Everest Base Camp Toilets: What You Need to Know Before You Go

When planning a trek to Everest Base Camp, toilets might not be the first thing on your mind, but they’re a crucial part of the journey. 
Let’s delve into what you can expect in terms of facilities along the route. We’ve covered this often-overlooked aspect of high-altitude trekking from sit-down to squat toilets.

Everest Base Camp Toilets: What to Expect

Knowing what to expect regarding toilet facilities on your route to Everest Base Camp can make your journey more comfortable and eco-friendly.
everest base camp teahouses
A typical teahouse on the lower reachers of the EBC route.

Types of Toilets You’ll Encounter

When you’re trekking to Everest Base Camp, the types of toilets you’ll encounter can vary as much as the landscape. Let’s break it down:

Sit-Down Toilets

In the lower altitudes and more populated areas like Lukla and Namche Bazaar, you’ll find sit-down toilets similar to what you’re used to back home. 
These are often available in the lodges and Everest Base Camp tea houses where trekkers rest. However, don’t expect a five-star bathroom experience; these are basic but functional.

Squat Toilets

As you ascend past 3,000 meters or so, sit-down toilets become a rare luxury. Instead, you’ll encounter squat toilets. If you’ve never used one, don’t worry! 
Many consider them more hygienic, as your skin doesn’t make contact with the toilet seat. Just remember to master the squat position, and you’ll be good to go.

The Transition from One Type to Another as You Ascend

The shift from sit-down to squat toilets isn’t abrupt but rather a gradual change as you climb higher. 
Initially, you might find lodges that offer both types, giving you a chance to acclimate—not just to the oxygen level at Everest Base Camp but also to the toilet situation. By the time you reach higher elevations, you’ll be a squat toilet pro, we promise!
ebc vs annapurna circuit accommodation
Another typical teahouse on the EBC trek.

Be Prepared: What to Carry

When it comes to Everest Base Camp toilets, the old scouting motto “Be Prepared” couldn’t be more apt. Here’s what you should pack to make your bathroom experience as comfortable as possible:

Toilet Paper

You might be surprised to learn that toilet paper isn’t a given in many lodges and teahouses along the trek. So, it’s a good idea to carry your own roll. 
Pro tip: The higher you go, the more expensive toilet paper becomes. Stock up at lower altitudes to save a few bucks.

Wet Wipes

Wet wipes are a trekker’s best friend. Not only can they be used for a quick “shower” when water is scarce, but they’re also great for those times when toilet paper just won’t cut it. Opt for biodegradable wet wipes to minimise your environmental impact.

Hand Sanitiser

Soap is another item often missing from the bathrooms you’ll encounter. 
A small bottle of hand sanitiser can go a long way in keeping you germ-free. It’s lightweight, easy to carry, and a quick way to clean your hands after a bathroom break.
With these three items in your daypack, you’ll be well-equipped for any toilet situation you encounter on your trek to Everest Base Camp. So, remember to add them to your Everest Base Camp packing list. It’s always better to have and not need than to need and not have.
ebc village in the khumbu valley
A small village en route to EBC.

Tips for Responsible Trekking

The impact we leave behind can last for years, affecting the environment and future adventurers. So, what can you do? Be responsible. 
Use established toilet facilities whenever possible and carry waste disposal bags for emergencies. Here are some more Everest Base Camp trekking tips on how to minimise your impact:
  1. Use Established Facilities: Always use the toilet facilities at lodges and teahouses. This helps concentrate waste in manageable locations.

  2. Carry Waste Bags: In case of emergencies where no facilities are available, carry waste disposal bags to pack out your waste.

  3. Be Mindful of Supplies: Stock up on toilet paper, wet wipes, and hand sanitiser at lower altitudes to minimise waste and cost.

  4. Opt for Biodegradable: If you’re using wet wipes, ensure they’re biodegradable to lessen your environmental footprint.

  5. Dispose of Waste Properly: Don’t throw toilet paper or wet wipes into sit down or squat toilets, as they can cause blockages. Use the bins provided.

  6. Educate and Share: If you’re trekking in a group, make sure everyone is aware of best practices for waste management. The more people know, the better.

  7. Leave No Trace: The principle of leaving no trace should extend to every aspect of your trek, including your bathroom habits.

By following these tips, you’re not just ensuring a more comfortable trek for yourself but also helping preserve the awe-inspiring beauty of Everest for generations to come.

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