Total Budget : Around $2200 from Dubai.
Activities : Trekking
Rating : 8/10
Difficulty : Shaolin Monk
Born and raised in the UAE its hot and humid climate that reaches up to 60C in summer and minimum 12C in winter. Taking a decision to go to Everest base-camp alone was not simple. I read stories about the risk and the trekkers who got missing…etc. But that made me more eager to do it. Telling my pears and friends about it sounded like a joke, till the day i was posting photos from Nepal.
I needed to get my fitness back in shape before indulging into this trek. I starting hitting the gym daily on the treadmill with increasing inclines. Ended up to go on a trek in Oman (nearly 2,000m elevation trek) in a moderate hike one week before my trip to Everest with a trekking group called trekkup.
Most of the nationalities gain visa on arrival in Nepal, but me as Palestinian was excluded from this. So i had to take the visa before going to Nepal from the Nepali embassy in Abu Dhabi. The process was very easy though and i got it in a couple of hours. Nevertheless, it was good for me. i advice to take it before you go to Nepal. The on-arrival visa queue in Kathmandu Airport was really long, and I was the first one to get out of the airport.
I carried for my trip very few things, just a back-bag and a small handbag. Mostly trekking gears, protein bars, oats, books, power pack and mp3 player. Winter cloths were a must, but what i brought with me was no match with reality. I realized later, you can buy all these winter and trekking gear from Kathmandu or Namche Bazaar later in low prices. So I will share my experience in what you need to get with you (as a photographer) to start this trek.
I went to this trek with my guide only Pasang Dendi Sherpa which I highly recommend ( he is funny, honest, good in English and a life saver) . I think it would be more enjoyable if you have some friends with you to share the time, as the time slowly passes. The day feels like a week. and the cost of this trip was not high (almost $2,000 overall including the flights). Beside, this trek could be dangerous and accidents do happen (as it happened to me) and a helping hand could mean life.
My trip started 27/March/2015 till 10/April/2015 . Almost 14 days in total. ( 2 weeks before the devastating earthquake). I had the fun, in the way up it was winter and in the way down it was spring. So i highly recommend this time though the weather is really treacherous there.
Here are the things I learned the hard way. I modified the common list found on the web with extra notes based on the season i stated earlier (end of winter, start of spring) :
The Trekking Equipment & Packing List (for photographers)
- Wide angle lens (for mountain scapes, you will love it)
- Normal lens ( the normal one you like to use for outdoor photography)
- Lens protection bag (extra lens you wont use you need to keep them safe, and most probably got carried by a porter. don’t underestimate the weight of these extra lens when you trek there)
- UV filters , or/and polarized filters
- Water proof gear for the camera (it can rain or snow suddenly)
- Camera gloves ( it can be really cold that you can’t remove your gloves to take a shot)
- Extra batteries (2 or 3)
- Extra memory cards
- Small tripod that can fit in the bag ( you will need it at night if you do night photography )
- Shoulder strap camera belt ( you can’t use the neck strap for this long trek, it will be painful)
- Camera cleaning toolkit
- Action camera (GoPro or AEE) preferably 4k
- Chest holder or shoulder holder or head (preferably with anti shock support, but if you can’t find then no probs)
- Extra battery and power pack
- Extra memory cards (its 14 days without civilization, be sure not to be out)
- I used it to take selfies, and short mobile videos. Enable the GPS and keep the location stamp on the photos you take. Useful to upload on google photos and get a story done on the maps.
- Also, you can make use of some apps to record the trail, distance how many calories you are burning.
- Take all your chargers with you, you can charge in the lodges on the way. there is electricity but you will need to pay for it.
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection (get extra one just incase)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof shell jacket
- Down vest or jacket
- Windstopper jacket (optional)
- Under Garments
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
- Waterproof shell pants (optional)
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces (preferable with ankle support and water proof)
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) (good to move around in the camp/lodges)
- Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp (optional)
- Anti-slip Ice Cleats
- Lightweight gloves ( preferable one to use for clicking photos )
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag and trekking back water proof cover
- Day pack (about 2500 to 3000 cubic inches) (optional)
- Trekking Poles (optional)
- Knee support (optional)
- Camel bag to keep you dehydrated (1 liter at least) and electrolytes (powder or tablets)
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc, these is very precious, carry extra)
- Ear Plug (who knows, some people on group are snoring, and the lodges are really noisy)
- Lip guard ( 75% protection or more , i got lips dry and bleeding i used 50%)
- Passport copies
- Pocket knives
- Flash light (optional, you can use your headlight instead)
- water proof waist bag to keep your important papers/passport ( very important specially when accidents happen, like falling in the river)
- 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
- Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable, you will use it to wash your cloths and hands)
- washing rubber gloves (to use it when you wash your cloths)
- Deodorants ( taking showers could be really a big challenge)
- Nail clippers (optional)
- Face and body moisturizer (optional)
- Wet wipes (baby wipes, very important, carry extra one)
- Tissue /toilet roll (very important carry extra)
- Anti bacterial hands wash (a must)
Extras for time pass (time is very slow up there, unless you plan to meditate get these):
- Journal & Pen
- MP3 player with your fav songs/audio
- Pencils and small notebooks
Good luck, and send to me if you have any questions or inquiries.
My Everest base-camp story is coming soon ( Everest 2 weeks before the Earthquake )