Mt. Everest Favors: The Prepared Trekker
1. Understand Altitude Sickness and Prevention
This is the number one concern for trekkers on their way to Everest Base Camp. Altitude Sickness can seriously derail your travel plans if you are not prepared well. Study up on Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and it’s prevention. Please stay away from diamox, it can unmask other symptoms.
[READ: ALTITUDE ILLNESS AND PREVENTION ON EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK]
2. Be Honest
If you suffer any possible symptoms of AMS on the trail, please report this to your guide immediately. Don’t try to hide it or tough it out. It can happen to anyone, even an experienced Sherpa returning home from lower elevations. If you act carelessly and don’t report symptoms, it can result in emergency evacuation or even death in severe cases.
3. Bring Extra Cash
Bring extra cash with you. Dollars and Euros are accepted in all guesthouses and restaurants. ATM machines are available up to Namche Bazzar, however, they charge you quite a fortune, about 5%-7% from the local bank and additional about 2-5% from home bank. Check with your local bank prior to leaving.
4. Leave Extra Layover Days For Return Back Home and Book An Early Flight
Flight to and from Lukla Airport is notorious for delays and cancellations. These inconveniences are a common occurrence at Lukla Airport and occasionally at Kathmandu domestic airport. Occasionally, travelers get stranded for days or even a week. Be prepared to make alternate plans, or to take other routes back to Kathmandu. We strongly recommend booking early flight in the morning as delays and cancellation during late morning on peak season is common occurrence.
[READ: STRANDED AT LUKLA AIRPORT-ALTERNATE ROUTES AND CHOICES]
5. Right Gear and Equipment
- Day Pack: 30-45 Liters. backpack (depending on ones’ preferences).
- Hiking Boots: You want a boot with good ankle support for the 12 days hike. Be sure to break them in before your Everest Trek.
- Sandals: Slip on sandals or flip-flops in order to give your feet a breather during the evening.
- Woolen and Light Socks: For the cold Himalayan mornings woolen socks are best. In the afternoon you may want to switch to a lighter pair.
- Tri-climate Jacket: It gets windy in the evenings, and you can layer it up with a down jacket or fleece jacket for early morning trekking.
- Down Jacket: It’s light and warm – at least 700 goose is the best. At the higher altitudes it gets quite cold at night and in the mornings.
- Trekking Poles: These can give you extra balance and support. Your knees will especially appreciate this on the downhill descent.
- Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen (35+ SPF) and Lip Balm: Trekking at such high altitudes on your way to Everest Base Camp will expose you to very strong sunlight during the day. It is essential to stay protected!
- Sleeping Bag: Bring -10 C sleeping bag to layer with the blanket your guest house will provide. A sleeping bag -20 C and above for any camping treks.
- Band-Aids: Untreated blisters can make the trek very difficult. Fabric band-aids are the best for covering blisters.
- Cameras, Batteries, and Memory Card: There are so many Kodak moments and charging your batteries can cost $1-$2.50 along the trail. Bring extra batteries to avoid this expense. 32 GB of memory should be sufficient.
- Binoculars: These will bring the exceptional Himalayan Mountains, flora and fauna closer to you.
6. Downtime Entertainment
It can get pretty boring in the evenings, as most daily trekking routes end between 2-4 pm. Bring books, playing cards, iPod or phone; or even better, bring a tablet for entertainment during evening /downtime. In the areas above Namche Bazzar, it gets very cold in the evening and most trekkers prefer to stay inside the guesthouse. Also, in the event of Lukla flight cancellation, these items will become your best friends!
7. Bring Snacks and Goodies
Bring some snacks (trail mix, nuts, granola bars, chocolate or other candies) and Gatorade or powdered drink mix to flavor water. After a few days of plain water, you will probably crave some flavor. Nutrition bars will not only keep your hunger at bay, but will also give you a much needed boost of energy for the long trek. Chocolate and candies will sweeten your way along the trail. Don’t worry about the calories, you will burn them off in no time.
8. Pack Light and Right
Most trekkers carry 25-35 liters backpack (depending on ones’ preferences) and most package tours allow 11.5 kg./25 lbs. of luggage for each trekker. If you are willing to spend extra money, you can carry more. Porters generally carry 23 kg./50 lb. total. When flying into Lukla airport, 11 lbs or 5 kg for carry on and 22 lbs or 10 kg for check in. Extra fee (about $1.2 per 1 kg or 2.2 lbs as of 2013) applies for overweight baggages. Go to your local outdoor store and ask the experts for the right backpack and great deals. Find the one that fits your body and has the right price as well!
9. Eat Vegetarian
No animals are allowed to slaughter in Everest region. Most meat comes to the Everest region either by plane or by road. It is then transported via yak, without a cooler in most cases. Vegetarian meals are safer. Food poisoning will definitely cut your trip short.
[READ: EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK COST]
10. Be A Responsible Traveler
Please mind the fragile ecosystem in the Everest region. Respect the local cultures and traditions. For example, you should take your hats and shoes off when entering any monastery. Don’t hug or put your arms around any monk or nun for a photo shot! Don’t touch people with, or offer money with your left hand. The left hand is considered polluted by Nepalis, Sherpa and Tibetans alike. Never touch anyone (even children) on their heads as this is also considered polluting. It is also considered very rude and unacceptable to sit with your feet facing towards another person. And please be sure to bring your trash with you when you leave the Himalayan region. Trekkers must be ecologically and culturally responsible travelers!
Please ask lots of questions and contact us anytime. Our Himalayan Expert will be available to speak (+1 888 388-5308) to you 24/7. Chat anytime or email us at email@example.com
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“I can certainly say that Sonam Adventures made the difference between our trip to Nepal being an ordinary vacation and becoming an extraordinary experience that created memories for a lifetime. We were so impressed by Sonam’s attention to detail, follow up, fairness and overall commitment to our experience. The entire team from Tenzin in the office to Chhiring and Uttam on the mountain were not only competent and capable in every respect, but were also a pleasure to spend time with. I will gladly recommend Sonam Adventures to anyone looking for peace of mind in their planning and hope to return someday soon myself for another great adventure”.
Lance Platt, Salt Lake City, Utah