If there's one trek every trekker wants to do at least once in a lifetime, it's Everest Base Camp. It is a dream come true! Standing at the base camp of the highest mountain in the world and catching a glimpse of Everest is definitely something worthy. The adventure to Everest Base Camp is more than just an adventure. It's an ambition; to challenge ownself. It's a dream; to conquer fear and discomfort. And it's an accomplishment; to have completed one of the best treks in the world.
EBC Trek is one of the best treks in the world
Every year, thousands of trekkers, novice or seasonal trekkers, flock to the Everest region to complete their dream of embarking on a journey to Everest Base Camp. In one of the articles by Lonely Planet, Everest Base Camp was on the list of 10 Best Treks in the world.
Everest Base Camp Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so you have to be prepared physically and mentally. Walking for 5-6 hours a day through rugged terrains over the altitude of 5000m is not a joke. For someone who commutes on a train or drives by car on a daily basis, Everest Base Camp Trek can take its toll on their body if not prepared. Whether you're a novice trekker or an experienced one, there are a few ways to prepare yourself for the adventure to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world. And in this blog, we will help you prepare for Everest Base Camp Trek.
One of the common mistakes trekkers make is that they overpack or miss something for the trek. So packing properly is as important as exercising for the trek. To reach the base camp of mount Everest successfully, you need a complete packing list, from a sleeping bag to trekking poles and hiking boots. Before you make a checklist for the trek, double-check the weather and the season for the trek. You may not need warm jackets if you are traveling in the spring season. Pack lightly. And if you're traveling in winter, pack clothes for colder conditions. If you're a first-time traveler, this packing list for trekking in Nepal will greatly help you. The best practice is to pack lightly. Leave the things at home if you will not use them for the trek.
You probably didn't know that the Everest Base Camp Trek covers a total distance of 130km and an altitude up to 5644m. This clearly means that you should be physically fit. If you are not an experienced trekker, you must exercise for a couple of weeks before flying to Nepal. You will be walking 15km a day for at least 5 hours. And on a challenging day, you will have to walk for about 8 hours. Considering jogging for an hour will be beneficial. Or you may simply go hiking carrying a 5kg backpack. A high level of physical fitness guarantees a successful adventure to the base camp. The bottom line is you should exercise to bolster your strength and endurance for the trek.
Be ready for change in plan
Flight Cancellation. Flight Delay. These are not new things when trekking to Everest Base Camp. The mountain weather is unpredictable. Even though you set the right day for the flight and trek, sometimes the weather might turn against you. And in that case, you'll have to accept it and set back. So be ready for the change in plan. There is a chance you may get sick at a higher altitude and need to rest for another day or until the day you are ready to walk again.
Experience trekking companies entail two acclimatization days for trekkers to acclimatize at higher altitudes. Please ensure the itinerary and possible contingencies and be prepared for the changes.
Go with an experienced guide
Before booking the trek, please check on the guide and his expertise. First things first, check if he is a local and government-licensed guide. It's your right to go to the mountain with an experienced and professional guide who will lead you successfully to the base camp and return safely. A guide will do all the work for you, from arranging permits to booking a room and ensuring your safety. A good guide will take care of you and assess your health throughout the trek. For a successful adventure and peace of mind, always go with an experienced guide. If you hire him as a freelancer guide, inquire about his experience.
Plan for extra days
This should not be something to follow stringently, but it is as important as the above preparations. It is always good to keep a few extra days on hand for unprecedented conditions like flight cancellation, flight delay, and altitude sickness, especially for Everest Base Camp Trek. The altitude, weather, and the challenges while trekking to the mountain can change the standard itinerary you planned. We highly recommend planning extra days beforehand. Who knows, you might want to stay additional days on Namche or maybe do a side-trek to Gokyo Lakes. Besides, like we said earlier, the unpredictable weather in the mountain can delay your flights and even cancel the flight to Lukla. In that case, you will have to wait or drive to Salleri or Jiri and hike up to Namche, which takes 3, 4 more days. The standard EBC trek can be done in 14 days. You can add 3 or 4 days extra for any changes in the plan or possible contingencies.
Check on the includes and excludes
When booking with a travel agency, make sure to check on the includes and excludes and their service. Trekkers often overlook the services provided by the agency and get dismayed when they find them later. Some travel agencies may not offer the service you would like to have. In that case, you can request them for the service (it will cost you more). Some travel agencies do not offer meals. A full-service travel company, cater the services from the very first day to the day you return to your home country. They do all the legwork for you. All you have to do is enjoy the trek.
There are uncertain factors while trekking to Everest Base Camp. At higher altitudes and remote areas, there is the risk of altitude sickness and flight cancellation. Although first-time trekkers can complete the trek without many complications, everyone is recommended to buy travel insurance before trekking. It's a great practice for the trek. You will hike up to Kala Patthar on this trek at 5644m. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that you buy travel insurance that covers insurance up to 6000m. Even the best-planned trips get canceled, and the best trekkers can get caught on the wrong side.
Learn about Sherpa culture
Everest Base Camp trek is a wonderful opportunity to learn about Sherpa culture. The Everest region is home to the Sherpa people, also known as the mountain-dwelling people of Nepal. Most of the guides, climbing leaders, and porters are Sherpa. The culture of Sherpa is fascinating, and you will definitely love to know their daily lifestyle. Their warm hospitality is second to none. And arguably, it is one of the reasons why people love to trek in the Everest region. Some trekkers love to wear their traditional attire and click extraordinary pictures with towering mountains as the backdrop. Although there are no particular must-do things for you, we request you to offer respect to them and be open-minded. Trust us; Sherpa people are among the friendliest people on the planet.
Seek out professional advice
Hearing out to the people who have done the trek many times can make a difference. Make sure to reach out to a company that has run hundreds of treks to the Everest Base Camp and ask any questions you may have regarding the trek. A reputed travel company will definitely have a flow of positive reviews and recommendations by travelers. You can be sure of their reputation by checking the reviews on the travel sites. You can talk with the guide as well before you book the trek. This will help you assess him before you trek with him. The professional advice you can get from the company and especially the guide will help you a lot for the preparation and success of the trek as well.