Everest Base Camp trek is possible and doable for people with little to no trekking experience. Yet, basic physical training and mental preparedness make for a comfortable and enjoyable trek.
No treks to the Himalayas should be underestimated. This includes treks to some of the most popular trekking regions in Everest and Annapurna. Everest Base Camp trek involves walking on rough terrains for 6/7 hours for the duration of your trek. So, you should prepare for your trek to Everest Base Camp.
EBC trek is not a competition, you need not race to the destination. You will need to look after your body and go with the pace. But it is going to difficult to start the trek without any prior preparation.
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Level
On an average, Everest Base Camp trek is a moderate trek. The trek is around 130 km long. It involves 6/7 hours of walk on rough terrain every day. And, you will be trekking at altitudes higher than 3000m for the majority of your trek.
The Everest Base Camp is an achievable trek. Yet, for novice trekkers, this trek can be a challenge.
The difficulty of any trek is subjective. One of the main things that determine how difficult or easy your trek will be is your physical fitness level and mental preparedness.
Depending on your fitness level, a few weeks to a few months of prior training should prepare you for the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Physical Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
Your physical fitness is a must for the Everest Base Camp trek. Everyone has a physical training method that works for them. You should find one that is comfortable and doable for you. Make sure to choose a training program that focuses on stamina, endurance, flexibility.
Discussed below are some of the popular choices.
Aerobic training or cardiovascular training is great for preparing for your Everest Base Camp Trek.
Cardiovascular training helps you to cope with the high altitude and low oxygen conditions you will face on the Everest Base Camp trek.
Aerobic training focuses on the ability of your heart, lung and blood cells. On high altitude treks like your Everest Base Camp trek, your lungs will be tested. So, this type of training is well suited for this trek.
You can go for regular jogs, walks, swims or cycling for this training. These kinds of training help improve your breathing and heart.
Aerobic training like jogging uphill, running at an incline on the treadmill will help increase your endurance. You will also be working on the muscles and strengthen them for your longer hikes in the rough terrains.
Strength Endurance Training
On your treks to Everest Base Camp, you will be walking on rough terrains for 6/7 hours for the duration of your trek. Hence, having good core and leg strength along with endurance is key.
You should train your leg muscles, shoulders, and back. Doing this will definitely help improve your trekking experience.
This type of training will also help keep injuries at bay. Lunges, squats, step aerobics are great examples of strength endurance training.
You can also include sit-ups, shoulder press, pull-ups, back, and shoulder flies. These are great to improve your core muscles, upper shoulder muscles.
With these type of exercises, you should maintain a proper form. Always start on a comfortable level (10-12 repetitions) then work your way up using weight.
Everest Base Camp trek is a high altitude trek. You will be trekking in altitudes higher than 3000m for most parts of the trek. So, altitude training is a must.
There is no true way to train for altitudes. But taking short hikes and increasing the altitude gradually so that you can adjust to the altitude is a great way. This way you can learn to adjust to the altitude.
Altitude sickness is a strong concern in these type of treks. High altitudes affect people of all fitness level and ages. The effects can be different for everyone. Symptoms of altitude sickness include a headache, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbance, and stomach illness.
Do not ignore any of these symptoms. Notify your guides if in case you notice any symptoms.
To prevent this, you should acclimatize at different points of your trek. Keeping yourself hydrated and a healthy diet throughout the trek is also a good precaution against altitude sickness.
Everest Base Camp trek is a multi-day trek. The average duration of the trek is 12-24 days. One of the best ways to prepare for this kind of trek is going on actual hikes.
Starting with day-long hikes and extending to week-long hikes are a great way to prepare for your Everest Base Camp trek. These short hikes will give you an actual feel of walking for long durations.
They also give you the experience of walking on different trails. If you can’t go for these hikes on a frequent basis, you can mix some other physical training. Hiking experience can help you better adjust to the trekking trails.
Hardly any other gym exercise can recreate the different conditions of the trails like hiking can. You can also break in your mountaineering or trekking boots and equipment. Hiking will help you update your trekking equipment and clothing as well.
A proper diet contributes greatly to your physical fitness. You should maintain a proper diet. Your diet should include proper portions of protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrate.
You should also keep yourself hydrated. When trekking, your body will be losing water because of the heat generated. So, maintaining a healthy intake of water is a key to a successful trek.
On an average, you should intake about 4 liters of water on your trek on a daily basis.
Keeping yourself hydrated is also a great precaution for altitude sickness.
Along with physical training, mental preparedness is a must for a great and successful trek. Because mountain Treks are not easy.
The Everest Base Camp is a mid-long duration trek. You may get tired, wet, muddy or exhausted on the trails. During these times, you will need the mental strength and endurance to keep moving forward.
These situations demand mental motivation to keep going. Mental strength and stamina are hard to train. Yet, having a good mental attitude and preparedness is absolutely necessary.
During physical training, try and push yourself through when you reach your limit. This is a great example of how you can build your mental stamina. This shows yourself that you can achieve more if you put your mind to it.
Being accompanied by members who are encouraging is a great way to reduce mental negativity and stress. Having a group who are aiming for the same goal on the trek helps you to keep moving forward. You will also have a more social and enjoyable atmosphere.
Extra Training information for your Everest Base Camp Trek
- Choose an itinerary that gives you the right acclimatization schedule. For beginners, this is a must for a comfortable trek.
- There are no training programs that suit everyone. You should choose one that is right for you.
- When training, try and replicate the conditions you will be hiking in. It will help you feel comfortable on your actual trek.
- For beginners and novice trekkers, you should try and trek during the best season.
- Stick to your own pace. Walking at your own pace will help your body adjust to the changing altitudes.
- Before you actually start your training program, take some time to explore the option on the routes. There are different routes to reach Everest Base Camp. They have different levels of difficulty.
- The right time to start training is different for everyone: If you are not very fit at all, starting a sensible training program six to twelve months in advance is great.
- If you are fit or involve in running sports, then you can start training a month or two in advance.
- Always stretch before and after workouts for 5-10 minutes.
- The earlier and longer you train, the better.
- Make sure you pack all the things necessary for your treks. Your hard work and training will be wasted if you don’t have the right clothes, gears, and equipment.
You need to be physically and mentally prepared for any kind of mountain trek, Everest Base Camp Trek included. It is doable for all. To have a great and comfortable trekking experience you need both mental and physical preparedness.
The training listed above is a great general guideline. Remember, the Everest Base Camp trek is your holiday. Keep a positive attitude and have fun on the trail.
While the training may be troublesome, the rewards of it are great and spectacular. If you have any questions about your treks to Nepal, feel free to contact us.