Do you want to try trekking to Everest Base Camp on your own?
This How to DIY Everest Base Camp Trek Guide will help you get there!
It is always best to take a local guide while trekking or traveling in Nepal, but I get it… sometimes you just want to do it yourself! If you have that sort of adventurous spirit, then here is are my tips for trekking in Nepal for you.
Quick Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal is possibly the world’s most popular hike. During the high season, the trekking route is crowded with adventure travelers who are taking in the majesty of the Himalaya. It is a great place to experience Sherpa culture, see ancient Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, and find yourself on the trekking trail to your own Shangri-La.
To get the most out of your trek to base camp, plan ahead, know what to expect and bring your camera. This region, called the Solu Khumbu, has some of Nepal’s most spectacular views!
Best Season for Trekking to Everest Base Camp
Don’t be fooled by the advertising; you can trek to EBC almost any time of the year. In fact, it is way more accessible than Annapurna or other popular regions. Trekking in the slightly off season will be less crowded, and the prices around Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar will be less. The trek itself may cost the same, but your extras will be cheaper in the off seasons.
Less Crowded Everest Trekking Months (fair weather)
March, June, late September, Decemeber
Least Crowded Everest Trekking Months (harsh weather)
July – August (monsoon), January – February (cold, icy)
Most Crowded Trekking Months (great weather)
April – May (both tourists and climbers on the route)
October – November (trekking high season in Nepal)
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
- Fly to Lukla airport (world’s highest).
- Spend some time in Namche Bazaar (the last outpost for supplies for climbers).
- See Tengboche Monastery (said to house actual remains of a sacred Yeti).
- Immerse yourself in the Sherpa culture of the Solu Khumbu. Sherpas are descendants of ancient Tibetans. (Cultural note: Please never refer to a porter as “my sherpa.” This is a derogatory term that has been adopted by Western marketers that is belittling to these great people and this amazing culture.)
Starting from : Lukla Ending at : Lukla
Type of trek: Teahouse Grade:
Moderate-difficult Culture: Sherpa
Highest access of the trek: 5500m Himalayan
Sightseeing: Everest, Amadablam, Lhotse, etc
Pricing for EBC Trek
General EBC Trek Price from Tour Agency: $1300 – $2300 depending on amenities
Lukla Flight Sold Seperately: Price $300-$350
Self Trek Estimate Per Day: $50
TIMS Card: $20 (subject to change, but has been this price since 2008)
Sargamantha National Park Permit: $10 (subject to change)
Itinerary Summary Everest Base Camp Trek
This is a simple itinerary. You will need to call ahead to teahouses in high season if you want to be sure they have a bed for you. If you like living on the edge, then just show up at a teahouse in the village and ask for a bed for the night. They have simple a la carte menus for you to choose your meals. I recommend eating Nepali Daal Bhat Thalkali as the locals do, but it’s up to you.
Day 01 : Fly from Kathmandu to lukla 2700m and trek to Phakding 2600, 4 hrs and overnight.
Day 02 : Phakding trek to Namche Bazaar 3440m, (6 hrs) and overnight.
Day 03 : Namche Bazaar rest day and overnight.
Day 04 : Namche Bazaar trek to Tyangboche, 3860m, (6 hrs) and overnight.
Day 05 : Tyangboche trek to Dingboche, 4300m, (6hrs) and overnight
Day 06 : Dingboche trek to Labuche 4930m, (6 hrs) and overnight
Day 07 : Labuche rest day and overnight
Day 08 : Labuche trek to Gorapshep 5170m, (2 and half hrs) and overnight
Day 09 : Gorapshe trek to Everest base camp 5400m and back to Gorapshep (5 hrs) and overnight or (GorapshepKalapattar-Gorapshep) 3 hrs.
Day 10 : Gorapshep trek to Pheriche 4280m (6 and half hrs) and overnight.
Day 11 : Pheriche trek to Tyangboche 3860m, (4 hrs) and overnight.
Day 12 : Tyangboche trek to Namchee Bazaar 3440m, (5 hrs) and overnight.
Day 13 : Namche Bazaar trek to Lukla 2840m, (7hrs) and overnight.
Day 14 : Lukla fly to Kathmandu, End of the trek.
Do you need travel insurance to trek in Nepal?
It is highly recommended especially at high altitude locations like Everest Base Camp. Many people suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and some need to be evacuated quickly to lower altitude. This usually is done by rescue helicopter. When this happens on our organized EBC treks, the charge from a helicopter service is a minimum of $5000 USD. So, it is worth getting the insurance… just in case.
Where to buy map, supplies, and permits for Everest Base Camp
Maps – You can buy Everest Base Camp Trek maps anywhere in Thamel (tourist district). There are hundreds of shops selling these maps.
Supplies – Again, there are hundreds of trekking outfitters in Kathmandu. You can buy everything from a backpack to trekking socks to peanut butter. Anything you need to trek in Nepal is to be found in Thamel. We use a company called Kala Pather.
Permits – You can get these from TAAN at the Nepal Tourism Board. But it is a bit of a hassle. It is better to just get them from a trekking agent (even if they charge you an admin fee, it is better than taking 4 taxi rides and spending all day in the TAAN office.)
Sandra BK’s Famous Nepal Trek Check List
Here is my trek check list for all treks and travel to Nepal. It is one of the most popular checklist around the internet for Nepal travel, so I hope you will like it too.
__ Good shoes.
Your #1 best investment. An old proverb says, “Your feet carry you forward in life, take good care of them.” Get a pair of shoes that are sturdy, broken in, and infallibly comfortable. You will never want to see them again after your trek, so give them up to the porter or guide who may ask for them at the end of your journey. When you see the broken shoes and plastic sandals that Himalayan people scale the mountains in, you will be glad you did. For more on good shoes, read here: http://hardcorenepal.com/2012/04/trekking-shoes-hiking/
__ A light backpack.
Every gram of weight you carry will feel like ten times more than you think after two to three days of trekking in the Himalayas. It’s not just the constant uphill climb, it’s also the lessening of oxygen as you climb higher each day. So start with a backpack that does not weigh much itself, and then pack as light as you can.
__ Multifunctional clothing.
Even for a two week trek, you only need one or two changes of clothing. Wear your pants, shirts, and socks as many days in a row as you can. No one will care what you look like. Showers are limited or nonexistent, but there is a water spout or stream at each tea house, so use it to keep your body as clean as possible. This will keep your clothes fresher. Don’t take denim jeans or jackets. They are heavy, dry slowly, and are not very flexible. Take neoprene or nylon clothes and be sure to have a fleece and some warm layers for underneath. Himalayan passes are freezing. You can go from extremely hot to extremely cold in the same day. Avoid cotton everything. If you can buy nylon underwear, they are light and dry quickly if you have to wash them, so get those. Men can find these at most sports stores. Do take some kind of light raincoat, especially in April, May, September, and October. Other trekking months can be extremely cold, so bring some thermal cold weather gear that is not too bulky.
__ Just a few gadgets.
You need a small flashlight/torch/headlamp, a camera (don’t forget film and/or memory cards), a small alarm clock, and spare batteries. Electricity is sparse on the rooftop of the world. Some villages do not have any electricity at all, and the ones that do experience long power outages, so don’t bring electronics you don’t really need. If you are making a blog, documentary, or the like, by all means, take your stuff and consider hiring a porter, but be sure you have charged backup batteries for everything.
__ 100 rupee notes.
Before you leave Kathmandu or Pokhara, get your big notes changed into 100 rupee denominations. You will not find many people that can change 1000 rupee notes on your trekking route. Even 500 rupees can be hard to change. You will be looked upon as the rich, inconsiderate tourist flashing your money around if you pull out a 1000 rupee note at a teahouse. Just get some small money. Your trekking outfitter usually provides your food and lodging, so you should not need a lot of money en route. However, things like beer, soda, and other snacks are “extra” and way more expensive than in Kathmandu. Take some fun money, but keep it small.
__ Trekking permits
Secure it in advance. It can take a few days to a week to get a trekking pass from the tourist board. You will need a copy of your passport and a photo.
__ Travel documents (passport, extra passport photos, itineraries, etc.)
__ Money (cash, cards)
__ Day pack (for carrying personal items during the day)
__ First aid kit (including personal care items, prescription medications, and remedies for blisters, etc.)
__ Glasses and/or contact lenses and solution
__ Insect repellent
__ Refillable water bottle and water purification tablets
__ Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses
__ Swimming clothes (board shorts and dry wick shirts or rash guards recommended for all male and female clients; please NO revealing bathing suits)
__ Lightweight travel towel
__ Ear plugs (if you are staying in Kathmandu, dogs will bark all night) / eye mask
__ Comfortable walking shoes
__ Personal hygiene products (feminine products like tampons can be purchased in Thamel)
__ 4 season sleeping bag (can be purchased in Thamel for 2000 rupees or rented for 20 rupees per day)
__ Slide on or sport shoes for wearing in teahouse or camp (separate from trekking shoes)
__ Waterproof, thigh length jacket of GoreTex or similar material (can be purchased in Thamel for 1500 rupees)
__ Toilet paper or Kleenex
Here is a list of my favorite “pre-read” books about Nepal.
The Long Walk: A True Story About a Trek to Freedom (not specifically about Nepal)
First Time to Nepal? – Know Before You go
Also, if this your first time in Nepal, you must read “Know Before You Go…Nepal.” This became my most popular TravelPod.com post in 2009, and I have added to our Web site at Hardcore Nepal Adventures. Out of everything I have written about Nepal, this is the most popular and I get emails from travelers around the world who are preparing for an adventure in Nepal. Please feel free to contact me with your questions.