Preparing Yourself for A Journey to the Great Everest! (part 1)
A journey to the great Everest Base Camp is a challenging trip that often sit on the top of a trekker/hiker/mountaineer’s bucket list. To complete this journey one must dedicate much of their time to do the preparation–especially to prepare them physically and mentally. Now that you have decide to answer the call of the tallest mountain on earth, what should you do first ?
Mount Everest is a big dream for every mountaineer, hiker, trekker, nature-lover out there. To climb it, to explore its beauty, is a moment that very much awaited by many people. But, just like any other great things in life, we have to prepare some things in order to be ready when it comes our time to embrace its awesomeness, and that takes time. We lowland people can’t just decide to go to Everest at any given time as immediate as possible. The preparation to climb Mount Everest might span from 6 months to years. The training will consists of the physical conditioning, technical training, and mental training. This series of training is extremely important since the track to the top is so challenging, and could be dangerous for those who are unprepared. Let’s break it down into points so you could make a list of what should be prepared before the journey!
- The Physical Training:
Many mountaineering experts said that Everest Base Camp(EBC) trek actually is not a technical climb; it means we don’t have to have a certain technical climbing or altitude experience to do this trek. However, it requires an excellent strength, conditioning, and endurance to be able to complete the journey. We have to have that muscle strength that we may need to walk that hill with heavy backpack behind our bag and strong-icy wind around us. The recommended training would be at least 4 days/week for 6-8 months before your trekking schedule. Ian Taylor, a trekking expert, has an intense preparation training which includes walking up hill on treadmill(or any real hill) or walking on a stairs for 1-2 hours while carrying a 10-kgs-weighted backpack. Taylor also spend at least one day a week to do a 4-hours walk on the hills, up to 7 hours in a row.
2. The Mental Training :
Actually it depends on how familiar and comfortable you are with the outdoors. If you’re already comfortable with camping life, insects(that you may encounter), dirt, utilizing the great outdoors as your toilet, and satisfy enough to ‘take a bath’ using wipes and a bowl of water, then everything’s OK!
3. Preparing the Right Gears
Finding the most comfortable and reliable shoes is critical here since you’ll gonna walk long distance in a long time. Find yourself a sturdy waterproof trekking boots. An then, down jacket. This natural insulator clothing will keep you warm especially during the cold nights and mornings. Make sure that it has a thick down(a kind of puffy layeron the jacket’s surface) to keep you warmer. Then, a platypus water carrier(enables you to sip water without having to take your bottle out from the bag) and a Nalgene style plastic bottle(can be filled with boiling water so it can be used to heat your sleeping bag). Next,make sure that you bring a sun hat since the sun can be so powerful up there. There are obviously many other stuffs that you should bring on your journey, but instead of reading the full list here you can check this video by professional trekker Ian Taylor on packing tips(and what to bring) for Everest Base Camp trek :
4. The Hydration
At the high altitude, your body may dehydrate much quicker than while you’re at the lowland. That’s why we have to drink a lot more water so our body would stay fit. P.S. After filling your bottle with boiling water and using it to heat your sleeping bag at night, you could drink the water in the morning then fill it again before sleeping. Effective, isn’t it?
5. The Food
Some people will find it difficult to eat while at the high altitude. But trekking burns a lot of our calories, so we have to refuel our body, but how if the appetite is so low? How can we force ourself to eat? That’s why bringing some favorite treats become important. It can give you that kick that you need to start eating something! Just remember not to bring to much food in your backpack, because that’s not necessary. There is always plenty of food to choose from in the wild(make sure that you don’t digest the poisonous ones).
*to be continued. The part 2 will be here in the website next week, don’t miss it!
Text : Nadia Maya Ardiani
Images : Ben Lowe & Swapnil Vithaldas on Unsplash