The Trekking Day
Some people have the idea that trekking is all sweat and hard work with no fun. This is far from the truth. days are designed to be challenging, but not exhausting. While you are Everest base camp trekking, days begin with breakfast at the tea house you stay, you will need to pack up your duffle bags before breakfast, as porters will set off early. To cover the magnificent sun rays that strike on mountains, you will be on the trail by around 8 am. Stop for a leisurely lunch around noon. This is generally about 2 hours, allowing plenty of time to explore the village or relax. The afternoon walk is shorter and you usually arrive around 4pm leaving time for excursions to nearby sites, nunneries, exploration of the village or simply relaxing with a book and catching up on your diary. Dinner is generally around 7pm after which relax.
What you carry
Your baggage is restricted to 15kgs. The duffle baggage is carried by porters and is not available to you during the day. Your daypack should contain all that you need during the day. This generally consists of warm clothing, water bottle, camera gear, sunscreen, lip salve etc. Your guide will let you know each evening of any extra items you will need for the following day. If you have a comfortable daypack you load will only be a few kilograms and hardly noticeable.
No meals are included.
In Kathmandu, restaurants of every style and price-range abound.
On the trek meals are available in tea houses, lodges and bhattis with limited menus. There are a lot of tea houses and lodges in Everest region. Meals are generally simple, but filling, but you may wish to stock up on ‘trail munchies’ before leaving Kathmandu.
Accommodation in Kathmandu is on a twin share basis with private facilities.
Whilst trekking accommodation is in lodges and teahouses and is of a basic standard. Rooms may be twin or multi share with basic shared toilet facilities. Hot Showers are available in some places for a small charge. The Tea houses in Lukla and Namche Bazaar are of higher standard then the others.
Transportation within Kathmandu valley is done with Cars or Jeeps, Van, Hiace, Coaster bus, Mini bus, Coaches depending upon the group size. In trekking region, transportation mean is hiking and in some cases Yaks / horses / mules / donkeys are used for baggage carriage. In this trekking route, hiking is the major mean of transportation while your baggage will be carried by porters and/or animals.
The Guide is in overall charge of the trek and looking after you. This is the person you should go to with all problems, concerns and questions. All our guides are highly trained in all aspects of trekking, conservation, high altitude medicine, and first-aid and emergency procedures. They are professionals selected for their knowledge and passion for Nepal and its peoples, remember they are local guides and their English may be basic and limited to trek-related topics.
Transport your duffle bags – one porter for every two trekkers.
It is impossible to have a ‘foolproof’ grading system as everyone has different expectations and perceptions of their own fitness level. Remember that no trek in the Himalaya is a stroll as all involve going up and down at altitude and that altitude affects everyone differently. Regardless of age or fitness, preparation before you arrive is essential. Aerobic activity, swimming, cycling or brisk walking is recommended or, at the very least, walk up and down stairs in your trekking boots.
Everest Base Camp trekking is a Grade 4 trek involving maximum altitudes around 5545m and involves days of around 5-6 hours walking.
It is best to bring a mixture of cash and traveler’s checks in major currencies – In Nepal, some of the currencies are banned for conversion and you must find the convertible currencies in Nepal. USD, CAD, EUR, and AUD are generally convertible. Ensure you have a mixture of large and small denominations.
Everyone’s spending is different, but as a guide we suggest USD 8 - 10 per meal in Kathmandu and USD 15 – 20 per day whilst trekking in Everest region (if you drink or smoke this could be higher). Shopping is difficult to predict, but most people buy more than they intended.
You should exchange enough money into Nepalese Rupees to last the entire time of your trek before leaving Kathmandu. You can find the money exchange counters near your hotel and there are no exchange facilities in villages along the way.
Tipping is a personal and voluntary matter and tips are not included in the trip price. If you wish to reward the efforts of those who have worked to make your trek the best they can we suggest the following: USD 4 per day for groups of 8+, USD 5 per day for smaller groups - this will be shared amongst the whole staff, including porters.
Travel insurance is not included in the trip price. It is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to your trek. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and repatriation (including helicopter evacuation) and personal liability. We also recommend that it cover cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
There are no specific health requirements for entry into Nepal. However, as Everest Base Camp trekking includes maximum height up to 5545m, your health condition must be sound. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, high altitude medication and medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Nepal. Lukla and Namche bazaar have small health posts for emergency treatment with limited equipments, limited health workers and medication.
Be aware that some drugs, including anti-malarial, have side effects at altitude. Please discuss this carefully with your doctor.
Please be aware that you will be in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip. We strongly recommend that you carry a personal First Aid kit as well as sufficient quantities of any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses).
AMS (acute mountain sickness) is a serious issue. It is the result of the failure of the body to adapt to high altitude and can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness. It usually occurs above 1,800 meters and the likelihood of being affected increases as you ascend. The way to reduce the affects of altitude is to ascend slowly, 300 meters per day above 3,000 meters until you have acclimatized. Poor acclimatization results in headache, nausea, sleeplessness, difficulty breathing and swelling of fingers and glands. The only cure for AMS is to descend to lower altitude and your guide’s decision on this matter is final. Foreseeable of AMS in this particular trekking to Everest Base Camp is high, as this trails passes through altitudes above 5400 meters.
Although our routes are carefully planned to allow for proper acclimatization you may feel some effects of altitude for the first few days or at higher altitudes. An Acclimatization day in Namche and Dingboche is kept here in this itinerary. Breathlessness, lethargy and mild headaches are not uncommon and generally decrease as your body adjusts. Maintaining adequate fluid intake is essential. Please advise your guide if you feel more severe symptoms and do not medicate yourself without discussing it with them first.
Variation of climate is directly proportional to the altitude. For Everest Base Camp trekking, the trekking route passes through altitudes between 2600m up to 5545m. Between 2,700m and 3,000m a cool temperate climate prevails, and between 3,500m and 4,100m summers are cool and winters are very cold. Above 4,100m a cold, alpine climate prevails. There is variation of altitude in this trekking region. You should expect cool summer and very cold winter in this trekking region. Changing global weather patterns have had their effect on the Himalayan climate and mountain weather is notoriously changeable. Always be prepared for a change in conditions and note that if severe or dangerous weather conditions occur your guide’s decision on any course of action is final.
Visas and Permits
Multiple entry visas are available on arrival at Kathmandu airport and all land borders except the citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Palestine, Afghanistan. Multiple entry visas can be obtained from the immigration points costing US Dollars 25 or other convertible foreign currency equivalent thereto for 15 days multiple entry visas, US Dollars 40 or other convertible foreign currency equivalent thereto for 30 days multiple entry visa, US Dollars 100 or other convertible foreign currency equivalent thereto for 90 days multiple entry visa. One photo is required. Trekking permits are required for this trek and will be obtained by Royal Mountain Travel. For the entry to Everest region, Everest conservation area permit should be obtained. Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) is essential for the record of Nepal Tourism Board keeping in mind about probable hazards to occur. Full name, nationality, Home address, passport number, sex, date of birth and 2 photographs for each permit are needed.
Packing for your Trek
You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized daypack to carry the things you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt.
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Water bottle - minimum 1 liter, aluminum or Nalgene polypropylene are best.
- Walking boots - lightweight, waterproof and well worn in.
- Socks: thick wool/blend and thin cotton to be worn in combination - ensure boots fit such combinations.
- Running shoes or sandals for morning / evening
- Lightweight wool sweater
- Fleece jacket
- T-shirts – 5 -7
- Shirt - long-sleeved
- Pants: lightweight long trousers (jeans are unsuitable)
- Hats - beanie with ear flaps or balaclava for nights (winter only) / peaked ‘French Legionnaire’ style sun hat that will give neck protection during the day
- Gloves - wool or fleece (winter only)
- Thermal Underwear (winter only)
- Sarong - a multitude of uses
- Sun Creams
- Bag liners - large, thick garbage bags to line and water/dust proof your duffle bag.
- Money belt
- Torch / flashlight - headlamp style is ideal
- Lighter - for burning toilet paper and rubbish
- First Aid Kit