Trekking to Everest Base Camp has long been on many travellers’ bucket lists – and with good reason, this is the highest mountain in the world we’re talking about here! The Himalayas span across India, China, Bhutan and Nepal, and are home to some of the highest peaks in the world. At an altitude of 5364m, getting to Everest Base Camp is no easy feat but with the right training and a bit of determination you can be one of the 30,000 people that are said to make this trek every year. If you want to tick this spectacular adventure off your bucket list, book onto our next Everest Base Camp Trek. We caught up with our avid traveller and trekker, Caroline, when she returned from Nepal having successfully reached Everest Base Camp. Find out how she got on and discover all her best tips and tricks for tackling this trip of a lifetime.
BEFORE YOU GO
So, first things first, what did you do to train for this trip? And how would you recommend others go about their training?
To be honest, there is no training that can truly prepare you for this trip as there is nothing quite like the Everest Base Camp trek! However, I did do lots of cardio beforehand, including brisk walks, some running and some uphill walking and climbing which well prepared me.
Was there anything in particular that you researched before you went?
A friend of mine had already done the trek, so I was lucky to go with some first-hand information. I also found some great videos on YouTube.
When would you say is the best time to do this trek?
I went in April which was a great time to do the trek, however most months when it’s possible to do the route you can expect it to be busy.
WHAT TO PACK
Let’s start with the basics…
Down jackets, sleeping bag (these can be hired in Kathmandu before the trek, but if you have your own lightweight one this would be better), waterproof jacket and trousers, hiking boots (it’s essential to break these in before you go), water bottle with water purification tablets, wet wipes, any medication you think you will need, thick socks, sun-cream, thermals, head torch, toilet paper, binoculars, energy snacks, a small day pack with rain cover, solar-powered charger as well as an extra battery just in case, and of course your camera!!
Did you take any legit hiking equipment, or was there anything others in your group had that you thought would be useful?
Sweat-wicking clothing! These items remove moisture from your skin to the outside surface of the garment, so that it can evaporate into the air and keeps you dry. There’s nothing worse than being freezing cold once you’ve stopped walking because you are covered in sweat.
Are there any weight restrictions on what you can take? What do you feel is the maximum amount of weight that you would want to be carrying day to day?
The baggage restriction during the trek is 10kg and would say approximately 3-4kg in your day pack that you will carry throughout the trek. You can store some of your luggage in Kathmandu before you start the trek, so that when you get back you have some fresh clothing and other items waiting for you.
Did you take any food or snacks with you?
Yes, energy snacks were a good thing to have.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Roughly how long were you hiking each day? And was it all challenging or were there some easier sections?
We were walking up to 8 or 9 hours on some days with very early starts. Some parts are more challenging than others, and my tip would be to take some hiking poles as these help to ease the pressure off your knees and offer additional support. Remember it’s not a race, so take your time.
What were the facilities like? Accommodation, food, toilets…
During the trek you stay in teahouses which are basic but comfortable and you get delicious healthy meals prepared for you. Don’t expect to take showers everyday – I only had a couple throughout the trek. Toilet facilities are basic, but I suppose that is what you expect.
Did you suffer from altitude sickness whilst you were there? How did you combat that?
I was very lucky and didn’t really suffer from altitude sickness apart from a slight headache, but others in my group were suffering from various symptoms. You can get some Diamox before you go, which may help with symptoms of altitude sickness, like nausea, headaches and general sickness.
Most importantly – how were the views?!
You will be rewarded with the most breath-taking views of the Himalayas and some of the best scenery in the world, passing mountain villages and Buddhist temples. You will be seriously wowed by your surroundings and whatever expectations you have before you go, these will definitely be exceeded!
TIPS AND TRICKS
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for future travellers of Everest Base Camp?
Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Spare a thought for the porters and tip them well as a reward for their hard work as without them, the challenge would be even more difficult. Use the evenings to reflect on the day and write down your highlights in a small book. Although it is difficult at times, stay positive and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience… you won’t be disappointed!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I have travelled the world and reached the high peaks of Everest Base Camp (5364m), Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m), and the Inca Trail (4215m), but have returned to Nepal many times for different treks since completing EBC. I have the best memories of Nepal, the people and the stunning scenery and it will always have a special place in my heart – that’s why I keep going back! My last piece of advice would be don’t think about it, just get out there and do it!
If you are up for the challenge, book your Everest Base Camp adventure with us. We use experienced and friendly local guides and porters to help give something back to the communities who help make trekking to EBC possible. Help us get tourism back on track for Nepal and its people.