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10 Important Things to Know Before Heading for Everest Base Camp Trekking

9 October, 2020

You are planning to head for the Everest Base Camp Trekking but overwhelmed with the information load? Here is the list of 10 important things we’ve simplified for you to plan for the most adventurous hike of your life!

When to head for the hike?

Spring or autumn

These are the two best seasons to plan for Everest Base Camp.

Spring begins from mid-February and lasts till the end of May. This would be the warmer period to visit but can be busiest time of the year. The autumn starts from mid-September to end of November and if you chose this season, you’ll get to experience the trek with the clear blue skies and excellent view along the way.

What to pack?

Keep in mind, the trick is not to carry every next thing you can think of, but to pack smart.

You’ll be needing right clothing that mostly require waterproof jacket and trousers, tracksuit, a pair of gloves and woolen socks other than the basics. Remember, good shoes are the key to a comfortable hike and do not forget to carry your sun-glasses, water bottle, head torch and first aid kit with sunscreen, pain relievers, decongestants and Diamox.

But do not panic if you forget any of these. You can easily shop these items at Kathmandu around Thamel area.

Also, pack a book and deck of playing cards. These will come handy during your trip.

What will be the route?

Flight to Lukla from Kathmandu and hike till EBC.

You can begin your trip either from flight to Lukla (fly to lukla) airport from Kathmandu or begin trekking from Jiri and treks to everest base. The trek begins from Dudh Koshi River, Hillay bridge, Sagaramatha National Park, Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Digboche, Lobuche, Gorak Sheep and finally ends in Base Camp. If you are not sure about the information everest is one of the highest mountain in the world.

Should I hire guide, porters, none or both?

It’s your choice really!

While the freedom comes with going solo during and cutting down expenses during the trek, hiring guide and porter come with the great perks. Guide will be of immense help if you get caught with the altitude sickness and during any other cases of emergencies. If you have limited experience with trekking, the EBC trek can be difficult for you. So, if you plan to enjoy the trek without having to worry about 15 kgs on your back, porters will be your next best friend!

What are the documents and permits required?

TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card and Sagarmatha National Park entry permit.

You’ll be needing at least five passport size photos altogether and two copies of your passport to prepare these. You can obtain both of these from Nepal Tourism Board or the Sagarmatha National Park entrance. If you have hired a guide s/he can assist you with the process.

How will be the food and accommodation?

Top-notch!

All the hotels and lodges in the region are well equipped to provide you with the best possible services along with a hot shower. You can choose any kind of accommodation based on your budget.

You will want to opt for the vegetarian diet throughout the trek as the hotels offer fresh and locally produced food but the meat has to be brought from lower elevations and might not be fresh at all times. So giving up on meat for few days in exchange of organic foods won’t be that big of a deal.

How serious is altitude sickness?

It is real!

As you begin to trek higher and reach up to 5430 meters above the sea level (height of EBC), the air pressure would have decreased by half than that of the seal level meaning low amount of oxygen for you to breathe. So when you climb too fast or do not let your body to rest, you’ll suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), commonly known as altitude sickness. Some of the quick symptoms that your body starts to show are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, sleeping disorder, difficulty in breathing, and lack of appetite. This can lead even up to death in extreme case.

The best possible way to prevent altitude sickness in the first place is to let your body acclimatize with the altitude. Go slow and go steady. And get hydrated enough with water, juice and cups of tea. You can take Paracetamols or Diamox for treatment and consult with the guides. Make sure you don’t overlook any symptoms and inform the guide immediately.

If you are not willing to go on everest base camp trek then you can definitely try Everest Helicopter Day Tour.

Does previous hiking experience count?

It does, but not entirely!

If you’ve had no experience of trekking and are having second thoughts on your plan to EBC, pause! It is not mandatory to have climbed the mountains before. It takes few days to reach the actual destination so we don’t have to climeb the mountain we can do day of trekking. But it is quite important to make sure you are physically fit and mentally prepared. As long as you have the attitude of a go-getter, you are good to go. You can do regular physical exercise before the hike and learn the simple stretching and yoga postures to help you deal with the cramps during the hike.

What to expect?

Expect the unexpected!

Even though trek is considered safe, the weather can show tantrums at times and as Lukla  airport is at high altitude, you can feel the problems like (altitude sickness to high altitude ) your plan may not work on point. So it is best to prepare mentally for the flight delays or cancellations. Leaving some buffer days will allow you to take some resting days during the trek as well as explore the culture of Kathmandu even if you do arrive on schedule.

Is Mount Everest Visible from camp?

No, but don’t Forget Kala Pathhar! (kala patthar)

Even though Mount Everest will not be visible from the EBC you will get to enjoy great view regardless. But if you really wish to get good glimpse and your health is on point with no altitude sickness, you can head for the peak of Kala Patthar at an altitude of 5545m to watch the setting sun turn the world’s tallest mountain pink. You will cherish this spectacular view!

In the end, most important thing to know is that the entire purpose of your trek should be to enjoy and make the best out of this experience. So pack your bags and get ready for the most adventurous trip of your life!

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