 = 70.31 NPR (Nepalese Rupee) as of 25 November 2010

A good reference book is the Nepal edition of the Lonely Planet publications, available in Dubai from most book shops.

Personal Equipment

Travel light!  Do limit the weight of your luggage on the trail to less than 15 Kgs and less than 20 Kgs overall. 

 All bags are to be clearly marked and lockable.  The bag to be carried by the porter must be soft-sided, with no hard corners.

Do not take or wear any valuables on the trip, it is best to leave them at home. 

The key to staying comfortable while climbing is layering.  To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation. 

Light clothing is generally sufficient until you reach the 3-4000m / 12-14,000ft altitude range, provided you always have something warm and waterproof right with you. Beyond these altitudes, even if the mornings are glorious, you must always be ready for dramatic changes in the weather

Please refer to the Kit List.  All the items required for the trip can be purchased from major sports shops & camping suppliers in U.A.E. – please see the list of outlets provided in your challenge pack.

How to Pack

Your clothes and equipment should fall into the following categories:

1.       What you are going to wear and need on the trek. This should fit into a single soft-sided bag and will be transported each day from site to site

2.       What you are going to carry in your daypack

3.       What you are going to leave behind in Katmandu (in a locked bag in the hotel’s storeroom)

Carry an extra T-shirt in your daypack.  When you stop trekking you may feel cold after sweating and need to change your shirt or add a layer to prevent chills.

 In The Day Pack:

Most of your clothing that you are not actually wearing will be carried by your porter. Although a guide will always accompany you on the trail, you are unlikely to see your porter except at the camps. Therefore, it is important you carefully pack the smaller Day Pack you carry yourself. Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your Day Pack including, most importantly, something warm and something waterproof.

Sun glasses / Moisturizing/Sun screen lotion / Water bottle and Camelback bladder / Prescribed medicines/ Camera and spare film / Binoculars-optional / Reading Reference book / Note book & Pencil / Trail Snacks / Trek permits / Toilet paper / rain gear / Warm layer  / Extra shirts (for those who sweat)

NB: It’s advisable to carry an extra T-shirt in your daypack.  When you stop trekking you may feel cold after sweating and need to change your shirt or add a layer to prevent chills.

In the Main (soft-sided ‘duffel’) Bag:

The bag the porter carries for you should not exceed 15kgs/33lbs and should not have any hard sides or corners. If bags are too heavy, items may have to be removed or the trekker may choose to hire an additional porter. G4G has a few Soft-sided bags for sale for AED 100 each. Please ask us in advance to avoid disappointment.

Towels / Flash light / Head Lamp / Spare batteries & bulbs / Toiletries & Washing soap / Spare clothes & Underwear - wrapped in plastic bags / Extra shoes / sandals or flip flops - in plastic bags / Sleeping bag

Additional Items:

Anti-dazzle glasses or goggles with side attachments are recommended and high altitude food supplements (favorite snacks, drink and soup mix) if necessary.

Taking pictures with a fully automatic camera at altitude is perfectly possible, but always have a new battery in your camera when going into cold areas. A mechanical camera works just as well, provided you have the knowledge to operate it successfully. Cameras exposed to cold do not cease functioning, but if you keep them inside your jacket and the lens is warm, they will likely form condensation when suddenly exposed to cold. This condensation will freeze under certain conditions. Therefore, keep your cameras dry at all times.

There are numerous classic photo opportunities. It is recommended that serious photographers take a small portable tripod, as it could be cold enough that you cannot keep the camera steady.

Thoughts and ideas:

  • Be kind to your feet! If you plan on purchasing new hiking boots, do so well ahead of time and allow yourself time to break them in.  Bring some extra moleskin or Second Skin (Compeed) for fast foot treatment, plus tape and watch out for blisters.
  • One way to minimize the risk of blisters is to wear a thin liner sock under your regular thicker hiking socks.  The liner sock should be made of a non-absorbent, wicking material, absolutely no cotton.  Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Another way is to coat your foot with a thick layer of Vaseline before you put your socks on each day
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather, but once it becomes wet, it drains your body heat.  Plan on bringing at least one synthetic shirt that dries quickly. Suggestions are Capilene, M.T.S. and Thermax.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting your gear.  Use different sizes and colors to differentiate the contents.  Plastic bags are also helpful to separate clean and dirty clothing, as well as giving an extra layer of waterproofing inside the duffel bag.
  • Always test your layers before the trip.  Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • If you normally wear contacts, bring a pair of glasses in case of eye irritation from dust.
  • Some of the trails can be rutted and dusty.  It is a good idea to pack camera equipment and binoculars in plastic bags to protect them from the dust.  This is in addition to their normal cases.  Also bring some lens cleaning material.
  • Laundry is difficult on this trip but you can hand-wash a few quick-drying items.
  • Make 1 copy of your passport and take it with you; we will have a second copy in our files.  

Compulsory to take with you

A good attitude and a sense of humor!

The following notes are from the local Ground Handler who will be leading the trek:

Food and Drinks

On the trek, the ground handlers will serve you wholesome food for replenishment and to meet your energy requirements. Special dietary requirements can be provided on advance request. Our cooks are trained in matters of hygiene and cooking and even the dishes are washed in mild disinfectant solution. The water provided is pressure boiled and iodized.

Water bottles may be filled with boiled water at night, so that you have cool water to drink the following day.

Your Staff On The Trip

One English-speaking Guide/Escort will be wholly responsible for the execution of the trip once it hits the trail. Helpers who will pitch the tents, serve food and guide the members on the trail will assist him. Cooks, assisted by kitchen staff, will do the cooking and surprise you with both western and local culinary delights in remote conditions.

We (Ground Handler) Will provide

Group camping equipment, daily meals, water, and accommodation. This includes high quality Mountain Hardware TRANGO III tents, tailor-made mattresses with pillows, hot water bottles for the cold weather, hot water in a basin for each person every morning to brush your teeth and wash your face, boiled drinking water to carry in your water bladder and/or bottle, toilet tent with folding seats and toilet rolls, dining tent with table, chairs, crockery, cutlery and tumblers. All your gear will be transported each day to the night stop, except daily necessities carried in your own bag pack.

Sanitation And Personal Hygiene

A dugout latrine will be made at every camp and a toilet tent pitched over it, with folding toilet seats. Toilet paper will be provided. Limited hot water and soap will be provided twice a day for washing.

Daily Wear

Your Trek guide/escort can help you plan your daily wear before each day's walk. Please carry an extra shirt or T-shirt and rain wear, along with a light jacket in your backpack. The mountain air is cold, so you can keep dry and warm after sweats and chills.

General Matters

Your personal belongings will be looked after by our staff, so please help them by not leaving them unattended in villages and other public places.

Campfires will be enjoyed wherever dead wood and driftwood are available. We do not want to add to the large-scale deforestation problem in the country.

Money On The Trek

You may want to buy drinks at wayside shops and souvenirs from the locals. Small change should be carried. Be prepared to give between $25 - $50 to staff as tips. Detail can be discussed at the pre-trek briefing.


Registration Fees: Aed 2,200 is nonrefundable and nontransferable

Sponsorship Fees: Aed 19,000


14 September 2011- 75 % Aed 14,250

7 October 2011 – 25% Aed 4,750 

Insurance Fees: Aed 300 for 15 days


7 October 2011


NB: No bookings will be done until 75% of the Sponsorship Fee is received


Also, for more details about the effects of altitude, Medical Expeditions have produced a free, downloadable PDF booklet entitled "Travel at High Altitude".   This is a comprehensive guide to the effects of altitude on all parts of your body, with tips on pre-trip preparation, recognising symptoms and how to treat them.   Handy tips include packing gloves with an absorbent patch by the thumb - you get blocked up easily at altitude, so gloves like these will be handy for wiping your nose!   www.medex.org.uk



Funds raised from the 2011 Everest Base Camp Challenge were donated to Mission Himalaya (http://www.missionhimalaya.org), a registered Nepalese charity established in 2008 to provide primary health care, education and nutrition to orphans and work for their welfare. 

The Annapurna Circuit Trek in 2009 raised funds to build what is now known as Mission Himalaya Children's Eco Farm Home, outside Kathmandu.   This is a wonderfully caring organization that takes in children who are either orphans or abandoned.

The project is a very large one and more funds are needed to ensure the very best use of the land available.   Therefore, the funds raised by participants in the Everest Base Camp 2011 Challenge were used to complete the full complement of facilities.

Read more ...

You can rest assured that Gulf for Good do not just hand out money to the charities we support!   We request detailed proposals for capital projects - hospital wards, orphanage buildings, classrooms, fresh water facilities, medical equipment, etc.   We have a system whereby we check these proposals with the assistance of an independent third party in the charity's country.   Once approved and the funds raised, we will usually pay 50% up front to allow the project to start, the rest only being paid against invoices.


Base Layer:

•1 Pair Medium Thermal Underwear leggings (long) - Avoid Cotton

•1 Pair Medium Thermal Underwear top (long) - Avoid Cotton

•4 pairs wicking sock liners. Cotton to be avoided

Regular underwear - wicking material is the best!

Thermal Layer:

•Fleece jacket or equivalent – full zip best for temp regulation

•Fleece pants or equivalent

•1 pair light, mid-weight thermal lined gloves worn over glove liners

•At least 3 pairs heavy/thermal hiking socks – worn over sock liners

•Quick Dry shirts

•Down jacket

•Fleece (or equivalent) Scarf & Hat

•Optional, but recommended – synthetic-filled vest & ear muff

Outer Shell:

•Long length waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket (eg Gore-tex or equivalent). Must be big enough to go over all other layers

•Trousers - waterproof, windproof, breathable (eg: Gore-tex)

•Poncho or rain jacket

NOTE: The above layers work much better than a single huge parka!

Additional Gear:

•Sleeping bag rated to at least -5C, preferably -15C

•For extra warmth, a fleece sleeping bag liner/outer bag and/or a silk liner can both add several degrees of warmth

•25 – 35 litre day pack, with padded shoulder and hip straps and a couple of outside pockets

•Medium weight sturdy, water proof hiking boots (Gore-tex recommended or treated leather) with spare laces

•Running-type shoes

•Sandals/flip flops – easy for quick trips while camping!

•Tracksuit trousers (with zip-off legs if you can find them!)

•2-3 pairs Trekking trousers, at least one with zip-off legs. No Jeans

•2 pairs warm trousers

•Trekking shirts/t-shirts: short-sleeved; at least one long-sleeved lightweight; and at least one long-sleeved warm

•2 sets traveling gear (trousers, shirt, shoes, socks, underwear) – include appropriate clothing for the charity visit (no very short shorts please!)

•Wide-brimmed hat for sun and rain

•Trekking poles

•100% UV Protection Sunglasses (and extra prescription lenses or contacts)

•Protective clear glasses - for contact lens wearers in dusty, cold conditions

•Sunscreen SPF 30+ & Lip Balm with sunscreen

•Water bottles (insulated) & >2-litre insulated hydration bladder (with insulated drinking tube): minimum 3-litre combined capacity

•Quick Dry Towel – medium size

•Personal toiletries, wash cloth & spare toilet paper (!)

•Wet Wipes and anti-bacterial hand wash (for use when water and soap are not available)

•Buff or Bandana

•1 Headlamp with extra bulb & batteries

•Camera with extra batteries & lenses

•Trail snacks – energy/granola bars, bars, nuts, toffees, etc

•Packs of energy powder mix for drinking

•Neck pouch and/or Money belt to carry money, permits and passport photocopies while traveling

•Travel documents, including copy of passport

•4 extra passport-sized pictures for visas and permits (just in case!)

•Cash currency (US$ and local currency)

•Re-usable plastic bags for packing & zip-lock bags – assorted sizes are very useful for storing and keeping dry all sorts of things!

•Mini first aid kit (main kit carried by guides) & personal medication

•Swiss Army Knife with scissors and tweezers

Optional Extras:

•Swimwear - there may be a Hotel pool!

•Ear Plugs – camping can be noisy

•Binoculars - lightweight

•Sewing kit - for repairs