“Aren’t you scared?!” The question I’ve been asked several times this week. In just a few days time I set off to Nepal in the hope of a ‘trip of a lifetime’. Oh, and tackle that tiny thing called altitude as I embark on a 14 day trek to Everest Base Camp.
The answer is no. I am not scared. I am excited, eager, grateful and ready to get started!
The Mountain Vibes:
So why do I crave the mountains?
I believe that everyone in life has a happy place, the place where they feel calm and content. For me, it seems to be out in the wild with a backpack on and usually covered in dirt, although the dirt isn’t necessary – it just happens. My stresses melt away and things that bothered me before seem insignificant after a good dose of the outdoors life.
For years I have dreamt of visiting the iconic Mount Everest but I have to be realistic that my body would be unlikely to handle the altitude of something so momentous as summiting the highest mountain in the world. After reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 I became very sick from the effects of altitude. Thus, my sights turned to the famous Everest Base Camp.
Whilst some people scoff at “just” Base Camp as opposed to making it to the mountain summit, the life journey I dream of doesn’t necessarily mean standing on that mountains summit. I don’t have to achieve that to find happiness. For me, it is the journey – Being in the Himalayas, on an incredible adventure with amazing people and experiencing things with my own eyes.
At an altitude of 5,364m, Everest Base Camp is 500m lower in height than the height of Kilimanjaro, where I have previously visited, but that doesn’t mean that is going to be an easy journey. Hiking for 14 days is physically tough on the body so this requires some training to prepare.
Although you don’t need to be super fit to visit Base Camp I want to give myself the best possible chance of achieving my goal so staying strong & healthy has been important over the past few weeks. After breaking my ankle 4 months ago, and spending 6 weeks of that in a cast, the main focus to prepare for the journey ahead is to strengthen my ankle and surrounding muscles again.
Training outdoors so frequently has given me so many amazing opportunities to see new places in Oman and try out new trails. From the top of Jebel Shams to the boulder field of Wadi Arbeein and dozens of places in between I’ve hiked it and climbed it in persuit of physical fitness.
Inside My Kit Bag:
My bag is almost packed and ready to go with my trusty mountain gear once again. I say almost because I’m a girl, I’ll probably cram a few more last minute items in and worry about the weight of the bag.
Thankfully most of my outdoor & cold weather kit survived, and still fits huraaaaay, from the last Kilimanjaro trip so that has saved a lot of money. Decent kit doesn’t come cheap!
If you ever embark on a challenge like this my one piece of advice, well I’ve got oodles but this is important – Don’t scrimp on the cost and quality of your boots & socks! You need these babies to take care of your feet & ankles. A rolled ankle or even a blister could cause you immense pain and ruin your trip.
One thing I have learnt to pack better this time around is a medical kit. Last time I just brought the basics like pain killers and plasters but this time I have the things that really come in useful like tweezers, probiotics and coconut oil – It can be used for just about anything! Like, really almost anything. Google it.
With every trip and adventure I throw myself into, I find another piece of my puzzle in life. Eventually I will know who I am supposed to be as an adult, so my hope with this trip to Nepal is that I find a couple more pieces of my puzzle.