Am I Ready For Everest Base Camp?

So you are planning to do the great trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide or EBC as you will soon become accustomed to. The best thing you can do for yourself here is be well prepared; no amount of guessing is going to make this trek easier for you. Talking to people that have done it, reading articles and forum notes written by people that have done it, and booking with a registered, responsible, experienced and qualified company is a great way to start.

Many people have many opinions on what you need to bring, how you need to prepare and what to expect, the fact is, you can’t gauge the weather, you can’t predict unforeseeable changes or events to your plans, or foresee the way your body is going to acclimatise to altitude. You simply need to be as prepared as you can possibly be.

Training your body for the trek: I have heard it all before, step classes, treadmills, aerobics, weight lifting etc. I can tell you now, you cannot prepare your trekking muscles by walking an hour a day on a treadmill or pumping iron, certainly this will improve your fitness, your cardiovascular strength and your body image. But it can’t prepare you for uneven ground, the constant up and down, and very uneven stairs, which is a given when trekking in Nepal. One of the best things you can do is get outdoors, walk up hills, get off the pavement, walk on the grass, walk over tree roots and up dirt paths, climb uneven rock stairs, or very steep inclines, don’t forget up is not only what you need to concentrate on, you require a whole different set of muscles to make walking downhill a breeze as well, plus this will improve your surefootedness, your trekkers eye scoping potential trips and holes, rocks and slippery gravel, no one wants a grazed knee or twisted ankle on the trek.

Keep up the cardiovascular work though, this will improve your ability to adjust in altitude, however, you need to keep in mind that the fittest person out there can still have complications in high altitude treks, a slow and steady pace, a vigilant but not to paranoid awareness of your bodies reactions, will keep you safer. If you find yourself constantly stopping to catch your breath you are going too fast, yes those people that speed past you like pros’ may look good, but the probability they are going to suffer a bit of altitude sickness for rushing is quite high.

What do I bring: Keep it simple, there is no need to bring an esky, barbeque, and billy can (yes I’m Australian). I prefer a water bladder when trekking to a water bottle; it sits more evenly, distributing weight across your back, instead of a usually swinging bottle or one that sits off to the side. A camelback is great for easy access through a water hose and mouth piece, saves stopping to take out your bottle from your pack. A head torch is also better for evening strolls, trekking in dusk, reading or night toilet trips, most people do better with both hands. A good sized pack and a bigger pack for your porter or just one well fitted big backpack for those that are carrying their own bags.

Although I highly recommend giving a porter a job, some money to take home to his family, and taking a load off your own back to enjoy the trek that little bit more. A sleeping bag that is at least -3 degrees, a small personal first aid kit, a thermal top and pants to sleep in, a few t-shirts and some quick dry trekking pants during the day, a light but warm windbreaker, and a fleece for cold evenings. A very good pair of trekking boots that have ankle support, and good grip on rock and gravel, and try to wear them in, there is nothing worse than brand new boots and the BIG blisters they may cause. A cap, sun glasses, sun cream, energy bars or sugar lollies to suck along the way. Waterproof bags to but all your valuables in, even a few recycled plastic shopping bags or bin liners work well, or get yourself a good sea to summit bag.


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