Ian has personally climbed Mount Everest to the top and led over 40+ treks to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar. After 15 years of running quality treks to Everest, we have developed our Top 50 Tips in support of your Everest Base Camp Trek. If you would like to chat with Ian or any of our knowledgeable staff, then CONTACT US today. Our team is here to help you gather the specific information you need to be successful.
Quality Everest Base Camp Treks
We only run quality treks to Everest with four guides for every group of ten trekkers. Having more staff on our trips gives you a safer and more enjoyable experience. We lead around 50 trips per year into the Everest region of Nepal. Over the years, we have become a world leader in offering quality run treks to Everest Base Camp. We are happy to schedule a free personal assessment with you. CONTACT US.
We Have our own Full Time Staff in Kathmandu
All our office staff in Colorado have trekked to Everest Base Camp over 8 times. Likewise, they have slept at Everest Base Camp and climbed local peaks in Everest region like Island peak, Mera Peak and Lobuche peak. Therefore, if you sign up with us, you are getting the best available information about how to train and fully prepare for your trek to Everest Base Camp. Read some REVIEWS from our trips.
1). Trek the Traditional Route to Mount Everest
There are a wide range of routes you can take to Mount Everest. If you are limited on time, but want the right acclimatization, you should pick the traditional and best route to Everest. We believe you will get the most of of this route when trekking to Everest Base Camp. The Mountain views on Shangbouche Hill above Namche, the scenic viewing above Dingbouche and all the way up to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar are truly unique. Why not join one of our sleeping at Everest Base Camp Treks. There are lots of other routes to Mount Everest and we can tailor itineraries for you or your group as we run over 50 trips into the Everest Region each year. We have our own full time staff on the ground in Kathmandu.
2). Acclimatization is Critical for Success
Having more acclimatization in Namche Bazaar, at 3,500m/ 11,500 feet, will give you a safer journey to high altitude. We have developed two unique itineraries for our treks to Mount Everest. They both have excellent acclimatization for the best safety and success and you can read more on this page. We highly recommend having three nights in Namche Bazaar on the way up the trail. Without a doubt, this can make all the difference in your safety and success in reaching Everest Base Camp and climbing Kala Patthar.
3). Come Prepared
You need to come fully prepared for this challenge of a lifetime. The trek to Everest Base Camp is a stunning trek through the world famous trail to Mount Everest. It is however, not a technical climb. Therefore, you do not need to have any previous technical climbing experience or even any altitude experience to complete the trek. However, you do need to be physically fit and have excellent strength, conditioning and endurance to be able to complete the trek and to fully enjoy the journey. If you have not trained your body to withstand the pressures of constant strain at high altitude through physical preparation, you will find it a very difficult task to complete the trek, risking your and other people’s safety.
We have a ton of information on training for Everest Base Camp treks. Have a look at our Training Advice for your trek blog. CONTACT US and we will help you prepare and train for this amazing adventure.
4). Bring the Right Gear
We have one of the most watched Everest Base Camp packing video on You Tube. WATCH IT HERE. If you sign up to one of our Everest Base Camp Treks, then we will send out a 40 page document with an itemized kit list for your Everest trek. There are many parts of your gear that are essential for your trek into Everest Base Camp, and I am not going to go through every piece of gear you need for the trip. You do not want to have your trip ruined because you did not bring the right gear. Something as simple as not getting the right down jacket for the trip, could cause you to turn around. Don’t let being cold or wet the reason you are not successful on your trip.
5). Get the Right Trekking Boots
If you are an avid hiker, then you will have boots and you will be using them all the time. You can consider some of the trekking boots we recommend. Depending on what country you live in, it can be more difficult to get a certain boot. Here are the trekking boots we have used and recommend. This is just a list of a few boots that we have experience with, however there are a lot of good, high quality boots out there!
The most important factors to consider when picking a trekking boot are the fit, ankle support, water proofing, and stiffness. Make sure that you are comfortable with the fit of your boot and that you have broken them in well before your trip. Do NOT show up on a trip with a new pair of boots! Likewise, do not show up on a trip with a boots that are completely worn and falling apart. Never compromise with footwear on a multi-day trek!
6). Have the Best Guides
We have four guides for every group of ten trekkers. Having more guides helps you on the trail when the risks are higher. There are lots of porters, trekkers, animals, rock fall, and drop offs along the way. You need to walk as a group and not be spread out across the trail. Make sure you have the best guides in support of your trek. So many times we have seen local guides, picked up in Lukla, asking our guides which is the right trail.
All our guides have gone through rigorous training over many years and know the Everest Region like the back of their hand. They have family in the region and well versed in leading groups safely to Everest Base Camp. We have continual training available to our staff on the ground and have an office based in Kathmandu. We do not outsource any of our trips! Make sure you pick a highly qualified team when going to Everest Base Camp.
8). Access to Professionals Prior to Your Trek
Undoubtedly, you will have many questions before you take on your trek to Everest Base Camp. You will need to have access to professionals who have done the trek time and time again. Our team have all been to Everest Base Camp over eight times and you will have access to them 5 days a week. Make sure you choose a company who will give you up to date information on how to plan and prepare correctly for your trek to Mount Everest.
9). Pick a Team With More Support
Have the more staff on the mountain in support of your Everest Base Camp Trek. Not only do we have four guides per team of ten people. We also have our own office in Kathmandu with full-time staff available all the time. If you are in the mountains and anything comes up, our team in Kathmandu and in the States will be available to assist. Make sure you pick a team that has the staff and connections needed to be successful in this region!
10). Have Animals, not People, Carrying Your Duffel Bag
Where possible, are have animals carry your duffel bag. Nak’s (a combination of Yaks and cows) are what we use to carry the loads in the Everest Region. They are more reliable than porters. Some people might argue that you are employing people to work in the region, however by using animals, you are also supporting the local community. The animals have to be managed by people and also fed and taken care of by people. For certain routes in the region, you do have to use people, if animals can not pass the terrain. However, whenever possible, we recommend using animals. Having more guides with you on the trail is more important than using porters, and higher paying for them. This is the best way to manage an Everest Base Camp Trek.
11). Use Better Lodges
By using the better lodges, you give yourself access to better food, cleaner environment and less chance to get food or water born sickness. We use the better mountain lodges for all our trips, when available. For example, we use Hotel Namche in Namche Bazaar for four of the nights of our treks. You have three nights on the way up the trail and one night on the way down the trail. You will have a shower in your room, great food and comfortable experience on route to Everest. Higher on the trail, there are very few options in the villages, however whenever possible, we use the better options!
12). Sleep at Everest Base Camp
One of the most unique adventures in the Everest region is sleeping at Everest Base Camp. We run twelve treks per year to sleep at the base of the world’s highest mountain. Spaces are limited but we have extra acclimatization, along with hiking up Kala Patthar for the awe-inspiring view as the sun sets on Mount Everest. This is a unique and amazing way to experience Mount Everest.
13). Mentally Prepare for your Trek
You can gain mental strength from your physical training and all the preparation you put in. Try to get in as much trekking and multi-day trekking as you can in your preparations, along with getting used to all of your gear you will use on the trip. Get yourself mentally prepared for the developing world.
All accommodation on our trek to Everest Base Camp is in small tea houses, run by the local Sherpa people. You will have a bed to sleep in (albeit not the most comfortable bed in the world, but a bed to say the least), in a twin-shared room. There are options for showers lower down on the trail, if you decide to use them, however, many people keep clean by using baby wipes and a bowl of warm water each day. The toilet situations can be difficult at times, some of the tea do not have Western-style toilets, rather just a hole in the ground instead of a toilet bowl. Be prepared for the different cultural experiences you will have along the way!
14). Be Prepared for the Outdoors
Do some camping prior to the trip. Make sure you are comfortable with going to the bathroom in the great outdoors! More and more there are toilets dotted along the trail, especially lower down. However, not everywhere. Sometimes, you will have to go to the bathroom when on the trail and there will be no toilet in sight. Being comfortable with some of these things will make the entire process much easier when you arrive in Nepal.
As we said above, test your gear and make sure you are comfortable with all of it! You do need to prepare yourself for these things, as you do not want to arrive on the mountain and have higher expectations and be disappointed. Depending on your level of comfort with the outdoors, you may need to prepare yourself for life in the mountains.
15). Use Every Piece of Gear Before the Trek
Don’t show up on an Everest Base Camp trek with a bag full of brand new gear!! You need to check each piece of gear you are bringing and make sure it fits, works and makes sense to bring. You will have a weight limit on the trek that you MUST adhere to. Do not bring unnecessary or uncomfortable items with you on the trek. They will end up staying in your bag and will have been carried up and down for no reason. The weight limits for the flight to/from Lukla are 10kg/ 22 lbs in your duffel bag and 5kg/ 11lbs in your backpack. On the trek, our weight limit is a total of 15kg/ 33 lbs in your duffel bag.
16). Access to Oxygen
Make sure your team have oxygen with the group at all times on your way up to Everest Base Camp. Oxygen should only be used in an emergency situation. If you need to go on Oxygen, then you need to get down lower on the trail immediately. Oxygen should not be used as a ‘tool’ to get you up the mountain if you are not capable. Do not put yourself, your team and guides at risk.
17). Break in your Trekking Boots
Break in your Trekking boots. You do not want blisters on your feet at any stage of this trek to Everest. Therefore, you want to be purchasing your trekking boots with plenty of time to get in a lot of miles in them. You do not want to show up on a trip with a brand new pair of boots. Nor do you want to have a pair of boots that are falling apart and well-worn. Get your boots in advance and make sure they are comfortable, have good ankle support, are waterproof and have a more rigid sole for the trek.
18). Make Sure Your Team have a Satellite Phone
There is Wi-Fi in the Everest region as well as mobile phone coverage in different locations. For example, mobile phone coverage with NCell does not always work in Dingbouche or in the Imja Valley. If there is a medical emergency, then you should always have access to communications. Make sure your team have a satellite communications device on our trek. If you need emergency evacuation, you will have to call directly to your insurance company or helicopter evacuation service. They will need to make sure you are actually sick and require to evaluate you over the phone in order to start the rescue process.
19). Bring Additional Spending Money
There are a few items on the trail that you will need and want to have some extra money for. More and more, you are able to visit cafes, have clothes washed or purchase snacks or souvenirs on the trail. You can generally purchase and use WIFI throughout the entire trek, in each village. At the end of your trek, you will want to tip the guides/staff in Lukla for the wonderful work they have done! So you definitely want to have some spare money with you on the trip and the amount will depend on how much you plan on buying! You can read more about some of the additional expenses you will incur on your Everest Trek.
20). Pre-hydrate Before you Enter the Everest Region
You will need to be drinking 4-5 liters of water per day when you are on the trek. This is essential to how you will feel and your success on the trek. It is a good idea to get used to drinking 3-4 liters of water per day before you arrive in Nepal. We suggest that you get your body used to drinking this much water each day before you start the trip. Then, when you arrive in Nepal, it will not seem like such a task! Also, you dehydrate very quickly on a plane, so make sure that when you are traveling to Nepal that you are drinking plenty of water! Don’t arrive in Nepal already dehydrated.
21). Have the Right Gloves
Make sure that you have adequate gloves for the journey. Usually, it is your head, feet and hands that will feel the cold the most! Therefore, you want to make sure that you purchase good gloves for the trip. You will want both a pair of liner gloves, as well as a bigger, waterproof, glove. You will want to be able to put the waterproof glove over the liner, so that if you have to take the bigger glove off to operate a camera or anything, you will still have the liner on. If the temperatures are freezing, then you do not ever want your fingers exposed. When you are going up Kala Patthar, you will definitely have to have a good pair of insulated gloves, similar to what you would wear to ski in! If you know your hands are very cold, maybe consider a pair of insulated mittens.
22). Hydration is Extremely Important
Make sure you are drinking 4 to 5 liters of water per day up and down the Everest trail. Hydration is critical for a successful journey into low oxygen environments. If there is one tip that we can give you while in the mountains, it is to make sure that keeping hydrated is one of your top priorities. At higher levels of altitude, your body will dehydrate much quicker than it will at sea level, and you will have to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to compensate.
We recommend drinking 4-5 liters a day. We suggest you have one liter in the morning, before you start trekking. Then, fill your bladder with two liters of water to drink on the trek, until lunch time. Finally, at lunch, you can refill the bladder with another two liters of water to drink for the rest of the day. If you can follow this routine, you will avoid headaches and overall fatigue from dehydration.
23). Have a Cover for your Water Bladder
This is a VERY important tip! Make sure you have a cover for the nozzle of your water hydration system. The trail to Everest is full of animals, trekkers, porters, guides and local people. The dirt, feces, dust and bacteria that can attach to your water spout that you will put your mouth is a terrifying thought! Make sure that whenever you set your backpack down on the ground that you have the nozzle of the bladder covered so that you avoid bacteria touching this nozzle. Also, you can use your hand sanitizer to keep your nozzle clean if it does touch the ground. Avoid sickness at all cost!
24). Hydration Salts
Having re-hydration tablets with you is going to be extremely important! As we said before, your body will dehydrate much quicker at altitude than it will at sea level. Not only should you make sure you are staying well hydrated with 4-5 liters a day, but some days, you may also need to take extra re-hydration tablets. Depending on where you live, you would want to bring dioralyte sachets, Nuun tablets or whatever you can find locally!
25). Bring Multi-Vitamins
Staying healthy on the trail can become one of the hardest part of your Everest Base Camp trek. Making sure that your body is getting all of the essential nutrients it needs each day can be a challenge. We recommend starting to take multi-vitamin tablets about a month or so before you leave for Nepal. Then, continue taking one tablet a day throughout the trek to try and keep your immune system strong.
26). Additional Nutritional Supplements
Consider bringing Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex and Garlic. You should be taking these in your training and in the lead up to the trip. A strong immune system is really important to survive in the Everest region for two weeks.
27). Do Not Show up Sick
Do not show up sick for your Everest Base Camp Trek. Activate your insurance and reschedule. You run the risk of getting other people sick and ruining their once in a lifetime trip. Also, if your immune system is weak, you run the risk of getting much worse and limits your chances of reaching your destination.
28). Take Diamox
Try Diamox before leaving for Nepal. We recommend taking Diamox from start to finish. Ask your Doctor who knows your medical history as Diamox is a Sulfa Medication, so if you are allergic to Sulfa’s, you can not take it! Our doctors recommend 125 mg in the morning and 125 mg in the late afternoon. This can vary on the person, symptoms and a range of factors. One downside to Diamox is that it is a diuretic, so again, make sure you are staying hydrated if you are taking it.
29). Alternatives to Diamox
If you are allergic to sulfa medications, or just not keen on taking Diamox, there are a few alternatives you can consider. Remember there is no substitute for good acclimatization. Acclimatization is the most important factor when considering joining a trek into high and extreme altitude.
30). Have Helicopter Evacuation Coverage
We require that all of our clients have an insurance plan in place that includes helicopter evacuation in the plan. There are no roads in or out of the Everest Region and the only way out is by walking or helicopter. Make sure you have a good policy in place if you have an accident or injury. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of fraudulent behavior from helicopter companies over the years in Nepal. They have been found to be scamming on insurance calms over the past decade in the Everest Region. This makes getting insurance and real rescues harder for everyone else. We use Global Rescue for our Helicopter evacuation cover. They have doctors on the ground in Kathmandu and will quickly assess you over the phone if you really need evacuation from the region.
31). The Daily Pace is Critical for Success
If you want to limit your chances of fatigue, then you need to have the right pace each day on the trail. You need to travel with professional guides who know how to pace each day of the trip perfectly. Pacing at high altitude is critical to success. We believe that having the right pace each day is one of the most important elements of a safe and successful journey up and down the Everest trail.
32). Stay out of the Sun as Much as Possible
With limited UV protection in low oxygen environments, you need to be protected from the harsh rays of the sun. Use a brimmed hat, long sleeves and make sure you use and reapply factor 50 sun screen throughout the day. If you get sun burned, you add to the list of problems your body is already struggling with on route to Everest Base Camp.
33). Bring Some Additional Protein
There is plenty of food on the trail to Everest Base Camp if you have chosen a reputable company to travel with. We include three meals a day on your trek. While the food has drastically improved over the years on the trail, it is still lacking a few things you may be used to getting at home. We do not recommend our clients eating meat any higher than Namche Bazaar. There is no refrigeration in the region and everything is carried in on the back of an animal, person or on a helicopter. Therefore the higher you go, the longer the meat has been out in the elements. Therefore, we recommend bringing some additional protein in your pack each day. Having a protein bar, bag of trail mix or protein powder may give you the additional boost you need each day.
34). Bring a Battery Pack
You can charge your items in the tea houses each day, however it can get expensive! It will be worth your while to invest in a small battery pack for the trek. This way, you can have the additional charges for your phone or camera on the battery pack when you don’t want to pay for charging. We use a Ravpower bank 22000 mah/ 83.6 wh when we go on treks!
35). Bring a Solar Panel
Another way to be self sufficient on a trek like this is to invest in a solar panel. There are a lot of brands out there these days that make great products. Getting a light weight and portable solar panel could save you from having to use electricity along the trek. Remember however, if there is no sun, you may not be able to get any charge! Therefore, it is always good to have back-up batteries, pack or money to charge.
36). Always Wear Sun Glasses
Protecting your eyes from the harsh UV rays is essential on the trek. We recommend a Category 4 sunglass that will give you the most protection in glacial conditions. Sunglasses are so important, that we even tend to bring a back-up pair with us on each trip!
37). Keep your Batteries warm
The cold can quickly drain a battery. If the temperatures are cold in the night, make sure you sleep with your batteries, phone and camera. You do not want to risk missing out on your pictures in Base Camp or on Kala Patthar because you let your batteries get cold and loose power. Keep you batteries/electronics warm by sleeping with them in your sleeping bag or wrapped up in your down jacket throughout the night!
38). Bring Dry Bags
Bring some dry bags to separate your gear. Unpacking and repacking each day (except for Namche and Dingbouche, where we spend multiple nights) can become one of the more frustrating things people have to do on the trail. Make sure your items are easy to get to and well labeled. We like to separate our clothing out in dry bags so that they are easy to access. Also, you will want to keep a separate bag for dirty clothes.
39). Bring Some Plastic Bags
You need additional bags for your camp shoes and keep dirt off the rest of your gear. If you are walking around the villages, you will pick up dirt and dust and you want to keep this off the rest of your gear and out of our bag. Putting your camp shoes in a plastic bag before packing them each day will protect your clothing and gear from picking up unnecessary dirt and possibly bacteria.
40). Use Your Trekking Poles
The trail to Everest Base Camp is not a straight forward trail. There are rocks, boulders, hills and rivers. Having trekking poles, and being comfortable using them, will help protect your joints and muscles each day. Especially on the long down hill sections, you will protect your joints and also save your muscles from unwanted fatigue if you use them!
41). Have a Separate set of Clothes for Sleeping
Having a separate set of base layers or clothing that you will sleep in is essential. We suggest keeping one set of clothes separate from the rest, then each day when you get to your room for bed, you have a ‘fresh’ set of clothes to sleep in! Also, we like to have one pair of socks to only wear in the lodges, and never trek in them. That way, you always have a dry pair of socks in the evenings.
42). Bring 2 Nalgene Bottles
Having a bladder is essential for 95% of the trip. This is the best way to get in enough water each day. However, when you are going up Kala Patthar, your bladder will freeze, therefore you can not bring it. You will want to have Nalgene bottles to fill with warm water to bring up Kala Patthar to avoid from it freezing. Also, you can fill your Nalgene bottle each night with boiling water and put into your sleeping bag. This will act as a hot water bottle to keep you warm at night. However, this does cost extra and ranges from $1 – $4 to fill your Nalgene with boiled water, depending on where you are.
43). How to Make Your Sleeping Bag Warmer
In addition to the tip above, where you but your Nalgene with boiled water in it, in your bag. If you are feeling cold, and not feeling like your sleeping bag is providing you with enough warmth throughout the night, then you can add additional warmth by using your down jacket. Stuff your down jacket down at the bottom of your bag, or wherever you are cold, and it will add extra warmth for you.
44). Bring Shampoo and Soap
More and more you are able to shower in the Everest Region. Bringing a small amount of shampoo and bar of soap can be very useful. On days where there is no shower available, you can use the bar of soap with some water to make sure your hands and face are clean. Keeping yourself clean and avoiding bacteria on your hands or face will become extremely important on the trail. You may just want to stick with the baby wipe shower, however a lot more people are bringing items like dry shampoo with them.
45). Bring a Nail Clippers
Make sure you trim your nails and toenails before the trip. Personal hygiene on the trail is going to be so important to you staying healthy. Keep dirt out of your nails and make sure you are constantly using hand sanitizer. You can also consider bringing a nail brush for your finger nails. On the way down-hill, you will want to make sure your toenails are clipped and short to avoid them banging on the end of your boot.
46). Take One Day at a Time
We know you have been thinking about this trip and training hard in preparation to reach your goal. Focus on one day at a time, don’t be thinking too much about higher up the trail. The journey is far more important than the destination. Relax and enjoy each day. This experience might just change your life, so enjoy each day as it comes and embrace this unique mountain destination.
47). Stay Organized
On arriving into a new lodge each day, you should get your room in order and get a routine in place for how you want to manage sleeping space. Upon arrival to the lodge, you will get your key to the room. Once inside, it is best to get your sleeping bag out and set up your bed. Then you can organize your duffel bag and get cleaned up! Get off all the clothes you have trekked in, let them dry/air out, and put on your tea house set of clothing. You want to get comfortable with the routine so that you do not waste valuable energy worrying about where all of your items you need are!
48). Come With the Right Attitude
We have a lot of control over our service on the trek and in the lodges we use, however, there are things we do not have control over. Getting in or out of the mountains can sometime be very challenging. Some seasons we have to use helicopters on a lot of our trips into Lukla 2,850m/ 9,350 feet or even below Lukla in Surke 2,300m/ 7,546 feet. We have had times where half of the group makes it in to Lukla, and half does not! Sometimes one helicopter will make it only as far as Surke. All of the flights and helicopters are done by line of sight. So if the weather is bad, you may not be able to fly or may not be able to fly all the way to Lukla.
Our team will be doing all that they can to make sure you get to or from Lukla in a timely manner, however it all will depend on the weather and other factors. There can be challenges getting in and out of Lukla airport when weather is poor, this is out of our control, so having a relaxed attitude is extremely important. If you are stuck in Kathmandu and cant fly out to Lukla, we do highly recommend getting on a helicopter as quickly as possible and don’t wait. If there is one tip we can give you, it is to keep a relaxed attitude as our team will be doing everything in their powers to get you in or out of the mountains. This is also another reason to pick Ian Taylor Trekking!
49). Learn From our Staff
Our staff have been working with us for many years. They work directly for us and we know them all personally! They are a highly interesting group of people. Some have businesses, play music or have climbed big mountains. They are very keen to show you their culture and learn from you as well. Culturally, the Sherpa people can be slow to show emotion, however we hope you will take the time to get to know them and learn about their culture and this unique part of the world. Don’t be afraid to engage them to learn from them!
50). Trek To Everest with Ian Taylor Trekking
Now for the most important tip… trek with Ian Taylor Trekking!! We have more acclimatization, more staff with the best service for our Everest Treks. Here are 20 reasons to pick Ian Taylor Trekking for your Everest Base Camp trek. We would love to hear from you so CONTACT US today and learn more about our trips.