Day 9: Gorak Shep to Pheriche (optional morning trek to Kala Pattar for sunrise views of Everest)

Reaching the gate of Namche Bazaar.
The triangular Himalaya Mountain ranges found Everest Base Camp trek
Day 10: Pheriche to Tengboche
Except this was the day where, despite extreme exhaustion, weakness from loss of appetite and braving bitterly cold conditions, we all hoped to find enough energy to pull ourselves through the last leg of our journey to get to Everest Base Camp. To trek to the highest mountain in the world and stand at its foundation, upon the jagged Khumbu Glacier.
The Lukla flight is included in your EBC trip itinerary. 
A man loads a small plane with trekking bags at the tiny, mountain backed Lukla airport Nepal - the start of the Everest Base Camp Trek
Try and accept the uncomfortable nights in the teahouses, where your room will be made from walls of plywood, and the water will be ice-cold. It’s hard, and there isn’t one night where it feels like a luxury. I hired a -20 sleeping bag from Kathmandu, used a silk sleeping liner and wore as many layers as necessary, and when I came across the opportunity for a hot shower, I took it, despite the cost of up to for the privilege.

Everest Base Camp Trek Guide – All Questions Answered

Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche
Treks are better when you are together. Book the small group Everest Base Camp Trek here
It is advised to bring US Dollars with you into the country to exchange, as ATM fees in Kathmandu and Lukla are high and often the ATMs don’t always work. The last thing you want to do is be withdrawing money multiple times with multiple fees for a big trip like this. Bring this large sum of pocket money with you, so you are ready to begin the trek with minimal stress and adequate supplies.
The short mountain-side runway at Lukla airport

A woman in dark trekking clothing stands on Everest Base Camp in Nepal, on rocky ground surrounded by large chunks of ice and snow covered Himalaya mountains
I was also able to visit Tibet Everest Base Camp on an overland tour across the country. On a separate trip, you can travel to Tibet on a two-week adventure (on a round trip from Kathmandu), which passes through the Tibetan region of Rombuk.

How Long is the Trek to Everest Base Camp?

A smiling woman in a pale blue jacket stands on a golden brown mountain hillside. In the far distance is the snow capped Mount Everest
Taking slow, measured steps during the trek to Everest Base Camp is as important as staying hydrated to prevent altitude sickness. This is not a race or an opportunity to show off your sporting prowess – even the most athletic can be beaten by altitude.

Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking Route

The triumphant return to the starting Lukla Gate

  • Way up: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding – Namche Bazaar – Tengboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep – EBC
  • Way down: Gorek Shep – Pheriche – Tengboche – Monjo – Lukla – Kathmandu

The long push to Namche Bazaar
Reaching Base Camp and standing at an altitude of 5,364 meters is indescribably euphoric, even with depleted energy levels. It’s like standing within a snow globe, where the magnificent snow-peaked mountains, the Khumbu icefall and the imposing presence of Everest loom before you in a striking white glow.
You will need to carry extra with you to tip the porters on the climb, as you will say goodbye to most of them in Lukla on the last morning. This is normally collected as a group tip that amounts to around per day, per person, so around -.
Typically, the trek to Everest Base Camp takes 12 days to complete on a 130km round-trip. It takes eight days to get to Base Camp and four days to get back down, broken down overall into nine days of long trekking and three short trekking acclimatisation days.
Savour that first night. It’s one of the most comfortable.
You spend two days at Namche Bazaar for acclimatisation.
Remember, you are not hiking Mount Everest itself – a feat that can take at least 40 days!
I didn’t feel giddy with excitement that morning. Instead, swathed in five layers of clothing and still suffering from severe coughing and altitude headaches, I felt relieved that what I had set out to achieve was just a few hours away. I just wanted the pain to go away. Even the strongest of people were flagging.
And so I began my EBC trip with a group of 14 people, alongside two guides and four porters. Looking back, I needed a lot of those people. I relied on them when times got tough because this isn’t just a test of physical strength but one that pushes you to the limit mentally too. A simple hug and daily words of encouragement made everything better. When you cried, they understood or cried too because we were all going through the same pain. The laughter and the nights huddled around the fire, talking and getting to know one another better overshadowed any negative thoughts that were always lurking.
The forested Sagarmatha National Park on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Between the pats on the back, the hugs and the handshakes of congratulations, you’ll lose yourself in complete silence as you marvel at the spectre before you – the top of the world. Not many people can say they stood over halfway towards that.
At other times you look at the scenery that’s so breathtakingly stunning and unlike any mountainous terrain that you have ever seen before – changing from lush green farmland, dense forest and glistening blue fast-flowing rivers to the barren land and glacial pools the higher you climb – that you realise it was a good decision. Here you are, backpacking Everest like a warrior. They call it the “steps to heaven” for a good reason. 

A map of the Everest Base Camp trekking route
Trekking route: 

Is the Everest Base Camp Trek Difficult?

Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better and try not to project too much negativity as this can also be detrimental to the morale of the group. I found it easier to walk away from people who felt a constant need to moan. Your own mental stability is a crucial factor in getting you to the end goal!
Strength and endurance are the core aspects of your fitness that you need to build up for EBC success. It is recommended to do a few short practise hikes at home at least two to three months before you leave. Start with some two to three-hour hikes on varying ascents and descents and try to build up to a five or six hours hike to get used to long hours at a similar pace. This will give you a better idea of an average day of trekking EBC.
Since we were outside of the April to May climbing season, we didn’t encounter the Everest camps like the ones you see in the famous photos of people climbing Everest. It was therefore not a land filled with people ready to go further, or where a huge sign signals your end goal. Instead, you are greeted by a huge rock covered in prayer flags to pose with. Just look up, because that’s the most special thing.
When the way down is tough and feels repetitive, remember one thing. A celebratory party awaits you in Lukla – a land full of happy people, happy hour, decent food, strong cocktails and a rave with your new-found friends. The Everest Base Camp trek is like a detox or a short spell of rehab – no sexual activity, alcohol or meat allowed or advised for 12 days.
A small white temple structure with a golden spire sits on a rocks covered by lines of hanging multi-coloured prayer flags - a sacred site on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Knowing you are so close, coupled with unbeatable views are certainly two things that help you pull through it.

Is the Trek to Everest Base Camp Dangerous?

For trekking EBC, you will need an insurance policy that covers:
The mountain backed town. of Lukla
The greatest difficulty you will face trekking in Nepal is with altitude.

What is the Best Time of Year to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

Rock temple in Himalayas, perched on the side of a brown mountain ridge on the Everest Base Camp trek
It involved six hours of high climbing and steep steps through stunning forest, crossing rivers via long, swaying suspension bridges and relentless physical exertion in dusty, dry heat which sent my adrenalin levels pumping so high that all I could do when I reached the lodge was sit and cry in exhaustion.
Layers of the Himalaya mountains - a light brown ledge and behind a dark brown mountain peak and a snow-capped mountain peak
The sandy toned streets and houses with blue window frames in the Nepal town of Lukla in the Himalaya moumntains

How cold is it at Everest Base Camp?

Everest trekking is a dream of any avid adventurer, but just because you are not climbing Mount Everest, do not think that the hike to Everest Base Camp (EBC) is an easy undertaking. It’s so tough that at times you question your sanity and why you ever decided to do it.
There it is. One of the many suspension bridge crossings on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking from the starting point at 2,850m / 9,000 ft and climbing to 5,364m/ 17,500 ft is not an easy undertaking, and it is more arduous than technically difficult. You don’t need any particular mountaineering skills or equipment such as ropes and crampons, just a lot of stamina.

Do I Need to Train for Everest Base Camp?

Everest Base Camp Trek Guide – Facing The Challenge. Reaching the Top of The World.
Some treks are cheaper because food and drink are not included, and you can set aside your own budget for this.
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche 
It’s imperative to get travel insurance that includes trekking to a high altitude, and more specifically you must have a travel insurance policy that not only covers the usual less, damage, in-patient medical treatment and repatriation, but which also includes mountain ascents and mountain rescue.

Everest Base Camp Tours – Trek in a Group or Solo?

What follows is five more trek days, of which two are ‘acclimatisation days’. The first acclimatisation day is day three (the second day you spend in Namche Bazaar) when you trek to the villages of Thame and Khumjung, and day six of the trek when you are in Dingboche at 4,260 metres, and you trek to Chhukung village or Nagarzhang Peak. 

Can I do Everest Base Camp Trek Alone?

I doubt I would have completed this trek without the collective morale that existed between us.
Constant mountain views on the trek

Small Adventure Group Tours to Everest Base Camp

The main variable that differs from company to company is the inclusion of all meals and beverages at the trekking camps and EBC teahouses while trekking.
The short and honest story is that the food on the Everest Base Camp Trek is pretty dire, especially the higher you climb. You tire of the same foods, and the bland tastes and your loss of appetite only aids the pain. Take plenty of snacks with you, such as protein bars and chocolate, like Snickers – a little bit of sugar helps pull you through, as does your favourite comfort foods. Or indulge in a slice of cake from the highest bakery in the world at Lobuche, despite the hefty + price tag!
Two lines of multi-coloured prayer flags connect to a tall pile of rocks in a mountain valley on the Everest Base Camp trekking route

15 Everest Base Camp trekkers stand alongside their guide on the far right, outside a small complex of Nepali teahouses, backed by snow capped mountains
Book yourself on a small adventure group to trek Nepal
Nine people stand together on a dry, yellow mountain ridge in front of the snow capped Himalaya mountain range and Mount Everest
The stretch of spiky ice of the Khumbu icefall at Everest Base Camp

How much Does it cost to do the Everest Base Camp Trek?

40,000 people per year trek to Everest Base Camp on its south side in Nepal. While it remains one of the most popular and well-versed treks in the Himalayas, it’s natural to consider how dangerous this high altitude endeavour is. 
Day 11: Tengboche to Monjo village

  • At least one night of accommodation in Kathmandu either side of the trek
  • Return flight to Lukla from Kathmandu
  • Accommodation for the entire trek (typical teahouses in Nepal)
  • A licensed and trained trekking guide
  • Porters for carrying your larger bags and supplies for the trek
  • Permits for trekking and the National Park/Conservation Area entry permit

But in that period of time, all of the pain completely disappears, leaving you to revel in what will become one of the greatest achievements of your life.
Higher altitude, colder temperatures and a tougher climb all come together in a force that you think will defeat you. You will never forget the day prior and the actual day of the last, long slog to get to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It’s day eight, and you are beyond exhausted. This becomes some of the hardest few hours of the entire expedition.
Reaching Everest Base Camp isn’t just a light-hearted trek. It’s a mini-expedition that will test you in more ways than one.

  • Travel insurance, which you must arrange yourself and ensure it includes emergency rescue
  • International flights / airfare
  • Visa costs for Nepal and organisation of the trek
  • Rental of equipment like a sleeping bag or down jacket (you can do this in Kathmandu before the trek)
  • General trekking gear such as walking poles
  • Snacks
  • Medication (including altitude sickness tablets)

Everest Base Camp Trekking Permits

It goes without saying that it is essential to drink 2-3 litres of water each day, yet it can often be easy to forget how frequently you’ve sipped. You will be told an ideal amount of water to consume each day according to how many kilometres and hours you are trekking. 

  1. The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit replaced the old Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) permit in October 2018. It costs NPR 2000 Per Person and is obtained in Lukla.
  2. The Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit is needed since you will be trekking through the park. It costs NPR 3000 Per Person.

And if you don’t make it that far, you will still have traversed one of the most beautiful trekking routes on the planet.

Can I Visit Tibet Everest Base Camp?

The elevated view of Namche Bazaar on approach
A woman in trekking gear jumps high to a background of rugged, pointed snow-capped mountain vistas on the Everest Base Camp trek

View of Mount Everest covered in snow with a golden glow from the morning sun clouds at Everest Base Camp Tibet
The most important thing, besides ALWAYS drinking plenty of water, is to go at your own pace. There is also no pressure to keep the same pace as everyone around you. A guide will either be with you or not far behind a small group of people, so there is no danger of getting lost or being alone.

Day-To-Day Trekking Guide

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Day One

If you are already on the road before the trek, like I was, factor in some hikes in the destination you are in. I went to a lot of mountainous areas of China three months before my EBC trip, where I did half-day treks and multi-stair climbs.
Aversion to altitude can severe and result in death, but in the majority of cases, it just makes you feel extremely sick. It’s something to carefully monitor, and a core vital your guides will be keeping an eye on. 
To Diamox or not to Diamox?

The famously short mountain-side runway at Lukla airport in Nepal, which is super close to the Himalaya mountain range that surrounds it
Drink plenty of water

It’s something I will never forget, from the first glimpse of the magnificent view to the congratulatory atmosphere all around me.
The group begins the Everest Base Camp trek from Lukla.

A small group of people walking on a stone path towards a white gate with a green arch - the starting gate of the Everest Base Camp trek in Lukla that looks towards the green forest and the Himalaya mountains
Daily health check-in
A man sits on a broken wooden platform with his dog, overlooking the green trees that fill Sagarmatha National Park on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Food and drink become more expensive the higher you go (due to the effort required to transport it up there) with bottled water, in particular, gaining a hefty price tag. Consider using the water purification tablets or a water purification filter bottle to save money.
A typical Nepali teahouse on the Everest Base camp Trek route sits on an elevated green hillside next to a rocky stream. In the background the Himalaya mountain peaks poke through the forest trees
The top of the world was standing right before me. 
Hikers on the Everest Base Camp trek pass a sacred monument in the mountains - a tiered temple structure with black painted panels featured white painted script. Multi-coloured prayer flags hang next to the temple.
Usually what is included in the trek cost of Everest Base Camp is:
Four people, dressed in trekking gear, sit at a table in a traditional wooden-built Nepali teahouse found on the Everest Base Camp trek in the mountains
Approach each climb, knowing that there’s a viewpoint so spectacular at the end that every excruciating last step is worth it. It really is.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Day Two

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche
In reality, the distance from Lukla to Base Camp can be completed in a quicker time. However, with less oxygen at a higher altitude, you need to stay healthy. This is what makes the 12-day trek long – so that you can adjust and allow for acclimatisation as you get higher. It’s tough in parts, especially on the knees with the differing uphill climbs and downhill descents daily.
A Everest Base camp trek guide in a red jacket walks past huge sand coloured boulders on one side, and pockets of ice in silver dust on the other.

A line of trekkers and porters make their way across bridges and up the steep and rocky green hillside on the Everest Base Camp Trek
A small line of trekker walk on a nasty, dusty path past a wide rocky scree on the Everest Base Camp Trek. The dry, brown valley is surrounded by bright, white mountain ranges.

An acclimatisation day means climbing. It’s often referred to as a ‘rest day’ is just a glittery term for an acclimatisation day but is sadly not an opportunity for a lie-in or to put your feet up. You climb high and sleep lower, so while you are not trekking for three to six hours, you will spend approximately two hours hauling yourself up a steep hill for your body to get used to the next stage of high altitude – a painful but necessary evil which makes the forthcoming trekking days a little easier.

Three hikers cfoss a rocky scree backed by dense green forests and mountainous hills on the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal
Lukla is the release, and you deserve it. Further celebrations continue in Kathmandu. 
A woman in t-shirt and trekking pants holds a walking pole while standing next to a bright turquoise river in a small rocky canyon in the Nepalese Himalayas
These two trekking seasons fall either side of the summer monsoon season, and therefore allow for optimal conditions – less rainfall, comfortable temperatures and clearer skies. The heavy rainfall from June to early September renders the Everest Base Camp trail off-limits. It becomes treacherous territory with muddy, inaccessible paths and risk of landslides.
Trekkers rest on rocks by the start of a metal suspension bridge crossing on the Everest Base Camp Trek
It’s one of the hardest physical and mental challenges I have ever faced in my life. Yet, it was one that, upon reaching Base Camp and looking up towards the clouds wrapping the top of Everest, became one of my proudest moments.
Three trekkers on an uphill climb on a steep worn trail past small huts on a orange rocky mountain face
Visiting Base Camp on the Tibetan side isn’t a multi-day hike though, but more of a long walk to the Base Camp boundaries from the Monastery in Rombuk where you stay overnight. Everest Base Camp on the Tibet side has recently been moved back by 7km, making the proximity to Everest mountain even less attainable, yet nothing beats the flipside view of it. 
An elevated view of Namche Bazaar on the Everest Base Camp Trek - a collection of teahouses and small buildings nestled on a tiered landscape in a mountain valley
Two men with backpacks walk through the yellow dusty pathway of a wide mountain valley on the Everest Base Camp Trek. They walk towards a grey and white snow-capped mountain ridge, between two brown peaks.
A man with a blue backpack walked towards a white gate with a yellow roof - the entrance to the Namche Bazaar village on the EBC Trek - towards a small white and gold temple structure and a cluster of and a cluster of rectangular houses built on the hillside
There are two permits required to trek the Everest Base Camp trail.
A man stands in front of two small houses with triangular rooftops and next to a sandy coloured staircase in the village of Namche Bazaar on the mountainous Everest Base Camp Trek route
Teahouse food stop, typically halfway on the trekking route of that day

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Day Three to Day Seven

Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
A woman stands amongst prayer flags and a sign at Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Leaving from Kathmandu, you’ll brave an early morning flight to Lukla – a small aircraft where the engine roars for the full 40 minutes (muffled in vain by the complimentary cotton wool from the flight attendant that you’re urged to stuff into your ears). The wind lightly wobbles you in the air, until you touch down on the famous short, steep and precarious mountain-side runway that Lukla is known for. 
I took 35,000 rupees (approx. £275) with me for the entire trek and spent it all.
The September to November trekking season has the advantage of crisp, clear skies that allow for incredible views of the Himalaya ranges. A trade-off for the more moderate temperatures, which get colder towards November, especially at night. As my pictures show, visibility in November was glorious. 

Reaching Mount Everest Base Camp – Exhaustion and Euphoria

In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect from the epic Everest Base Camp trek. I knew it was going to be hard, but I never realised how hard. The most I had managed before this was a three-day jungle hike in Northern Thailand which now feels like a walk in the park in comparison.
The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp falls into two seasons: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn).
Whist the first few days of trekking in the low Himalayan forest are in warm and slightly moderate temperatures, the second half of the trek takes you right into the cooler and often freezing altitudes of the mountain plateau.
Extreme thoughts may move to the question: has anyone has died trekking to Everest Base Camp? The fact remains that while there are no official figures, any statistic reported have been less than .5% of the overall trekking number and usually because of a natural disaster.  The only danger to you will be if you don’t listen to the advice of your guide or wander off alone.
It was the eighth final day of the ascent on the trek to Everest Base Camp. The 6 am wake-up call marked the start of our eighth day of trekking in this sacred area of Nepal, where the swift knock on the door and long-resounding tones of “morning” signalled the start of another long and arduous day. By this point, each day of the EBC expedition began to feel like a relentless and monotonous struggle.
For Tipping the Porters and Guides
This Everest Base Camp trek guide shows how the Nepal EBC journey isn’t a light-hearted adventure. It’s a mini-expedition that will test and reward you.
Much deserved beers for the porters
On day two, we made our way to the well-known Namche Bazaar – one of the biggest rest areas and full of markets, restaurants and Wi-Fi cafes. Sounds amazing, right? Yet reaching this haven at 3,440 metres requires an extreme effort. 
I’ve seen the Everest Base camp trek cost starting from ,200 up to ,600, but it helps to know what’s included and the ethics of the company including how they support their porters and other local staff and resources. 

The stretch of spiky ice of the Khumbu icefall at Everest Base Camp, with Mount. Everest looking above it in the same white glow
I booked the 12 day Everest Base Camp trek with G Adventures over six months before I was due to start it, ensuring that I would be with a group. It is an organised Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp tour, with plenty of time in the city either side.
A group of trekkers at Everest Base Camp posing for a group shot around a sign with a 2012 date. Behind are the lower brown mountain slopes and a patch of ice.
Day 12: Monjo to Lukla and stay overnight. Flight back to Kathmandu the following day

Trekking Back to Lukla after Reaching Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Day Nine to 12

Large silver-grey rocks on golden brown, hilly soil, backed by silvery blue and white mountain peaks, on the Everest Base Camp trek route,
Every afternoon when we reached the teahouse we would check our heart rate and oxygen levels with a finger pulse oximeter. Logging our vitals was a part of our daily health monitoring in terms of progress or deterioration.
Day 3: Namche Bazaar acclimatisation day (trek to Thame and Khumjung, the green village)

A Nepalese man and white woman stand outside of the 'Welcome' gate in Lukla on the EBC Trek and make arm muscle flex poses
A Nepalese porter exchanges money with a female trekker on a wooden table in a traditional wooden teahouse on the EBC Trek

A map of the Everest Base Camp trekking route
A small group of trekkers stand in the wide open valley between mountain faces in the Himalayas of Nepal

A group of Nepalese people gather in an open square in the town of Luka, based by high mountain ranges

The thought of four days trekking back down is not the greatest and is something you almost have to train your mind not to think about since you have no option but to get back down, and on the very same path from which you have already traversed. You’ll often pass the groups on their way up, knowing how it felt in those earlier days of this great expedition. 

Four sherpas on the Everest Base Camp trek enjoy post-trek beers on a blue and white checkered table in a wooden mountain hut
At the time, I chose not to take Diamox tablets as I am a migraine sufferer and I wanted to know if my body was on shut down during the trek.

Four women and one man toast with glasses of drink at a golden brown wooden table

Top Tips to Complete the Trek to Everest Base Camp

Keep a Positive Mindset

When we reached the top of the final climb, stumbling over loose rocks and onto a canvas of white, all I could do was sit and cry at what had become one of my greatest achievements.
Your body will start feeling the effects of altitude at this stage. It’s on day four (when you trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche) and day five (when you trek from Tengboche to Dingboche) that you start to feel the changes in the air. Just when you thought you had got your breath back, you are off again to reach a higher altitude, a dry-run, ready to make the ascent properly the next day.
A heady mix of short and high climbs, but each step is one closer. Day seven is the push towards Lobuche – the final village settlement on the fringes of the Khumbu Glacier, where you will rest before making the final trek towards Everest Base Camp the next morning. 
Bridges and steep climbs on Day 2
Day 6: Dingboche acclimatisation day (hike to Chhukung or Nagarzhang Peak)

Preventing Altitude Sickness on EBC?

One of the last uphill segments towards Namche Bazaar
Go at your own pace and don’t be intimidated by the strength of others or feel the need to ‘keep up’. It’s better to be an hour behind and reach your goal than falter at your own ruthless determination.
There have also been multiple reports of people taking on the trek solo, even without a porter or a guide and going missing. Do not underestimate the power of nature and not knowing your surroundings. Everest trekking in Nepal may be a big business, but it’s not something to be stubborn about. This isn’t a place to get lost as it’s hard to be found. The porters and guide are born and bred here and understand the terrain and the changes in altitude. If you want a solo experience, at least hire a local guide to ensure you do so in the safest environment possible.
Constantly updated with the help of authorised tour guides on the ground, alongside access to regular tourism updates via tourism groups and businesses, it ensures that this article remains one of the most comprehensive on the web. Any plagiarism of this Everest Base Camp Trek blog or any of its descriptions used on other sites and blogs without attribution is not information authorised by myself for use. Know your source. 
For Electricity, Showers and Wifi
There is a set route for EBC trekking that takes you through various villages, camping grounds and incredibly isolated spots with magnificent views of the mountain panoramas.
Reaching the teahouse in the afternoon.
However, on most organised small group trips these permits are managed by your guide and are included in the overall cost of your tour. It’s worthwhile to check if they are included.
And that’s just a snippet of the feelings you have whilst ON the trek. A dozen questions run through your head before deciding on booking this adventure, so here are the answers to the most posed questions about how to hike to Everest Base Camp.

Go Slow

A woman in a white t-shirt and blue trekking pants stands in front of large black rocks strewn with multi-coloured prayer flags and a huge snow capped mountain face
When Climbing Kilimanjaro more recently, I took half a Diamox tablet in the morning and evening, throughout the entire trek. If I did Everest Base Camp again, I would most likely replicate this same, controlled usage of AMS medication. 
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to handpicked partners, including tours, gear and booking sites. If you click through or buy something via one of them, I may receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and allows this site to keep running.

Take Plenty of Snacks and Money

World Nomads has an optional extra under it’s ‘Land Activities’ policy section that includes ‘trekking up to 6,000 metres. This insurance provider is one of the best out there and you can purchase or extend your policy at any time, anywhere in the world. Get a Quote.
A rest stop before continuing. See the bridge in the distance?
Over the course of six hours, broken up halfway by a short break at our accommodation tea house, we pulled ourselves slowly and sluggishly through the thin and icy air. I remember one of the Sherpas grabbing my arm to hold me up, pulling me over rocks and icy pockets as my legs were about to give way and pushing me to the end because I refused to be defeated. Not now I had got this far; not now that I was close to the dream of climbing Everest Base Camp.
Bring US Dollars With You

A small group of trekkers gathered around a table outside a green Nepalese tea house, backed by high mountain vistas – a typical rest stop on the Everest Base Camp trek
Cheering at the successful landing and that we were still alive after this nail-biting experience, we went to breakfast full of excitement about the trek ahead –  a three-hour, uphill climb which wasn’t too taxing. Little did we know how much harder it would be and how much colder it would get.

The rest is down to the art of layering:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla flight. Trek to Phakding
With the streams of websites on top of the dozens of locally offered tour offerings when you arrive, it’s hard to know where to start with a booking a trip to hike to Mount Everest. I toyed with the idea of hiring a guide when I was there but figured being on my own might be lonely when you need the camaraderie of others to spur you on. I was also close to using localised websites for Everest tours such as Bookmundi to meet others to form a group and hire guides and porters. Still, I worried that I would be thrown into the midst of diehard trekkers where I would be a burden or unable to keep up.
Tibet Everest Base Camp
Said to be one of the toughest parts of the Everest Base Camp trek, I found this day one of the hardest, alongside the day of getting to Everest Base Camp itself.
With regards to the terrain, you will not be undertaking any form of wall climbing, walking along narrow ridges with steep drops or using ropes to haul yourself over rock faces. Getting to Everest Base Camp is a slow and steady walk with a strategically timed ascent into altitude.
The trek to Everest Base Camp is as much a test of mental agility as it is about physical strength. Despite feeling exhausted most of the time, look around you. Trekking with the magnificent High Himalaya around you including Ama Dablam, Mount Pumori, Lhotse and Nuptse and the snow-capped misty peak of Mount Everest, you will feel as though you have been thrown into the most beautiful mountainous valley, with a 360 view of the best scenery on the planet.
My EBC Trek group and guide

Preparing and Packing for Everest Base Camp Trekking

  • Braving minus temperatures can be gruelling, especially at night. You can hire a four seasons sleeping bag (or simply ask for a -20) and a down jacket from a whole host of trekking shops in Kathmandu – these two items became my lifeline to a good night’s sleep.
  • Good fitting and already broken-in trekking shoes. I bought my trekking shoes at home to wear them in before the adventure started and purchased walking poles in Kathmandu, which came in extra handy on the steeper parts of the climb.
  • Walking Sticks. I don’t usually use walking poles on a long trek but for Everest Base Camp walking sticks were invaluable, especially on parts of the track where the soil was dusty and rocky and therefore more slippery.
  • Do I need to bring enough toilet paper for the entire trek? No. There’s no need to pack a few toilet rolls, and it’s essential to save as much space as possible in your backpack. Bring one roll or a flat packet of soft tissues as a start, since toilet paper is easy to purchase along the way and not too expensive.

Any treks which claim (or push you to complete the trek in a shorter amount of time) do so at risk. Despite the relatively short distance overall, there is a reason the journey to EBC camp one is stretched over 12 days, and that is mainly due to the steep rise of altitude.

  • Thermal long-sleeved top and thermal leggings for when it gets colder at a higher altitude, and you can use as a base layer.
  • Comfortable trekking trousers. I had the ones with the zip-off leg compartment as the first and last day can see a bit of sun and super warm temperatures. Don’t buy trekking pants that are too tight as you will need space for layering, especially later into the trek.
  • Three to four t-shirts and a fleece – the simple items for layering and easy removal.
  • Gore-Tex jacket and/or windproof jacket – for wind chill and an extra layer over your down jacket.
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves. Insulated gloves. Remember it’s better to be too warm than suffer the cold through lack of proper clothing.
  • Underwear: Enough to last as there is no laundry service, nor will you be anywhere long enough to do laundry.

Packing Tips

  • Practice packing before you leave, to ensure you won’t be in a panic in the hotel room the night before.
  • Don’t leave purchasing the most important gear until you get to Kathmandu. By this I mean the insulated items like thermals and a down jacket and comfortable hiking boots. Shopping in Kathmandu poses a risk – you have to sift through a lot of low quality or fake gear, and these are things that are crucial in needing to be tried and tested ahead of time. 
  • Practice carrying your daypack with you on the pre-hike warmups at home. That way, you will also train yourself to carry not only your clothing and other essentials but at least two litres of water on top!
A woman sits on a pile of black trekking duffel bags outside a hotel entrance in Nepal. Other hikers can be seen in the background.
The March to May trekking season has the advantage of warm, sunny days and the opportunity to see the bustle of those setting up camp at Base Camp ready to climb Everest. The disadvantage is the chance of humidity and heat on the long trek, and cloudy weather in May as the monsoon season starts to brew.

What Travel Insurance to get for Everest Base Camp Trek 

One woman on my trip undertook altitude training at a test centre at home, and while this expensive training measure helped a little, she was still hit with altitude sickness on the Base Camp trek itself. You can’t control nature – just get yourself in the best shape possible before arriving.
Showers, access to the highest Wi-Fi connection in the world (which is sketchy at best) and battery recharging will set you back anywhere between 350-500 rupees / from to or more. I had a local SIM card from Kathmandu, but the data on that only works for a few days since reception quickly fades, especially around the 4,000-metre level.
Four people trek up a long, narrow, sandy coloured mountain ridge pathway on the Everest Base Camp Trek. IN the background is the snow capped Himalaya peaks

  • Treks up to the height of at least 6,000m.
  • Mountain Rescue by Helicopter/helicopter evacuation.

Check the fine print since many policies state a mountain pass limit, commonly “up to 2,500 metres” or “under 5,000m”. It may mean you will need a separate insurance policy or an activity/sports add-on.

Thinking About Trekking to Everest Base Camp? Do it!

This is the bag the porters will carry during the Everest Base Camp trek.
A woman in a purple jacket stands on a rock next to the famed "Way to Everest Base Camp" sign, backed by striking white mountains
Passing a sacred site on the Everest Base Camp Trek – one of the many temples and monuments along the way
The group reaches Everest Base Camp!

Everest Base Camp Trek: Snapshot

Day 8: Reach Everest Base Camp crossing the Changri Glacier and return to Gorak Shep.

  • I booked on the 15-day G Adventures Kathmandu to Base Camp small group tour, which includes the 12-day trek and time to explore Kathmandu either side. This cost includes the flight to Lukla, all accommodations and sherpas.
  • Travel to and from Kathmandu at the start and end of the trip, and all food and drink costs during, are not included.

Keep this in a waterproof and protective pouch/wallet. Our main guide returned with us to Kathmandu, where we tipped him at our final celebratory dinner. 

  • Way up: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding – Namche Bazaar – Tengboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep.
  • Way down: Pheriche – Kengjuma – Monjo – Lukla – Kathmandu 

On Base Camp itself, temperatures can vary from 1 to -10 degrees, on average. Be prepared with base layers, mid-layers and a down jacket – the morning trek can also be a slog in icy winds so you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible.

  • You should budget for around £300 for food, drink and souvenirs on top of the cost of the trek itself.

I saw people of all ages, all sizes, and varying levels of hiking ability. I’d been that typical asthma kid at school – that one who was told I didn’t have to partake in the difficult athletic endeavours because it was obvious I was never going to make it. Any attempt would result in some hideous outcome of extreme embarrassment. I went through life not taking much interest in sports, or thinking I couldn’t do much in the way of extreme physical exertion. It took many years to realise that this is not the case, and the Everest Base Camp trek was one of those things I had to do to prove that to myself. If someone like me with a chronic disease can complete the Everest Base Camp trip, so can you.

  • Four Seasons sleeping bag, trekking boots, down jacket, windproof jacket, four t-shirts, one pair of trekking pants, thermal layers, a fleece and a hat, scarf and gloves

Everest Base Camp Trek Guide. Pin It!

What’s NOT included in the trek cost: I listened to all the advice our guide gave each day regarding how much water to drink – and I drank more to ensure I stayed on top of the altitude symptoms. But just two days before reaching base camp I succumbed to altitude sickness. I woke up in the morning with throbbing headaches, which I carried with me while trekking. I felt nauseous and weak, and mentally I struggled and so took the tablets for a couple of days.
For Food at the EBC Teahouses

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