Trekking in Nepal

Trekking in any part of Nepal is a rejuvenating and relaxing activity. It is a land of the Himalayas with some of the most challenging terrains in the world.

Trekking in Nepal is nothing short of a high altitude adventure. Surrounded by beauty and breathing fresh air, with the views of soaring peaks, deep gorges and mountain villages, Nepal is packed with dazzling scenery at every bend and curve while trekking. Trekking in Nepal can involve hiking up to 5500 meters above Sea Level and might require some amount of fitness though there are loads of small hikes that can be made and which offer amazing glimpses of the Himalayas too. In the serene, secluded higher altitudes of Nepal, amazing vistas unfold where tiny villages exists across mysterious forests and mountainside Buddhist shrines (Chortens) and high suspension bridges bedecked with colourful prayer flags. Some of the most coveted trekking trails like the Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp trek are all in Nepal. Adding to the beautiful Himalayas are also the cultural treasures that you discover while trekking in Nepal. Some of the most exotic villages and cultures can be found in the upper regions of Nepal’s gorgeous hills.

trekkinginnepal

Types of Trekking

Trekking, other than being an adventure activity, can also be quite relaxing if the right team organizes the logistics and is supported by a good crew. The upper regions of the Himalayas are very remote and there is a lack of proper tourist infrastructure. Owing to a difficult terrain and harsh conditions, even basic supplies like fuel and rations has to come from the cities. Nevertheless there are a number of great-value places to stay like lodges or camp sites that are set at prime location overlooking the beautiful Himalayas that give you close-up views of the fascinating landscapes and mesmerizing scenery. We can categorize trekking accommodations in the Himalayas into two types: Teahouse Trekking and Camping or both. We would like to add that we only use local people as camping crew, guides, porters and cooks

Tea House Trekking

tea house trekking

This type of accommodation is more popular in the Himalayas especially during the Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Mustang Trek. In this format, trekkers can stay at a local Tea House lodge and have wholesome foods and a comfortable bed. Tea House lodge stay facility is available mainly at regular and popular routes that are frequented by trekkers almost round the year. The facilities are very basic and the services are bare to minimum but you will get a clean room, a comfortable bed and hot showers. Tea Houses also offer you a variety of meals but some of them mostly serve Nepali food consisting of rice, lentil soup and vegetables. Tea House trekking takes away the hassle of having to carry all that camping gear, rations, supplies, porters and people to cook food for you.

Camping Trek

camping trek

For the remote regions of Nepal, one that would require more than 12 days of trekking generally requires you to make a camping trek. Regions like Dhaulagiri, Dolpo, Limi Valley mostly require camping trek though some of the trails in Nepal has tea houses but a few days require you to set up a camp. Camping trek requires the full support of a team with supplies and all other necessary logistics. You will require tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, kitchen equipment etc. which will be provided by us. Camping trek is a more adventurous format and is more rewarding because most camping sites are at beautiful places and you can sleep closer to nature.

Tea House and Camping Trek Combined

combined trek

Many routes in Nepal combine both Tea House trekking and camping. Trekking trails in Dhaulagiri and the renowned Everest Three Passes trek pack together both formats because they cover well traversed routes as well as remote regions that have not yet gained popularity. In this format there will be a team accompanying you along the way. Though they might not be as large as you would finding during a full on camping trek but there will be more, than on a Tea House trek.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Trekking in Nepal offers diverse accommodation options. Places like Everest and Annapurna regions offer tea houses and hotels which are hospitable and clean. Trekking in remote regions like Dhaulagiri trek or Kanchenjunga trek could require camping equipments. There are basically three options when you are trekking in Nepal. They are Tea houses or Lodges, Camping and Home stays. During trekking in Bhutan, you might have to rely mostly on camping.

Trekking is a strenuous activity for the most part especially in the Himalayas. Each trekking day could easily involve at least 5-6 hours of continuous walking which is quite exhausting at higher altitudes. It is also important to understand that proper nutrition is of utmost importance during a trek. When we talk about accommodations during trekking, meals have to be taken into consideration. Meals could be local cuisine but they will be perfectly suited to meet your calorie requirements.

Tea Houses which are basically lodges are particularly good, reasonable and comfortable. There can either be individual bedrooms or dormitories. We would still suggest that you carry a sleeping bag as it could get cold and the beds may not be that comfortable to sleep in. Showers will also be available. They provide you with meals too and though it might not be as good at home, it will be comfortable enough to get you some rest before you resume your trekking the next day.

While trekking, camping can also be organized. You will have to take along cooks and porters to carry up the equipment and set up camp during the trek. In Nepal, at some trekking routes, there are home stays at local villages. These are also comfortable to stay at.

TREKKING EQUIPMENT

The equipments required for trekking vary according to factors like place, altitude and the number of days involved in trekking. It also varies according to what kind of accommodation you have chosen for your trek. If you are going to stay at lodges during the trek the equipments you carry will subsequently be lesser than what you will carry during a camping trip. However basic equipments like a sleeping bag, warm clothes, a durable backpack and water bottles are necessary for all kinds of treks.

During Camping treks, you will require tents, porters, cooks and other staff on such treks. Nepal’s trekking support staffs is considered the best and there are hardly any problems that trekkers encounter on camping treks. In the morning you will receive tea, followed by breakfast. You will have to sleep inside a tent of blow up mattresses. The campsite will normally be closer to a Nepali village on a site that has a water source and great vistas of the Himalayas.

While trekking, you need trousers, scarves, jackets, rainproof jacket, sunhat, gloves, thermal underwear, woollen socks and t-shirts. Carry a bag pack, sleeping bag and flashlight. You will also need a towel and toiletries including soap and shampoo. Carry a sun block lotion (SPF 30+), insect repellent and iodine to purify water. Don’t forget a pocket knife. We suggest that you carry minimum weight so that trekking can become easier for you. It is much easier if you take a tea house trek or just check in to a home stay as that would mean that you will not require additional porters or cooks during your trek. The cost would also go down significantly.

SAFETY & SKILLS

One of the imminent threats that exist while trekking is altitude sickness. Altitude Sickness is known to be fatal among trekkers. This is however, preventable. This happens when you fail to adapt to higher altitudes. There is however no need to panic. All you need to do is to walk slowly and make use of rest days by relaxing your body. At ascents, you need to be steady but slower in pace. It is advisable to talk to your trek leader or guide and inform them about your health if your body is showing signs of altitude sickness.

Not much skill is required for trekking other than a good stamina. You might have to make steep ascents sometimes and a daily walk of about 5-6 hours is required. In the Himalayas, it is particularly dangerous for someone with a heart condition to trek. We expect trekkers to be fit to make this journey. The trails mostly lead into forests and in alpine conditions it is very easy to lose your way. That is the reason why we employ very knowledgeable and experienced guides.

Although you will come across remote villages from time to time and they will help you find your way back but many trekkers who have embarked upon trekking on their own are known to have lost their way and suffered horrible consequences. Taking a guide along is always better if you are not a repeat trekker. The guide will also have a first aid kid in case of emergencies during the trek because safety is always a primary concern while trekking in the Himalayas. You can also encounter wild animals on the way but if you do not bother them they leave you alone.

It is also suggested that you trek during the recommended seasons when there is less rain or snow. It is only during the recommended seasons that you will be safe and also be able to enjoy the clear views of the Himalayas.

LEAVE NO TRACE

Toilets will be available when you take a teahouse/lodge trek, where you must put the toilet paper in a container provided by the lodge. When you do not find a toilet, we recommend that you bury your waste. It is advisable to dig a hole of about 5-6 inches and then bury it and cover it with a rock. Make sure that it is quite far from water source. This is also applicable with toilet tents. We also recommend that you bury the toilet paper. Burning is normally discouraged.

The use of firewood for heating or cooking is not permitted in national parks and forest reserves. Open Campfires are also discouraged by major trekking organizers because campfires are a threat to the sensitive ecology of the Himalayas. This can sometimes also lead to forest fires. At teahouses, you will be provided with hot showers by heating water with metal electric warmers or water heated by animal dung fire. Most organizers will build a place for you to shower even during camping treks.

It is important that we preserve the pristine conditions of the Himalayas and leave it without hampering its natural order. This is the responsibility that every trekker must take. At Himalayan Dreams we ensure that this happens so that in the future even our children and their children can enjoy the pristine beauty of the Himalayas.

We also make sure that no trekker throws away trash on the way while they are walking. The trash, especially those which are not bio-degradable will have to be collected and properly disposed off after you return back from the trek.

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