Top 5 Tips For The Everest Base Camp Trek
“My decision to go for the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek was not an easy one. It is a trail that leads to the base of the tallest mountain on earth. You walk up and down the rough terrain of East Nepal for almost two weeks, and that worried me. For I was all of 40 kgs resting on an average Indian height of 5’3″ and a knack for being a sloth at the worst times.” – Sanjana Dalal
Sanjana, like many before her conquered her fear of trekking to the Everest base camp. She returned with a new-found confidence, fascinating stories, and tips and tricks that will inspire others to take on this thrilling challenge head on.
Join Sanjana as she shares 5 things she learned on the EBC trek, along with travel tips that will help make your journey a success!
When I decided to go ahead with the EBC trek, I took up research with a vengeance. Every blog, every article, every picture—I let nothing escape me in the virtual world of EBC. Still, on my way back to India from Nepal, I realised a few other things that I realised only because I actually went there. Here they are…
#1 It’s A Party Up There
Dirt tracks, secluded fields, deserted trails, personal space, solitude…if this is your idea of a trek to the Everest Base Camp, here’s a reality check. People swarm this trail as if it’s going out of fashion. In 2015, you would have found around 40,000 humans out of our total population in the Everest region. The plus point? You get to socialise like it’s no one’s business!
Travel Tip: Get Friendly With Other Tourists
Swap stories with a citizen from your favourite country or trade travel secrets with fellow trekkers from a country you haven’t even heard of. You never know where the inspiration for your next trip comes from.
#2 Got The Spirit, But Not The Body? No Problem!
They’ll tell you it’s tough. True. But they forget to add that it’s do-able. The EBC trail is well trailed out, and you start your trek from an elevation that is respectably high. Your entire walk is spread out over 12 days and the path is wide enough to perform a split (if you want to, no pressure).
Travel Tip: Train Before You Leave
Being physically fit will ensure you fully enjoy the trek to Everest Base Camp. For this reason, I suggest you exercise for around two weeks prior to departure. In my case, walking up and down the stairs did the trick. I added one flight of stairs each day, and finally added weights, by carrying my backpack. But above all, remember that this trek is a great option even for people who have no experience in treks whatsoever.
#3 Thank The Foreign Trekkers
Nepal thrives on tourism. The EBC trek is a popular choice among people from all over the world. With the supply of humans, came the demand for better facilities. The little towns and villages are stocked with groceries and food items. They have guesthouses and lodges that cater to all your needs and comforts.
Travel Tip: Make The Most Of The Available Facilities
From medical houses to helipads, you’ll find everything along the way. Nepal is trying its best to keep up to the standards of Westerners, which works out well for all of us, so use all the available facilities to your advantage. No harm in making your journey as comfortable as possible, yes?
#4 Never Skip Acclimatisation
I should probably have started with this, because it’s the first piece of advice I’d give anyone who says “EBC”. There are two days during the trek dedicated solely to acclimatisation. It is not uncommon for people to skip either one to save time, or money, or both.
There’s a possibility that you may feel peachy up until the day and even on the day set aside for acclimatising; tempting you to skip right ahead and march on. Please don’t! For then you can’t blame your body if it happens to spring a surprise on you just before you reach the base camp. Even the fittest of the fit can be hit with Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) at any given time up in the mountains.
Travel Tip: Keep Yourself Hydrated
Headaches are probably the first repercussion of missing out on acclimatisation. To avoid this make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Please note that it is completely normal to experience headaches at high altitudes as your body tends to dehydrate quicker than it does at sea level. Aim at drinking 4-5 liters of water throughout the day to compensate for the loss of water that your body will experience. If you’re ever thirsty on a trek, you’re already dehydrated.
#5 Dal Bhat Scores Over Chicken
Yes, non-vegetarians, you heard that right. Meat-lovers have created legend in the Everest region when they turned down the offer of chicken to gorge on the humble dal bhat. I know of a hardcore non-vegetarian who ate dal bhat every single day on the trek!
Travel Tip: Avoid Non-Vegetarian Food After Namche Bazaar
While meat is certainly available up in the mountains, don’t expect it to be fresh. Animals are not slaughtered on site for meat, therefore Sherpas carry with them whatever was butchered several days ago. Also, since non-vegetarian food takes longer to digest, it is best for your body to feast on veg-fare instead. You don’t want to trek with an upset tummy.
A Parting Note: EBC Is A Life-Changing Experience
There is a reason EBC is one of the most popular of all the Everest region treks. The trail takes you into the lap of some of the highest mountains on earth and among some of the most hospitable people in the world. The locals are warm and they cook up amazing dishes to make sure you come back for more. You begin your walk in a forest, and work your way up through meadows and valleys and glaciers to finally reach the base camp spot. This is the spot from where you get to see the mighty Khumbu Glacier and the surrounding snow-clad peaks. The sheer beauty of Nepal stays with you forever as you long for the people, the mountains, and the food even after you’ve left the place.
Click below for a thrilling 15-day trek to Everest Base Camp
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