Top tips for recording video on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Recording video on the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes trek isn’t always simple. Here’s a few tips on how to do film your video content.
This Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes Complete Trek video will help understand the up’s and down’s of the journey and show you some of the best photo and filmmaking locations.
In this video Filmmaker and Founder of the Adventure Film Group, Shaun Hepple went on the lookout for great shoot/photo locations whilst documenting his experience of the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes Trek. With the help of his girlfriend Michelle, and the local porters/guides we were able to create this, our first community video. We would love your feedback and welcome any questions about the trek itself.
The loop goes directly to Everest Base Camp (17598 ft / 5364 m), over Cho La Pass (17,782 ft / 5,420 m) and onto Gokyo (15583 ft / 4,750 m) before heading home via Namche Bazaar.
- Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla
- Day 1.5: Lukla to Phakding
- Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
- Day 3: Acclimatization, Khumjung, and Khunde
- Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
- Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche
- Day 6: Acclimatization, Dingboche Lookout
- Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche
- Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep, Kala Patthar for Sunset
- Day 9: Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp
- Day 10: Gorak Shep to Dzongla
- Day 11: Dzongla to Dragnag via Cho La Pass
- Day 12: Dragnag to Gokyo
- Day 13: Rest Day, Gokyo Ri
- Day 14: Rest Day, 4th/5th Lake
- Day 15: Gokyo to Dole
- Day 16: Dole to Namche Bazaar
- Day 17: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
- Day 18: Lukla to Kathmandu
Essential Film Equipent
Having done a few hikes around the 10-day mark and carrying 30kg of kit I’d learnt my lessons the hard way and made sure to only pack the essentials that would help create my desired outcome. If I could offer one bit of advice for this trip it would be to strip back your kit as much as possible. That all changes however if you have access to a higher budget that will allow you to hire more porters. See the kit I took in the contents table below.
If you plan on carrying your own equipment I suggest you become one with your backpack. The two brands I usually use are Osprey and F-Stop. I found the F-Stop Tilopa pack to be pretty handy on day shoots carrying an average weight but terrible for longer haul expeditions.
I took the F-Stop Shin backpack on the Overland Trek in Tasmania carrying 30kg of weigh and it came back in pieces. Another huge downfall that I often see in the photo/film designed packs is the lack of back support. Now I know people are going to say, ‘but we love the back opening panel for quick access’, and so do I, but I also love being able to hold the camera stable at the end of a tough day’s hike. I’m still yet to find a solution for a photo/video pack that offers the support of a trekking bag with the flexibility and access of one similar to the F-Stop range.
For this trip, I made the decision to take my Xenith Osprey 88 litre and I have to say I was very happy I did. With a decent amount of access points, pockets, durability and amazing back support it was a great choice. I stacked it out with F-Stop ICU units knowing my gear would be secure whilst having a solid back support structure. Those who own an Osprey pack or similar will know exactly what i’m talking about, just bliss!
You can see my full adventure film kit with images here: https://kit.com/shaunhepple/shaun-s-adventure-filmmaking-gear
Carrying Your Gear
If you’re not comfortable doing this trip alone or carrying your own weight, you can easily hire a guide, a porter or porter guide. Here’s the breakdown as of 2019…
- Guide: $25-$30 (per day) and carries 10kg
- Porter Guide: $20-$25 (per day) and carries 10-20kg
- Porter: $20 (per day) and carries 20kg
Note* They have to include their own equipment in the above weights.
We had a tone of film gear we needed the extra help so we hired a Porter Guide and opted to carry much of our own weight.
- Porter Guide – 20kg
- Shaun – 20kg
- Michelle – 12kg
I did take my own Mavic Pro, unfortunately, I never used it. After months of planning in advance and looking into purchasing a drone permit, it just never happened. The government services were all but impossible to get any sort of response from but I did get one travel agent offering to help for $500 US but couldn’t guarantee anything.
At the start of our trek, the guide asked us to please not bring the drone if we did not have the necessary permits. I had read heaps of horror stories online, mostly from people been inconsiderate with their drone around local dwellings. On the trek, there were plenty of others flying as I watched on with envy and I can’t stop feeling robbed of footage that would largely have complimented my final edit but respectfully I think I made the right decision.
Inside the park, there were signs at some of the checkpoints stating ‘no drone operation’ (see 0:00 in the video above).
Yes, power is accessible on a consistent basis up until Namche Bazaar. After that, I was going to be fully reliant on my solar rig unless I wanted to pay a fortune to slowly charge one device at a time. Having researched for far too much time, I came to the decision to invest in the Goal Zero products. I’d heard many good things from the American company and needed to find a good weigh to power ratio. The Sherpa 100 with the Nomad 20 panels would be my go-to setup with small carabiners to clip it to the back of my pack during daylight hours. As of now, it looks like the goal zero guys are bringing out an updated version of the unit so maybe worth holding off until that happens. Here’s an idea of what it can do when fully charged.
- GH5 battery 2-3 Recharges
- Mavic Pro Battery 1.5 Recharges
- Smartphone 6-8 Recharges
- POV Camera 18 Recharges
- Headlamp 16-32 Recharges
- Tablet 2-4 Recharges
- Laptop 1-2 Recharges
Gear list and camera settings
- Panasonic GH5
- Panasonic GX85
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
- Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7–14mm f/2.8
- Panasonic Summilux Leica 25mm f/1.4
- SmallHD Focus
- Manfrotto Befree Tripod Kit with Fluid Head
- Rode NTG3
- Rode Microphones VideoMic Go
- Zoom H5
- XLR Camera Adapter (DMW-XLR1)
- Tascam DR-10L Digital Recorder & Lavalier Mic
- Mavic Pro 1
- Record Setting: 1920×1080/4k, 25/50.00fsp, 422/10bit, 100Mps
- Record Format: MOV
- Profile: VLOG-L
- LUT: REC 709
- Record Setting: 4k, 25fsp, 100Mps
- Record Format: MOV
- Profile: Natural
- Osprey Xenith 88 Backpack
- Language: Nepali
- Currency: Nepalese Rupee / NPR
- Time Zone: NPT (UTC+5:45)
- Calling Code: +977
- Drinking Age: 18
- Drinking Tap Water: Not Okay
- Flushing Toilet Paper: Not Okay
- Cellular Network: GSM/CDMA EV-DO
- Vaccinations Required: CDC
- Credit Cards: Visa/MC accepted, but carry cash
- Tipping: Not expected
- Emergency Number: Police: 100 Fire: 101
- Outlets: Indian, Europlug / 220-240 Volts
- Visa Requirements: External Link!