The Complete Everest Base Camp Trek 2020: 12 Days, 130km, 5,380m (Complete Guide)
Everest base camp in 12 days? challenge accepted!
Everest Base Camp Trek: The Logistics
Since Jeff and I were traveling and spent a month in Bali before our Everest basecamp trek, we were wildly unprepared for the trek. We did have base layers and some long sleeves, but not much else! However, it is good to know that you can find everything you need in Katmandu, Lukla or even higher, up to Namche Bazaar at 3,400m – however, it does get a little more expensive as you go up, of course.
We strongly recommend to rent sleeping bags and down jackets – we rented both of those for about $2.50 per day per person at the Kala Pattar shop in Thamel, Katmandu. We also bought the rest of our hiking gear, including hiking backpacks, hiking boots, gloves, hats, neck warmers, fleece-doubled hiking pants and warm socks at the same shop – the more you buy, the more you can haggle!
Aside from finding a good backpack to carry everything on your back, it is an absolute must that you also have an easy access bag, like a bumbag, for all those things you’ll be needing easy access to like your phone, chapstick, tissues, money, permits, snacks, camera, etc. We highlight recommend Eastpak products, and neither of us travel anywhere without their bumbags around our necks.
It is important to inform yourself and your group members about the effects of altitude and AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Early symptoms from 2,500m can include a strong headache, and you need to stop climbing. Start descending immediately if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath while resting, nausea or exhaustion in addition to the headache. AMS can lead to HAPE (high altitude pulmonary oedema) or HACE (high altitude cerebral oedema), which are both life threatening, but usually only occur at very high altitude. Make sure to be aware and to follow the recommendations to avoid AMS, and don’t climb more than 500 meters a day above 3,000 meters. If you are feeling unwell, you can inform the lodge owners, they are very helpful and most can organize a helicopter rescue if needed.
Diamox should not be taken by pregnant women or anyone with liver or kidney issues.
Everest Base Camp Trek: The Full Itinerary
Day 1 – Katmandu (4,593ft / 1,400m) – Lukla (9,334ft / 2,845m) to Phakding (8,563ft / 2,610m) to Monjo (9,301ft / 2,835m)
Trekking time: 3 hours from Lukla to Phakding + 3 hours from Phakding to Monjo. Total 6 hours
The trek to Everest base camp starts with a relatively nerve wracking flight, in the smallest plane we’ve ever taken – only 7 seats, and one flight attendant! You will be offered mints and cotton for your ears as the plane takes off from Katmandu and zigzags in between mountains to approach Tenzing–Hillary Airport in Lukla.
Tip: Make sure to seat on the plane’s left side for the best views of the Himalayas!
You will see Lukla’s famous short landing strip with its 11.7% gradient appear in front of you. While it can make you nervous, embrace the feeling of landing on the 500m strip, it will definitely be a good story to tell!
Once you get out of the plane, you will find yourself in the second smallest airport in the world. From there, grab your bag, and let’s head on the trek!
You should normally arrive early morning, before 8.30am, so you can be in Phakding for lunch.
Start walking on the path and enjoy the first 2 hours going downhill – how easy, you will think. Beware, as you will have to go up during the last 2 hours of the trek!
Stop in Phakding for lunch halfway, and continue another 3 hours of uphill hiking to Monjo, through beautiful sceneries with prayer wheels and suspended bridges where you can spend your first night.
Read the rest of our complete itinerary here at
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