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Budget-Friendly EBC Trek: Permits, Gear, and Accommodation

May 19, 2024

Budget-Friendly EBC Trek: Permits, Gear, and Accommodation

Everest budget Trek Information:

Planning a trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) on a budget is possible with some smart strategies. You’ll need a few important permits: the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit, which costs around $30, and the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit, which is about $20. You can save money on gear by renting it in Kathmandu or Namche Bazaar. Focus on getting a good sleeping bag, a down jacket, and sturdy trekking boots.

For accommodation, stay in teahouses, which cost between $3 and $10 per night. They offer basic but comfortable facilities. To save even more, eat local food and use water purification tablets instead of buying bottled water. With careful planning, trekking to EBC can be an affordable and unforgettable experience.


There are several things you should know before going on your trek:

There are tea houses all along the trek to EBC. These are lodges where you can pay to spend the night, so you don’t need to bring a tent or camp outside. They also serve food, so you don’t need to get a camping stove or plan meals. However, be aware that prices in the mountains are inflated compared to lower altitudes due to transportation costs and high traffic from foreigners.

To exemplify the price differences, a standard bottle of water in Kathmandu costs me around 25-30 Nepalese rupees, whereas in the mountains, it costs around 100-400 rupees.

Most lodges are basic, and none have electric heating. Many have only outdoor squatter toilets and even fewer have hot water, which you must pay for if you want a hot shower. I had one shower during the three weeks I spent in the Himalayas.

Internet is essentially non-existent in the mountains. Even if you decide to pay for it, I’ve heard the connection is not very good in most places.

Whatever you don’t have, you can find it in the markets of Kathmandu. I’ll touch more on that in a minute.

Tea Houses- Accommodation on Everest Base Camp Trekking

The Everest Base Camp trek offers a range of accommodation options along the route from Lukla to EBC. In Lukla, teahouses and lodges provide basic yet comfortable rooms with shared facilities. As you ascend, accommodations become simpler, with teahouses offering dormitory-style rooms and occasionally private rooms with shared bathrooms. In popular stops like Namche Bazaar, Pangboche, and Gorak Shep, you’ll find teahouses with varied amenities, including hot showers and charging facilities. Despite the basic nature of accommodations, they offer stunning mountain views and warm hospitality. It’s advisable to book in advance during peak trekking seasons to secure your stay along this iconic journey.

Permits for Trekking

You’ll need Sagarmatha National Park permits to trek in the region. These can be found at the Department of Tourism in Kathmandu. Once the officials know what trek you will be on, they will sort out the necessary permits for you.

we paid about 40 USD for the necessary permit per person, which I purchased at a checkpoint once I was in the mountains, in the village of Jorsalle (2830m).

Offline Maps

Everest Base Camp Actual Map

Download offline maps for your trek. we used for offline maps. After some brief research online and questions to the guys at my hostel who had worked as guides in the past, we marked some villages on my offline maps that we knew we would be passing through in order to reach Lukla.

There are also villages along the way, and the locals in these villages can usually point you in the right direction. If you’re unsure you are on the right trek, you can simply ask them, and they will likely assist.

Once you reach Lukla, there are signs everywhere for EBC, as well as people taking the same trek as you, making it almost impossible to get lost.

You can also follow the trail of feces from mules and yaks, as we discovered during my trip. The herders guide them from village to village, likely heading where you need to go next. However, always check your maps because the feces trails can sometimes lead you astray.

About Money for EBC Trek

Nepali Currency

Lastly, make sure to bring as many Nepalese rupees as you’ll need for your trek. There are ATMs in Lukla and Namche Bazar, the small town about halfway to EBC, but it’s better to bring everything you need in case the ATMs are out of money or not working. Also, it’s cheaper to withdraw money in Kathmandu.


You’re going to need some essentials for the trip. we had spent the previous three months backpacking in India and crossed into Nepal by bus with no gear or supplies whatsoever. we had one pair of sandals and lots of dresses, and that’s about it. So, we needed to gear up.

Thankfully, you can find everything you need in the markets in the touristic backpacking neighborhood in Kathmandu.

Fortunately for me, we are very good at bartering due to my experience of selling things on the street. So, we managed to get a good deal for most of my supplies.

Essential trekking gear list for EBC trek

Essential trekking gear list for EBC trek

Here’s the list of my supplies and what I paid for them.

The currency is in Nepalese rupees but also shown in USD with the exchange rate from 2024 when 133 rupees was worth almost exactly one US dollar.

As you can see, we spent around $150 for a backpack, sleeping bag, water bottle, hiking shoes, 10 pairs of socks, four pairs of pants, gloves, rain poncho, National park permits, water purifying tablets, and some altitude sickness medication.

Only $150 for everything, thanks to my bargaining skills and some of the items like my backpack and sleeping bag not being brand new. If you don’t have much confidence in your bargaining skills, expect to pay a bit more.


  • Base layers: Moisture-wicking shirts, thermal wear
  • Insulating layers: Fleece jacket, down jacket
  • Outer layers: Waterproof/windproof jacket and pants
  • Trekking pants: Lightweight and insulated
  • Headwear: Warm hat, sun hat/cap, buff
  • Handwear: Lightweight and insulated gloves


  • Trekking boots (broken in)
  • Camp shoes/sandals
  • Warm socks and liners


  • Backpack: Daypack (20-30 liters) with rain cover
  • Sleeping gear: Bag (-10°C to -15°C rating) and liner
  • Trekking poles: Adjustable
  • Hydration: Water bottles/bladder, purification tablets/filter
  • Navigation: Map/compass, GPS device/smartphone


  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • First aid kit, personal meds
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush/paste, soap, towel
  • Miscellaneous: Camera, trekking snacks, dry bags, multi-tool/ knife, duct tape/repair kit

Documents and Money:

  • Passport, permits, travel insurance
  • Cash (Nepalese Rupees), credit card


  • Comfort items: Earplugs, portable charger/power bank, travel pillow

This list should cover your essentials for the trek.

Getting to the Trek

After getting all of your gear and permits for the trek, you need to get to the region where the trek begins, which is the Khumbu region.

Typically, the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek takes 12 days, from the day you leave Kathmandu on your flight until the day you return. The flight only takes about 30 minutes or so, but I can’t verify that as I did not fly.

If you’re truly looking to do this trek on a budget, you’ll skip the $380 round-trip flight and take a bus from Kathmandu to the Solu Khumbu region.

The bus is only $12 one way and takes around 16 hours to reach the Khumbu region, specifically the village of Salleri. From there, you will have to trek a few extra days before you reach Lukla, where most everyone else lands after flying from Kathmandu and where the Everest Base Camp trek officially begins.

The reason you’ll have to trek a few extra days to reach Lukla is that there are no more roads capable of handling vehicles after or nearly after Phaplu.

Day 2nd of EBC trek- way to Namche Bazaar

stepping onwards Namche Bazaar-3450m

So, you’ll be going on foot from there unless you can find a cheap Jeep, which may be able to bring you slightly closer.

To find the bus in Kathmandu, ask the locals or someone who works at your hostel. we went several days beforehand and bought my ticket in advance to be on the safe side.

On the morning of my departure, we left my hostel at 3:30 am to arrive early. After some difficulty locating my bus, we boarded it with only 20 minutes to spare before departure.

Arriving in Phaplu late in the evening in pitch darkness, there was no electricity. we heard a generator, saw some faint lights, and discovered a guesthouse. we asked for a room, ate dinner, and went to bed. The next morning, we discovered from the man who ran the guesthouse that there was a Jeep that would bring me a few villages closer. The Jeep cost me 500 rupees or 4 US dollars. From there, we began my trek.

On average, We spend around $40 each day per person, but if you are more frugal, you could easily spend less. we bought drinks at the bar and splurged on pastries at various small bakeries along the way, which frustrated my budget.

We will show you my daily spending habits with prices displayed at the end of the video so you can see exactly what things cost in the mountains and what you could skip to save money.

Returning to Kathmandu

Once you’ve finished your trek and want to head back to Kathmandu, there are several options. You can fly out from Lukla to Kathmandu or Lukla to Ramechhap- Manthali, then drive to Kathmandu if you feel like splurging, though many times these flights get pushed back a day or two due to weather and low visibility.

You could also trek back to Phaplu and catch a bus from there. Alternatively, you could catch a Jeep back to the capital as well.

we ended up taking a Jeep from Kharikhola to Sallery and then catching another Jeep from Sallery back to Kathmandu.

Aside from me and a man from Switzerland who had been on an expedition, the other passengers in the cramped Jeep were locals.

Swambunath stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu

A Few Last Tips

Stay away from the edge of the path when herds of mules or yaks are passing. We were almost knocked off the edge of a cliff when a mule ran into my backpack, which we hadn’t considered was still in the way. we later discovered a German woman had a similar experience a week or two earlier.

Avoid taking Diamox, the altitude sickness medication, if you can help it, as it has many unpleasant side effects, such as difficulty sleeping, strange dreams, and a constant need to urinate. It also dehydrates you, requiring you to drink a lot of water. Everyone is different, so do what you need to take care of yourself. We are asthmatic and a smoker but only took two Diamox pills during my entire trek, which we regretted due to the side effects.

When you arrive at Gorakshep, the last village before reaching Everest Base Camp, don’t stop to drop off your pack; head straight to the camp. Someone recommended this to me, and we are so glad they did. First, if you leave straight away, you’ll essentially have EBC to yourself for a while, as other trekkers and guides tend to stop. You beat the crowd. It’s a huge desolate place and even with people around, it feels very empty. But it’s nice to not have anyone in sight and be alone with your thoughts. Even more importantly, most people say the visibility decreases in the late afternoon as clouds sweep in. When we arrived at Gorakshep, we dropped off my pack and had a quick tea before heading out. The skies were still clear, and we were fortunate to have clear visibility of the significant mountains around. By the time everyone else was making their way down the ridge to the camp, clouds had swept in, and it started snowing heavily, completely blocking the mountains from view. It snowed for the remainder of the day.

Another tip is to wake up early and hike up Kala Patthar by dawn. It’s a rough climb, but worth it. From there, you will have the best view of Mount Everest, or as it’s called in Tibetan, Chomolungma, meaning “Mother Goddess of the World.” At Base Camp, you can’t see Everest because you’re too close and it’s blocked by other peaks, but from Kala Patthar, you’ll have a perfect panorama of Mount Everest, Base Camp, the stunning Khumbu Icefall, and the surrounding Himalayas, including Lhotse and Nuptse.

If you plan on doing the passes, make sure to buy crampons as you’ll be crossing over several glaciers.

So that’s it! You’re now ready to set out on your solo adventure to Everest Base Camp. hope you will find this article information helpful. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below, and we’ll be sure to respond.

Here are a few additional tips and considerations before you embark on your Everest Base Camp trek:

  • Physical Preparation: Ensure you are physically prepared for the trek. The EBC trek is demanding and involves significant altitude gain. It’s essential to have good cardiovascular fitness and to do some training hikes beforehand to build up your stamina and strength.
  • Altitude Acclimatization: Acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. Make sure to follow a gradual ascent and take rest days to acclimatize properly. Many trekkers follow the “climb high, sleep low” principle, where you trek to a higher altitude during the day but return to a lower altitude to sleep.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Aim for at least 3-4 liters per day. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates will also help maintain your energy levels. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate you.
  • Weather Conditions: Be prepared for varying weather conditions. The Himalayas can be unpredictable, and you might experience everything from warm sunshine to snow and strong winds. Layer your clothing to adjust to changing temperatures and weather conditions.
  • Essential Gear: Apart from the basics like a good quality backpack, sleeping bag, and hiking boots, consider carrying trekking poles, a headlamp with extra batteries, a first aid kit, sunscreen, lip balm, and a hat. Don’t forget a reliable water purification system (like tablets or a portable filter).
  • Communication: While internet access is limited, you can stay connected using local SIM cards with data packages available in Kathmandu. However, coverage might still be spotty in the mountains.
  • Travel Insurance: Make sure to have travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and emergency evacuation. It’s essential in case you need to be evacuated due to altitude sickness or other medical emergencies.
  • Respect Local Culture: Show respect for the local culture and traditions. Learn a few basic phrases in Nepali, dress modestly, and always ask for permission before taking photos of people. Respect the environment by following the “Leave No Trace” principles and disposing of your waste properly.
  • Trekking Solo vs. Group: While trekking solo can be a rewarding experience, consider the pros and cons. Trekking with a group or hiring a local guide can provide additional safety and support, especially if you’re not an experienced trekker.
  • Stay Safe: Always be aware of your surroundings and follow safety guidelines. Keep a close watch on weather conditions and be prepared to turn back if necessary. Your safety is the most important consideration.

Now you’re fully equipped with the knowledge and tips needed for your journey to Everest Base Camp(EBC and Kalapathar viewpoint. Best of luck on your adventure, and enjoy every moment of this incredible experience! If you have any further questions or need additional advice, feel free to leave a comment below, and we will be happy to help. Safe travels!

By including these additional tips and considerations, your viewers will have a more comprehensive guide to help them prepare for their Everest Base Camp trek.

Related more information about the Everest region :

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