The anticipation of the unknown is so exciting and is one of the very many reasons I love to travel. Seeing new landscapes or experiencing different cultures are all part of the journey once you step off the plane in a far-off land. While I do appreciate a vacation that includes its fair share of spontaneous side ventures, most people want the adventure itself to unfold flawlessly. Being prepared with the right gear is the easiest way to face any unfortunate delays or mishaps.
Planning For Everest Base Camp
I’ve found that the planning stages for any trip can be just as exciting as the journey itself. Many hours were spent reading blogs that recounted others’ Himalayan trekking experience and researching necessary equipment for the climb. I must have packed and repacked my bag twenty times before departing for Nepal and upon my return, I wanted to share the three things that helped me survive my trek to Everest Base Camp.
Staying hydrated while trekking at high altitude is very important and having clean drinking water is key to staying healthy during the journey. There are a few options you can take advantage of while trekking in Nepal such as bringing along purification tablets or purchasing bottled or boiled water from the teahouses along the trail. While each method has its advantages and disadvantages, I chose to go with a SteriPEN. This device is small, about the height of your average water bottle, and easy to use. It does require batteries so packing a spare set is imperative if it’s the only water purification method you bring. The SteriPEN uses UV light to destroy bacteria found in the water that the teahouses provide, free of charge, from their local source. You simply insert the pen into your wide-mouthed water bottle and stir until the light turns off. The best news is that the pen doesn’t leave an aftertaste
#2 Trekking Poles
Never having owned trekking poles, I initially thought it was silly to want to carry extra weight and not have my hands free for taking photos or grabbing my water bottle. After reading dozens of other blogs it seemed that trekking poles were all but a necessity up in the mountains. Being able to disperse even the smallest amount of weight to the poles while climbing or descending helped take the pressure off my knees. The poles also aid in keeping your balance on the steep hills or in the icy conditions that you’ll most likely encounter at higher elevations. There are many great brands of trekking poles available out there, but I chose to purchase mine in Lukla just before starting the hike. Prices in the mountains are negotiable and the owner of the shop even helped me to adjust the poles to my height. The trekking poles were very sturdy and durable so I was able to bring them home with me to use for future hikes, but be warned that they cannot be in a carry on bag and must go in checked luggage for airplane travel according to TSA.
#3 The Medicine
I won’t try and tell you what is right or wrong for your body, but I will tell you that I’m not a fan of any medication and ended up taking quite a few pills during the trek. As I researched, I realized that I would need to be smart about how I fueled my body and how I would combat any symptoms of altitude sickness. This was my first time above 6,000′ so I wasn’t sure how my body would react and living at sea level I had no opportunity to acclimate ahead of time. First and foremost I packed ibuprofen for the headaches I knew would happen. I suggest bringing more than you think because I went through all of mine and had to buy some off my trekking mates. During my research, I also came across a few natural remedies to combat altitude