Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek

Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek

Nepal is one of the best adventure destinations in the world, and the Everest Base Camp Trek is the most popular trekking route in the country. Every year, thousands of trekkers from all around the world walk to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. By following a few tips for the Everest Base Camp trek, you can collect long-lasting trekking memories.

The Everest Base Camp Trek is an epic adventure in the diverse and exotic mountainous region of Nepal. Trekking in the Khumbu region offers you a majestic view of many mountain ranges, including the world’s four tallest peaks: Mt. Everest (8,848m), Mt. Makalu (8,443m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), and Cho Oyu (8,201m). Amazing, right? And that’s not all.

This trek also offers spectacular walks through lush valleys and traditional villages inhabited by the famous Sherpa locals. The Everest Base Camp Trek is the ultimate journey that will give you experiences to cherish for a lifetime.

Planning for a trek to the Everest Base Camp can be both physically and mentally overwhelming.

tips for everest base camp trek

When Should I make the Trek?

The best time to go for Everest Base Camp trek is from March to May and September to December.

May can get hot and humid since it is right before the onset of the monsoon. So, you need to prepare yourself for possible rain during that time.

December is a cold time with below-zero temperatures. However, there will be less crowd, and the view will still be amazing.

If you want to get the best of both climate and comfort, then you should plan your trip from mid-October to November. The weather is clear, and the view is stunning.

However, suppose you are willing to enjoy the crisp views of the Everest in the backdrop of Sherpa settlements. In that case, you can go for this trek any time of the year. All you need is enough preparation and proper packing.

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Follow these tips for an enjoyable Everest Base Camp Trek experience.

Important Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek:

Be physically prepared.

This trek does not require professional mountain climbing or technical skills. However, you need to be physically fit to enjoy the journey. You need enough strength and endurance to withstand the pressure in high altitudes.

Trekking continuously for 12-15 days is not easy.

You can start training 3 to 4 months before your trek. You can cycle, run, use a treadmill, and climb stairs for about an hour to two a few times a week. This will help train your legs for the trek.

Yoga is another great way to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

You can hike around small hills and forests. If you do not have access to mountains or hills, you can add extra weight to your backpack and do longer walks on the treadmill.

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Be mentally prepared.

Trekking is very different from your regular routine life. While it is important to be physically fit, mental readiness for the journey is even more important. Depending on your adaptability to new surroundings, you need to prepare yourself accordingly.

Your accommodation along the trek will be in simple tea houses run by local Sherpas. The facilities will also be very basic as you move higher up in the mountains.

You will have a bed on a twin-sharing basis. You need to request warm water manually, and it will cost you extra money. The toilets may not be Western-style, instead, just a hole in the ground.

It is better to be aware of the challenges and culture in the mountains beforehand than to regret later.

Rent or buy your gear in Kathmandu.

You don’t need to come to Nepal with heavy luggage and gear for the trek. You can find almost all the equipment for sale or rent in Kathmandu, such as trekking poles, hats, gloves, socks, down jackets, and sleeping bags.

Everything is cheap. Even though most of it is a knock-off of major brands, the quality is still good enough for the affordable price tag.

However, you can get top-quality gear at authentic stores as well. Kathmandu has more trekking shops than you can count. The intense competition in the market is beneficial for you, as you can get a great price on gear you might not be able to afford at home.

You can also rent more expensive items, such as sleeping bags and jackets.

If you plan to bring anything from home, you can pack merino wool socks/underwear and broken-in hiking boots. These are difficult to find once you’re in Kathmandu.

If you are not planning any treks in the near future, you can rent trekking items for a certain period of time. This way, you can reduce unnecessary expenses and use that money to buy other basic necessities.

Hire a porter or porter-guide in Kathmandu or Lukla.

While you can carry your own gear, hauling a massive load up in the mountains for hours is difficult. In that case, you will need to hire a porter.

Alternatively, for a bit more money, you can hire a porter-guide. A porter-guide is someone who will not only carry your bags and walk with you, but also guide you through the trails, communicate with passersby, and provide insights into your journey.

You can hire your porter or guide in Kathmandu itself. If you have enough time to spare, it’s a good idea to meet with a few different porters before choosing one to go with you on your trek.

Or, you can hire someone when you arrive at Lukla on the plane. There are many experienced porters and guides you will meet at Lukla. Additionally, you will have the added bonus of being able to interview them without having to pay for their flight from Kathmandu.

You need to carefully sort out details, including trail routes, accommodation choices, and food. Choose someone who is friendly, agreeable, and trustworthy. Plus, for US$10-$20 a day, you will be providing someone with a valuable job and in turn, you will learn plenty about local nature and culture.

Although tipping is not mandatory in Nepal, you can give some amount to your guides and porters at the end of your trek. It is a form of appreciation for their continuous guidance and support during the trek.

Avoid meat during the trek.

You need to be aware that porters carry meat up in the mountains because no animals are killed in the Sagarmatha National Park. Since Sherpas carry the meat for days, it is not guaranteed to be fresh. Additionally, proper refrigeration is not always ensured. So, it is best to avoid meat products as you ascend higher than Namche Bazaar.

So, no matter how tempted you are to try out the meat varieties on display, do not get allured.

The safest and healthiest option is to eat the local Nepali Thakali dish ‘Dal Bhat’. It is fresh, nutritious, and a great source of energy during the trek.

Cover up yourself.

The sun can be pretty harsh during the afternoons. Additionally, the higher you go, the more exposed you will be to ultraviolet rays. Long exposure to the sun causes dehydration, which is critical during your trek.

When you are walking during the day, there may be no cover from the sun. However, you can always minimize the effects of these harsh rays during the trek. For this:

  • You should use a good sunscreen and reapply it regularly throughout the day. Avoid getting a tan, just this once.
  • You should wear long-sleeved tops, long pants, and a light scarf to prevent your body from getting blisters.
  • You should always dress in layers, which will allow you to regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable while trekking. It is even better if your layers have zippers, so you can have more control of your body temperature.
  • You can also wear a lightweight sun hat to save yourself from the rays as well as headaches.

Hydrate yourself.

This is one of your main priorities during the trek. At higher altitudes, your body will dehydrate much quicker. So, you need to make sure you are hydrating your body regularly.

Make sure to drink plenty of water while on the trail and always have a spare bottle of water. You can buy bottled water from tea houses along the trail. Another option is to bring chlorine or purification tablets, so you can fill your bottle from the local streams and purify it yourself.

Bring cash from your home country.

There are plenty of ATMs in Kathmandu, so getting cash before the trek should not be a problem. However, once you start your trek, the only ATM is in Namche Bazaar. However, there are frequent problems with the ATM there.

On any given day, there could be some issue with your card or the machine that prevents you from being able to withdraw cash. On top of that, most machines have limits on how much cash you can withdraw. So, it is wise not to rely on ATMs in high altitudes.

Similarly, credit cards are hardly accepted as a form of payment in Nepal. Only a few stores in town may accept cards for large purchases. You will have to pay for nearly everything on your trek with rupees, including daily food, accommodation, porter’s wages, and supplies. So, you need to bring plenty of cash from your home country. You can exchange it for rupees once you arrive in Kathmandu. You can carry up to 2000 USD without having to declare it at customs.

Bring your favorite treats.

Yes, treats! For many people, it can be very difficult to eat at high altitudes. And, since you will be burning tons of calories hiking up and down, it is important to re-energize your body. Thus, it is smart to pack any extra goodies such as protein bars and a bag of sweets or salty chips.

There is always plenty of food available in the mountains. However, when the altitude is giving your stomach a hard time, these light snacks will be very helpful. Also, you will need to pay extra if you want to buy snacks in the mountains. So, it is also good to be prepared with a few familiar treats before the trek. To manage your cost on such snacks, you can buy them in Kathmandu at cheaper prices.

Be prepared for the cold.

During the Everest Base Camp trek, you have many accommodations options. However, since Everest lies in the Himalayas, it is cold regardless of whether you trek during summer or winter. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself by dressing in layers and keeping warm.

Usually, tea houses stop running their wood stoves after dinner time. So, you may have to ask the tea house owners for extra blankets. You can also fill your water bottle with hot water for the night.

No matter when you go on this trek, do not forget to bring a 4 season sleeping bag.

Take your time.

When taking on a challenge like the Everest Base Camp Trek, remember that it is not a race.

Proper acclimatization is crucial. Acclimatizing to the low levels of oxygen in the mountains requires time and patience. Your body needs time to adjust to the lack of oxygen gradually.

More acclimatization means a safer and more enjoyable trekking experience and a lower chance of altitude sickness. This is the key to a successful trek.

You can also take an extra rest day if necessary. Your guide and porter will not mind if you hire them for an additional day or two.

There is no need to rush during your trek. As long as you are walking without overexerting your body and mind, you should be fine.

Treks to Everest are flexible if you book in Kathmandu or when you arrive in Lukla.

Bring treats for local children.

During the trek, you will walk along trails that lead to several small towns and villages. You will encounter hospitable teahouse owners, kind locals, and young children.

If you have extra space in your luggage, bring a few special items for the local children, such as crayons, colored pencils, books, markers, coloring books, chocolates, or small toys.

The children will always be grateful for any small gifts you bring.

Packing Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Always pack lightly, aiming for no more than 10-15 kg. Also, be considerate of your porter’s load as they will journey with you together.
  • Pack a fleece jacket, down jacket, and thermal underwear to stay warm. Also include two or three synthetic T-shirts, long pants, a jumper, and a light fleece.
  • Bring a good sleeping bag that can withstand -20°C/0°F. A thermal liner is also preferred.
  • You also need lightly broken-in boots, trekking socks, and sneakers or sandals for evenings.
  • Pack additional necessities such as sunglasses, a raincoat, warm gloves, and a woolen hat.
  • Bring basic toiletries, including hand sanitizers and hand wipes for days when you cannot shower.
  • Carry a standard first aid kit that includes medication for diarrhea, antibiotics for chest and sinus infections, altitude sickness medication, decongestants, and adhesive bandages for blisters.

Additional Tips

  • Bring a book for evenings when you want to relax on the bed. A good book will keep you occupied and prevent boredom during the journey.
  • Give yourself an extra day or two in your itinerary. You never know when your flight may get delayed due to weather issues.
  • If you forget to pack something important, know that you can buy or rent everything in Kathmandu.
  • Watch for signs of altitude sickness, including symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and breathlessness.
  • For a seamless journey, book with a trusted travel agency for your trek. A trekking company can arrange everything for you, including airport transfers, accommodation, and porters and/or guides and their insurance.
  • If altitude is giving you a headache that keeps getting worse, inform your guide. In such a case, it is better to stop ascending or descend from where you are.
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation while trekking below 6000 meters.
  • Respect the local culture and keep the prayer flags to the right of your path at all times.

The Everest Base Camp trek is a moderate walk in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The extreme weather conditions and high altitude are sure to bring many obstacles to your journey. So, if you go through these tips for the Everest Base Camp trek, you will have an easier time trekking in the foothills of the towering snow-covered peaks.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

About Author

Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.

Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.

He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.

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