Referred to as ‘the steps to heaven’ because of the stunning photo opportunities wherever you look, there are things to learn about Mount Everest base camp treks that will ensure this is the safest, most enjoyable journey to glimpse the top of the world. Trekking to the base camp of Everest, the highest peak in the world (officially recognized height – 8848.86 m above sea level), is a chance to plunge into the mysterious world of the gigantic mountains belonging to the Himalayas

Of course, reaching the top of the highest mountain in the world is the ultimate dream of many people, but if you can’t do that, then Everest base camp treks are the next best thing. In fact, for many people, Everest base camp treks are far more appealing to them than the thought of scaling Mt Everest – it’s a bucket list dream.

Your adventure starts long before the trek to base camp even starts. Who can deny the thrills of flying to Lukla from Kathmandu? The airport is famous for its short runway and its seemingly precarious position perched on a cliff. It’s guaranteed to already be offering you plenty of splendid photographic opportunities.

The trek to Everest Base Camp is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. It will start in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, and will pass through the Sagarmatha National Park along the Dudh Kosi River. The path to the final goal lies through all the climatic zones inherent in Nepal: the tropics, coniferous forests, alpine meadows, permafrost, and glaciers of high mountain zones. And here you will see everything at once: the beauty of sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas, turquoise lakes, and rocky deserts.

At 5,600 meters, Base Camp isn’t for the faint-hearted but it offers an achievable goal for regular people who want to set eyes on the world’s highest peak. The Base Camp trek will give you a small glimpse into all the anticipations, dreams, and thrills of the climbers.

Of course, Mount Everest base camp treks aren’t a walk in the park, and being prepared for this ultimate adventure is key to a hassle-free trek. Make sure you prepare well in advance.

People who do the trek want to look around base camp and see the testimony of those who have climbed the highest mountain in seasons of unpredictably bad weather and which claimed the lives of climbers.

Everest Base Camp Treks Often Led By Those Who Have Scaled Everest

Everest base camp treks often led by those who have scaled Everest

So these Mount Everest base camp treks are a chance to make the actual climb just a bit of reality and to build some wonderful friendships with like-minded people. You’ll enjoy hot Nepali food and cuppa chai with fellow trekkers around a teahouse fire.

All those who reach base camp may well be tired, but they are well satisfied. The cool thing about Everest base camp treks is that they are led by people who have personally climbed Mount Everest and they have all the information you need to be successful in your trek to base camp.

The best Everest base camp treks will guide you to information and links that they want you to read in preparation for your trip. Even if you are joining a trek to the world’s highest peak, your professional tour group will prepare you for the trip. However, you yourself need to do research before the journey so as to prepare yourself for one of the biggest adventures of your life.

Get Fit

Everest base camp trips are achievable for people with average fitness levels. However, it is important to prepare for your trek to base camp. Nobody wants a person on the trek who is constantly whining and moaning about their sore joints.

Build Up Your Cardio-Respiratory Endurance

If you know you have this thrilling adventure on your itinerary, start preparing for it. You want to build up muscle strength. You want to build up your cardio-respiratory endurance so that your lungs and heart are capable of taking in adequate amounts of oxygen together with your working muscles.

Many people, apart from cardiovascular training several times a week, look at exercise training such as swimming and yoga that focuses on breathing.

Preparation is also about the correct nutrition, an integral part of optimal performance. By providing your body with the energy, essential nutrients, and fluid it requires, you will be better able to cope with the rigors of trekking to base camp.

You have to be aware of the dehydration that this kind of physical activity can induce. So when you are preparing for your base camp trek, remember that your nutrition should provide for your dietary preferences as well as for the energy requirements of hiking to base camp.

Replace Fluid And Electrolytes

You have to think about replacing fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat too. On such a trip, when planning your food, you want to avoid any foods that are known to be able to cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Even if you are joining a tour group that will plan your meals for you, think about vitamin and mineral supplements that you can take with you as well as carbohydrate gels and liquid meal replacements.

Most Important – Comfortable Trekking Boots

Most important – comfortable trekking boots

You are going to be spending a lot of time trekking to base camp and the wrong fitting hiking boots can be your ultimate blister-making nightmare. Important factors to consider when choosing comfortable hiking boots are ensuring the boots are waterproof and that they offer good ankle support.

These kinds of trekking boots aren’t just perfect for Everest base camp but all your other hiking trips. Everest Base camp treks have plenty of tour guides who recommend Meindi Bhutan MFS GTX and La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX hiking boots. Of course, there are other excellent hiking boots too, but for lack of time and space, just these two brands have been mentioned. They have been tried and tested by trek leaders and are guaranteed to offer supreme comfort.

Know When To Make The Trip

People want to know the best times to go to Everest Base Camp. The time you choose will depend on the experience you want and the kind of weather you wish to avoid. A trek to base camp requires acclimatization but the best Everest base camp itineraries have this acclimatization built into the itinerary.

There are actually 2 trekking seasons –

  • the pre-monsoon trek which is between February to May
  • the post-monsoon trek which is between September and December.

Do You Have To Have A Guide?

No, it isn’t compulsory to have a guide for your Everest Base Camp trek as the trail is well marked, Trekkers opt to have a guide as they believe that the entire experience is enriched.

What can be hugely beneficial is to hire a porter at roughly $20 a day who will carry the bulk of your equipment. Investigate animals too such as the local yaks to carry your stuff. Most times they are more reliable than the human porters but you will have to find out what it entails.

A trekking company offers you the advantage of having everything arranged and done for you. So that includes –

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Guides carrying canisters of oxygen
  • Porters
  • Insurance. Have you thought about what would happen if you had a heart attack at base camp? There are no roads to and from base camp so helicopter evacuation is the only way to get transport to the hospital. It is why when you join a tour trek to base camp you have to have some insurance in place that includes this helicopter evacuation.

Packing For Base Camp

Packing for Base Camp

The idea is to travel light but still ensure key essentials. What is listed here is by no means a definitive list as people will choose according to their needs and preferences. Nonetheless, some important, essential items will include items that are of good quality and that will help you face the cold conditions encountered on the trek.

Do research on the weather conditions you’ll be encountering on the trip and do research on fabrics to avoid scratchy, irritating materials chafing your skin. A general guide on what to pack will include –

  • Merino wool base layer items that are good for wicking moisture away from the body.
  • Insulation layer items for torso and legs.
  • Outer layer made up of warm, waterproof jacket and trousers. Remember that these clothing items can be bought from Kathmandu but the quality might be inferior.
  • Waterproof trekking trousers, shorts, and long- and short-sleeved shirts. Choose polyester over moisture-absorbing cotton. It is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying.
  • Rain clothing – waterproof jacket and trouser pull-overs
  • Neck gaiter – ideal for keeping the neck warm and it also helps to keep nasty coughs at bay.
  • Underwear
  • Wide-brim headwear for protection from the sun and a beanie for cold nights.
  • Gloves
  • Sandals
  • Socks – a good pair to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Most of the best socks for trekking are made with merino wool and provide comfy cushioning and a snug fit without feeling bulky.

Other Important Things To Consider Taking With

  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamps
  • Sunglasses
  • lightweight sleeping bags – can be rented in Kathmandu
  • Travel-size toiletries
  • First aid kit for headaches, diarrhea, antibiotics, sunscreen, insect repellant, etc
  • Water purification tablets with a filtration water bottle
  • Exchange some dollars in rupees which can be done from an ATM in Kathmandu

Prepare Yourself Mentally For Everest Base Camp Treks

Mental strength for your Everest base camp treks comes from being prepared and knowing you are organized for the coming trip. Nothing is set in stone with ways to prepare mentally and the trick is to find the mental strategies that work for you.

Do research and experiment with different ways to keep you mentally balanced and calm when the going gets tough on your trip.

Test Your Hiking Boots And Gear Before The Trek

It’s not a good idea to start your Everest base camp trek before trying out your hiking boots first and walking them in before the trip. After all, with Everest base camp treks you will be walking 6, 7, or 8 hours each day and some days can get quite strenuous along some rough terrain.

What’s the point of having equipment with you too that you don’t know how to use? Check each piece of gear you are bringing and make sure you know how to use everything and that everything works as it should.

Maybe, if you are part of a trekking tour to base camp you may have been provided with weight limits so you need to be sure that you comply with this requirement too.

Have A Satellite Phone

Yes, most people have cell phones but a satellite phone allows you to be contactable in emergency situations. A satellite phone isn’t a ‘must-have’ on your base camp trek but it can make things a lot less complicated if you have one.

There are times when a cell phone just won’t cut it and it won’t make a connection. Satellite phones transmit signals via satellites and they don’t rely on towers. They are far more useful than cell phones for those in isolated, remote areas. They are useful in emergency situations and they allow for communication during power outages.

Mount Everest Base Camp Treks – Onwards And Upwards

Mount Everest Base Camp Treks – onwards and upwards 

At 29,032 feet, Mount Everest is the tallest point on Earth. Many people from around the world bravely take up the challenge and make Everest Base Camp treks high up on their bucket list dreams.

Yes, all Everest Base Camp treks take you to base camp, but they require research as there are differences between the experiences they offer. There are many advantages to signing up with tour operators and the biggest is having everything organized for you.

Possibly the hardest part of Everest base camp treks is dealing with the altitude and it will require some positive thinking to keep going onwards and upwards. The guides and porters know this area like the back of their hands and they are all experienced to ensure they provide you with the most amazing trekking adventure you can imagine.

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