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Everest Base Camp Trek Guide For Fit

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By Author: Passang Tsering Sherpa
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Search Everest Base Camp Trek in google and you will be astounded with the results displayed. If you have someone to point you in the right direction then it's easier for you. But, for someone new in this part of the world, tailoring the best itinerary whilst making sure you don't leave any stones unturned can be difficult. 

If you are going through a guiding company then you will be following their planned itinerary and you will be catered but for free individual trekkers, you will need to schedule your own itinerary, sort out all the logistics and make sure everything meets your preferences and requirements.

Here we have highlighted some important notes for you to consider if you are trekking to Everest base camp on your own:

1. Keep at least 2 free days in Kathmandu

Schedule 1 free day before and 1 free day after the trek as a contingency just in case if things don't go as planned. You will be trekking to the most remote part so having a few extra days can save your whole plan. Also, the flights to Lukla are often delayed and cancelled so these extra days will help you mitigate the risk of missing your international flights

2. Do not Rush

The main key of trekking to high altitude is to walk at your own pace. Do not rush and make sure you follow your own pace. Every one adapts with the altitude differently and you need to make sure you know how your body is coping in altitude. Walk at your own pace and do not rush as it can turn into serious altitude illness.

3. Schedule proper acclimatization

Recommended elevation/altitude gain per day is 400m if you are trekking at high altitude. At some places, you are likely to ascend more than 400m in a day so schedule a free day afterwards and make sure you have at least 2 acclimatization days scheduled in the itinerary. These days can also be used to explore the side villages.

4. Know the region well before you tread

You always need to have a backup plan just in case things don't go as planned. So knowing the region you are going to tread will enlighten with different options that can help you plan accordingly. 

5. Know the conditions and weather

Everest base camp trek can be done whole year round except June to August (Monsoon season). Each season will provide you with different forte. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to trek in this region. If you planned on doing during winter (Dec to Mar) make sure you are well equipped to tackle the cold weather. 

6. Local people for the source of information

Before you head out the next morning on your journey, ask the locals about the conditions ahead and seek their information that might help you in any way. Ask if the lodges are open, places to eat and refuel during the day walk and etc. This will help you plan ahead for the next journey and pack accordingly. 

7. Carry Map and other essential gears

Equip yourself with the region map and other essential gears (First aid, communication devices). Check the map every evening as you plan the next day journey. This will give you broad information about the journey such as highlights, route, places, distances etc. Maps are often overlooked but it is a must for individual trekkers especially when trekking to remote locations.  

8. Train well ahead in advance for the trek
Everest base camp trek is not just another walk in the park. It is one of the hardest treks in the world due to its longer duration trek on high altitude. Train yourself at least 3 months ahead before the trip date. Do cardio, hill walking carrying a backpack and build your endurance. 

9. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Keeping yourself hydrated is one guaranteed way to prevent yourself from being ill on the trek. The recommended amount of liquid intake is 3-4 litres of water per day during the trek. Make sure you are properly hydrated and to check if you are well hydrated, your urine must be clean and odourless.

10. Pressure breathing
This is one way to train your cardiovascular muscle. You have trained yourself in all aspects to be fit for the trek but doing the pressure breathing every once in a while each day will change the whole game of breathing at high altitude. The pressure breathing helps to improve gas exchange across the alveoli by increasing the pressure in the lungs.

11. Be mentally prepared
Its always mind over the matter when you are confronted with any challenges. So, being mentally prepared will not only boost your morale but help you overcome many difficulties that will be laid in front of you during the trek.

12. Be prepared to turn back
We hope this doesn't come true with you but if in case you are faced with life-threatening issues such as acute mountain sickness or any other cases then be prepared to turn back. It will be hard to turn away at this point when you are so close to meeting your objective but trust us this is the best and wise decision you will make.

More About the Author

Passang is a certified national mountain leader and managing director at Highland Expeditions.

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