The Everest BC Trek is one of the most beautiful hikes you can do. Being surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the world and the satisfaction of arriving to the base camp, it’s a unique and amazing lifetime experience. Is not an easy one though, for most of the people it’s a challenge that we’d like to help you overcoming with our recommendation 😉
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
There are mainly three difficulties that you may face during the trek, altitude sickness, lack of fitness and the cold.
Altitude sickness: It’s the most risky one but if you follow the recommendations, is very unlikely to suffer from it so don’t be afraid! It’s recommended to take Diamox pills during the trip, half in the morning and half in the evening until you start going down. This pills are not the panacea but they can help preventing getting sick and reducing the normal headaches. Probably the most important recommendation is to drink a lot of water, a minimum of 3 liters per day. During the trek you won’t notice it but your body can get dehydrated easily. They also say that garlic can help but in general, it’s important to eat a lot during the trek. You can easily lose around 4,000 calories per day while hiking in high altitude so you definitely will need energy.
Fitness: If you are physically active (several days per week going to the gym, running or playing sports) you won’t have any problem. If you are not, I would recommend to start working out a few months before the trek, a normal cardio workout. It’s not a very hard one, but the better fit you are, the more you are going to enjoy it.
Cold: Can be severe or not, depends on which month you do the trek. We did it in January, one of the coldest months in Nepal so during the night and in the morning, the temperature could easily go down to -20°C. Take into account that most of the tea houses are not well prepared for the cold, they just have a charcoal heater that you need to be almost touching to feel it.. During the high season, around the months of October and April, the temperatures are warmer but still, you can expect cold as well.
Everest Base Camp Trek Cost
It’s a very popular trek so there are many international agencies who offer it. Intrepid Travel and G Adventures offer the tour for around 1,500$-1,600$ and could be a good option if you are looking to share the trip with more international travelers. But you can get a cheaper price booking it directly with one of the many local agencies operating from Kathmandu. We recommended you to take a look at the Trip Advisor forums first to get the reviews from other travelers but shouldn’t be a problem to find a trustworthy one.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itineraries
Every trek starts flying to Lukla from Kathmandu and then, there are mainly two itineraries: the common one of average difficulty and the Gokyo Lakes one, harder but with some spectacular viewpoints and high altitude mountain passes.
Common itinerary: It’s usually a 15 day tour with 8 days purely hiking and 2 acclimatization days. Starting from Lukla (2,860m) you move to Phakding (2,610m) on day 2, Namche Bazaar (3,440m) on day 3, acclimatization in Namche Bazaar on day 4, Phortse Gaon (3,810m) on day 5, Dingboche (4,410m) on day 6, acclimatization in Dingboche on day 7, Lobuche (4,900m) on day 8, Everest Base Camp (5,364m) on day 9, Pheriche on day 10, Tengboche (3,840m) on day 11, Monjo (2,860m) on day 12 and back to Lukla on day 13.
Gokyo Lakes itinerary: Longer than the common one, can be about 20 days in total. Starting in Lukla (2,860m), Phakding (2,610m) on day 2, Namche Bazaar (3,440m) on days 3 and 4, Mongla (3970m) on day 5, Gokyo Valley on day 6, Machhermo (4465m) on day 7, Gokyo on day 8, Machhermo on day 9, Phortse on day 10, Dingboche on day 11, Lobuje on day 12, Gorak Shep (5160m) and Everest BC on day 13, Pheriche on day 14, Namche Bazaar on day 15, Phakding on day 16 and back to Lukla on day 17.
Services Available at the Tea Houses
During the whole trek you will sleep in tea houses which provide all the basic things to make your trek feasible. This are the different services you can expect to find in many of them:
Internet: Yes, you will be able to connect to Internet in many tea houses along the way 😉 There is a WiFi service called Everest Link, is not cheap but works pretty fast.
Electricity: You can charge your batteries if needed but not for free, can cost you around 4$ per charge and sometimes Nepal suffers from electricity cuts all over the country.
Food and drinks: Rice, noodles, pasta, omelets, chips.. the menu is pretty good to keep you strong. You can also buy snacks and chocolate. To drink you’ll have tea, coffee and soft drinks.
How to Pack for the Everest Base Camp Trek
If you are planning to use porters, the best is to carry your luggage in a duffel bag and up to 15kg to have no problem in the flight to Lukla. Then carry a day backpack bag for your camera, water and important things. Clothing wise the best is to wear layers (thermal, fleece, feathers, windstopper) so you can adjust with the temperature changes. This is the whole list of gear that we recommend:
- Trekking boots: Good ones and already used, let’s try to avoid blisters!
- Trekking socks: 2 or 3 pairs of good quality socks to take good care of your feet
- Sneakers or sport shoes: After a long hiking day is good to have comfortable shoes to use in the tea house
- T-Shirts: Synthetic and easy to dry, more long sleeves and short
- Thermal clothing: Long sleeve shirt and under pants for the evenings and mornings in high altitude and very cold weather
- Polar fleece: As a second layer to keep you warm
- Down jacket: We recommend a PrimaLoft jacket, warm and very light, but a normal feather jacket will do fine too
- Wind stopper: Waterproof and breathable jacket, Gore-Tex or similar
- Trekking trousers: Lightweight pants, two just in case
- Warm pants: Fleece or similar, for the evenings at the tea houses
- Waterproof trousers: Just in case get a pair but most likely you won’t need them.
- Warm hat: Fleece or wool and a sun hut could be useful too
- Gloves: Winter gloves and second skin gloves
- Scarf: As a neck warmer and to avoid sucking all the dust while going down
- Sunglasses: Polarized if possible but normal ones will do too.
- Head torch or flashlight: Useful for early morning hikes and just in case there are electricity cuts
- Sun screen and lip balm: The sun strikes really strong in high altitude
- Towel: Light weight and easy dry one
- Wet wipes: Take into account that you won’t be able to take a shower during several days
- Toilet paper: Sometimes the tea houses they have it, sometimes they don’t 😉
- Hand sanitizer: Recommended to use it before every meal
- Water bottle: You will need to drink at least 2 liters while trekking and a camel back could be useful too
- Water purification tablets: Or other water purification method.
- First Aid kit: Diamox, paracetamol, Aspirine, Strepsils, anti diarrhea, ibuprofen and any other medication you may need
- Sleeping bag: Usually they provide blankets but even so, you’ll need a warm one with a comfort temperature of -10°C
- Photo camera: You need to carry it yourself while trekking so we wouldn’t recommended a big DSLR
About money, we recommended to carry with you around 40,000 NPR in cash for the common itinerary trek. That’s surely enough for food, snacks and drinks, taking into account that the higher you go, the more expensive things are.
You can buy most of your trekkng gear in Amazon:
Hope you liked out Everest Base Camp Trek Guide, you can find information about Nepal in general at the tourism official page and if you have any doubt, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!