Nepal- the land of the cerulean mountain peaks and majestic Himalayas, is one of the most beautiful countries to visit. Nepal offers many things to do in the country, from leisurely cultural tours to adventurous rafting in the white Himalayan Rivers. But among all, trekking in Nepal is perhaps the most popular. Even more specifically, the Everest Base Camp Trek is the most sought after trekking journey in Nepal, earning its spot on the many trekkers and travelers list of top things to do around the world.
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes trekkers on a journey to the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain peak.It lets you deep into the heart of the Sherpa community in the Nepalese Himalayas. It takes place in the beautiful Khumbu region- a Trans-Himalayan region that is entirely made up of Himalayan topography. From the dramatic airstrip at Lukla, the alpine woodlands of Sagarmatha National Park, the famous monastery of Tengboche and the mountain town of Namche Bazaar to deep river valleys, mountain basins, glacial rivers and Icefalls- the journey is truly one of the most amazing experiences of natural wonders.
The opulent cultural diversity of the Sherpa ethnicity is also explored quite richly during the trip. The base camp trek is done by thousands of trekkers every year and because of its immense and well-deserved popularity, it plays an important role in the tourism economy of Nepal as well. Since the conquest of Mount Everest summit by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953, the base camp trek journey has gained substantial fame globally and has now become a leading trekking journey to do in Nepal.A moderate level trekking, the Everest Base Camp Trek needs to be done by enthusiastic travelers at least once in their life. It can be done by people of all demographics at any time of the year as well. Nepal Treks truly is an adventure that is worth your time. Here is a basic travel guide about certain things you need to know about the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal-
Unlike in Kathmandu, the villages and towns during the Everest Base Camp Trek offer simple and moderate level guesthouses and lodges for accommodation. For the most part, the accommodations tend to be on a twin sharing lodge to lodge basis. The guesthouses and lodges are safe and provide the service of electricity, water and toilet facilities. Hot water is also provided but the guesthouses ask extra money for this. Some guesthouses also have wifi services. There are accounts of trekkers sleeping on tents as well, but due to the increasing number of guesthouses in the region, it is very rarely done as guesthouses act as the primary source of accommodation during the trip.
Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available while doing the trek. Authentic Nepali meals like Rice and Lentils are available at all places and they are the best food for trekking. As the saying goes, you’re not full and content until you eat rice! Besides, other Indian, Tibetan and Continental meals are also available, like pastas, pizzas, noodles, dumplings and rolls. Breakfast and dinners are served in the guesthouses and lunch usually occurs along the route from one destination to the next. Trekkers can also buy snacks from the shops while doing the trek as well.
- Physical Condition for the Trek
Since the Everest Base Camp Trek is a moderate level trek, it can be done by everyone, even novice trekkers with no previous experience. In fact, while previous trekking experience certainly helps during the trip to the base camp of Everest, it isn’t a necessity. To generally prepare for the trek beforehand, you can practice cardio exercises like swimming, running or walking. Generally, in a day, 7 to 8 hours of hiking from one village to the next can be done. Having a good physical condition helps to do the trek with ease. No technical skills are required for the trip, only good stamina and fitness. So preparing for the trek beforehand by building up your stamina goes a long way.
- Best Time to Travel
The seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to December) are the best seasons for EBC trekking. Because of the surge of trekkers during these months, they are also called Peak Trekking Seasons. Spring and autumn seasons offer clear weather and good views of the mountains. Winter season (January and February) and summer (April to August) are not considered ideal trekking seasons because of the monsoon and heavy snowfall. But the trek can be done at any time throughout the year.
- Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness occurs when the body is not able to adjust properly to high elevated conditions. That is why proper acclimatization is necessary during the trek. Furthermore, the severity and the occurrence of Altitude Sickness also vary from one person to the next. Taking proper medicines for altitude sickness helps in its reduction. Identifying the symptoms of the sickness early and resting also helps to gain the strength back to continue the trek. It is not advised to rush too fast while trekking.Moreover, doing the trek in an easy pace that you are comfortable with is the best way to avoid getting altitude sick. Eating well and staying hydrated are also the keys in reducing the sickness along with doing the trek in a comfortable pace.
- Equipments and Packing
It is advised to pack as light as possible. In the mountains, porters earn their living by carrying the bag-packs of the trekkers. In this way, hiring porters in the mountain while trekking not only makes trekking easier, but it also supports the local people with their livelihood. Porters carry the bags and equipments in the mountains and they are capable of carrying a maximum load of about 23 to 25 kg at a time between two people. This has to be kept in consideration while packing. Having light weight packs also cause fewer hassles. Warm clothes are a given, along with trekking equipments like boots, hiking poles, sleeping bags and headlamps.