Everest Base Camp: Do’s & Don’ts

himalya mountain clouds

We covered most of the preparation questions in our post, Everest Base Camp Tips & Preparation. I thought I’d add in these few do’s & don’ts about the hike itself.

  1. EVERY Tea House provides big warm blankets, so don’t stress too much over sleeping bags. We went at the very end of November 12-22 and we really stressed over our sleeping bags not being able to deal with the freezing nights. We were often too warm with all of our layers, our sleeping bags, and the tea house’s big blanket. Don’t worry about buying an expensive, top-of-the-line sleeping bag, a basic 2 season sleeping bag will do.
  2. Iodine Tablets are a MUST. Water becomes very expensive the higher you climb. Plus, why contribute to the plastic and waste problem on the trail? Remember all trash has to be CARRIED out. Reuse your water bottle and save your money and the planet! 
  3. Don’t listen to the bum tourist agencies in Kathmandu telling you to book an open end ticket. Guess a date to fly out, and then if doesn’t work out you’ll be open-ended anyway. Otherwise you’re fighting everyone else for one of the few seats on a plane. We were stuck in Lukla for 4 miserable days because we booked open-ended tickets and there were no available seats!
  4. Tea Houses offer VERY cheap rooms but not so cheap food menus. Most of the tea houses REQUIRE you to eat ALL of your meals there too. Check the menus for your favorite dishes and drinks  prices before checking in.
  5. Hug the mountain side when big yak teams pass, they are likely to push you off the mountain!
  6. Ask for strong garlic soup if you are feeling the altitude. It’s a home remedy that we were told by many Sherpas and tea house owners, and it definitely helped us feel better when the altitude started getting to us.
  7. When you get to the towns look for a room that is higher up where the sun rises first. It really makes a difference in the freezing morning hours!
  8. GO UP SLOWLY. You will hear the helicopters pass overhead reminding you of the consequences. There are plenty of horror stories of people who didn’t acclimatize and went straight up. Don’t rush it, enjoy it.
  9. When you get a week or so into the hike you will have the choice to stay in Pheriche or Dingboche (after leaving from Tengboche). I am telling you 100% to stay in Dingboche. It’s slightly higher and will help you acclimatize, and it sits on top of a valley so it is much warmer. Pheriche sits down inside the valley and is MUCH colder than Dingboche. Plus, the hike out of Pheriche is very hard because it is so far down in the valley that you have to walk straight up a huge hill to get out. Dingboche makes for a much easier hike and a much warmer town. If you feel sick from the altitude in Tengboche, you may want to stay in Pheriche because it is slightly lower than Dingboche. However, if you feel fine, than do not stay in Pheriche. Dingboche is the place for you!
  10. BUY EVERYTHING in Kathmandu. Prices sky-rocket. We had snickers bars, energy bars, and lots of water purification tablets pre-bought. It saved us a lot, because you’ll be craving chocolate after hiking all day. Trust me!
  11. Battery charging is anywhere for 100-500 rupees/hour. I slept with our camera battery on my body at night, because the cold tends to drain the battery. Our battery lasted the entire hike and we never had to worry about charging it thankfully.
  12. October and April are the best months to hike with the clearest skies. November and May are also great months for the hike, all though they will be slightly colder. We hiked in the last couple weeks of November and had fantastic weather, cold at night of course, but otherwise fantastic.
  13. I received a few questions about pre-booking tea house rooms. There is definitely no possibility of pre-booking, wait until you see the tiny little wooden shacks, than you will understand! During peak season, beds will fill up fast and hikers with guides or porters will send them ahead to get beds booked. Again, we had no problems at all, but we did hear about people sleeping in the common area of tea houses because there were no beds left when it was really busy. I think it would be alright curled up in a blanket in the common room next to the stove though!

 

Amadablam (clear)

We spent a lot of time scouting out Tea Houses for the best food prices. The rooms are pretty much all exactly the same, but the food menu can really cost you a lot when you are buying all of your meals at one tea house. We ate a lot of momo’s (dumplings), Sherpa Stew (awesome stew made with lots of vegetables and potatoes), and drank way too much Lemon Tea. Here were our favorite Everest Region Tea Houses that I would definitely look for. They were the cheapest places we could find and the owners were great!

  • Lukla: Dreamland Lodge. We spent 4 days doing nothing but eating, playing cards, and watching movies here when we got stuck with no plane ride out! The owner really helped us find a seat on a plane and was so nice the whole time we were invading him. Great place.
  • Namche Bazaar: Ama Dablam Lodge. It sits up above the other lodges and is off of the main road which makes it really relaxing. The place is SO CHEAP, definitely the cheapest place to eat and drink in Namche and the food was delicious. The owner was very helpful and always smiling. Stay here!
  • Dingboche: Dingboche Guesthouse. The old woman who runs this guesthouse is a legend. She kept 7 of us warm, fed, and happy! One of her and seven of us. Dingboche Guesthouse is one of the first guesthouses you come to and it is the cheapest to eat at too. Great option, delicious food, and toasty yak dung fire every night.
  • Gorak Shep: Buddha Lodge. There are only 3 places in Gorak Shep to stay, but this place had the cheapest Sherpa Stew which was our go to food after hiking. It had a fun vibe to it in the common room, anything to curb the miserable cold when you sleeping at 16,000ft!

himalaya mountain sunset

Finally, we’ve had lots of comments and questions about our total spendage on the entire 2 week trip. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. ALL of Our Gear (Fleece Pants, Windbreaker Pants, Down Coat, Hiking Boots, Under Armor Shirt, 2 Pairs of Hiking Socks, Gloves, Hat, Fleece, Head Lamp) = $100
  2. Foods (2 weeks supply of Snickers, Energy Bars/Cereal Bars, Water Purification Tablets) = $18
  3. TIMS Card (Everest Region Hiking Permit, you must get this) = $25
  4. First Aid (Band Aids, Mole Skin, Immodiuem, Medical Tape, Baby Wipes) = $20
  5. Map = $5
  6. Roundtrip Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla = $230
  7. Tea House Double-Room Charge per night = $1-$3
  8. Food and Drink cost per day = $10-15

On the hike we stuck to basic foods, and went for the cheaper options. No beer or steak like some hikers. I found dairy gave my stomach problems once we reached above 14,000 ft and I had to give up hot muesli and milk for breakfast, which I loved. We ate a lot of Sherpa Stew ($3-5), momos (dumpling, $3-4), and ordered hot lemon tea by the pot because it was slightly cheaper and we would last the day. If you stick with these basic and cheaper food options, you will not spend a lot. However, after hiking for hours a day, everyday.. you will be tempted by the steaks, chocolate cake, and other international dishes. Room, food, and drink prices are much cheaper lower down in the hike and roughly double once you reach higher altitudes.

Our Total Cost for EVERYTHING for 2 weeks (PER PERSON): $600

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Comments
13 Responses to “Everest Base Camp: Do’s & Don’ts”
  1. justramblin says:

    What an amazing trip! The stories, lessons, and beautiful photos you have to share with others has got to be plenty. Will you take the trip again or try something new?

    • Nicky says:

      I don’t think we will take the trip again… but only because the world is so big and there is so much to see! Otherwise, I’d love to do it again. There are a few other hikes in Nepal that are even more popular than the EBC hike. I would love to check those out!

  2. Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. This will be very helpful in our trip planning.

    • Nicky says:

      I hope so! I wrote the post based on your questions and a few other comments we had recieved, so I hope it helps you 🙂 When do you think you will go on the hike?

  3. Gie says:

    Hi Nicky. I wrote in earlier and posed a few questions about the trip. I cant thank you enough for all these tips and advice! It’ll surely make planning for the trip a LOT easier. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, that what you guys did was truly an inspiration and a motivation to me to go for it . I’m planning to go next year with a couple of friends.
    Cheers again, and safe journey wherever, whenever!

    • Nicky says:

      I am really glad that the post is helping out, I scoured the internet for information before we left too. You’ll have the time of your life when you go.. Nepal is a fantastic place, leave time at the beginning or end to travel a bit too. Especially Pokhara after the hike, you can eat and eat and drink and drink there! Any more ?’s, please send a message– no worries. Take care!

  4. Scott says:

    Thanks for posting your adventure. You blog was one of the first sites I found when I began researching my own trek to base camp. I’m doing mine this October. I’m positive that I will return quite a few times between then and now.

  5. kate says:

    Thanks so much! Such a helpful post 🙂 I’m planning a trip next October so this was really useful. We’re hoping to do the Jiri walk-in. Wish us luck!

    • Nicky says:

      A walk from Jiri = KICK ASS! Enjoy, it’s an unbelievable experience.. still can’t believe I looked up at Everest! Best of Luck, but you don’t need it, you’ll do great!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Once you guys got to the base camp did you guys climb back down? or did you take a flight out? I am really interested in doing this and I would love more information

    • Nicky says:

      If you take a flight out from base camp, it only means one thing = that you’re in trouble with the altitude! You have to walk down, it took us 3 days to go down. By that point after being on trail for 9 days, we both just wanted to get the hell down after standing at base camp! Please ask away with any questions, it was a an amazing experience.

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