Here are some helpful tips that I learned while trekking to Everest Base Camp successfully. I want to share my essential planning tips not only to help others with their trek but to make it more enjoyable too. Some of the things covered are how to deal with altitude sickness to what you need to know before trekking to the camp.
Everest base camp is located at an elevation of 5364 meters (17926 ft). The distance from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and then back to Lukla is roughly 150klms. Most organised trek tours are around 12-14 days of trekking that include acclimatisation days. So preparing will give you a better chance of successfully completing it.
Trekking Tips for Everest Base Camp
I had torn ankle ligaments when I trekked to Everest base camp and even though it was quite painful for me, words cannot describe the experience I had. Especially when I arrived at the camp and realised that I was standing at the foot of the tallest mountain in the world Mt Everest.
It is no small feat getting to the camp but it does not have to be a daunting experience either. If anything it is really an amazing experience. Here are 12 Everest Base Camp trekking tips and what you need for beginners to help you to be successful on your trek.
1. Make sure you have the right fitting hiking boots
Wearing a good-quality hiking boot that fits correctly and supports your ankles will make the world of difference. Plus it will give a better chance of trekking to Everest base camp successfully.
You want your feet to be as comfortable and properly supported for the long days. If you don’t, you could risk rolling your ankle on the uneven paths and steps. Or, you can get really bad blisters, which could result in not being able to finish the trek.
I wore Asolo woman’s leather hiking boots for my long distance trek. They are not cheap but they fit perfectly and were sturdy and waterproof. I have never had a blister from them either and I have worn them for completing the 3 peaks challenge.
⇒ Compare and view various hiking boots available here on the Amazon site.
2. Break in your hiking boots beforehand
You don’t want to be breaking in hiking boots on the trail to Everest Base Camp. Apart from getting blisters, you can get chafed skin, aching feet, or even lose a toenail. Not only will it make for an unpleasant trekking experience but it might stop you from completing the trek.
If you’re purchasing new hiking boots or shoes, take time to wear them beforehand. You will also be able to check for any issues and change them over for another boot if need be. I had mine two months before I left for Nepal and I would go for small hikes like in Richmond Park or Devils Punch Bowl England.
3. Having the right equipment
Having the right gear is essential for your trek to Everest Base Camp to be successful. It’s something you will probably be thinking about as soon as you book your trip. It is also important to be prepared to keep warm and dry when at a high altitude.
As well as the right trekking gear, you need to pack items for use in the tea houses in the evening. Some of these items should include a good down jacket, waterproof hiking jacket, and hiking trousers. As well as walking poles, head torch and backpack cover for when it rains.
Obviously, this is not the only gear you will need on the trip. However, they are some of the essential items that you need to focus on. Check with the tour you book through what they will supply. My down jacket and hiking poles were provided, so I didn’t bring mine all the way from the UK. You can hire equipment like walking poles in Kathmandu as it is full of trekking shops.
AlpineTrek UK, has a good selection online of outdoor gear, hiking equipment and clothing that can be purchased.
4. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
One of the most important tips for trekking to Everest base camp is to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Water helps prevent altitude sickness as your body dehydrates much quicker as you get higher. It also helps when you are getting tired.
It is recommended that you drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day. By doing this you will have a better chance of making it to Everest base camp. This is a great tip that would also apply to other multi-day treks around the world.
I had carried two reusable water bottles but it wasn’t enough. I wished I had used my water bladder, which I used on Mt Kilimanjaro. Lucky, I was able to fill up when we would stop for lunch and sometimes on breaks.
5. Acclimatise is key
Acclimatisation is very important not only for you to succeed but also for your safety. It allows your body to slowly get used to the low levels of oxygen in the mountains. Remember it is better to be safe than sorry. No one asks how quickly did it take you to arrive at the camp.
All multi-day treks to Everest Base Camp should have acclimatisation days. The more days you have on the trek acclimatising, the better your chances are of being successful. When deciding on which organised trekking tour group to go with chose one that offers 12 days or more.
6. Take your time
Everest Base Camp is not a race and it is important to take your time. I think we are all guilty of wanting to get somewhere quickly; I do it all the time. Your aim is to get from A to B safely without getting too tired and out of breath. Remember the higher you get the harder it is to breathe.
We had a guide at the start of the group and at the end of our group every day. The guide at the front would set the pace and make sure no one was trying to rush. If you tried to go too fast you would hear the guide or Sherpa say Bistari, Bistari meaning ‘slowly, slowly’.
7. Don’t drink tap water
Drinking tap water is not safe; it has to be either bottled or boiled water. The last thing you want is travellers’ diarrhoea while trekking at high altitudes. This is especially important as the body’s resistance level is lower due to the lack of oxygen at these levels.
Not to mention the toilets are not easily accessible during the day. I would also avoid brushing your teeth with tap water. If you end up getting diarrhoea then I suggest taking medicine as soon as possible, like Oral rehydration salts (eg diarolyte).
8. Use water purifying tablets
I suggest getting water purification tablets for your trek. As you are aware you have to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water. While the teahouses will boil water, it is still limited as there are other hikers.
Purifying tablets are readily available depending on the country. I suggest getting them before leaving where you are based. I got mine from an outdoor store but I know they are available online too. I have also them for travelling in Sierra Leone.
9. Take medicine for unexpected sickness
Carry medicine in your day backpack for any unexpected sickness or emergency. You want to deal with any medical issues as quickly as you can to be able to successfully make it to Everest base camp.
I would put it in a small first aid kit or in a small lockable bag that you can easily access. I carry a small medical bag on me anyway when I travel, as I have heart disease, and just modify it. Whether you purchase medicine before you leave home or in Kathmandu, make sure you have something for the following potential sicknesses:
Traveller’s diarrhoea is common. Best to take something like Imodium or dioralyte to help with the symptoms. Dehydration packages to help with the loss of fluid.
Altitude sicknesses, to help prevent it take something like acetazolamide. To treat altitude sickness have something like ibuprofen and paracetamol for headaches.
10. Keep your day backpack light
During the day, you only trek with your day backpack. You won’t have access to your big bag until you reach the tea house each evening when the porters arrive. Keep your daypack light and filled only with essentials and what you use. This will make you’re trekking easier and more enjoyable. Also, if your bag is too heavy, it will start to weigh you down and you will get tired quicker.
I use a women’s backpack from the Osprey range. It is comfortable to carry and has a specific section for my water bladder. I highly recommend the brand. Here are some other good hiking day backpacks, all are reasonably priced.
11. Train before trekking to Everest Base Camp
The trek in the Himalayas is not a technical one and you don’t have to be an athlete. However, training before you leave will increase your chances of reaching Everest Base Camp.
Training will also give you the strength and endurance to get there and make for a much more enjoyable time in the Himalayas. When you book your guided tour for Nepal most of them will give you an exercise plan to follow.
If you are unsure about how to train, I suggest asking your local gym for a plan or PT. I trained for a few months beforehand in the gym on the treadmill and Stairmaster and with my PT. I also did some local hiking in nearby parks breaking in my hiking boots.
12. Arrive at least a day or two before your trek
If you are flying in from another country it’s best to arrive at least a day or two before you start your trek. To allow your body to get over any jet lag you may have and to adjust. This will help with the trek and ease your tiredness along the way.
It also allows you to get any hiking supplies you may still need and hire equipment. I spent a day in Kathmandu with my hiking group before we flew out to Lukla airport to start our adventure. We explored the city, relaxed by the pool, and bonded with my new friends. How about booking a city day tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu city?
Check with the expedition group you book with that they have this extra day. It was definitely worth it.
Other hikes around the world
How about reading these other articles on hiking and trekking around the world?
- England, UK – Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl
- India –Kari Pass Trek, Lord Curzons Trail
- Victoria Australia – Hiking Trails Lerderderg State Park Victoria
Remember that you need to get some good Hiking Boots before your next Adventure. Happy feet, happy hiker!!
Thank you for reading this article ‘12 Trekking tips for Everest Base Camp’. I hope that I have been helpful in helping you achieve your goal of reaching Everest Base Camp. Please do not hesitate to message or email me with any questions. Happy trekking and enjoy your adventure!
I used Nepal Uncovered for my trek to Everest Base Camp and I highly recommend them. Here is a list of other organised trekking tours that are 12 days that you can compare:
Do you have any more trekking tips for successfully making it to Everest Base Camp? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below or anything more you would like me to add?
You will need a visa to enter Nepal. You can either get it upon arrival or apply for it online beforehand. I suggest getting it online with ivisa, so it is one less thing you need to worry about.
If you liked this article on trekking in the Himalayas, please, share!
Disclaimer: I paid for my trekking trip to Everest Base Camp, Nepal. All helpful tips and information are based on my own experience.
Booking references and links Kathmandu
- I stayed at the Hotel Shanker during my time in Kathmandu and really enjoyed it.
- If you are planning on staying in Kathmandu before or after your trekking experience in the Himalayas. Then you can check availability here in the city.
- Here is a selection of activities and tours you can book in Nepal.
- Make your trip extra special and book a flight over Mount Everest from Kathmandu
- You can check a variety of flights and prices from London to Kathmandu with Opodo.
20 thoughts on “12 Everest Base Camp Trekking Tips for Beginners”
That must have been quite a difficult journey but, one that will stay in your memories a lot.
It was not to bad as I had a brace on it and took pain killers, I think the experience made me forget about the pain 🙂 Do you do any trekking?
Great Blog Post MelBTravel, glad we could do our part to make it possible!
Thanks very much for the experience, hopefully I can come back one day 🙂
Incredible scenery! Great tips Mel, especially about the footwear! I have only hiked in the mountains of North Carolina, but even there, wearing proper boots or shoes can either make your hike, or break it. How lbg did it take your group, in total, to make the trek? It looks like it was several days worth of hiking!
Thank you Tamie, I appreciate your kind words. It was a 15day round trip, which included the couple of days you are in Kathmandu. I would love to know more about your North Carolina hike, when you get a chance
Mel, we went on a few hikes in NC over the years. Pisgah Forest, and the Blue Ridge, have a few trails that are quite beautiful. Chimney Rock is near Bats Cave, they filmed some of the movie The Last of the Mohicans there, that has a lot of steep stairs that make our legs tremble. Chimney Rock is a park with beautiful scenery. If you are interested I can ask my cousin for the specific names, she is the one who guided us. They are very simple hikes compared to yours! But enjoyable nonetheless. Some of them have nice waterfalls. Once we hiked up to where wild blueberries were growing. Thank you for asking about my hikes!
Hi Mel, I love this post. Your photos are fantastic. Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks very much, Kim I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. Enjoy your day 🙂
Oh my. Interesting tips even if I don’t think I will ever dare doing something like that!
Thank you very much. It definitely was a trip of a life time and I still smile when I think about it.
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Congrats on climbing to Everest Base Camp – it must be such an exhilarating experience! Thanks for the tip about paying for showers. I wouldn’t want to be stuck not having enough money to freshen up!
Thank you very much, it is up there as one of my favourite experiences ever. You get use to not having a shower but when you do get one, it makes you feel great 🙂
You are such a terrific adventurer at heart. I wish to go on this trek in 2018 or 2019 and I am working on my fitness to be successful in achieving my goal. I will definitely message you while finalizing my trip for more tips. I have already learnt a lot while reading this post like taking water purifying tablets is something one must do. I never thought we need to pay for showers and power, so thanks for the heads up on that. Also that even after hiring a guide we may not have the guide all the time by our side is something I did not expect. Thanks for this extremely insightful post!
You’re a trooper Mel! Big fan of Nepal but never made it to Everest. At least yet. Per your advice, have fun with this process. Enjoy. Like all things in life, if you have fun, you enhance the experience. Thanks for sharing with us.
Thanks very much, Paul, I really appreciate your kind words… Definitely, enjoy life to the fullest my friend.
Just wow your pictures alone make me want to trek. Great tip about the boots and testing out first in the shop.
Thank you so much, it is such a stunning place to go
What an awesome experience. Is on my bucket list but I’m afraid I will not be able to finish it. The view is stunning.
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