3 Things I’m Glad I Had During My Trek To Everest Base Camp

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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.


#1 SteriPEN

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 like some tablets do and your water is drinkable in under a minute.


#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 sickness such as Altitude Rx and ChlorOxygen. Both products promote the ability to decrease the effects that altitude has on the body by boosting the saturation of oxygen in your bloodstream. I can’t say for sure if the products helped or not, but I had no side effects from either and will continue to take them when I return to high altitude. Finally, Diamox is a medication you most certainly will come across as you continue to gather more information about the trek to Everest Base Camp. You can consult your doctor before leaving for Nepal to obtain some or you can also buy it up until Namche Bazaar. I won’t get into the science of it, but Diamox is a diuretic that tells your kidneys to get rid of the bicarbonate through urination that has built up due to exhaling more CO2 than usual. So basically your kidneys will be working overtime to stabilize your bloods pH levels. You’ll end up going to the bathroom more frequently and you’ll have a tingling sensation in your hands and feet as a side effect. Overall, listen to your body and also take any advice from your guide so that your trek to Everest Base Camp can be safe and enjoyable!


Other Notable Bring Alongs

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