If you’re like me then I’m sure you won’t be taking your training for Everest base camp too lightly.
You know it’s going to be physically and mentally challenging so you want to train the best way possible to get your self fully prepared for the challenge ahead.
In all honesty, it was harder than I expected and I learned I few things that I would do differently next time around.
In this post, I’m going to give you my best Everest base camp training tips so you can be ready and prepared to give you the best chances of success.
It’s not just, train hard, lose weight and you’re good to go. It’s a bit more than that.
So you ready? Let’s go.
In short, here they are, my 10 Everest base camp training tips.
- Give Yourself 12 Weeks To Train For Everest Base Camp
- Have One Weeks Full Rest Before Your Trek
- Hike One Day Per Week For 4-7 Hours
- Wear Those Hiking Boots In
- Go Hiking In Your Everest Clothes
- Train With Your Day Bag On
- Focus On Cardio Training Over Weight Training
- Do The 5 Liter Training Prep
- Train Looking Like Bane
- Remember The Mental Prep
So now let us go into detail on each tip.
The 10 Everest Base Camp Training Tips You Must Know.
Give Yourself 12 Weeks To Train For Everest Base Camp.
And not no more.
Joking, obviously, you can still do your usual training but your Everest base camp training should start in my opinion about 12 weeks out.
Oh, and don’t include the week before, so 12 weeks before the last week you go (I cover this in a later tip).
Unless you have a lot of excesses weight you need to lose then you want to be slowly losing that as early as possible.
What I mean here is, if you give 12 weeks and you’re fully committed then you’ll hit your peak as you go to base camp.
If you need longer because you aren’t in the best shape then, by all means, start 16-20 weeks out.
We’re talking about training that’s focused for Everest base camp. So if you were playing squash and swimming regualy then I wouldn’t count that as training for EBC.
The 12 weeks or whatever you’ve given yourself needs to be training specifically for your trek.
Have One Weeks Full Rest Before Your Trek.
So like I was saying, you want to get in peak condition by the week before you go.
The reason for this is to give your self some time to rest and recuperate before you go.
If your smashing training right up to the day before you go then you may feel quite exhausted when you start your trek and you don’t want that.
You won’t get any time to truly rest on the trek so make sure you get that needed time off from all that hard training you did before you go.
If you take a full week off from training then you will feel fully charged and in great condition to take on your 130-kilometer round trip.
Hike One Day Per Week For 4-7 Hours.
You want to aim to do this at least once a week for the 12 weeks leading up to the week before your trek.
If you do this, your legs and stamina will be ready for the daily treks you’ll be doing on your base camp trek.
Hiking is fun to do as well.
Most people who do EBC trek love walking and hiking so will be doing this a lot in their spare time anyway.
I like doing treks but I didn’t do it nearly enough as what’s needed.
So in the 12 weeks leading up to the trek, I aimed for one long hike for about 4-7 hours each week.
Some times I would just walk along the beach for 6 hours (3 hrs one way and 3 back).
Or sometimes I would drive to a nice remote trekking location and have a good ol’ hike.
It’s good you put in the effort before you go as you’ll be thankful later.
A quick note: Even though I only did one long hike a week I still went to the gym multiple times a week as well to get my fitness up.
Wear Those Hiking Boots In
This is sooo important.
If you don’t then your boots won’t be worn in and if you get blisters at the start of your base camp trek you’ll be in some serious discomfort.
When your walking 4-7 a day you don’t want that.
If you take your new boots on a few 4-7 hour walks/hikes then get blisters (especially on the heal) then at least that’s happened before EBC and by the time you go your boots will be worn in.
It depends on the boot, but my hiking boots were a perfect fit and I didn’t get any blisters.
If want to know what boots I used, it was these Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX.
I thought these were great boots.
Some of my friends however, get some serious heal blisters the first few times they wore them on long walks.
Trust me, they were glad they got them before they actually trekked to Everest base camp
Go Hiking In Your Everest Clothes.
A bit like training with the boots. Train with the clothes you’ll be taking with you and you’ll get a good feel for them.
Are they too cold? Are they too tight? Are they uncomfortable on long treks?
You’ll know if all is ok if you wear them for a good few treks before you go.
For example, I bought I lightweight north face jacket and when I wore it for a few long treks I found it a bit too tight and I decided to get a new jacket as I thought It would be uncomfortable for 4-7 hours trekking.
Train With Your Day Bag On.
You starting to see a pattern here? Basically, wear everything you will wear on your trek and you’ll be more prepared for your Everest experience.
When I was training for Everest base camp I went on some local treks fully kitted up.
I’m sure the other trekkers though I looked like that guy who has all the gear but no idea!
I was fully kitted even though it was some simple local hikes.
It felt good though knowing that I was getting prepared for Everest base camp.
Treking with your day bag when doing hiking, running, walking or step master etc is needed so your legs can get used to the extra weight when you train, but also your back will get used to it as well.
You don’t want to be suffering from an achy back because you didn’t train with the extra weight on your back as you will on your trek.
Focus On Cardio Training Over Weight Training.
Don’t drop resistance training completely, just focus more on cardio and fitness training instead.
Honestly, there’s no need for heavy weightlifting before you go.
In fact, too much muscle will make it harder on your trek because the extra muscle will need extra oxygen.
When you’re at altitude you’ll need to get by on as little oxygen as possible.
I would mainly train for fitness with an emphasis on cardio that uses the legs.
Hiking, running, walking, step master, etc. These type of exercises are good for fitness and the legs, which you’ll be spending most of your days using.
An remember to do some of that cardio with your backpack on so you get used to the added weight.
The cardio will also help you lose excess fat when done in conjunction with a good diet.
I lost all the excess fat I needed before my trek and I felt great because of it.
If you feel you have weak legs, then doing some weight training on your legs isn’t going to do any harm.
But overall you want to get your fitness up and make sure you can trek for a full day at a time.
Aim to train a full body workout 2 times a week at the gym and all other training be fitness related.
Do The 5 Liter Training Prep.
If we’re honest here, most people don’t even drink 2 liters of water a day.
Our EBC trek guide said to aim for 4-5 liters of water a day.
This is because we’re walking for 5+ hours most days and we’re at altitude so our bodies are working extra hard compared to normal.
To the average person who may only drink 1-1.5 liters of water a day will feel like 3 liters is loads.
But on the trek that won’t be enough, you need to be getting 4-5 liters each day, and yes you will be peeing a lot!
So what I recommend is to start drinking 3 liters a day for at least a few weeks or so before you go
So if you’re used to drinking 3 liters every day on the weeks or even months leading up the trek then you won’t find it too difficult to add 1-2 liters more to get you up to the recommended 4-5 liters a day.
I feel this was one of the reasons I never got altitude sickness.
I was fully hydrated at all times. All my friends except one got altitude sickness and they were only drinking about 3 liters of water at most per day.
Train Looking Like Bane.
What I mean is train with an altitude mast. If you do you’ll look like Bane from Batman.
I’ve got to be honest here though and tell you I never trained with an altitude mask on.
Truthfully, I would be too self-conscious wearing one at the gym.
I know, I’m so vain!
Even though I didn’t use one, I do believe it could give you some advantage just by simply improving your respiratory system.
The problem is, altitude masks don’t simulate the lower atmospheric pressure and the reduction in units of oxygen in the air.
When you’re are at altitude the air is thinner and the oxygen in your blood is less.
With an altitude mask what you’ll be doing is improving the strength and endurance of your respiratory system which I don’t see any harm in doing.
I’m going to have to leave this tip down to your discretion as I haven’t personally done it but I know others who did.
Remember The Mental Prep.
If I’m honest, when I went to EBC I wasn’t prepared mentally for what was to come.
The low oxygen levels, basic accommodation, terrible toilets, basic food choices and cold rooms at night.
The accommodation was tough because the rooms where so basic and cold especially the further up the mountain we went.
And don’t even ask about the toilets.
I would say doing some outdoor camping and sleeping in your sleeping bag may help a little.
But even then I don’t think it’s going to prepare you for those things I mentioned.
I would say just read up on it, watch videos, and expect the worst in those regards and you’ll be more prepared if you expect it before you go.
It is tough but the good out weights the bad when you go on your trek.
Trust me, those views you’ll see will make it totally worth it.
How long does it take to train for Everest Base Camp?
The longer you’ve kept fit and trained generally the better, but I would give at least 12 weeks of training focused on EBC.
Ideally, you’d be exercising for quite a while before you go. Doing general exercising for over 6 months is good but then it’s best to ramp up the training in the 12 weeks leading up to the Base camp trek.
How do you prepare for Everest Base Camp?
The best way to prepare is to do plenty of hikes and walks. Aim for at least 1 long 4-7 hours hike a week in the 12 weeks before you go.
Doing regular cardio that works legs is also good, like incline treadmill and step master etc.
I would also do a full body resistance workout twice a week in the 12 weeks or more leading up to the trek.
Do you have to train for Everest Base Camp?
Yes you should train for Everest base camp, if you don’t, you put your self at higher risk of injury and you will most likely struggle to make the 130k round trip.
How hard is it to climb Everest base camp?
Everest base camp is moderately difficult. If you can walk with boots and a backpack on for 4-7 hours a day at a slow pace you should have no problem making the trek. The hardest part is trekking in altitude.
If you want to know more about how hard the EBC trek is then to check out this post I did explaining how hard the Everest base camp trek is based on my own personal experience.