This Everest base camp trek beginners guide blog has everything you need to know about a successful trek to Mount Everest. From understanding logistics to honing your physical fitness, finding the best time to visit, and mastering the art of acclimatization, you will learn about every little thing in this blog.
Moreover, we have also added additional information and tips to make the trek a successful venture. We Green Society Adventure is one of the leading trekking companies in Nepal who have been organizing the Everest Base Camp trek for many years.
This ultimate beginner’s guide to EBC will serve as your compass, providing you with essential information and helpful tips!
Table of Contents
Trekking to The World's Highest Mountain Base Camp
Trekking to Everest base camp may sound daunting if you are new to trekking. But trust us, if you are well prepared, you can do this trek without any worries. Everest base camp trek is a world-class trekking destination packed with lifetime experiences, rich Sherpa cultural heritage, breathtaking mountain landscapes, and not to mention adventures.
One of the most common questions we get asked by travelers from all around the world is, can beginners trek to Everest base camp? And the answer is yes, they can!
It may be your first time trekking to Everest Base Camp, but it will be the experience of a lifetime. Imagine standing in the shadow of Mount Everest, surrounded by stunning peaks, and sharing stories with fellow trekkers in the warmth of a lodge fire.
As per our experience, we believe it is best for new trekkers to do the Everest base camp trekking with a local company like us. We take care of all the surface-level leg work. Our team makes sure everything is ready, from your permits to transportation, accommodation, etc, on time for your hassle-free journey.
Do note that even though the Everest Base Camp trek is considered a moderate trek and recommended to beginner trekkers, the journey is still difficult. And trekking alone makes it much more challenging and exhausting as you will be responsible for all the logistic parts.
Check out our 14-day and 11-day best Everest base camp trek for beginners if you are ready to book your journey. We are offering a special discount for the holiday season at the moment.
Picking the right Everest Base Camp trekking company
Selecting the right trekking company is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek experience. Begin your research well in advance. This will give you ample time to explore your options and make an informed decision. Read reviews and testimonials from fellow trekkers who have used various trekking companies. Websites like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and travel forums are valuable resources for gathering feedback.
Likewise, you can also seek recommendations from friends, family, or online trekking communities. Personal experience and word-of-mouth recommendations can be invaluable. Ensure that the trekking company is registered with the appropriate authorities in Nepal and holds the necessary permits and licenses for conducting treks in the Everest region.
We also recommend evaluating the company's experience in organizing EBC treks. Companies with a longer history often have well-established itineraries and knowledgeable guides. Also, inquire about their safety measures, emergency protocols, and the training provided to their staff.
If you choose to trek with us, Green Society Adventure, you will get the following benefits:
Our itineraries are flexible. You can customize them as per your requirements.
Our Everest Base Camp trek package includes permits, domestic flights, accommodations, meals, a guide, and porter services, perfect for beginner trekkers.
We keep our regular departure groups small (up to 8 trekkers in one group) so that you can have a personalized experience.
Our guides and porters are professional in leading individuals and groups to EBC. They are trained and certified with many years of expertise.
Likewise, we have a clear breakdown of costs and inclusions, and there is no hidden cost in our trips.
To meet the cost requirements of all kinds of trekkers, we have budget-friendly, standard, and luxury packages. You can also tailor-make the EBC trek package with us as per your budget.
We have straightforward payment terms and cancellation policies that you can check here.
We are responsible travelers, and our treks are sustainable. You will not be harming nature in any way while trekking with us, as our team will take care of it.
We provide a 100% departure guarantee, 24/7 support, free airport pick-up & drop-off service, and complimentary dinners in Kathmandu.
Preparing for the Everest Base Camp trek
A well-planned trek will make the journey to Everest Base Camp quite doable and smooth. You have to be properly prepared for the trek, especially if you are a beginner trekker. By understanding the Khumbu region, its limitations, terrain, and services available along the trail, you will have the right expectations. Therefore, you can have a satisfying trekking experience.
Physical fitness and training
Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a challenging adventure that requires good physical fitness and stamina. You do not need previous trekking experience, but your physical and mental fitness matters a lot. The good thing is you do not have to do any strenuous training for the trek.
Light strength training, regular walks, and cardiovascular exercises such as hiking, jogging, cycling, and stair climbing will be enough. You can also do yoga and meditate to practice a positive mindset and composure. Also, visit your doctor before the trek begins, and let us know if you have any medical history that may get affected because of the trek.
Choosing the right time to trek
There are two primary trekking seasons in the Everest region. They are the spring season (March to May) and the autumn season (September to November). These periods offer stable weather, clear skies, and the best visibility of the mountains.
Spring brings rhododendron blooms, while autumn offers crisp, clear days and festivity. Spring and autumn are also the busiest seasons, attracting a large number of trekkers. If you prefer quieter trails, consider trekking during late spring or early autumn.
Summer/monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are off-season for Everest Base Camp trekking because of unfavorable weather conditions. While trekking in summer/monsoon is very challenging, you may consider the winter season for this trek.
There is not much snowfall. The daytime is cold but mostly sunny. If you are well prepared and pack a few additional warm clothes, winter is also a fantastic time for the EBC trek. There are barely any trekkers on the trail, and the price of accommodation and meals are quite cheap.
Getting to Everest Base Camp
The most common way to reach the starting point of the Everest Base Camp trail is via a short Lukla flight. More than 80% of the travelers use this way. Likewise, you also have the option to take a helicopter flight to Lukla or drive to Jiri/Phaplu and trek for 3-4 days to reach Lukla and continue trekking to the base camp of Mt. Everest.
Arrival in Kathmandu
On your arrival day in Kathmandu, our representatives will pick you up from the Tribhuvan International Airport and drop you at the hotel. Likewise, they will also help you with your luggage. On your departure day, they will drop you at the international airport as per your flight leaving time.
Domestic flight to Lukla or combine a much more comfortable and scenic helicopter flight
The commercial flight to Lukla either flies from Kathmandu or Ramechhap Airport. During the peak trekking season, the airport in Kathmandu sees huge air traffic, so the authorities transfer all the Lukla flights to Ramechhap airport.
From Kathmandu, Ramechhap airport is located 4 to 5 hours away. So, you have to start driving around 1:00 AM from Kathmandu to reach the Ramechhap airport on time to catch an early flight to Lukla.
From Kathmandu airport, it takes 30 minutes to reach Lukla. From Ramechhap airport, it takes approximately 35 minutes to reach Lukla. Likewise, the helicopter flight time from Kathmandu to Lukla is 45 minutes.
Nevertheless, the Lukla flight is known to be one of the most overwhelming flights in the world because of the small runway, high altitude of the airport, and tiny aircraft that can only land at Lukla airport.
If you wish to escape this flight, you can include a helicopter flight to/from Lukla. We have a daily helicopter flight to Lukla during peak trekking seasons. So, you can join a shared flight at a minimum cost.
The most common Everest Base Camp trek itinerary is 14 days long. It includes your arrival and departure to/from Kathmandu. On your second day in Nepal, you will fly to Lukla Airport (2,846 m/9,337 ft). The trek begins from here.
Descend to Phakding (2,610 m/8,563 ft) the same day to spend the night. From Phakding, the trail follows lush rhododendron forests and goes past small settlements to Monjo (2,835 m/9,301 ft).
The Sagarmatha National Park begins from Monjo onwards. We will trek through lush forests, cross the Dudh Kosi River numerous times, and steeply ascend to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,290 ft). Here, spend the first acclimatization day.
Hike to the Hotel Everest View (3,962 m/13,000 ft) and Kjumjung Monastery (3,790 m/ ft) if you wish. The trail then goes to Kyangjuma (3,550 m/11,647 ft m) and descends to Phungi Thanga (3,250 m/10,663 ft).
Further, you will trek via the lush forest to Tengboche village (3,860 m/12,660 ft). From here, the trail descends through dense forests of rhododendrons to Deboche (3,320 m/10,892 ft) and continues to Pangboche (3,930 m/12,894 ft), crossing Imja Khola.
We will then trek past Shomare (4,010 m/13,156 ft) and Orsho (4,190 m/13,747 ft) settlements and hike to Dingboche village (4,410 m/14,470 ft). Our second acclimatization break will be in Dingboche. You will hike to Nagarjuna Hill (5,100 m/16,732 ft).
The trail then continues to a ridge and goes to Thukla. Following a steep uphill route, ascend to Dughla Pass (4,830 m/15,846 ft) and keep trekking until Lobuche (4,940 m/16,210 ft) comes along the Khumbu glacier. On the day 9th, you will reach Everest Base Camp.
The trail goes along the Khumbu glacier and passes by Pyramid, an Italian research center. Trekking through steep and rocky tracks, you will reach Gorak Shep (5,164 m/16,942 ft) and continue ascending towards Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,598 ft).
Spend some time enjoying the views and return to Gorak Shep to spend the night. The following day, hike to Kala Patthar (5,545 m/18,192 ft) and descend to Pheriche (4,371 m/14,340 ft).
From Pheriche, the trail descends to Namche Bazaar. You will retrace the route back to Phakding. From here, ascend to Lukla. A quick flight from Lukla will take you back to Kathmandu, and the next day, you will depart Kathmandu and fly back to your home.
Safety and health
We at Green Society Adventure take the safety of our guests very seriously while trekking to EBC or any other destination in Nepal. The Himalayas is a remote area, and trekking there includes many risks and challenges like injuries and altitude sickness.
You have to understand that trekking in Nepal is an adventurous trip and incurs some risks. However, with proper care and awareness, anyone can avoid it. With our trained and experienced guides, you will be traveling in the mountains safely. They will take care of your well-being.
Altitude sickness prevention and recognition
Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a potential risk when trekking at high altitudes. It happens if your body does not acclimate to elevation as it changes. Likewise, at high altitudes, the air is also thinner with low oxygen levels than at sea, which also triggers altitude sickness.
These are the symptoms of altitude sickness:
Difficulty in breathing
Loss of appetite
Preventive measure of altitude sickness:
Acclimatization is the most important thing when it comes to preventive measures for altitude sickness. Our EBC trek packages have two acclimatization days. You will get ample time to rest and recover as you trek.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can worsen altitude sickness symptoms. Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
If you experience any symptoms of altitude sickness, inform your guide immediately and follow his guidance to get rid of the symptoms.
If symptoms persist or worsen, the best treatment is to descend to a lower altitude.
Common trekking injuries and first aid
While trekking, you may encounter common injuries or ailments. You may get blisters, sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, indigestion, gastritis, etc. These are common, so you have to be careful while trekking. Our guide will be equipped with a comprehensive first aid kit that will have all the essential medicines, bandages, sprays, etc. He will provide the necessary first aid to you as needed.
*Note: If you feel any discomfort during trekking, inform your guide immediately. Even if you take headache medicine on your own, inform your guide immediately. Do not hide anything.
Emergency evacuation options
In severe cases of altitude sickness, injuries, or other emergencies, we provide air evacuation to the trekker. Helicopter evacuation is the fastest way to get to lower altitudes or medical facilities. That's why well-covered travel insurance with emergency air evacuation and medical bills are crucial for the Everest Base Camp trek.
Cost and budgeting
In this section, we will break down the costs, discuss the tipping culture, and help you understand your personal expenses during the Everest Base Camp trek.
Trek costs breakdown
We have created this beginner Everest Base Camp trek guide blog highlighting trekking with a local company like us in Nepal. So, our cost breakdown for the Everest Base Camp trek will follow this fact. First of all, trekking with a local Nepali travel company will let you do the EBC trek quite smoothly as all the logistics, accommodation, permits, meals, etc, are covered in the package cost.
The company will take care of arranging and reserving transportation and accommodations as per the itinerary. You do not have to worry about it. For example, our 14-day Everest Base Camp trek package starts at USD 1,830 per person, and it covers all the essentials, including the expenses of guides and porters. However, your personal expenses are not covered in the package cost. Below, you can learn more:
*Note: Booking the EBC trek with travel portals like Bookmundi, TripAdvisor, Thrillophilia, etc, will cost you more money, than directly booking that trip with a Nepali local company. At the end of the day, they also work with companies like us and give us minimal commission to run the trek.
Gear and equipment
Extra days: Keep some funds reserved for potential delays or extra days on the trek due to weather or health concerns.
Emergency funds: Have some extra money set aside for unexpected situations or emergencies.
International flight fare
Additional drinks and beverages: In our package, we provide three meals a day during the trek, two complementary dinners, and all breakfasts in Kathmandu. You have to pay by yourself for any extra beverages and food.
Tipping culture and tips
Tipping guides and porters are standard in the travel industry in Nepal. It is more like a custom and highly appreciated. Even though we make sure our drivers, guides, and porters are well paid, we urge our guests or anyone reading this blog to tip them at the end of their service. It is the only way they can make some extra money.
Below is a general guideline for tipping:
Driver: You can tip USD 2 to 3 to drivers.
Guide: A standard tip for your guide is around USD 10 to USD 20 per day. Likewise, you can tip USD 5 to 10 to your tour guide. This can vary based on the level of service and your satisfaction.
Porter: For porters, a tip of about USD 5 to USD 10 per day is typical. As you will be trekking with both a guide and a porter, you can decide the number as you wish. Most of the trekkers also prefer to tip 10% of the package cost to the guide and porter.
Lodges staff: In the lodge, it's custom to leave small change as a tip for the staff who serve you meals and provide other services.
Cultural and Environmental Considerations
Everest region is home to communities like Sherpa, Rai, Limbu, Lama, Bhotiya, etc. Along the Everest base camp trail, you will spend nights in different villages resided by their ethnic groups. During your stay, you will get to have a glimpse of their daily life, culture, and beliefs. The locals are very welcoming and kind.
Likewise, the Everest region is quite fragile. The ecosystem ranges from alpine forests to glaciers and mountains. As hundreds of travelers visit this region to explore, it is quite important to practice eco-friendly and sustainable travel. The effort of every single traveler counts here.
Respect local culture and customs
Below are the ways you can respect locals' culture and sentiments:
Remove your shoes: Before entering someone's home or a sacred place like a monastery, remove your shoes. We do not wear outside shoes in our homes and religious sites in Nepal, even in the mountains.
Ask for permission: Seek permission before taking photos of individuals or their property. Many locals appreciate the courtesy of being asked.
Learn basic phrases: Learning a few basic Nepali phrases like "Namaste" (hello) and "Dhanyabad" (thank you) will help you to break conversation and sound respectful.
Respect religious sites: When visiting monasteries or temples, show respectful behavior. Follow any specific rules or guidelines provided by the caretakers.
Leave no trace principles
Our little efforts today will let future generations enjoy the beauty of the Khumbu region like we are enjoying. Below are the things that you can do to leave no trace behind while trekking to Everest base camp as a beginner trekker:
Plan and prepare: Properly plan your trek to minimize the impact on the environment. This includes arranging proper waste disposal and carrying reusable items.
Dispose of waste properly: Pack all trash, including biodegradable items like food scraps and toilet paper. Many trekking routes lack proper waste disposal facilities, so you must carry out everything you bring in.
Leave what you find: Avoid picking plants, disturbing wildlife, or moving rocks and trees. Leave natural and cultural features as you find them.
Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and refrain from feeding them. Human interference can harm their natural behavior and habitat.
Waste management is a significant concern in the Khumbu region due to the growing number of trekkers. Here's how you can contribute to responsible waste management:
Carry a waste bag: Always carry a designated waste bag to collect your trash and dispose properly when you reach a lodge or a waste collection point.
Avoid single-use plastics: Minimize using single-use plastics like water bottles. Instead, carry a reusable water bottle and use water purification methods.
Use lodge toilets: When available, use lodge toilets rather than open excretion.
Support local initiatives: Many organizations and initiatives, like Sagarmatha Next, in the region are working on waste management and environmental conservation. Consider supporting these efforts through donations or volunteer work.
Things you should know about Everest Base Camp trail
The EBC trek is approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles), depending on your chosen route and deviations. The duration can vary from 12 to 16 days, allowing for acclimatization and rest days.
You can rent most of the expensive high-quality trekking clothes and gear in Thamel, Kathmandu.
The EBC trail has an excellent tourist infrastructure. Moreover, you will get many facilities up to Namche Bazaar. Above Namche Bazaar, the services are adequate but limited.
Rooms are usually twin-shared, so inform your trekking company ahead if you need single rooms along the trail
Services like hot showers, charging, and WiFi cost extra money and are not covered in the Everest Base Camp trek package cost. So, carry enough Nepali cash to buy these services along the trail. They do not cost much. You can budget USD 15 per day.
There are ATMs in Lukla, Namche Bazaar, and Dingboche. The ATM in Dingboche gets out of cash sometimes, so better not rely on this one.
You cannot use your cards to make payments while on the trail.
You will get three meals a day during trekking- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu will have a good selection of dishes. Dal bhat, Thukpa, momo, chow-mein, etc are staples.
The rooms in the lodges are small but clean and cozy. The washroom can be private or common. There are flush toilets available in many lodges but at higher elevations squat toilets are common.
Additional tips to make the journey smooth and successful.
Trek at a moderate, sustainable pace. Avoid rushing, as it can lead to exhaustion and increase the risk of altitude sickness.
Get your trekking boots early and get used to it to avoid blisters while trekking.
Wear multiple layers of clothing to regulate your body temperature. This allows you to add or remove clothing as needed to stay comfortable.
Apply sunscreen frequently with a high SPF to protect your skin from the strong sun. Lips can also get sunburned, so bring lip balm with SPF.
Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from the glare at higher altitudes.
Get enough sleep and rest during the trek. Proper rest helps your body recover and acclimatize better.
Lodge accommodations can be noisy, so earplugs and an eye mask can be beneficial for a good night's sleep.
Pack energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate to keep your energy levels up between meals.
Keep your permits, identification, and emergency contact information in a waterproof bag or pouch.
Engage with local people respectfully, learn a few basic Nepali phrases, and show appreciation for their hospitality.
Carry physical and digital copies of your insurance policy, and share the details with your trekking company.
The EBC trek is not just about reaching the destination but also about enjoying the breathtaking scenery, diverse landscapes, and the company of fellow trekkers.
Maintain a positive mindset, even during challenging moments. Your attitude can significantly impact your trekking experience.
Always be on the cliffside while you share the trail with blue sheep, yaks, and dzo (crossbreed of yak and cow).
Raj is an enthusiastic traveler who enjoys discovering new places and breathtaking natural beauty. He was born and raised in the mountain town of Gorkha, and he has done most of the trekking routes in Nepal. Follow him on Facebook