In September, I went on a two-week trek to Everest base camp in Nepal, which sits at an altitude of 17,598 feet.
I’ve spent most of my summers hiking in the Pacific Northwest near my home in Seattle, and hiked almost 100 miles along the West Highland Way in Scotland three years ago, but I’d never gone on a trek with such a major elevation gain as Everest. Luckily, I was joined on the trip by my dad and aunt, who’d both trekked to the base camp of K2, the world’s second highest mountain only to Everest, in 2018.
The trek up to Everest base camp from the starting point in the city of Kathmandu takes nine days. This includes two rest and acclimatization days where you hike to around 3,000 feet to train your body to adjust to the elevation gain, and seven days of trekking for five to eight hours a day. Each night, we stayed indoors in tea houses along the trail, which are modest accommodations offering cots, a hot meal, showers, and electricity to charge your devices.
Although we’d planned to trek down afterwards, which typically takes three days, we only did one way of trekking to a lower base camp and then took a helicopter to return to Kathmandu because of an impending storm in the Himalayas.
Since my aunt and dad had more trekking experience than me and had learned a few do’s and don’ts in the process, I followed their tips on what to pack.