Everest Trek — Frequently Asked Questions

Essentials

Yes! If you are physically fit, if you love the outdoors and if you have a positive attitude you will make it. Altitude sickness or injury can end your trek but this affects only a small percentage of people who trek. Being amongst the tallest peaks in the world is a feeling that cannot be described in words and we recommend that you undertake some basic fitness training prior to your departure to ensure that it is a positive experience for you.

You can go it alone but we can assure you that it would be a vastly different experience. Our guides bring with them knowledge and experience; this becomes a bridge between the 2 cultures. You are guaranteed to learn so much more about Nepal and the terrain through which you are trekking when you are guided.

You are also providing employment to people who rely on tourism to survive, they are passionate about their work and we are sure your guide will soon become a friend to you.

In the mountain villages of Nepal, opportunities for women are few. Many young girls have little or no education, and marriage at an early age is still common. Take on Nepal and FHC have been working to change this for many years.

As Take on Nepal has grown, we’ve begun hiring young women and girls from Batase — first to work as porters and then as guides, roles that up to now have been seen as exclusively male. For young village girls, early exposure to paid work as porters and the experience of interacting with Western women is an eye opener. It provides them with a glimpse of other possible futures, futures far different from the lives their mothers lived and to the lives they may have thought they were going to live.

The trekking industry in Nepal is a male dominated environment. Women guides are unheard of, which is surprising when you consider that a huge proportion of Western trekkers visiting Nepal are women. Spend a few nights staying at various lodges on the trails and you will see that 60% of all trekkers are women, many coming from European countries.

At Take on Nepal, we’re all about empowering women, giving the village girls the opportunities that their brothers have and opening their eyes to the possibilities of a larger world.

It is becoming quite common now for families to trek to Everest Base Camp together. Children from aged 7 upwards have trekked comfortably to Everest Base Camp and why not take your parents too! Age should not be a barrier to undertake this experience, as long as family members are fit, healthy and have a positive frame of mind, it is a possibility. We can tailor a trek specifically for the needs of your family as we recommend adding a few extra days on to the trek.

This is highly recommended as the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. We offer a helpful training program for you once you have booked and we are always on hand to answer your questions.

Our team will support you and encourage you throughout your trek and our treks are paced to allow plenty of time for you to reach your daily destination. However, if you choose to undertake the trek without prior training, you will be fine as long as you have great willpower and plenty of stamina to get you through the tough times.

Getting Organised

Yes! If you are physically fit, if you love the outdoors and if you have a positive attitude you will make it. Altitude sickness or injury can end your trek but this affects only a small percentage of people who trek. Being amongst the tallest peaks in the world is a feeling that cannot be described in words and we recommend that you undertake some basic fitness training prior to your departure to ensure that it is a positive experience for you.

Travel Insurance is compulsory if you wish to participate in the program. We will require a copy of the insurance certificate and you must also bring a hard copy of your insurance certificate with you to Nepal. You need to ensure that the travel insurance purchased insures for helicopter evacuation above 5000m.

Nepal does not require any vaccinations in order to enter the country. However, we strongly recommend that participants consult with a doctor before departing for Nepal for information about immunisations and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

The mistake many people make it having too much stuff. There is nothing worse than carting clothing and equipment with you for 2 weeks (at altitude) in Nepal and ultimately not having needed it.

This list below outlines the standard clothing we recommend you for trekking 14 – 15 days in the mountains.

  • Heavy fleece long sleeve top
  • Mid weight long sleeve top
  • Zip-off full leg hiking pants and additional pair of hiking shorts
  • Stretch/lycra type full leg pants
  • Thermal fleece style long pants
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent) or Down Jacket
  • Thermal long sleeve tops (2)
  • Thermal long johns (1)
  • 2 T-shirts for hiking (polyester or equivalent with good wicking properties –cotton is not recommended)
  • 2 T-shirts for ‘after hiking’ (cotton is okay)
  • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with waterproof outer shell
  • Lightweight gloves (synthetic or poly-prop)
  • Warm hat / beanie and neck-warmer
  • Underwear (3 – 4 pairs)
  • Additional set of thermal underwear (can double up as pyjamas)
  • 3 – 4 pairs heavy weight woolen hiking socks
  • 2 pairs lightweight / thin comfortable socks
  • 1 pair of sturdy hiking boots with spare laces
  • Joggers or sandals for the end of the day when your trek has finished.

Your Everest Base Camp packing list should include the following equipment:

  • Light weight head torch (LED)
  • Digital camera
  • Backpack (30 – 40 litres)
  • Sleeping bag inner sheet (optional but nice to have)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water bottle, buy in Kathmandu (1 litre capacity)
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Waterproof leucoplast tape or similar for preventing blisters (available at chemists)
  • Small personal towel
  • Personal toiletries (include soap for washing clothes)
  • Wet Wipes (100 plus)
  • First aid kit (Optional)
  • Sweets / chocolate (buy in Kathmandu)
  • Tissues
  • Lip Balm
  • Jeans
  • Jumpers/sweaters
  • Dress shirts
  • Dress shoes
  • Dresses and hair dryers.

We organise all of this for you and all of the costs are included in the cost of your trek.

All seasons have their pros and cons, but as a general rule, the best time to trek in Nepal is from February to May when the temperature has warmed after Winter. September through to December is also a fabulous time to trek, during these months the clouds start lifting after the Monsoon rains of June and July, which often leaves you with spectacular views of the Himalayas.

If you do not already own these items, we highly recommend that you purchase or hire these items in Kathmandu. They are made to a high quality and it’s always great to support the local economy. Another option is to hire a sleeping bag and jacket at a cost of approximately AUD$15 for each item for a period of 14 days.

Nepal does not require any vaccinations in order to enter the country. However, we strongly recommend that participants consult with a doctor before departing for Nepal for information about immunisations and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

Trekking in Nepal

You will trek for between 4 and 7 hours every day, our treks are moderately paced, it is not a race, and we want you to enjoy the experience and to learn about your surrounds from your guide.

Most accommodation during your treks will be in trekking lodges; the lodges provide basic sleeping facilities and tasty meals. Local families usually operate the lodges. Your evenings will be spent chatting to your guides, porters and fellow trekkers.

Unless you have paid an additional charge for a single room, you will share your room with 1 or 2 other trekkers of the same gender. Couples will share a room of their own.

Again, the lodges are basic; do not compare them in your mind to any accommodation you have stayed in in Western countries.

On the more heavily touristed trekking trails such as Everest Base Camp and Annapurna treks you will be able to choose from menus with quite a few choices. You will eat breakfast at the lodge that you had eaten your dinner in and then lunch will be at another lodge along the way. Daal bhaat is guaranteed to be on the menu at every stop off and you can be sure that this will be what you guide and porters will be eating, Daal Bhaat isn’t just the most popular meal in Nepal. For many Nepalis it’s the only meal they ever eat, twice a day, every day of their lives, and they don’t feel they’ve eaten properly without it!

You will be able to purchase bottled water all along your trekking route, as a general rule, the cost increases the more isolated you are. We highly recommend that you take water-purifying tablets with you or a water-purifying pen. These can also be purchased in Kathmandu. During your trek it is crucial that you drink plenty of water, if you don’t, the risk of becoming unwell is much higher.

Health and Safety

If you are in doubt about whether or not you would be able to undertake the trek, we recommend that you visit your doctor for a health check. Overall good health and determination combined with good coordination and balance will all work in your favour.

Your safety is our number one priority and your professional guides are skilled and experienced when responding to emergencies. Take on Nepal have a comprehensive risk management document that ensures most possibilities have been carefully addressed and plans put in place.

Our guides are all trained in First Aid and through their experience and knowledge know when to call a helicopter for an emergency evacuation. With “Take on Nepal”, you are in safe hands.

At altitude, sickness can set in at any time. We pace our treks to allow your body to adjust to the change in climate and our team will be monitoring your wellbeing. The most common form of altitude sickness is actually called “Acute Mountain Sickness” (AMS), and is the least dangerous form and symptoms include a light headache, nausea and loss of appetite, insomnia and fatigue. In most cases, it is treatable through rest and many people make it to their destination. If your condition worsens, you will be evacuated out of the region by helicopter where you will receive medical treatment at a hospital.

As a female, Nepal is generally very safe. Many of our team members are female and much of our work centres around empowering young women and girls. Most if not all of our treks will have a female staff member on board who will give you strength and inspiration as you trek through the mountains of Nepal.

Practicalities

Make sure that you wear either a trusted old pair of reliable and comfortable trekking boots or shoes. If purchasing a new pair, do so a minimum of 4 weeks prior to departure to allow time to break them in properly. It is so important to avoid the possibility of getting blisters, something as simple as that could impact negatively on your trek. We recommend that you wear woollen socks when trekking as they will keep your feet warm and dry during your trek.

The only additional charges incurred for being a solo traveller are if you decide that you would like a single room during your trek.

Your trekking fee will cover most of your costs including all of your meals, your accommodation, permits and flight in and out of Lukla. However, the costs of “luxuries” are not covered such as coffee, sweets, alcohol and other souvenirs that you may wish to purchase along the way. We recommend that you budget approximately $20 per day to comfortably cover any additional expenses that you may encounter.

It’s unusual for this to happen but it does happen due to weather conditions. If your flight in or out of Lukla is delayed, you may end up having to wait 1-2 days for another flight. We recommend that you allow a couple of extra days when booking your flight out of Nepal to allow for such an occurrence. The additional time spent in Lukla or Kathmandu will be a personal expense to you but we will be very happy to organise any logistics such as your accommodation in Lukla or Kathmandu.

Another option is to use a privately chartered helicopter, this cost for this is high but it is a guaranteed way to ensure that you meet any deadlines that you may have

We are different to most other trekking companies, our porters are often female (to empower and provide employment), and we set the limit at 15kg. Many other trekking companies use 1 porter for 2 clients with an expectation that they carry up to 40kg; we do not agree with this and do not want to endure such hardships upon our team members. 15kg is plenty for your trek and you would also be carrying your personal daypack, which generally weighs 5kg.

Tipping is not compulsory but we are sure that at the end of your trek you will be very happy to show your appreciation to your guide and porter through providing them with a tip.

You will have reliable Internet access in most places. Many lodges on the Everest Base Camp Trek have Internet access but you must purchase usage. On other treks, it varies but overage coverage in Nepal is reasonable but slow. Our team has access to satellite phones during treks to call support in the event of an emergency.

Yes, please famialise yourself with our detailed terms and conditions and our cancellation policy. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have. We are always happy to help!