Everest Base camp trek in the Khumbu region is considered to be one of the best yet challenging treks in Nepal. Reaching to the lap of Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth is not an easy feat achievable by all. While it is one of the many treks in Khumbu region, Everest Base Camp trek requires some special training and preparations for its successful completion. As a two-weeks-long trek with varied terrain and other difficulties, EBC demands strong mental and physical fitness and determination.
People of all ages, physical abilities, health issues and other differences have been able to complete the trek successfully. The trek is not about how you are but how you prepare for it. Many successful trekkers recommend training 6 months prior to the trek. Attaining the height of 5634 meters is a great challenge but training can definitely help in making the expedition more fun and exciting.
Even though considered difficult, EBC does not require technical knowledge or high altitude experience. Having a basic exercise routine or hiking experience is enough to ready you for the awesome EBC trek. Here is a list of prerequisites and different training to prepare you for the majestic trek.
Table of Contents
Gears to be carried
Boots: You need to buy comfortable boots that keep your feet dry and safe throughout the trek. It is very important to buy them beforehand and break them in so they don’t cause bruises and blisters.
Backpack: The trip requires you to carry a backpack which is quite heavy (up to 20 kg). So it is a good idea to carry a backpack that is comfortable on your shoulders, distributes weight evenly and can hold everything you need for a day’s walk
Elevation training masks: These might look too technical for training but they help you with increased lung capacity, increased stamina, mental focus, and oxygen and energy efficiency.
Planning a trip to Nepal?
Before the Trek Training
The actual training begins 3-6 months prior to the trek for most people. You can get information about the training from travel agencies, online blogs and forums, and other trekkers. The training usually involves gym exercises and actual hiking and trekking to hills and mountains in your own locality. As all the equipment, services and other requirements vary in different countries, it is better to get a personalized training program designed by a professional in the field with prior experience of EBC.
How to Train for Everest Base Camp Trek Tips
The following is a general training tip that is applicable to all.
Strength Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest base camp requires strength training for the entire body and building endurance. The long hours of walks along with the backpack means every part of your body has to be strong for the assault of the uphill climbs. This can be attained with lift training along with cardio exercises.
Leg strength is very important for the treks as they do the walking for 6 hours a day and you do not want to be sore and tired at the beginning of the trek. This will hamper your condition and the experience of the trip. Squats, lunges, step aerobics, leg curls can help build leg strength. The second priority is the upper body strength required to carry the heavy weights for extended periods of time which can be developed by shoulder presses, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, swings, lifts and many others.
It is important to get professional help to make sure that you are doing the exercises right and achieving the desired results too.
Cardiovascular Training Everest Base Camp Trek
Cardio training refers to those exercises that prepare the body to deal with oxygen deprivation for longer periods of time. This is very important for EBC trek at higher altitudes with even less oxygen than normal.
Any kind of cardiovascular training can be effective for EBC as long as it helps you climb the exhausting uphill terrain and carry your luggage through the tough trails. Walking inclines in the treadmill is a good start for the training and you can later add the stair climber to your regimen. Carrying the weight pack during these training can help build endurance as well as simulate the day packs of the actual treks. Gradually increasing the weights can help your body get used to the weight and uphill climbs so the actual trek feels comparatively easier.
If gym exercises aren’t your cup of tea, you can try cycling, rowing, running, swimming, uphill hikes and other activities that you enjoy and can continue doing for longer periods of time. Running or swimming for around 12km multiple times in a week is sure to make your body fit and the actual trek more enjoyable.
The best preparation for EBC trek is trekking as often as you can in as many different trails as possible. It is a good way to break-in your boots, try the weight packs and get your body accustomed to trekking for longer periods of time. You can start from a short distance at first and then keep increasing the duration until you have completed long distance treks that require 5-6 hours of trekking per day.
It helps to simulate the actual trek and be prepared for long walks and heavy weights to carry. If you do not have hiking trails, you can even walk around the streets and parks of your city or simply climb the stairs in the buildings. Mixing trekking with other exercises is the perfect training that the body needs. Many trekkers believe that trekking is the best preparation for EBC.
It is easier for people living at high altitudes to adapt to the high altitudes of EBC trek. For others, the oxygen masks and hikes to higher elevations can help the body adapt to the increasing altitudes. However, there is nothing that can fully prevent altitude sickness as many factors can lead to it. The best way to avoid the sickness is to adopt a slow and steady pace that doesn’t replenish much energy, rest properly and be aware of the signs and symptoms. Other tips include
- Drinking about 2-3 liters of water every day
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Ascend in small increments, hike higher and sleep in lower elevations
- Take preventive medication as precaution
- Trek with reputed trek operator or guide who can assist you in case of emergencies
Even though it isn’t possible to practice or prepare for what you are going to face mentally in EBC trek, it is one of the most important factors for the success of the trip. The lengthy trek with some really tough days requires the right attitude and mental determination to make the trek a successful and enjoyable experience.
Many fitness professionals and trekkers believe that pushing the body to the limit and then still keep going is one way to prepare yourself mentally. Participating in marathons and having training partners to encourage you can really boost your physical and mental conditions. Such kind of goals and persistence will ensure that you will complete EBC trek without much trouble.
With the right attitude and proper physical training as mentioned above, you can have a safe, successful and really enjoyable trekking experience. Get clear and full information about the training from a professional, give it all you got and Everest Base Camp trek will be just another adventure to conquer!