Hiking to Everest Base Camp is on a lot of people’s bucket list! It is a fantastic experience (take it from someone who has been there are experienced the highs and lows of the Himalayas). Here is how to properly prepare for Everest Base Camp – the trip of a lifetime!
Make sure that your body is thoroughly prepared for the hours of hiking at altitude.
- Practice hiking in the clothes you will wear and use the bag and drink bottle you will use in Nepal.
- Hike up hills and down hills. Downhill training is just as important as uphill training.
- Gym sessions focussing on step ups and single leg squats.
- If possible practice hiking at a high altitude (we didn’t and we managed fine, but I did suffer at the peak of EBC).
- Your hiking shoes are the most important item with good woolen socks also being important.
- Don’t forget shorts – it gets warm while hiking for hours on end.
- Merino wool clothing is what we took as you can wear it for days on end without causing it to smell.
Reading books will get you excited for what you are about to embark upon. These are the books we read to get in the mood for the hike. Make sure you take 2-3 books on the hike with you. There is a lot of downtime in the evenings where most people just read in the teahouses.
- Facing Up by Bear Grylls. I loved this book so I read it twice.
- Into thin air by Jon Krakauer. So many people were reading this on the hike. Make sure you read it so you can discuss it with fellow trekkers.
- The girl who climbed Everest by Sue Williams. This book wasn’t as good as the others but it was about an Australian so I wanted to check it out. I wouldn’t really recommend it.
Just like the books, these movies will get you pumped up for your travels.
- Everest – based on the book Into Thin Air. It’s a bit sad but there are some good shots of the swing bridges you will cross and the small towns you will walk through.
- Sherpa – this movie is a documentery about the 2014 ice avalanche which killed 16 sherpas at Everest Base Camp.
Check out our post about the things you haven’t thought of packing. There is some great advice here, including which water sanitiser we used.
If you are hiking with a company you will need to provide them with your Travel Insurance information. Keep in mind that not all insurances cover hiking past 4000m. You can usually pay a little extra to be insured up to 6000m as long as no climbing equipment is involved (there is no need for this equipment with hiking to EBC.)
We decided to hike with the company Life Himalaya Trekking on the advice of someone I met. The best advice I can offer you is to go with a company that will take just you and your partner or family. Small groups are the best for the trek. We met people who hiked with better-known tour companies that had 12 people in the group but reported that only 7 people made it to Everest Base Camp due to the different fitness levels and inability to change itineraries due to the larger number of people. Don’t worry if you like large groups and being social – you will meet so many people hiking and staying in all the same places as you.
- Go with small groups.
- Ensure the company is associated with the Nepal Government, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN).
- Ensure the company hires out a sleeping bag and a down jacket so that you don’t have to buy and bring one from home.
- Ensure the company will organise your permits. These permits have recently been changed in 2017 and we witnessed some hikers being turned away while in Lukla as they didn’t have everything that they needed.
You can’t exchange Nepalese Rupee outside of Nepal. It is so easy to exchange cash in Kathmandu (they exchange most currencies) and even in Namche Bazaar (day two of the Everest Base Camp Trek). Make sure you get rid of all your Nepalese Rupee before you leave the country.
If you are hiking with a company, ensure that you set aside your tip for the porters and the guides. (We went with $100 USD for our porter and about $150 USD for our guide – this added up to about 10% of what we paid for the whole trek).
So are you pumped for your adventure? It really will be the adventure of a lifetime!
Let us know if you have any questions about the trek. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about EBC!