The Path to Base Camp – Nepal
When to Go. The best times to hike to Everest Base Camp are March to May and September to December. The lower altitudes get very hot in May, just before the monsoon season.
What to Take. Pack light, as the altitude will make you tire quickly. Try to keep your pack under 10kg to 15kg. Thermal underwear, a fleece and a down jacket are essential. Bring synthetic or wool shirts to help regulate body heat – cotton is useless once it gets wet. Boots are best, although some people wear hiking shoes – if you do this make sure they’ve got good grip. Sandals or flip flops to rest your feet in after a day of hiking are a relief.
A-20°C sleeping bag is crucial, especially during the last couple of nights. Also pack gloves, a hat and warm socks. Polarised sunglasses will help reduce the glare on the snow, while lip balm/Vaseline will protect your lips and face from the dry wind. You will have to rely on your own toilet paper and toiletries, though these can be purchased in Namche Bazaar if you forget them.
Plasters for minor scrapes and blisters are a good idea. To reduce costs and environmental impact, pick up a pack of water purification tablets in Kathmandu. Also tuck a few of your favourite teabags in your pack – a pot of hot water at a teahouse is much cheaper than a pot of tea. A few more essentials include hiking poles for steep ascents, strong sunscreen, a book and plenty of cash.
Talk to your doctor about Diamox (acetazolamide), which is medication known to speed up the acclimatisation process, if you are worried about or have a history of altitude sickness.