As the next peak period draws nearer, it is time to start planning for trekking to Everest Base Camp.
Everest, the earth’s highest mountain, sits in the Himalayas, beaming on countless hikers gazing at it in all its glory. From monasteries to suspension bridges, trekking to Everest Base Camp promises sights, sounds, and pleasant memories for a lifetime.
The Everest Base Camp trek is not a trip where you can wake up one morning and embark. It takes weeks, even months, to plan and execute to perfection.
Thus, to help you prepare better for this legendary trek, here are five things you should know.
The fourth fact on this list could save your life while taking this hike.
There Are Two Peak Trekking Seasons
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Trekking to Everest Base Camp is not the type of hike to embark on whenever you like. There are two ideal seasons of trekking to Everest Base Camp:
- The first season is between March and May. Temperatures during this period are the hottest throughout the year.
- The second ideal season for trekking is between September and November. This period falls between the monsoon and winter seasons in December.
When you’re trekking during these periods, you’ll find out that the skies are clearer and visibility is excellent. Besides these two seasons, you barely see what’s ahead of you, and the temperatures get extremely cold.
You Need Assistance from The Locals More Than You Think
The closest city to Everest is the Nepalese capital city, Kathmandu – its locals will soon become your partners in trekking. You will never know how helpful these people can be until you embark on your journey.
Firstly, you may need a hiking guide. Indeed, you can trek to Everest Base Camp without a guide. After all, there are trails and signs to help you find your way. However, it’s better to hire a local guide to assist you if you are not an expert hiker.
Next, the question of hiring a porter comes along. If you can, carry your bags by all means. However, for between $10 and $18 a day, you can hire a porter to carry your bag for you. Indeed, it is a small price to pay for a comfortable and enjoyable trekking experience.
Sherpa expeditions can help you find and hire skilled porters and hike guides throughout the process.
These local aides will come in handy. They are usually friendly, and they do more than show you the way to the base camp. The local guides will help you translate signals, show you safer paths, and help you during altitude sickness.
You Can Get WiFi, Hot Meals, and A Lodge along The Trail
Did you picture trekking to Everest Base Camp as sleeping on cold floors while melting snow for water? Fortunately, trekking to Everest Base Camp is not a nightmare.
Rest assured you won’t be sleeping on cold floors throughout your trek. You will find lodges along the trail that provide comfy beds, blankets, and pillows. Likewise, there are cafes and tea houses where you can buy a hot meal – yes, a hot, fresh meal.
These lodges, teahouses, and mini restaurants are all along the trail. However, it’s a good idea to carry a couple of snickers bars with you. In this hike, the prices of food and lodging get more expensive as you climb higher.
Did we mention that there was WiFi?
Indeed, trekking to Everest Base Camp will most likely take you off the grid. Phone reception is terrible in these areas. Yet, thanks to some local network providers, you can have access to WiFi.
Your Gear Is More about Survival Than Comfort
While trekking to Everest Base Camp, your comfort – albeit important – takes a back seat to your survival. Your trekking gear should cater to two things; your safety and the security of your belongings. For this reason, you have to travel light and only carry what you need to survive during the trip.
Also, the weight of your backpack should not exceed 20 percent of your body weight.
You would need the following equipment:
- Money and passport pouch (or belt)
- Quick-dry boxers, pants, or bras
- Power bank
- Luggage tags and locks
- Camp shoes
- Sleeping bag (suitable for the season)
- Trekking poles
- Reusable water bottles
- Sunscreen and lip balm
These are not fancy items. Indeed, taking a shower will be replaced by wet wipes.
Reaching Everest Base Camp Is Not The Same As Climbing Mount Everest
If you’re excited about finally ticking climbing the world’s highest peak off your bucket list, this is not the time. Also, you may succeed in trekking Everest Base Camp but not see Mount Everest. These are two separate entities with different conditions, altitudes, and experiences.
Let’s start with the risks.
- Trekking to Everest Base Camp has its risks, but with safety protocols in place, even amateur trekkers will travel safely. On the other hand, reaching the summit of Everest is more dangerous as breathing is hard. It takes experience in climbing mountain peaks to summit Everest.
- Also, while trekking Everest Base Camp takes between 11 and 14 days, expect to spend two months mounting Everest. This distinction is not to discourage you but to help you have realistic expectations.
The majority of Everest Base Camp trekkers make the trip during peak periods. Consequently, the lodges, teahouses, and trails become crowded. This situation makes getting a decent place to sleep a struggle. For this reason, we suggest that you travel shortly after or towards the end of these peak periods.