The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Khumbu region presents one of the most exciting adventures one could imagine. To reach the foot of the world’s tallest mountain is surely a tempting attraction. Following paths full of overwhelming views of Himalayan peaks, glaciers, and scenic Sherpa villages, you move to the Everest Base Camp and also the Kalapatthar viewpoint, each offering the most glorious hallmarks of the Everest Base Camp Trek.
The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is a challenging journey with numerous obstacles and difficulties. Nevertheless, with the correct guidance and proper preparation, one can easily overcome all the possible obstacles and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of this trek.
This article aims to provide an insight into some of the most important tips that a trekker needs for their trek to the Everest Base Camp.
Training and preparing yourself for the trek
Make sure to do thorough research of the trek before signing up for it.One of the most important things to start preparing yourself for the trek is to train yourself physically. Do some cardiovascular exercise, go on long walks or even practice hikes. During the trek, you will be walking long hours in difficult terrain. You need to make sure that your body has the strength and endurance to complete the trek. If you are not healthy or do not have the strength, you will fall ill and face various health issues during the trek.
Make an appointment with your doctor to check the condition of your body for any disease you have could worsen during the trek. Get proper medications and immunizations.
Lastly, the mental preparation also plays a huge role. You may get excited at times or may even want to give up. You should make sure that your mind is steady and calm.
Getting the right gear
One of the most vital elements of a good trek is packing correct. Especially, when it comes to the EBC trek, you need to be well equipped with the correct essentials.
We begin with trekking shoes. Purchasing a high quality and reliable footwear along with comfortable socks will be a good investment. As you will be traveling on foot for most of your journey, make sure your shoes are strongly made. Also, make sure to use those shoes before your trek so that your feet are familiar with the insides.
Your next investment is your clothing. We will talk about them later in a separate section.
Besides the basic list of essentials, we are going to focus on a few that may not cross your mind when you pack for the trek. Water bottles should be on your high priority list. Make sure you get a bottle that is easy to carry and drink from. Other essentials you need to carry are sun-screen, UV protection glasses, trekking poles, and flash-lights.
When you arrive in Kathmandu, you can find plenty of shops that sell trekking gear and equipment. These local shops offer great prices for quality products. If you haven’t purchased your trekking gears already, you can shop around the city.
Arrangements for the trek
It is highly recommended that you sign up for the trek with a local travel operator. Tour operators provide you with guides, porters and manage all your accommodation and meals for the trek. This saves you the hassle of dialing up tea houses and having to book rooms.
You also get great prices as some tea houses on the way may hike up prices for foreigners. Having a guide along not only helps with navigation, but the guide also poses as an interpreter familiarizing you with the surrounding. Moreover, s/he can also be a companion for you during your trip. It is only recommended to travel alone if you are very familiar with the region.
One of the key things to keep in mind is to inform your family or friends about your trip. Give them your itinerary along with a map of the route you will be following. Doing so will allow you to be trackable in case of emergencies.
Most people believe that wearing a thick coat is the best idea to tackle the cold. However, it is better to dress in layers to stay warm and fight the cold of the Everest. Your clothing list should include light thermal inners (both upper and lower), sweat soaking t-shirts and trousers, a fleece jacket or a pullover and a down jacket.
You can stay warm by combining all these parallels by dressing in layers. Make sure you have a pair of waterproof/rainproof jackets and trousers in case it rains or snows.
Meals and water
If you are traveling with a tour operator, all your meals will be planned. You will mostly be having meals at tea houses. You will be served breakfast at 8 in the morning. After breakfast, you will head out for your next destination for the day.
En route, you will stop by a tea house around 12, where you grab a meal and continue to your destination. A hot meal will be waiting for you at your destination for the day, where you will also be resting for the night. You may come across several shops during your trek where you can buy snacks such as cookies or noodles. You may carry water purifier tablets, or you can easily purchase bottled water at the tea houses. Don’t drink water from random sources or you may fall sick. Bottled water can be trusted, so don’t hesitate when you are thirsty even if the price maybe 10 times higher than what they offer in the city.
Maintaining pace and pattern
When it comes to trekking, the Everest Base Camp trek is moderately difficult. Though there are various ups and downs throughout this high-altitude trekking, the trails are well paved for trekkers and easy to walk on. Nonetheless, you have to be extremely careful about not pushing your body too much.
Trekking around high altitude region puts you at various health risks. To avoid getting sick, you have to maintain a slow pace and a pattern that suits your body. Don’t rush to complete the trek and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just relax and enjoy the surroundings as you regulate a decent pace.
Watching out for yourself
You have to watch out for yourself during this trip. Make sure you stay healthy. This includes eating healthy food and staying hydrated. Take in enough nutrition and protein and drink plenty so that your body gains the strength to complete the trek. Don’t stress out too much! Rest plenty when you are at a tea house. With a well-rested body and a good diet, you will have enough energy to complete the day’s journey.
If you are hurt or if something doesn’t feel right, inform your friends or the guide for immediate assistance. Don’t feel shy to share problems with your team members. This applies especially when you experience any sort of symptoms. Notify your guide immediately, he won’t figure it out himself!
Acclimatizing during the trek
Make sure you have enough days in between stops to acclimatize. It doesn’t do you any wrong if your trip extends by a day or two. You need to make sure that your body is well acclimatized to the altitude.
Whenever you cover a distance gaining more altitude, make sure you rest properly and even stay there for a day. This helps your body adapt well to the atmosphere. You can also get additional time to explore the region.
If you are traveling with a tour operator, you will probably either pay all your fees before your arrival in Kathmandu or just before the trek. All your accommodation and meals will be paid for except additional snacks you choose to have during the trek.
On the other hand, if you are traveling alone, you will have to carry more funds to pay for all accommodation and meals. Make sure you carry some allowance along with contingency funds. ATMs will not be available in rural areas. Therefore, you need to take out the amount you need when you are in the city. Make sure you have enough spare cash to tip your porter, guide, or the lodge workers. You may also carry some sweets to give out to the children you meet.
Getting travel insurance
Getting travel insurance will help you cover costs in case of emergencies. Emergency services such as helicopter evacuations are very expensive. Getting travel insurance will help you cover such costs. Make sure the travel insurance policy covers you for high altitude travel.
These are some important tips that can assist you in the Everest Base Camp trek. You can always surf the internet to find more information on the EBC trek. This can help you to know about the region as well as the trek in more detail. Happy Land Treks has been organizing Everest Basecamp Trek since its inception. Our team comprising of local guides and experienced personnel has crafted the itinerary in a way that accommodates both solo and group travel without compromising any aspects of the trek: cultural and natural. So, next time you decide to head deep into the Himalayas remember us.