Everest base camp is one of the most challenging trekking trails in the world as trekkers have to trek towards the base camp of the world's highest mountain. So, many things come to mind as we begin the trek, and the first thing among them is how to prepare for the Everest base camp. With my years of experience as a professional guide and having a wide amount of trekking experience through the trekking trail of Everest, I have prepared something that might be useful to all our fellow trekkers and can have some valuable tips to help them through the trek.
Table of Contents
Get prepared physically three months before the trek
Start with 3-4 days of cardiovascular exercise per week.
Engage in aerobic exercises like running, cycling, and hiking. Choose activities that elevate your heart rate for an extended period.
Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Begin with moderate intensity and build up to more challenging sessions.
- Trekking involves significant walking and ascending/descending, making leg strength crucial.
- Core strength is essential for stability on uneven terrain.
- Include bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises.
- Incorporate core workouts such as planks, twists, and stability exercises.
- Include Long hikes or walks into your training regimen.
- Try to walk for 4-5 hours as this will simulate the duration and conditions of your trek.
- Choose varied terrain to prepare for the uneven and sometimes challenging paths you'll encounter during the trek.
- Gradually increase the duration of your long hikes to build endurance.
- Hikes will help your body adapt to the sustained physical activity.
- Plan a short trek to a moderate-altitude region. This helps your body acclimate to higher elevations and prepares you for the challenges of Everest Base Camp.
- During your training hikes, consider spending nights at higher altitudes to aid in acclimatization.
- Maintain a consistent workout schedule to build and sustain your fitness levels.
Listen to Your Body
- Pay attention to your body's signals. If you experience excessive fatigue or discomfort, adjust your training intensity or take additional rest days.
- By focusing on cardiovascular fitness, strength training, endurance, and acclimatization, you'll be better prepared physically for the demands of trekking to Everest Base Camp.
- Tailor the intensity and frequency of your workouts based on fitness level and gradually increase some challenging exercises as your fitness improves.
Start doing breathing practices in the morning.
With years of trekking and meeting various trekkers and adventure enthusiasts worldwide, I also practice these breathing patterns and recommend other trekkers.
Deep Breathing Techniquehelps increase oxygen intake and can aid in relaxation.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill with air.
- Exhale wholly and slowly through your mouth.
Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing) Techniquepromotes better oxygen exchange and helps you utilize your total lung capacity.
- Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your diaphragm(belly) to expand, pushing your belly outward.
- Exhale slowly and thoroughly.
Box Breathing (Square Breathing) Technique helps regulate and deepen your breath, promoting relaxation and focus.
- Inhale for a count of 4.
- Hold your breath for a count of 4.
- Exhale for a count of 4.
- Hold your breath (empty lungs) for a count of 4.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) Technique helps balance the energy flow and is believed to enhance lung capacity.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril.
- Close your left nostril with your ring finger, release your right nostril, and exhale.
- Inhale through your right nostril.
- Close your right nostril again, release your left nostril, and exhale.
- This completes one cycle. Repeat for several cycles.
Pursed Lip Breathing Technique helps regulate breathing, keeping airways open longer and reducing the work of breathing.
- Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of two.
- Purse your lips and exhale slowly and ultimately for a count of four.
High-Altitude Simulation Breathing Technique can prepare your respiratory system for reduced oxygen levels.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale forcefully through pursed lips as if you’re blowing out a candle.
- Mimic the breathing pattern you might experience at higher altitudes.
Practice these exercises regularly for 10–20 minutes a day for weeks before starting the trek. Combine breathing exercises with physical activity and yoga for a comprehensive approach to fitness and acclimatization. Trekkers can use these techniques during any trek to manage stress and fatigue and to enhance oxygen intake at higher altitudes.
Note: Always listen to your body; if you have any pre-existing respiratory conditions or concerns, consult a professional or your doctor before starting any new breathing exercises.
Do medical checkups
Before beginning the trek, visit your doctor first and have a medical test of your body. These help to ensure that your body is in an appropriate condition to begin the trek. Trekking in Everet involves walking for at least eight days in a cold and windy climate. Make sure your body can go through it before beginning the trek. Ask for medication related to any allergies, and inform the trekking company and guide about any medical or allergic issues before starting the trek.
Note: Make sure to inform the trekking agency and the guide of the foods you are allergic to or don't consume due to any health issues.
Prepare yourself mentally before the trek.
Before beginning the Everest Base Camp trek, make sure to set some realistic expectations during the trek. Trekking on Everest includes adapting to the basic needs of life. Train your mind and body to ignore alternative things and secondary plans. Practice keeping your mind calm, ignoring stress, and focusing on the daily goal rather than thinking about the day to reach the base camp. Think about the current day. When we think about the present day and achieve a goal, our mind releases dopamine and a sense of achievement, which helps us get prepared for the next day.
Remember, one day at a time; it's simple: if you look up and climb the stairs, it seems like it ain't ending, but if you look down and walk, and when you look back, you realize you have hiked a lot. Try to make your mind busy.
Maintain proper nutrition and hydration.
Sometimes, we may feel like not eating or drinking during the trek, and that's when the hard part starts. It's common that during high altitudes, trekkers start losing the taste of the food, and the loss in their appetite starts.
Make sure to consume at least three foods daily during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Drink at least 3 liters of water per day, and by chance, if you're having any medications, try to increase it to at least 3.5. 7–10 days before the trek, stop smoking and drinking, but if you are too used to it, try decreasing it, and in the mountains, after a day or two, try to stop.
Get engaged on some regular-day hikes.
Before beginning the trek for example, if you live at an altitude of 1000 meters, try to walk around your hometown, which is 1800–2500 meters. If you are busy working, skip elevators and take the stairs. These help to develop strength.
- Try to go for short hikes around your hometown.
- Take some weight with a day bag and aim for at least 5-8 kilos. This will develop a habit of carrying a day bag and getting used to walking with some weights.
- Try to aim for a walk that involves trekking at a high altitude.