Taking you to the foothills of Mt. Everest, Everest Base Camp is one of the most popular trekking destination in the world. The region sees many people every year.
There are several queries related to the trek that potential and willing people need answers for. A few of them are answered for you below:
- 1. Is the trek difficult?
- 2. How risky or dangerous is the route?
- 3. Do I need to have an earlier trekking experience to do this trek?
- 4. What is the level of physical fitness that is required?
- 5. How much does it cost?
- 6. How long does the trek take?
- 7. What is the best time of the year to trek to EBC?
- 8. What are the things I need for Everest Base Camp?
- 9. Do I buy gears from my hometown or Nepal?
- 10. What are the possible medical emergencies that I may encounter during this trek?
- 11. What are the medical facilities that are available?
- 12. Can I trek alone?
- 13. Do I really need a guide/company or a porter?
- 14. Can I trek to EBC with my children?
- 15. What are the available accommodations like in EBC?
- 16. Do I need to bring backpacking tents?
- 16. What kind of food is available along the trek?
- 17. Is it safe to carry electronic devices like laptop, cellphone, and camera or so on?
- 18. Can I charge my electronic devices?
- 19. How to I contact my family in my hometown during the trek?
- 20. What are the documents that are required to trek to EBC?
- 21. Is there an alternative way to see have a close up view of the Everest without having to trek?
1. Is the trek difficult?
Generally speaking, the trek is not as hard as it is considered to be. It is rated as a moderate trek and can be attempted by anyone disregard of experience or age as long as they are physically healthy. Precisely, difficulty is a subjective term and may vary from person to person depending upon their physical fitness.
The itinerary designed by most companies have spare days for acclimatization and rest because of which the journey should be quite convenient. You can even spend extra days resting if required.
2. How risky or dangerous is the route?
Risk in involved in achieving high altitude that can lead to altitude sickness. You need to acclimatize properly throughout the trek. Pay keen attention to your body. Do not push it beyond what it can take, at least not in areas of high altitudes that might cost you your life.
Otherwise, the route is pretty much safe as it is devoid of crevasses. You could fall a victim of Yak injury. When you see one, do not panic and allow it to pass.
3. Do I need to have an earlier trekking experience to do this trek?
You do not need to have past trekking experiences or mountaineering skills for this trek. But before you commit to the trek, ask yourself if you are the kind of person who can adapt to the unfavorable condition that are an inevitable factors of trekking. Go for short and easy hikes of a day or two and see if you enjoy them.
4. What is the level of physical fitness that is required?
An averagely fit person should be able to complete this trek with ease. The trek is less demanding than you think. With enough acclimatization, you should be god to go.
However, train your body before you trek. The more fit you are, the more pleasant the journey will be. Go on short hikes, or long weekend walks around your area. You can even exercise daily. But do not overdo it.
If you are a heart or lungs patient, consult with a doctor beforehand. The trek is unsuitable for those with knee and ankle problems.
5. How much does it cost?
The cost depends upon the route you take. If you are walking through Jiri, it should cost you about $500-$1000. A luxury trek to EBC also known as Everest Advanced Base Camp costs about $20,000. There are four ways you can trek to EBC:
- Travel on your own: You are entirely on your own. All you need to do is get to Lukla and pay the permit fees is you are visiting Sagarmatha National Park. Excluding your flight fare, the entire trek shouldn’t cost you more than 1000$.
- Travel with a Nepalese Company: The Nepalese company will provide you with a guide and arrange a porter if you ask for it. This one should cost you around US$1000-$3000. Checkout our trip cost and itinerary for Everest Base Camp.
- Travel with a western company: These companies will charge you about US$4000 in exchange of a luxurious catering service. Most western companies hire local companies in Nepal. So you might be paying more to western companies. There are many reasons you to hire local guide or company from Nepal.
- Travel with the climbing team: This is the most expensive, highly entertaining and the safest way to trek to EBC costing you a minimum of US$4000. You can trek with them to the Base Camp and spend about two nights there.
6. How long does the trek take?
The number of days to reach the EBC depends upon the route you take and the number of days you spend in acclimatisation.
The shortest way would be to take a 30 min flight to Lukla. The entire journey, to and fro, should take you about 11 days. The longer route is by walking through Jiri. This route will take you about 10 days to reach Namche Bazaar and additional number of days to reach the Base Camp. There are many other trekking routes in the Everest region ranging from 8dayss to 22 days.
7. What is the best time of the year to trek to EBC?
The best time to trek is the autumn season extending from September to November. The skies are clear and the weather, pleasant. The forests will be washed with the recent rains of monsoon and the spring season starts cold and gets warmer whereas fall is the opposite. Both can see significant snow at any time but more so in the fall. In general the skies are more clear into the early fall thus providing better views of Everest and other mountains. It is common to experience rain, sometimes very heavy, lower down valley between Lukla and Namache in both seasons.
8. What are the things I need for Everest Base Camp?
You will need many equipments and pack many things to trek to EBC. Please read packing list for Everest Base Camp trek for more details.
9. Do I buy gears from my hometown or Nepal?
This is purely optional. There are a pool of shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara that sell trekking gears. You will find a few other shops in some places along the trek too. Apart from high quality and popular branded stores of trekking gears, you will also find many other shops selling high quality copy of these brands but at a relatively cheaper price. However, the quality of these gears may not be as promising.
Some recommended shops to buy trekking equipments in Nepal are:
You can even rent most of the equipment from Kathmandu and Pokhara. The rental cost is cheap at should not exceed more than 3-4$ a day.
When it comes to jackets, sleeping bags(check: best backpacking sleeping bag under $100), and boots, it is advisable not compromise on the quality. Recklessness with caring the right kind of equipment can ruin the experience of the entire trek for you. Also, it is recommendable to buy a pair of high quality trekking glares from your hometown.
10. What are the possible medical emergencies that I may encounter during this trek?
One of the deadliest medical situation you may encounter is altitude sickness. There is absolutely no way of training your body for the altitude. The only way is by acclimatizing to allow the body to adapt itself to the changing altitude.
There are several symptoms of altitude sickness.
Do not take it for granted when you begin to notice any of the symptoms. Arrangements for immediate deportation will be made for you.
You could find about treatment of AMS in this article.
Otherwise, if you walk carefully, have the right gears with you, and are not confronted by an avalanche, your journey should be a pleasant one.
11. What are the medical facilities that are available?
Insure that the agency you are travelling with has provided you with a health insurance. The insurance will cover the cost of helicopter deportation if you happen to require it.
We highly priority health of clients and staffs are trained to provide immediately medical care. In case of emergency, we provide helicopter rescue.
If you are travelling alone, make sure that you have an insurance to cover the emergency deportation cost.
If you happen to have other minor injuries, you can visit the medical clinics along the route.
12. Can I trek alone?
Yes, you may trek alone but it is not advisable to do so. Hire a guide and a porter for you won convenience. Firstly, travelling alone may not be safe. Find a trekking partner and travel in group. During times of emergencies you will need support.
Secondly, it is impossible to gather everything about the routes from a guide book. Thirdly, you will not be familiar with the culture and tradition.
13. Do I really need a guide/company or a porter?
Although there is no such law, these days the tourists are supposed to travel with a guide/company. A guide will not only help you with navigation but also with negotiation of prices of hotel rooms. They obviously know the place better and hence can suggest you the best places to eat and spend the night in. They will also brief you with the history associated with the monuments and monasteries you will encounter. They will help you with gears, medical emergencies and travelling arrangements.
A porter is someone who will carry your baggage for you. Hiring a porter will help you enjoy long walks accompanied by beautiful scenic views. Tipping guide and porter is recommendable.
14. Can I trek to EBC with my children?
Yes, you can trek to EBC with children but only those above ten. Young children before this age will not be able to adapt to the altitude level of EBC. Young children will not be able recognize the early signs of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
Children who are fussy about food, do not like walking, and prefer luxurious lifestyle are unlikely to enjoy EBC. One way of making your children enjoy the trek is by taking enough rest for acclimatization. The route is filled with wild inhabitants, waterfalls, glacier lakes and other such things that fascinates a kid.
15. What are the available accommodations like in EBC?
You will be spending your nights in teahouses and tented camps. Teahouse is a synonym of guest houses that have plywood cells with two beds, a table and few pegs. You might have to share the toilet that have squatting pans and a shower area with a bucket. Hot water is available but at a certain cost.
The rooms are available at a low cost of 4-5$ per night. You will have to pay extra for drinking water, hot water for showers, and toilet paper.
16. Do I need to bring backpacking tents?
Everest Base Camp is a popular trek. Thousands of trekkers do this trek every year. So to provide them accomodation, there are several tea-houses. Unless you are camping, you don’t need to bring backpacking tents. In case you are camping and want to bring backpacking tents, check out these best backpacking sleeping tents under 200 USD.
16. What kind of food is available along the trek?
There are many tea houses that serve good food and refreshments. As you go up higher the prices of the food are more likely to increase. Almost all the tea houses have similar menus. You will get momos, noodles, sizzlers, pizzas and other such edibles.
The most commonly preferred meal is Dal-Bhaat which is a generous serving of rice with lentils, vegetable curry, tomato chutney, salad, and meat cooked in typically Nepali style. Dal-Bhaat is healthy, filling, nutritious and delicious.
17. Is it safe to carry electronic devices like laptop, cellphone, and camera or so on?
Yes you can bring along your electronic devices with you. However, not all devices can survive the extreme change in temperature and pressure. Digital Cameras are free of danger. If you have a laptop, make sure it is well packed and shielded.
18. Can I charge my electronic devices?
Teahouses have charging plug points. Most of these plugs are powered by solar and are pretty useless during cloudy days. Charging you electronic devices will cost you some money especially at higher elevations. Carry along spare batteries for your camera. There is a lack of constant electrical supply in Nepal. You may not always get to charge your devices during load shedding time.
19. How to I contact my family in my hometown during the trek?
There are a few internet cafes in Lukla, Namache and a few villages up to Gorak Shep. They are affordable but not completely reliable. You can connect with yours relatives through satellite phones. Some tea house offer satellite or wired phone service. Just point the device mostly east. It is an easy and inexpensive way to letting those back home know where you are and you are ok.
Mobile phone service is available with a Nepal Cell phone company SIM card. They work perfectly well even outside the cities. However, as you go higher, you will lose the strength of the network or have no network at all.
20. What are the documents that are required to trek to EBC?
You do not need any permits to trek in this area until and unless you are not climbing a mountain. You will need a permit if you are visiting the National parks in this region. The permits are to be bought from the National park office at Thamel.
21. Is there an alternative way to see have a close up view of the Everest without having to trek?
If you are not willingly to take the trouble of walking to the Base Camp although it is completely worth it, you can take a mountain flight around the region to get a close up view of the Himalayan Ranges. Contact us for more information.
We hope we have answered all your questions about Everest Base Camp trek. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or comment below.