This is a question we are regularly asked. As with most adventures, there are risks involved. Below the top risks are outlined along with tips on how to best manage them. With preparation and the right support the risks involved with trekking to Everest Base Camp are minimised.
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 monitoring your wellbeing, throughout the trek. The most common form of altitude sickness is actually called “Acute Mountain Sickness” (AMS). It’s the least dangerous form and symptoms include a light headache, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia and fatigue. To prevent this from happening we highly recommend that you see your doctor to discuss the medication “Diamox” Diamox works to prevent you suffering from the very real risk of AMS, we want you to make it to Base Camp and highly recommend that you take this medication, it works! If your condition worsens, you will be evacuated out of the region by helicopter, to receive medical treatment at a hospital.
The fitter you are, the easier and more enjoyable the experience will be. To get prepared, we recommend you stick with the training plan we will provide to you, to ensure the best possible outcome for you for the trek.
We have seen people of all ages and sizes successfully reach Everest Base Camp, fitness is not dependent on size, it is strength that matters most. Strength of mind and self-belief is also another crucial factor, in achieving your goal to reach Everest Base Camp.
If you go on this trek unprepared this will have an impact on your experience and also on the experience of those around you. However, we always recommend that you trek at a slow pace, there’s no point in rushing to your destination, take lots of rest breaks and allow your guides and support team to set a comfortable pace for you.
This may sound strange but Yaks can be a safety risk on the trek to Everest Base Camp, these enormous animals are a constant on the trek, they travel up and down the trails carrying goods from village to village.
One of the first things that your guide will inform you about when passing a yak is the need to always stay on the wall side of the trail. Yaks have been known to unintentionally push trekkers off a path and at times down a steep slope. It’s also advised before crossing suspension bridges to check whether a caravan of Yaks are about to cross, if so, wait for them to cross before making your way over the bridge.
On another note, always give way to porters, if you see a porter behind you carrying a heavy load make sure you stand aside and allow him to push on ahead of you.
Most of the trails are comfortable and easy to walk on, they’re not dangerous or technical. But as you get higher and closer to Everest Base Camp you will notice the landscape change dramatically and the trails becoming very rocky. During those days of trekking you must always watch your footing, take it slowly and ask help from your guide to steady if required. Walking on the rocky and uneven trails add to the physical fatigue you will feel when trekking at altitude. We highly recommend you spend time training outdoors, especially on trails before you go to Nepal. We also suggest that you take your time, it is not a race and you will not be judged on your pace. Our guides always prefer when trekkers take it slowly, a slow pace will get you there safely.
Be prepared to cross many suspension bridges, you need not be fearful of them. They are safe and in great condition. After the first bridge you will begin to enjoy crossing them!
Another common safety risk on the trek to Everest Base Camp is food poisoning, we take great care in choosing lodges where we know the owners and trust that they cook their food in a hygienic manner. However, the area is extremely remote and we cannot guarantee that you will not suffer from food poisoning. We recommend that you always choose meals from the menu that requires boiling, we don’t recommend that you eat any salad unless you wash it using your own filtered water.
The average trekker showers only twice during the course of the trek, we recommend that you use biodegradable baby wipes to stay clean and also bring hand sanitiser with you.
We strongly urge against purchasing bottles of water, this has a negative impact on the environment. You will be able to fill your water bottle along the trails for free, you can then use water purifying tablets or a Steripen to purify your water.
© Take on Nepal 2019