We learned a lot from our trek to Everest base camp and want to share these essential tips to help make your planning easier and your trek more enjoyable.
Everest base camp is located at an elevation of 5364 meters (17926 feet). It is no small feat getting to base camp. Even though it is a hike through villages with teahouse accommodations, the EBC Trek is 12 days of trekking at a sustained elevation above 4000 meters (13123 feet). These valuable tips for trekking to Everest base camp will make your life easier.
It is not the scary daunting experience that people imagine it to be, trekking to base camp is actually a lot of fun and hopefully these points will help you with your future climbs and make it just a little bit more comfortable on the way up.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp Tips
- Check out our Everest Base Camp Trek in Photos post.
1. Bring cash – Both USD and Nepal Rupees
There are no ATMs in Lukla or Namche Bazaar. Exchange rates are also very dismal so bring rupees with you at least $200 worth.
2. Pack your own tea
Tea is very expensive on Everest and it is cheaper to buy hot water and use your own tea bags. Bring a variety of teas as well for more enjoyment. See our full Everest base camp packing list
3. Buy your gear in Kathmandu
Trekking poles, hats, gloves, socks, down jackets, sleeping bags, chocolate and even medications can be bought in Kathmandu. Everything is cheap cheap cheap. There are fake brand names as well as good quality authentic North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Marmot clothing at discount prices.
There are also authentic stores for proper mountaineering equipment. Mountain Hardware and North Face authentic store that offers great deals. Everything you could possibly need to climb to Everest Base Camp is available in Nepal. If you need it or forgot it, you can get it.
4. Pack chocolate and any extra treats that you want
This is our very important tip for trekking to base camp! Pringles and chocolate are expensive on the trek to base camp and having your own little stash for treats that you bought in Kathmandu is a nice perk.
Sometimes when the altitude gets to us, the only thing that feels good going down is chocolate. I can’t stomach a full meal at times, but a little chocolate or salty chips makes eating easier. Once I have had a bit of chocolate and settle my stomach, I can eat a meal. Meals are very important to keep up your energy when trekking. If you don’t eat, it can lead to accelorating altitude sickness.
So, go to the shops in Kathmandu and buy a few chocolate bars, chips and trail mix to have for snacks along the route.
5. Book Your Trek with a Local Tour Company
We trekked with local guide Dipendra of Simreak Real Nepal and he has become a great friend. We had a private trek at a fraction of the cost of booking with someone like Intrepid Travel. We didn’t have to pay the costs of international offices or payroll for executives and employees overseas. The cost for our Everest Base Camp trek went directly to the local economy and guide because we didn’t have to pay a middle man.
Dipendra took great care of us and we still keep in touch. With nearly 20 years of guiding experience in the Himalayas, you will be in good hands with Deep. He also hired a local porter from the Everest Region.
You can either book with him through his website, or if you have the time, you can search for tour companies in Kathmandu. The way we found Dipendra was by simply walking from trekking company to trekking company and interviewing people until we found someone we were comfortable with. As backpackers, we had the luxury of time.
Everest Base Camp Treks, Mustang, Annapurna and more with Simrik Real Nepal. Tell him Dave and Deb sent you.
6. Pack Powdered Tang or Gatorade
Pack some Tang which you can purchase in Kathmandu. Or you can bring Gatorade from home to flavour your water. Water can get pretty boring day after day but you have to stay hydrated at altitude.
Flavoured water helps you to drink more and is far more enjoyable than just water all the time. Plus, if you use an energy drink, you will replenish your electrolytes as well keeping you healthy on the Everest Base Camp Trek.
See our entire packing list: Packing List for Everest Base Camp
7. Purify Your Water
When we trek, we pack a steripen to purify our water. There are plenty of ways to purify water such as a LifeStraw, Steripen and water purification tablets.
Help save the environment and your wallet by not purchasing bottled water on the trek. There are filling stations along the route and places to get water. With the Steripen, we just fill up our water bottles as we you go for free anywhere. Steripens work great using ultraviolet light to purify water in 30 seconds.
8. Pack a paperback book
Trekking to base camp takes several days and it can get a little boring at times. You may only have the energy to lay in bed and read a book, so bring a good one. You can buy books in Kathmandu and at Namche Bazaar.
9. Pack an Everest Region Map and EBC trekking Guide books
You will want to reference regularly to see where you are and where you are going. Plus, having an Everest Base Camp Trek guide book offers valuable advice for checking altitude symptoms and illnesses. Plus, you’ll want to read about what to look out for on your route and what to expect each day.
10. Pack Handi-wipes
You won’t be showering much showering muchon the Everest Base Camp Trek. Namche Bazaar will be one of the last places you’ll find a hot shower. That you will have to pay for by the way.
But don’t worry, you won’t be alone, nobody showers often on Everest, and we all smell.
Showers are not very appealing at -10 degrees Celcius. Especially when showers are at higher altitudes in cold temperatures and all you have is a bucket of cold water. So you can go for days without proper washing.
Handiwipes and hand sanitizer at least helps keep you healthy. And the handiwipes feel so good to wipe those sensitive areas. Follow that with a sprinkle of Gold Bond powder and you’ll feel fresh and comfortable. We like Gold Bond Powder over baby powder as it is medicated helps relieve itch, rashes and sticky skin.
11. Book the Best Seat on the Flight to Lukla
When flying to Lukla from Kathmandu, sit at either the front or back of the plane on the left-hand side. These offer the best views of the mountains.
The Himalayas are on the left and the front and back are not obscured by the wings of the plane. Sit here for your first glimpse of Mount Everest before your trek. It will help to build the excitement and the view is awe-inspiring.
12. Don’t eat meat after Namche Bazaar
Meat is carried up the mountain. They do not kill the animals on site. Sherpas trek the meat in for days and it is not guaranteed to be fresh.
13. Don’t Fear the suspension bridges on the EBC Trek
Ok, this may seem like a weird tip, but I had heard about the bridges to Everest being terrifying and freaked myself out. They are safe and in great condition.
I actually enjoyed walking along the bridges and the gorges. It was beautiful. I think that years ago it was scarier when the bridges were rickety, but now they are well made and maintained.
14. Give Yaks and Sherpa’s the right of way at all times
When a yak train comes, move to the mountainside to get out of the way. You don’t want to be nudged off a cliff by a yak. I cannot stress this enough. Do not stand on the ledge side of the trail on the trek. You could be knocked off the side of the cliff.
Sherpa’s and porters work hard on Everest, they are constantly taking supplies up and down the mountain. Help make their life easier by staying out of their way.
15. Keep batteries close to your body at all times
Electronics lose juice quickly at altitude and in the cold. Camera batteries and cell phones will go dead quickly during the day, so keep them close to your body and under your jackets and coats when trekking. The cold drains batteries quickly, extend their life by keeping them warm.
At night, sleep with them in your sleeping bags. So they keep their charge. And then put them close to your body as soon as you get dressed to keep them warm. Your body temperature will keep batteries charged.
Cost of Charging Batteries on Everest Base Camp Trek
- Charging batteries is very expensive per hour ($5-$10 per hour)
- Costs for charging batteries near or below Namche Bazaar 100-150 NPR/hour
- Closer to Base Camp 300 NPR/hour
16. Pack a Portable Power Bank
Pack a couple of portable power banks to charge your electronics. We like a power bank that has at least 20100mAh Portable Charger with Dual USB Ports. That way you can charge two things at a time and you will have at least 4 charges.
We also portable used solar chargers that we attached to our daypacks when trekking and the sun charged them during the day, so as our power banks rand out of juice, we had a back up with our solar chargers.
17. Stay Overnight at Tengboche
When you arrive at Tengboche, make sure to go and see the monks chant at 06:00 am and 15:00 pm, it is very cool. A visit to the monastery is a nice break from trekking to give your mind a break and listen to the music of the monks chant.
It clears your senses and lets you relax for the day ahead. It is also an incredible cultural experience. Every climber of Mount Everest stops at Tenboche Monastery to be blessed by the monks.
18. The best views of the Himalayas are in the morning (at least when we were there)
The clouds roll in quickly and obscure the panorama views of the mountains on the Everest Base Camp trek, so take your photos early in the day..
You can see Mount Everest from a few points on the Everest Base Camp trek and it is an incredible site.
From Namche Bazaar and at Tengboche are two awesome views so make sure to ask your guide to show you. In Namche Bazaar, you have to trek to the Mount Everest Hotel Lookout on your acclimatization day so don’t skip this and go see it. Plus, you’ll see all the other 7000 meter peask in the region as well.
The other amazing view of Everest Base Camp is from Tengboche. Sir Edmond Hillary spent time at Tengboche to survey Everest because it is such a clear view.
So before you leave Tengboche, go to the Everest lookout point and take your photos early for memories to last forever.
19. Best Places for Lunch Before Namche Bazaar
Stop for lunch at Jorsale just past the suspension bridge for lunch before reaching Namche Bazaar. It is the final place for any food or water until Namche which is 2 hours straight up!
Plus, it is a beautiful scene and the weather will probably the warmest balmiest weather you’ll have. Sitting in the sun while enjoying a good meal will give you the energy you need for your energy for this climb.
20. Go shopping in Namche Bazaar
We found some great deals that rivaled Kathmandu prices contrary to popular belief. We bought most of what we needed in Kathmandu, but we noticed we needed a few more things while trekking to Everest Base Camp.
- Booties – We bought down booties to help keep our feet warmer at night.
- Sherpa Hats – We found that we didn’t pack warm enough hats by the time we reached Namche Bazaar and got a great deal on Sherpa hats.
The Sherpa Store was one of our favorite places to shop in Namche Bazaar and a portion of the sales go to help the Sherpas and Porters in the Everest Region.
21. Take your time each day
It is not a race and nobody is judging how quickly you get up the hill. Acclimatize properly, drink plenty of water, and if you need to take an extra rest day do it. The great thing about booking locally and having a private guide is that our trip was very flexible. We didn’t have to follow a group tour.
Nobody is going to ask you how long it took you to get to Everest Base Camp when you get home, they are just going to be amazed that you did it.
Your guide and porter will not mind if you hire them for an extra day or two. They will be glad for the work. Treks are flexible on Everest if you book in Kathmandu or when you arrive in Lukla, so skip booking that organized tour at home and go local.
22. Give yourself a few days after the trek before you have to fly home
Flights were delayed from for 3 days near the end of our trek. We heard rumours of long delays while trekking down the trail and we were worried that we would be stuck in Lukla for a few days.
For us, it didn’t matter because we were staying in Nepal for a few more weeks, but many people book flights home from Kathmandu immediately after their trek.
If you are stuck in Lukla for 3 days waiting with no way out, you are not going to make your flight home. There are many people who had to flight booked home the next day and missed their flight.
23. Everything you need for Everest can be bought in Kathmandu
From Tang to tea and from medication to books and maps. Don’t stress too much if you forgot something at home. Whatever you need for trekking to Everest can be bought in Kathmandu.
We had been traveling around South Asia for several months before our trek to Everest Base Camp and didn’t have any gear. We bought everything in Kathmandu except for our trekking boots.
Boots should be very well worked in before trekking to Everest. You don’t want to ever climb or trek in new boots.
24. Pack a good first aid kit
The one thing you will need to have stocked on the trail is a good first aid kit. Days are long and unless you are in Namche Bazaar and possibly another village or two, first aid medication and equipment will not be readily available.
What to Pack in Your First Aid Kit
- Diamox is a must for altitude symptoms. Follow the directions and take 1/2 of a 500 mg tablet twice a day.
- Advil or your choice of pain reliever
- lip balm and sunscreen is a must.
- Nasal lubricant – I had a woman give me salve for my sinuses to moisten them. My nasal cavities dried out and I suffered from severe nose bleeds which were quite scary. I will always have a lubricant for my nose from now on.
- Moleskin and Bandaids – Blisters are a real problem
- antiseptic cream
- alcohol wipes
- See our full travel first aid kit – Packing a Travel First Aid Kit For Long Term Travel
25. Pack Light and Smart
For our packing a list for Everest trekking, check out tips here at Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek
26. Bring two pairs of sunglasses
I had a pair of sunglasses break when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and it could have easily happened on Everest. At high altitudes, snow blindness is a high possibility so you don’t want to take the risk of not having protection for your eyes.
In addition to sunglasses, pack a peak hat as well as the sun reflects and comes in from all directions. It helps to protect your face from getting burned and offers extra protection for your eyes.
27. Respect the local culture
When trekking to Everest Base Camp, prayer rocks, prayer walls, prayer wheels and prayer flags are meant to be kept to the right at all times. You walk to the left and religious symbols are on the right. Meaning you are in the right hand of good. It is a custom to follow what the local people believe.
Also, ask before people taking any photographs, many people do not want their photos taken and it is their right. Respect their wishes.
28. Braid your Hair if it is long
If you have long hair, put it in a braid early on in the trek. I walked with my hair down wearing a hat and a few days in I had full-on dreadlocks by the end of the trek.
If I would have put it in a french braid or a couple of braided pigtails at the beginning of the trek, I would have saved my hair and not have had to cut off four inches after the EBC trek!
29. Hire your porter or guide in either Kathmandu or Lukla
Prices are expensive when you book from your own country and if you book your guides in Nepal, you can be sure that more money is going directly to them as opposed to large corporations.
There are many porters and guides that will meet you at the plane when your flight arrives in Lukla that are very experienced and capable. Plus, you have the added bonus of being able to interview them.
If you book a trek once you arrive in Lukla, you can save money by not having to pay for their flight from Kathmandu. You are taking a chance, but if you have time, you can save a lot of money.
We climbed Dipendra who is based in Kathmandu. He hired a porter in Lukla, so we saved on a flight of our porter. You can book tours with Dipendra at Simrik Real Nepal
30. There is free wifi in Lukla and Namche Bazaar
If you want to bring your laptop you can use it on the trek. You can always leave gear at a teahouse in Namche Bazaar and pick it up on your way down.
Internet is very expensive up on the mountain.
- Lukla wifi location – Internet at “Starbucks” Coffee
- Namche wifi location- Everest Bakery
- Regular costs of Internet with slow connections – 10 NPR/minute below Namche Bazar 25 NPR per minute above Namche Bazaar
- (72 NPR = $1 USD)
31. Relish the experience of the EBC Trek
Climbing to Everest Base Camp is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences you will ever have in your life. Yes, you may be tired and may suffer a bit, but be sure to take a moment and soak it all in.
You are one of the few lucky people in the world that gets to experience this, enjoy every moment and appreciate every moment you can.
Do you have some helpful tips or advice to climb to Everest Base Camp or even some things that you have learned from other treks that you have done? We would love to hear them.
Read More About Everest Base Camp Trekking
- Everest Base Camp Trek – All You Need to Know from Start to Finish
- Remarkable Everest Base Camp Trek in Photos
- Flight to Lukla – A Scary Thrill Ride to Everest
- Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek
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