The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most famous trekking journeys in the world. Trekkers from far and wide visit Nepal every year to do this journey. While being a challenging trek that coruscates through the Himalayan terrains of the Khumbu region in Nepal, it is also a spiritual journey. You get to closely experience the unique Sherpa culture, visit the Tengboche Monastery, have your breath taken away in awe as you watch the sunrise from the vantage point of Kalapatthar and get to brag about this monumental achievement for the rest of your life. It truly is a trip that enthusiastic trekkers have to do at least once in life! Furthermore, even novice trekkers and first-timers can do it too!
While Nepal is among those travel destinations that is relatively cheaper to travel to, there are still some points that you can follow if you are travelling on a budget. Here are some tips and ideas on doing the Everest Base Camp Trek on a bag-packer’s budget-
Hiking to the Everest Base Camp
Generally, you have three options to choose from while doing the trek. You can do a package tour through an agency, hire a guide/porter yourself to accompany you or do it all by yourself solo. Needless to say, doing a package tour through an agency is the most hassle-free and the best way to do the trip, as this way, you do not need to worry about anything while the agency takes care of all the needs like accommodations, the meals, the guide, porters and airplane flights and transportations. Moreover, you can just hire a porter/guide from the agency as well.
But at the same time, doing the trek by yourself is also an option that you can follow. The only thing that you will have to organize while doing the trek by yourself is the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and back. If it is your first time doing the trek, then things can get in a bit of a hassle due to the flight cancellations, flights being completely booked or guesthouses being completely booked during the peak trekking seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to December). These are the best months to do the trek, thus many people doing the trek during this time can result in guesthouses in the mountains and domestic airplane flights being completely booked.
How hard is the journey?
Generally, the trekking trip to the base camp of Mount Everest can last upto 14 days to 16 days. You have to hike for about 4 to 8 hours per day from one destination to the next. Proper acclimatization time is also important. During the trip, the Himalayan town of Namche Bazaar and the village of Dingboche are where most trekkers stop for a day for acclimatization. If you are reasonably fit, then you can do the trip carrying your own bag-pack. You can also hire porters to carry for you; this makes the trip even easier.
Tips while doing the trip
It is best to carry water-purifying tablets with you while trekking. As the altitude increases in the trek, so does the price for everything. You can simply carry water-purifying tablets with you and then fill your bottle with water from the various natural water-sources along the journey and use the purifying tablet for drinking water. It will save you money on buying water-bottles from the shops.
It is also best to stick to vegetarian meals while trekking. The best food while trekking is definitely rice and lentils. It is a staple food of Nepal and can be found at all of the places throughout the journey. Rice is also a filling meal. Eating non-vegetarian meals can sometimes not sit well with the stomach and increase chances of getting diarrhea. So sticking to vegetarian meal is recommended.
Speaking of health, it is best to do the trip in a comfortable pacing. Do not rush the journey. Most importantly, give proper time for acclimatization. If your body is not well adjusted to the high altitude, then you will get altitude sickness, which can sometimes be fatal as well. Thus, spend a day at Namche Bazaar and at Dingboche while you are trekking so that your body becomes adjusted to the elevated altitude. Always stay contently hydrated, eat well and sleep plenty.
It is best to pack as lightly as possible. The weight limit on the Kathmandu-Lukla flight is 15 kg for the check-in baggage and a 5 kg hand-carry. Packing light also helps tremendously in making the trip have fewer hassles. Only pack the essentials and nothing else.
It is best to exchange money to local Nepali currency from Kathmandu itself. The mountains do not have money-exchange centers, and carrying local currency helps to buy things without any bother. There are many money-exchange centers in Kathmandu that you can choose from.
Trekking in Nepal definitely is an adventure that presents many perks. Not only does it let you enjoy ravishing Himalayan scenery, but it also broadens your mind about the country’s unique culture and traditions. Nepal trek is something that you should give a try if you want to experience the raw appeal of the cerulean Himalayas that is like nothing else on the planet.