Whenever setting out for a hike, safety is always the number one concern. People have many concerns, and that’s completely understandable. While it doesn’t have any of the dangers of climbing Mount Everest, it’s still a massive undertaking that involves its own risks.
One of the most common fears is the fear of avalanches. The trek towards Base Camp doesn’t involve that much snow, so don’t worry! That said, safety has always been, and always will be, our first priority here at Adventure Abroad. Here are a few tips on staying as safe as possible on your Everest Base Camp hike.
This is the number one safety tip anyone has for hiking at high altitudes! Acclimatization is an extremely crucial part of the journey. Everyone will get altitude sickness at some point, but acclimatization is key to making sure your altitude sickness doesn’t get any worse. Your guide will know the proper safety procedures for altitude sickness.
While it’s perfectly safe to eat meat along the way, it is highly inadvisable to eat meat once you are past Namche Bazaar. After this point, everything is transported up the mountain via yak or on foot. Meat is almost guaranteed to be not fresh.
Dehydration is no joke even in non-mountain conditions, so staying hydrated should definitely be one of your top priorities while trekking. Dehydration can not only accelerate fatigue, it can also contribute to triggering a case of altitude sickness. The human body dehydrates at higher altitudes, so hydrating properly is key to a successful hike.
Keep your hair tidy
This tip might sound strange, but the trek will be windy and you won’t get much opportunities (or desire!) to bathe at near-freezing temperatures. If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to keep your hair tied back in a braid or bun so it doesn’t whip itself into a hopeless, tangled mess!
Be prepared physically
Obviously, you’re going to need to train for hiking long distances over multiple days. This is especially necessary on the way to Base Camp, where the air is thin and your body burns through more oxygen than it’s getting. If you’re unsure what this entails, read our tips for prepping for a major hike.
Be prepared mentally, too
The journey to Base Camp will not only take a toll on you physically, but it will also be mentally taxing. As cheesy as it sounds, on a difficult day a strong and determined spirit will get you through more than years of training at a gym. The mind can push the body past its limits; but those months (or years!) of training can be for naught if you don’t have the spirit to push on.
Avoid sun exposure
Higher altitudes mean thinner atmosphere, which in turn means less UV protection from the ozone and more sun damage! Sun exposure can lead to unpleasant things like dehydration, sunburns, and snow blindness. It’s a good idea to keep covered and utilize items like sunscreen and sunglasses.
Pack your favorite treats
When you’re having a difficult hiking day, sometimes it’s as simple as having your favorite treat to lift your spirits. If you have a favorite food item that’s easily packed, like gummy bears, beef jerky or licorice, it’s a good idea to pack some to serve as motivation on days when you need it.
Invest in gear
Getting good gear is important! Traveling along the Everest Base Camp trail exposes you to harsh weather conditions, and you need to ensure that your equipment will do its job! It would be very difficult to find out too late that your cheap layers or coat don’t actually keep you warm, or to have your sunglasses break. Invest in gear that you know will serve you well.
Get a good guide
Getting a good guide is your best bet to keeping safe on the trail to Everest Base Camp! We at Adventure Abroad always advocate getting proper, licensed guides and this list is no different! A good guide will be familiar with local weather patterns and the appropriate responses to it, and will be intimately familiar with the trail. A good guide should also know first aid and the best practices for any emergency situation.