Trekkers bowing their heads to appreciate the beauty of Everest - Tenzing Hillary Airport
Put the miles in before you depart physically and prepare mentally
The trail to Everest base camp consists of a solid chunk of Khumbu miles meaning the terrain is undulating and at always increasing altitude. You need to have prior experience hiking for a long period of time. So to train yourself, focus daily on 8- 10 hours of movement on any trails which consist of ups and downs. You don’t need to carry any amount of masses or load while doing the training. You need to have this training around your hometown before you even show up in Kathmandu for your adventure.
Everyone is able to do this trek without any prior experience but the thing is you will be struggling if you are not prepared for a long hour of hiking beforehand. You will definitely be struggling and may hurt yourself while doing so. You don’t need to prepare yourself by lifting overweight but simple endurance training can help you a lot.
Once you conquered your endurance training, the other thing you need to focus on is to be mentally prepared. Everest base camp trekking is tough mentally, the environment, and the atmosphere there will mentally wear you out making you unable to think what to do next. All you need to conquer is the negative thought of not being able to hike during the trek. You need to know how you are going to tackle those negative feelings out your mind while you are doing the trek. You can take up meditation or yoga training to help with this situation. And while doing the trek you must always think of having this great adventure as your achievement and remind yourself of the trek being your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Prepare your gear beforehand
Prepare your gear before you Embark on Mount Everest Base Camp Trek
Remember to always gear yourself before heading out on any adventure. It's always best to be prepared for anything and to have the gear to sort out the problem later on the trek. After you arrive at Kathmandu the first thing you need to do is hunt down each and every gear you need during the trek. Some trekking agencies provide gear for the trek but not everything is available. There are lots of trekking shops and authentic stores for proper mountaineering equipment where you can find your gear. If you do have not much cash to yourself you can find good quality gear in other normal gear stores.
Sleeping bags are very crucial in this trek. The weather here is uncertain and you need to be more prepared for cold more than anything. You need to have great quality sleeping bags even the tea houses are colder at night. So, be prepared to tackle the cold with great quality sleeping bags. You can find sleeping bags as well in trekking equipment stores.
Plan extra days for your trek
Weather on the trail does not always fit the weather forecast. It does not mean you should not know about the weather forecast but it's always better to expect some weather changes during the trek. Uncertain whether does not bother the actual hiking days but it does affect the flight schedule from Lukla to Kathmandu. The flight may be rescheduled for 1 or 2 days sometimes depending on the weather you could miss your international flights while returning. So preparing for 1 or 2 days will help you manage the flights, saving your bucks.
Be used to your gear
It's always best to know how well your clothing fits, and how well your shoes fit. Mainly, your trekking boots should be priorities and should be used beforehand. You need to have a perfect fit accordingly to your feet making sure there aren’t any fit issues that will pinch, rub or stress during the hike in the long run. On long hikes, your shoe may create problems hurting your feet if it isn’t chosen wisely. So, all you need to do is choose the perfect pair of shoes and your other gear and gain some experience using them accordingly. And you should be sure that blisters, chafed skin, and aching feet will not be a problem while using your boots.
Be smart about preparing your luggage
The flights from Kathmandu to Lukla has strict weight limitation i.e. 10 kg (22lbs) for the main pack and 5kg (11lbs) for your carry-on pack/bags. You can probably pay extra for additional luggage but it will be harsh for you during your trek so it's best to stay within the limits of packaging. Either you or your porter will be carrying any extra luggage during the whole trek and yes you have to pay extra to your porter. So, be smart while packing your stuff.
Porters Carrying Luggage During Everest Base Camp Trek - Khumbu Region
Have insurance covering your whole trip
The trail is adventurous, and may as well your health be in top-notch condition but it's uncertain that you will not be having any issues or AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)/Altitude sickness. For your trek to Everest base camp, you should plan to be covered by altitudes up to 6,000 meters. Always know the terms and conditions of your insurance, if it's able to cover any requirement during your trek even the helicopter tickets.
Considering the travel insurance, nowadays they even cover your lost baggage but only up to a certain value. All you need to do is know your baggage and should check if the insurance provider provides you with sufficient cover for your baggage. The next thing you must notice is the plan covering altitudes up to 6000 meters for this trek.
Policies even cover the canceled flights but you must be sure it must cover the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla as well as your international flights. Just to be on the safe side, it best to have policies that also include helicopter tickets in case of a rescue. As most of the rescues in the Everest region are done by helicopters and it's very hard to book a flight on a plane for any kind of rescue.
Prepare extra bucks
Carrying extra bucks is always better. You can simplify some of your problems if you have a few bucks to spare. The journey from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is business; every town is developed for trekkers/hikers. Everything including lodging, showers, gear equipment, food, and every other thing gets pricier with the gaining altitude. So, you might need to get something during the trek cash is the only way to pay. And ATM availability is extremely low and yet it charges a lot for using the ATM at higher altitudes.
Tea Houses and lodges do not accept cards, so you need to have cash in your hands to pay your bill during the trek. If you are traveling with tour companies then you will need to carry for extra expenses such as using the Wi-Fi, buying drinking water, and charging up your phone and other electronic devices.
Preparing extra bucks will help you a lot during your great adventure to the 7 world's natural wonder Everest base camp.
Pack some water purifying Tablets
Water purifying tablets can be of great use for you during your trek to the base camp. It will help you save cost during the trek as the mineral water cost you more than 10 cents to 50 cents varying on altitude. Rather than spending your money to buy mineral water you can carry a water bottle and fill it up with local source water and use a water purifying tablet on it. It will be smarter and you can always have your bottle of water.
Prepare Medication for your body and feet
All you need to do is carry a small first aid kit with you so you could treat yourself in case of any small injuries or blisters on your feet. You should provide the utmost care to your feet. Here's how you can prevent chafing that can lead to blisters, dermatologists recommend the following tips: (source: American Academy of Dermatology Association)
- Protect your feet. To prevent blisters on your feet, wear nylon or moisture-wicking socks. If wearing one pair of socks doesn’t help, try wearing two pairs to protect your skin. You should also make sure your shoes fit properly. Shoes shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
- Wear the right clothing. During physical activity, wear moisture-wicking, loose-fitting clothes. Avoid clothes made of cotton, as cotton soaks up sweat and moisture, which can lead to friction and chafing.
- Consider soft bandages. For problem areas, such as the feet or thighs, consider using adhesive moleskin or other soft bandages. Make sure the bandages are applied securely.
- Apply powder or petroleum jelly to problem areas. This helps reduce friction when your skin rubs together or rubs against clothing.
- Stop your activity immediately if you experience pain or discomfort, or if your skin turns red. Otherwise, you may get a blister.
Prepare for flight delays
Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu and vice versa mostly depends on weather and visibility. So you should be prepared for flight delays. The weather here is pretty uncertain due to which there is every possibility of being delayed flights. Examining the economy of the country and its development the airports sometimes have problems with disorganized communication. You might consider yourself lucky if you get on a flight immediately after arriving at the airport, but most of the time, you will be experiencing a flight delay and have to wait at least for few hours. Being well prepared and patient, carrying books, snacks will help you kill time.
Short flight delays are not much of a problem but the longer ones are annoying. It means you will have to pay for extra accommodation and food. If you have registered with the tour company they will provide you with the accommodation and help you find the right flight.
Carry fun stuff
It May seem like funny tips but it's pretty handy tips to note. You should carry around some indoor games, books, and playing cards so you could spend your good time during the trekking days and accommodation days. It's best to carry a camera if possible you will be exposed to many moments that you want to capture and keep as your memory. Most of the day during the trek you will be hiking for about 5 to 6 hours and the rest of it is up to you. You will be lying around the teahouse or lodges as the outside weather is cold. So carrying playing cards, indoor games, and books will help you kill time more efficiently. Having a camera will prove plus point you will have great views of mountains and mother nature to capture.
Trekkers Enjoying the view of panoramic Himalayas
Alternative trips in Everest Region
The Everest region is one of the best destinations to witness the true beauty of the Himalayas. Many people choose the classic Everest Base Camp trek to enjoy the magnificence of the mighty Everest which is a good choice. These 15 days of classical route trekking to the base camp of Everest is more than enough to all enjoy all the highlights of Everest Base Camp within two weeks. However, there are many alternative trekking trips available depending on the amount of time you have to travel. Getting an alternative trip to Everest Base camp is the best opportunity to explore other beautiful places on Everest along with Everest Base Camp. If you have more time in your hand, which is around 20 days, then you can go for Three high pass trekking which is the combination of Everest Base Camp trekking along with the picturesque view of 4 of the world's tallest mountains.
If you have a short time for your travel, consider doing a classic Everest base camp trek and return back via helicopter from Lukla. This trip will surely save some time for trekking. You can also enjoy some of the best views of Everest by doing the 10 Days Everest Panorama trek.