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Everest Base Camp Trek: The #1 Ultimate Guide You Need

Do you have lots of questions about the Everest Base Camp trek? From distance and difficulty to recommendations for backpacks, boots, tours and more, this article answers all your questions about this famous Himalayan trek.

The Everest Base Camp trek is a popular trek in the Himalayan region of Nepal and it sits on many people’s bucket list for good reason. 

Nepal’s most famous trek takes you through Sherpa villages and colorful monasteries into the heart of the grandest mountain range on earth – the Himalayas. It’s the perfect combination of close-up mountain splendor and cappuccino-infused trekking-lodge comfort. It’s an experience like no other. 

Complete this trek in April and May and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with a stream of mountaineers and Sherpa guides heading to Mount Everest summit. Whatever time of year you go, it’s hard to think of a more spectacular region for trekking. 

In this article, I discuss everything related to the Everest Base Camp trek, from distance and difficulty to recommendations for backpacks, boots, tours and more. All your questions will be answered and you’ll leave feeling confident knowing that you’re well prepared for tackling this famous trek.

Everest Base Camp trek in April.
Everest Base Camp in April set up for the mountaineers heading to the summit.

My Experience with the Everest Base Camp Trek

Together with my family (husband and two sons, 3 and 5 years of age), we trekked to Everest Base Camp in April 2022. It took us 11 days in total to reach Everest Base Camp, and then another 5 days to retrace our steps to the bottom. 

My son, Gabriel became the youngest Australian to ever walk to Everest Base Camp unassisted, making him a little hero back home. 

When I completed this trek, it was definitely the hardest trek I had ever done. There were lots of highlights, but we certainly had a few issues along the way. 

Our trek to Base Camp is an experience that will last me a lifetime and amazing memories I will never forget. I returned as a new person with a lifelong love for the mountains and a continued desire to return any chance I get. 

Highlights

  • Spectacular mountain scenery around every corner 
  • Hospitable and friendly Nepalese culture
  • Sunrise and sunset views over the mountain tops
  • Seeing Everest Base Camp in full action 
  • Making lifelong friendships with Nepalese guides and porters, and like-minded trekkers from around the world

What I Liked

Staying at the teahouses and mingling with other trekkers from around the world

What I Didn’t Like

Not being able to have a shower for many days after Namche Bazaar

At the end of our Everest Base Camp trek.
Standing on top of Everest Base Camp trekkers’ point.

Everest Base Camp Trek Statistics

Length – 106 kilometers return
Time – 7 to 16 days
Elevation gain – 4,600 meters
Route type – In and out
Start/Finish – Lukla (Tenzing-Hillary Airport)

Gradient – Long steep hills
Quality of path – Unsealed track
Quality of markings – Not sign posted
Steps – Few steps
Experienced required – Long distance walking experience recommended

Everest Base Camp Trekking Map

A great way to get your head around the Base Camp trek is to take a look at our trekking maps. Below are detailed maps showing you the Everest Base Camp trekking route from Lukla to Base Camp and back.

An overview of the Everest Base Camp trekking route.
An aerial view of the Everest Base Camp trekking route.

Best Time to Trek to Everest Base Camp

It’s hard enough trekking to Everest Base Camp on a good day, forget about doing it in bad weather. Which is why it’s important to know the best time to trek, so you can plan your trip to coincide with the best weather. 

The best times to trek to Base Camp are from March to May (Spring) and mid-September to late November (Autumn). During these times, the weather is fairly stable, the visibility is clear and the temperatures are tolerable leading up to Base Camp. 

Many people want to know which is the best season to trek to Everest Base Camp. Is Spring better than Autumn or vice versa? This is a hard question to answer as both have their pros and cons.

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I discuss the pros and cons of trekking in Spring and Autumn, so you can decide which season is best based on your priorities.

How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?

The Everest Base Camp trek is considered a difficult and challenging trek for many reasons. 

It involves trekking for 11 days, over 100 kilometers, reaching an elevation of 5,364 meters. Put together the long distance, huge elevation gains, high altitude and adverse weather conditions and you can see why the difficulty level is considered HIGH for this trek.

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I show you how you can overcome these challenges by following a few simple strategies and procedures, so you can have a successful and more enjoyable trek.

Everest Base Camp trek in the snow.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp under adverse weather conditions.

Best Training for Everest Base Camp

One of the best ways you can prepare for the trek is to train for a few months before tackling the big event. It is important to get your body fighting fit and ready to tackle the distance and elevation for the long Base Camp journey. 

To reach Base Camp, you will need to be able to walk for 11 days, over 100 kilometers and climb over 4,000 meters in elevation. This is not an easy feat. But it can be done with the right training and mindset. 

I firmly believe that anyone with the right training can successfully complete this trek. My 5-year old son trained for over 18 months climbing mountains every weekend before he walked to Everest Base Camp unassisted.

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I tell you what the best training duration and methods are for your next trek to Everest Base Camp. You’ll be able to choose a training period and method that suits your circumstances, needs and preferences.

Can you trek without a guide?

Do you need a guide for Everest Base Camp trek or can you trek Everest Base Camp without a guide? This is a valid question and a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer is not enough. 

As of writing this article, YES you can trek to Everest Base Camp without a guide. However, there are a lot of other considerations you need to take into account before making your decision. Issues such as directions, safety, altitude sickness and any other medical issues can easily be addressed by your guide if you have one with you. 

I highly recommend anybody trekking to Everest Base Camp hire the services of an experienced guide from a reputable trekking organization. The benefits far outweigh the costs.

Taking a break along our Everest Base Camp trek
Taking a much needed rest with our guide as we trekked to Everest Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

There are many costs involved for an Everest Base Camp trek, and these costs combined make it an expensive outing. The bulk of your costs will include the following.

Flight to Nepal is a big cost for an Everest Base Camp trek.
Airfares are one of the largest costs of completing the Everest Base Camp trek.
  • Airfares to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Trekking package for Everest Base Camp
  • Travel insurance
  • Nepal visa
  • Personal trekking clothing and equipment
  • Tips and gratuities for guides, porters and drivers

In addition to the above costs, there are other ancillary costs you will incur along your trek. These can make the cost of your trek more expensive as they add up. Which is why you need to find ways and means to reduce the costs where possible. 

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I provide a detailed breakdown of the Everest Base Camp trek costs, as well as many ways to minimize your costs along the way.

Trek Insurance Cost

Everybody needs travel insurance especially for an Everest Base Camp trek. In fact, if you book an Everest Base Camp trekking package with a reputable operator, they will require that you have travel insurance that insures you on the mountain. This is an important consideration when you are selecting your travel insurance and the provider you choose. 

Your travel insurance must include emergency helicopter evacuation from elevations up to 5,364 meters in the event you need to be evacuated from the mountain to Kathmandu.

When choosing your travel insurance, make sure that you read the Terms and Conditions to find the clause that indicates that the insurance will cover you in the above circumstances. If you’re unsure, call the insurance provider and clarify this legality with them.

Every dollar adds up when you trek to Everest Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp Tours

With so many trekking companies specializing in Everest Base Camp tours, it’s hard to choose one that’s best for you. There’s a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing a trekking company and the right Base Camp trek package. 

Picking the right trekking agency requires you to vet the company properly. Reviews from other trekkers provide you with the information you need to know to make an informed choice. 

When choosing your trekking package, you need to decide if you want a group or private tour, the number of days in the itinerary as well as other inclusions.  

Choosing the right Everest Base Camp tour takes time and requires you to think about whether the tour is the right one for your needs and priorities. 

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I discuss the different types of Everest Base Camp tours available. In addition, I also list in detail the procedures you should take to choose both the trekking company as well as your Everest Base Camp trek package. 

Best Everest Base Camp Trek

There are several Everest Base Camp trekking packages available from a number of different trekking providers. Which one do you choose? The best trek package will depend on your individual circumstances, needs and preferences. 

The Standard Everest Base Camp Trek is the most popular and the ‘best seller’ of all the different kinds of trek packages available. However, this trek might not be the right one for you if your circumstances are a bit different from the norm.

Check out my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek to find out which is the best Everest Base Camp trek and why you should select it over the others.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

For those pressed for time or lacking the physical fitness to trek to Everest Base Camp, a helicopter tour is the perfect option. It’s the best way to see the Himalayan region in Nepal. Plus, you’ll get a proper view of Mount Everest which is usually cloaked by other mountains. 

Helicopter tours anywhere in the world are expensive, and the Everest Base Camp helicopter tour is no different. 

In my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, I’ll walk you through the different helicopter tour options for Everest Base Camp. You’ll be able to make an informed choice whether a helicopter tour is right for you and which one you should opt for.

A helicopter tour instead of an Everest Base Camp trek.
A helicopter tour to Everst Base Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Best Clothing & Equipment for the Trek

Having the right clothing and equipment is key to having a successful and enjoyable Everest Base Camp trek. Which is why it’s important to check out our lists below for the best boots, down jackets, gloves and backpacks, so you can decide which ones are best for you.  

Hiking Boots

The hiking boots you choose are critical to your comfort and performance on your next Everest Base Camp trek. From lightweight day hikers to heavy-duty footwear for serious backpacking, check out ten of the best boots suitable for an Everest Base Camp trek.

Down Jackets 

Whether you trek to Everest Base Camp in Spring, Autumn/Fall or Winter, a good quality, warm down jacket is an essential item to pack. From ultra-light to heavy-weight winter jackets, find out which is the best down jacket for your next Everest Base Camp trek.

Daypacks & Backpacking Backpacks 

Whether you choose to carry your own gear or have a porter carry it for you up to Everest Base Camp, you’ll want the right pack for the job. From ultralight daypacks to comfortable backpacking backpacks, check out our list of the best backpacks for an enjoyable Everest Base Camp trek

Fleece & Winter Gloves

Nothing kills a great day trekking to Everest Base Camp like cold fingers. From fleece liners to winter ski gloves, find the best gloves for your next Everest Base Camp trek.

For a complete packing list of clothing and equipment for your Everest Base Camp trek, take a look at my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek.

My best backpack for Everest Base Camp trek.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp with my trustworthy Osprey backpack.

Everest Base Camp Trek on a Gluten Free Diet

It’s hard to eat out when you’re on a special diet, especially a gluten free one. Can you imagine doing that on the Everest Base Camp trek? Well, I did and so can you. 

Luckily, the Nepali diet is predominantly a gluten free diet as the Nepali people are heavy rice eaters. One of the most popular dishes you can have on this Base Camp trek is a Nepali thali packed with rice, dal, some veggies and meat curries. 

Take a look at my eBook, Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, to find out what food you can expect on the Everest Base Camp trek, as well as how you can enjoy delicious gluten free food on the trek. 

Everest Base Camp trek gluten free food
A delicious Nepali thali is a popular meal on an Everest Base Camp trek.

A trip to Everest Base Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one you want to make the most of. Having a successful trek and a truly enjoyable one is my number one wish for you. 

Do you have any other questions that I haven’t answered in this article? I love to hear from my readers. So, please leave your questions and any comments below.

I hope that you’ve gained invaluable information from this prime article on the Everest Base Camp trek. If you liked my content, you can purchase my eBook Ultimate Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek. This 200-plus page book is filled with loads more information on how to successfully and enjoyably complete the Everest Base Camp trek.

Shareen Pote
Shareen Pote
Hello! I'm Shareen. I love to climb mountains. When I'm not out hiking or trekking with my family, you can find me outdoors enjoying the sunny weather in Queensland, Australia where I live with my husband and two boys.
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