How to Prepare to Everest Base Camp for Beginners
Are you a beginner who wants to trek to Everest Base Camp?
Do you have a lot to prepare for your upcoming expedition?
Are you wondering, “How to get fit for EBC”?
Then this article is for you.
This article has the tips and tricks to prepare for your upcoming trek to the Everest Base Camp.
The main thing that you need to prepare for this trek is your physical and mental strength.
Here is how you can prepare yourself.
You need to customize your body to be fit for the trek. It doesn’t mean you will need to get slim or buff up! No.
What you need to do is make the body accustomed to the hike and increase your stamina.
Here are different kinds of training you can do to get fit for Everest Base Camp trek.
One of the most effective training for ascending the Everest Base Camp is hiking itself! Once you start to hike, you can understand how your body feels; if you are comfortable with it or not.
Your body can get accustomed to the hike and your stamina increases.
Start with hiking for 1-2 hours and gradually reach to 6 hours. Start hiking at least 4-6 months earlier.
Don’t have higher mountains to hike to?
Another important thing is to break into that hiking boot. Before starting the practice, purchase the hiking boot you will be wearing. You wouldn’t want blisters on the first day of your trek!
We recommend you to simulate as you would hike to the EBC. That means, carry a backpack while you train as you would do in the real hike.
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As you will have to walk in high altitude, you need to train your body to get in more oxygen per breath. Cardiovascular activities will help you do that. It also helps in increasing your stamina.
You can do various activities like running, swimming, cycling, aerobics etc. While running on a treadmill, use it in an inclined position.
If you get accustomed to the activities, add on weights and start again. You can use a weighted vest or just carry a backpack.
But remember to take at least a week of rest before you start the trek to the Himalayas. Your body needs to recover and you need plenty of rest before your adventure.
For trekking to Everest Base Camp, it is not the fitness that is the most important; it is strength and endurance.
You need strength to walk that steep and rugged trail in altitude.
You need the endurance to walk for almost 2 weeks!
Give more importance to the lower body strength. You can do squats, step-ups, lunges, leg curls etc. Add in weights if you feel it be easy.
Upper body strength is also important as you will have to carry a backpack if you are not using any porters. Push-ups, pull-ups, bench press etc. will increase your upper body strength.
Make sure to do warm up and cooling exercises before and after the training.
For the endurance, you will need mental strength.
People usually only focus upon the physical strength but not the mental strength. However, you will need it the most while trekking for two weeks’ trek to Everest Base Camp.
You will be tired the next day and sore in places. You wouldn’t want to leave that warm snuggly bed. But you do. Because you have to walk more!
The toilets are squat style. You cannot shower frequently. You might have no appetite due to altitude.
If you are not mentally strong enough then every little thing might add on to your temper or crankiness.
So, how can you be mentally strong?
Yes, not only physical training but mental training is also important.
As you need to learn about endurance, you can train for a marathon. Start thinking positively. Try meditation.
Plan for setbacks. Things might get tough. You might get altitude sickness and might have to descend for the day or two. Be prepared for the worst.
Make friends that can help you on the trail and give you company if you are alone.
Remember, you are there to enjoy. Don’t let small things get on your way to the beautiful experience.
Many people ignore nutrition but it is important as much as training your body.
Be sure to eat healthy and balanced meals. Replenish your energy after the training with a good portion of a meal.
Give up alcohol and meat a couple of weeks before and during the trek. Your body will thank you.
The altitude sickness might hit you pretty hard. It might not as well. It doesn’t depend upon the fitness of the people at all.
It is important to acclimatize to the altitude. You can practice hiking to higher altitude near your hometown.
The best way to avoid altitude sickness is not to think about it. You might get a slight headache and might panic if that is the altitude sickness. Don’t be afraid of a little headache. Drink plenty of water. It will really help you.
On the trail, if you get altitude sickness then you need to descend immediately.
Check here to know everything about the Everest Base Camp altitude sickness.
Hire a good company
Leave all the problems about planning. Hire a good company to help you.
They will help you in every way possible. They have done it a hundred and thousands of times. They have the expertise!
They have the itinerary. They will book the meals and accommodation for you. They will help you if you are uncomfortable or in an emergency situation.
It is best to hire a good company that will do everything to make your journey hassle-free.
Hire a porter
For the beginners, it is highly recommended to hire a porter.
Unlike how some of them might look (short and weak), they are the strongest people there in the mountains.
They will carry your bag so you can walk without any burden. Don’t be amazed to see that they can walk way ahead of you carrying that heavy bag of yours!
They don’t cost much for the service they are providing. Plus, you will be making a contribution to the local employment.
Know your season
When are you planning to trek to Everest Base Camp?
Pre-monsoon (March, April, May) and post-monsoon seasons (October, November, December) are the best time of the year to travel to the EBC.
You can also trek during the off-season if you want to enjoy the peaceful and lonely trail.
Depending on the season you are trekking, you need to pack your luggage accordingly.
If you are traveling with a company, make sure they have the medical kit for you. If you are hiking without the guides, make sure you carry the complete medical kit.
It is advisable to carry your own first aid kit. Keep plenty of adhesive band-aids with you.
Are you on any kind of medication? Keep those with you.
In Nepal, you can get medicines without a prescription so you can buy the medicines here as well.
When not to trek to Everest Base Camp?
It will be false to say that anyone can trek to Everest Base Camp.
If you struggle to even walk in the city, then this trek is not for you.
If you have some kind of health issues like Asthma that triggers from cold, try to avoid this trek.
If your doctor doesn’t recommend you to go higher in thin air, then it might be better not to challenge this trek.
If you are recommended to go under supervision then take the help of a very good company. They can supervise and help you in need.
Each year around 40,000 people hike to the Everest Base Camp. Most of them have never been to the Himalayas and is their first time trekking as well. So, don’t get intimidated by it. With right training and strong mentality, you can do it too. Believe in yourself.