We can 100% understand why you wouldn’t want to climb all the way to the top of Mt. Everest, but have you ever considered climbing to the iconic base camp? According to mountainiq.com, more than 30,000 people trek to the base camp every year (compare this to the 800 people that attempt the full climb to the summit). Compared to the main Everest climb, the trek to base camp is fairly low risk and gives you the chance to meet new people, experience the gorgeous scenery, and step away from your everyday life for a few weeks.

Of course like anything else, there are some key factors to keep in mind before you book your ticket to Nepal. Even though the trek is a once in a lifetime experience, it may not be for everyone. For some people, the hike can be physically demanding since it does require you to be aware of altitude sickness, random weather, and the very long stretches of walking you’ll encounter.

If you are able to handle the smaller risks involved, you’ll be happy to know that the two weeks you spend with your guide and fellow hikers will be two of the greatest weeks of your life.

Whether you are thinking about hiking to base camp or the thought just crossed your mind when you stumbled upon this article, we’re here to present you with the highs and lows of climbing to Everest's base camp.

20 20. Do it: The Absolutely Stunning Views

Who says that the gorgeous views are only available to people who make it all the way to the summit?

One thing to keep in mind is that you won’t get a good view of Everest from the actual base camp, but you will have plenty of opportunities to see it during other moments of the trek.

Besides Everest, you will also have the chance to see other beautiful mountains, blue skies, and one-of-a-kind villages. You may even get the opportunity to see some gorgeous sunsets depending on where you are when the sun goes down.

19 19. Be aware: The length of the hike

If you plan this particular hike, prepare to spend about two weeks doing so (more if you decide on a longer route). For example, if you plan to hike with REI adventures you should plan on a 19-day trek which also includes a few days for exploring particular regions.

If you’re not used to walking long distances, hiking to the base camp may be a challenge. Even though you’re not doing anything ridiculously risky as you would if you were climbing the summit, you will spend a lot of time walking.

18 18. Do it: The Chance to Meet New People

Throughout your two-week journey, you will encounter many individuals from all different walks of life. It’s a chance to see a new way of living through the eyes of villagers who grew up in Nepal.

Most of your trek will take you through villages that are inhabited by Sherpa who occupy many of the valleys around the Everest base. Here, you will learn more about their culture, religion, and what kind of work they do.

Not only will you meet people along the route to base camp, but you will also have plenty of time to get to know your tour guides and the other travelers in your group!

17 17. Be aware: The Flight Into Lukla Airport

There is a lot of controversy about whether or not the flight into Lukla, Nepal is scary or not. Some people have had no issues with it, while others were absolutely terrified.

The main reason travelers get nervous when boarding the plane to Lukla airport is due to how small the plane is. You’re usually on board with about fifteen other people without much room to move around. The Lukla runway is also extremely small compared to most airport runways, making many travelers wary that the plane may not land properly.

Luckily most flights to and from Lukla are short and painless, but it’s still something to keep in mind if you’re nervous about flying.

16 16. Do it for: The Diverse Mountain Villages

During your trek to EBC, you will be passing through a few different Nepal villages such as Lukla, Phakding, and Namche Bazaar. Many of the locations will also be stopping points for you and your tour group to rest and recharge.

Throughout many of the small villages, you will also come across small shops, cafes, and plenty of yaks. The villages are full of culture and you’ll have the chance to chat with the locals to learn more about life in Nepal. Namche Bazaar is also known as a market town, selling all sorts of goodies that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.

15 15. Be aware: Food Options Are Limited

As you may have guessed, you won’t exactly have access to your usual grocery stores and restaurants while trekking Everest. You will be limited to what is served to you during your adventure, but luckily the options aren’t as bland as you may think.

For beverages, you will mostly be drinking water and tea to stay hydrated. Most tea houses that you pass along the way will offer breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, and potatoes. According to mountainiq.com, many of the options available for lunch and dinner consist of flour products (think bread, rice, dumplings, and pasta).

Even though the options aren’t terrible, it can be very monotonous eating the same meals every day.

14 14. Do it: The Overall Cost is Cheaper Than You Think

Many people assume that once-in-a-lifetime experiences always equals ridiculously expensive, but this isn’t always the case. The bulk of your money used for securing this trip will go towards international travel, equipment, and the fees associated with whichever tour you choose. (If you decide not to go with a tour group, prices will differ dramatically).

Most tours will also bundle accommodations and private transportation into the costs, but you always want to double check first as this isn’t always the case!

In general, you can expect to pay between $2,500-$5,000 for the full 2-3 week trek (not too bad considering this is Everest we’re talking about!)

13 13. Be aware: Altitude Sickness

Although there are no high-level risks associated with climbing to base camp, you'll still experience high altitudes, 17, 600 feet to be exact.

Because of this, you need to be prepared to deal with some of the common symptoms of altitude sickness. According to Medicinenet.com, one may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

Luckily, tour operators are well-trained and know how to help with sickness. Since the ascent is over a span of two-three weeks, your body will have time to adjust to the new elevation levels. Even still, it is something to keep in mind if you plan on hiking to base camp.

12 12. Do it: The Tour Guides Are Phenomenal

If you do decide to go with a tour group (which we 100% suggest), you won't have a lot to worry about during the duration of the climb. Tour guides will be able to answer nearly any question you have and will provide you with many different resources.

The best part of going with a credited group is the fact that you don't need to worry about getting lost. The tour operators know exactly where they're going and will guarantee a safe journey. They will also make sure the group gets a chance to see some of the phenomenal views of the Himalayas (they are the ones with all the best secrets!).

11 11. Be aware: Watch out for the Yaks

Yaks are used throughout Mt. Everest to help carry food, water, shelter, and hiking equipment during the trek to base camp. Not only that, but they are also a great resource for dairy products, meat, and fur.

Although yaks are generally tame creatures, it's important to keep in mind that they can sometimes weigh up to 800 pounds. When traveling, keep in mind that you will be sharing space with both humans and big, fluffy yaks. There may be some narrow trails where you will want to stay close to the mountainside to prevent any slipping.

10 10. Do it: The Scenery is Constantly Changing

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I feel like the above photograph truly represents what the atmosphere on Everest is like.

Throughout your two-week journey, you will not only encounter beautiful snow-covered mountaintops, but you will also experience the Dudh Koshi River, beautiful forests, and stunning valleys.

This is why we highly recommend hiking with a tour group to ensure you get to experience all of the beauty that Nepal has to offer.

9 9. Be aware: You May Face Flight Delays and Cancellations

As you may expect from a small airport in the mountains, delays and cancellations arriving and departing from Lukla are very common. It is wise to make sure you give yourself a few buffer days when returning home just in case you are faced with a cancellation.

Even though delays and cancellations can be obnoxious, just know that they are for the best. The pilots and air traffic controllers are doing their job to ensure each passenger's safety while traveling in the Himalayas.

If you do deal with flight issues, try to make use of the extra time to explore the areas, especially if this is a "one and done" bucket list item.

8 8. Do it: There’s Plenty of Accommodations (More Than You Think)

Even though you are surrounded by the world's tallest mountains, there are plenty of accommodations available for groups trekking the base camp of Everest.

When you book your adventure with a group, normally accommodations are included in the cost. Some nights you may be sleeping in tents, while other nights you may be staying in one of the hotels located in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Even though tents aren't the fanciest option imaginable, your guides will make sure you are prepared for the overnight stays with lights, community cooking gear, and foam sleeping mats.

7 7. Be aware: The Closer You Are to Camp, The More Expensive Things Become

Even though many tour groups bundle accommodations into the overall costs, you may be stuck paying for some of your meals. There will also be chances throughout the journey to pick up certain hiking supplies and possibly even a few souvenirs from many of the village shops.

When budgeting for your trip, keep in mind that the higher you are on the mountain, the more expensive things will become. Since it's tricky to transport things to high altitudes, shops may upsell certain products (according to StudentFlights.com, you may find yourself paying $10 for a slice of cake!)

As long as you're well aware of the small transactions you may make while you're on the mountain, you can properly budget and bring just the right amount of cash with you.

6 6. Do it: The Feeling of Accomplishment 

Sure, you didn't climb to the top of Everest, but how many people are able to say they took two weeks off to hike to Everest base camp?

Even if you're not an experienced climber and don't plan on climbing the seven tallest summits, there is something incredible about experiencing Nepal up close and learning about the diverse culture. The moment when you officially step foot on the base camp will be a moment you will never forget.

Standing at 17,000 feet in the air, you will have done something that few people can proudly announce that they have accomplished. You don't need to climb to the summit to embrace your own successes.

5 5. Be aware: It Does Take Some Planning

Unfortunately, you can't exactly buy a ticket to Nepal right at this moment and expect to hike to base camp tomorrow. Like with most hiking expeditions, there is a lot of planning that goes into it.

Although booking a tour does take care of a lot of the heavy lifting, you're still responsible for booking your travel to Nepal, buying your hiking gear, making sure your documents are up to date, and any training sessions prior to the hike.

You also need to be aware of the timing. Most tour websites include a list of departure dates so you need to make sure you get the proper time off work to complete this bucket list item. EBC Trek Guide recommends going sometime between February and May, so make sure to plan your trip well in advance.

4 4. Do it: You Don’t Need to Be a Mountain Climber to Do It

A lot of people assume you need to be an expert mountain climber to hike to Everest base camp, but this is far from the truth.

Luckily, you'll be spending your time doing a lot of walking and a bit of climbing. Try not to compare the EBC trek to a summit trek as they are vastly different. You won't be stuck near any dangerous crevices and won't deal with dangers such as big avalanches and icy slopes. As long as you're a healthy individual who has no problem with walking for long periods of time, Everest base camp is the perfect hiking trip.

3 3. Be aware: You Should Still Do Some Training Beforehand

Although you don't need to be a mountain climber to trek the EBC, you still want to be in decent shape and prepared to be on your feet for two weeks straight.

Many Everest websites recommend training for the climb a couple of months before you leave for Nepal. Get your body used to walking long distances by going on some shorter hikes in your area before taking on base camp. That way, you can determine just how much you're able to handle and how much training is suitable for you.

It's also wise to carry a backpack with you on some of your trips so you know what to expect when carrying your gear in the Himalayas.

2 2. Do it: Surprisingly, Wifi is Available (At a Cost)

Remember how we mentioned that things get more expensive the higher up you go? This also holds true for wifi, which yes, you can buy near base camp.

Ten years ago we couldn't even imagine a world where we could access our Facebook from the top of a mountain, but here we are. Many teahouses along the EBC path offers their guests wifi at a cost. So if you're afraid of homesickness or worry about being away from tech for a long period of time, you will have a chance to plug in, as long as you're okay with spending the money.

1 1. Be aware: Unpredictable Weather

According to USA Today, the spring climbing season experiences temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. There may also be very strong winds and bitter temperatures during the night, so it's wise to pack your warmest gear and prepare for anything.

If you decide to trek during May or June, REI Adventures warns travelers that they may experience rain showers, hazy skies, and muddy trails. As long as you're prepared for freezing cold temperatures and possible rain, you'll have no problem adjusting to the weather as the days go on and you get closer to base camp.

References: Medicinenet.com, USA Today, EBC Trek Guide, REI Adventures.