Drinking water on an Everest Base Camp Trek

by alberts on September 21, 2011

Drinking water on an Everest Base Camp Trek

Drinking water during a trek

At the start of the trek, even though the altitude in the mountains is quite low – 1,600-2,000 metres (Annapurna Circuit trek), it is important to get used to consuming fluids and water regularly and in large quantities. This is necessary to ensure a successful acclimatisation process, in order to avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness while you’re trekking.

You should consume no less than 3-4 litres of fluid daily. This quantity includes tea, soup and bottled water in one litre bottles which can be bought at any trekking lodge, tea house or store along the most popular trekking routes – Everest Base Camp trek, Gokyo trek and Annapurna Circuit trek.

In my experience, I successfully reached Everest Base Camp and the summit of Kala Pathar (5,550 m) without any signs of altitude sickness, by sticking to the following drinking regimen: in the morning at the lodge, approximately 0.5-1 litre of tea at breakfast; leaving the lodge I bought 2 litres of water to drink during the trek; we began the lunch break with a 2-litre thermos of tea for 4 persons, followed by soup; and in the evening, upon arrival at the trekking lodge, we once again drank a lot of tea. After all, there’s nothing else to do there.

The price of 1 litre of drinking water is proportional to the altitude reached. For example, at the starting point of the Everest Base Camp Trek – Lukla (2,860 m), a litre of water costs Rs 60, but at Gorak Shep (5,200 m) the price of water is already Rs 300. To save money, many trekkers take a thermos with them and ask trekking lodge landlords for hot water. It’s true that this will have been taken from some local stream and boiled. It is important to remember that in the mountains, as the atmospheric pressure drops, the temperature at which water boils will drop and more bacteria will survive in it. For example, at an altitude of 3,000 metres, water already boils at a temperature of 90°C, and at an altitude of 4,500 metres, it already boils at a temperature of 86°C.

In order to feel sure about the quality of water, it is recommended that you add special tablets to it which are intended for this purpose or one grain of potassium permanganate (blue grain).

 Read more about Everest Base Camp Trek:
 Foods to be enjoyed on an Everest Base Camp trek
 Eating during an Everest Base Camp Trek
 Food for an Everest Base Camp Trek

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