Trek in Nepal is relatively easy as most trek routes take the path that the locals use for their daily travel. The people you will meet in the trek routes are very friendly and easily offer help. Nepal is a country of variety, so depending on where you are going, you may need to make some preparations and change your luggage contents.
Must-Know Things Before Going on a Trek in Nepal
Planned Contingency Days:
With time getting so scarce, many people squeeze a trek into the holidays they have. However, it’s a good idea to have some contingency days. Mountain flights in Nepal are delayed and canceled at times due to bad weather or fog. Also, you may need an extra day to acclimatize on a high altitude trek. What if everything goes as planned and you return to your base early? There are plenty of things to do around Kathmandu and Pokhara when the trek ends. From short hikes, cycling trips, and city tours to spa and lavish shopping, or anything in between would occupy your free time.
Local Guides and Porters:
It is always a good idea to take a guide with you when going on a trek. The guide knows the route well and plans the trip accordingly, and is well acquainted with the local language, customs, and traditions. However, if you are one of those wanderers who want to make the trip with a map, this is entirely possible on popular trek routes. For first-timers, it’s highly recommended to take a guide. You can hire porters if you intend to travel with loads of stuff. The Sherpas are a group of people living in high altitudes for a long time and are well acclimatized. Sherpa guides are very reliable for high altitude treks.
Bottled drinking water can be easily purchased on any popular trekking route in Nepal. There are water stations that even supply purified water for a small price. However, if you intend to drink directly filled from springs, or intend to go camping in remote areas, it’s a good idea to take water purifiers. As an alternative, you can also tell the cook staff to boil the drinking water. Keep the hot water in a bag to keep you warm throughout the night in the cold!
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):
AMS or altitude sickness happens in high altitudes when the body is not properly adapted to the lower oxygen levels. The illness is fatal in its higher stages and should be taken care of in proper time. If you are trekking with a steady pace, and short elevations (about 400m a day), stay well hydrated and warm, eat a healthy diet and get proper rest and sleep, AMS should be no problem at all. Medicines like Diamox makes the body quickly ready for higher altitudes, but they do have some side effects. It is best to descend to a lower altitude, drink plenty of soup, and rest once you get AMS. Trekkers separate days for acclimatization, and go hiking to a higher altitude, usually a hill with a wonderful view, and stay in the same place that they stayed the night before.
For most treks in Nepal, a pair of good trekking boots, a comfortable backpack, and clothes suitable for the season would work out well. However, if you are going above 3,000m and crossing a high pass, you need to carry some other trekking gears like trekking poles, ropes, warm clothes, sleeping bags, etc. Due to the significant difference in altitude in a trek, climatic conditions and temperature vary greatly. It’s a good idea to check the requirements for the trek and also ask for guidance from your guide or any trekking agency.