Ascending a dramatic 5,300 meters (or 17,590 feet) into the Himalayan skies, Everest Base Camp is truly a magnificent journey for trekkers from all walks of life. Its unparalleled views, ancient sites and vibrant people make it a once-in-a-lifetime (or more!) experience, and one which many travelers wish to share with friends and family. Everest Base Camp is a great adventure for the kids, and while journeying there can be a challenge, it's one which can be conquered by just about anyone.
Before Taking the Kids to Everest Base Camp
While most kids are easily able to run on fuel for hours on end, trekking through cold weather and hardy terrain demands a different kind of energy. Kids should be used to long walks and be in reasonable physical shape. Most importantly, they should be old enough to understand what AMS is (Acute Mountain Sickness or Altitude Sickness) and be able to recognize the symptoms and communicate them. Before taking your kids on a trek to Everest Base Camp, check that:
Your child is healthy. Lack of physical fitness, asthma, sensitive sinuses and other ailments could present a potential problem while trekking. Assess the risk of any current health conditions and whether or not you will be able to receive efficient health care in the event of an incident.
Your child has the appropriate documentation such as a passport and visa. Requirements will vary depending upon country of origin.
Your child is capable of understanding the dangers involved and how to act responsibly. Everest Base Camp, while mostly safe, still presents an environment of potential danger for individuals who do not abide by basic safety rules.
Your child is interested in the expedition. Many children who are not accustomed to long walks, cold climates etc. may find themselves growing tired of the expedition. It's important that they know what the journey entails ahead of time.
As you ascend higher into the mountain, it's important to note that facilities and amenities become less frequent. It's a good idea to pack your own chocolate and other energy-rich snacks to avoid paying high prices for them at a higher altitude. Bathrooms and washing facilities are also less common; bring the necessary sanitary items with you en route, as well as spare clothing and other essentials. This also applies to entertainment and other attractions in the more remote lodges, so make sure you are equipped to deal with quiet evenings.
The general rule of thumb is to allow for rest days and sufficient time for acclimatizing with the kids. A steady pace will help build their strength and also allow them to appreciate the breathtaking landscape around them so you can savor the trip of a lifetime with your loved ones.
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