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Nepal Trekking Information
A trek is walking at your own pace on well-developed trails, some places are not well popular and off the beaten, that pass through village to village mainly in the hilly or mountainous region elevation up to 5000m. You will enjoy a close contact with people in remote mountain villages whose lifestyle is unique and still remain unchanged. A warm relation with the villagers is always a pleasant experience of the life. We use their simple home as our overnight stay spot in some remote region. Normally there are better teahouses are available along the way.
Trekking is possible in all season in Nepal. However in the monsoon and winter it will be little difficult. All though it is possible to some areas like Upper Mustang, Dolpo and Mangag. These areas are rain shadow zone where raining is a myth. In the winter days you can make hiking in the low altitude region below the snow capture line. During the rainy season you will find beautiful countryside to travel with flora that is seen, which is not seen in the other season of the year. You do not need to be a professional mountaineer to trek on the hills of Nepal. But it is always beneficial to explore something more if you are physically fit. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of our trek will be the cool air of the mountains and magnificent views of the mountain peaks.
If you are trekking in the higher altitudes, and feeling unwell please tell your group leader immediately. Do not ignore headaches as they are the first sign of the altitudes sickness. Your inability to complete the trek is nothing compared to your health. Remember that your guides are responsible and professional so feel free to tell him about your health condition.
How to organize a trek?
There are few major ways to arrange a trek, which can be categorized into three ways, Teahouse trek, Camping trek treks and Treks with Guide and Porters. All the methods are well popular in Nepal.
Type of Treks in Nepal
The word "teahouse" means an inn which provides basic good and accommodation facility in the trekking trail of Nepal. This is the place to eat and sleep on the way when you are on teahouse trek program. Many innkeepers specify the services they provide by calling their establishments "Hotel or Lodge". The most popular way to trek in Nepal is to travel from teahouse to teahouse. Teahouse facility is well available in the Everest Khumbu region, the Langtang area and the entire Annapurna region. We provide teahouse trek as a complete package. An English-speaking guide will accompany you and make all the arrangements for food and accommodation and safety along the way. We also provide one porter for every two persons to carry the bulk of your kit. The standard of accommodation and food at these inns may varies, but your guide will select the best available. If our itineraries do not match to you, you are welcome to design your own. Lodges would be a special meeting place for trekkers from around the world. You will also have good opportunity to see how the people in the hills of Nepal live, work and eat and will probably develop at least a rudimentary knowledge of the Nepali language.
You are, however, dependent on facilities in villages or in heavily trekked regions. Therefore you must trek in inhabited areas and on the better-known routes. You may need to alter your schedule to reach a certain hotel for lunch or dinner.
Camping or Organized Trek:
A camping trek is fully organized and supported, with a team of guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters to accompany you. Porters will carry all the trekking gear, food, fuel and personal belongings. Kitchen crew prepare hot and hygiene meals. Trekkers need only carry a small bag as required for the day. At night, tents for dining, sleeping and ablutions tents are provided and set up by the Sherpa. Also mattresses and down-filled sleeping bags, tables and seating will be provided.
A typical day begins about 6.00am when tea is brought to your tent, along with a bowl of hot water for washing. This is followed by breakfast, consisting of tea/coffee, muesli, porridge, eggs and pancakes. Whilst you enjoy your breakfast and admire the surrounding scenery, the trekking crews dismantle camp and clean the site. Shortly after 7.00am we are on our way, taking advantage of the cool morning, each guest carrying a small rucksack containing articles required during the day (water bottle, camera, sweater, sun cream etc). The porters carry all other personal belongings. There is plenty of time to enjoy the views, meet the local people, take photographs and enjoy the flora and fauna. Even though you are with a group, you can walk alone, if you so choose. Around 11am we reach our lunch stop and as the kitchen crew has gone ahead, tea is ready by the time we arrive. While we relax and perhaps swim in a nearby stream, lunch will be prepared. Around 1.00pm we are on our way again, arriving at our campsite between 4-5 p.m.
Although the porters walk more slowly on the trail, they take less time for lunch and will by now have set up camp for the night. Tea and biscuits will be available when you arrive and there will be ample time to sort out your tent, relax or explore the surrounding area before dinner. As we often camp near villages, a trip to the local inn can provide some light entertainment. Rest days are built into our itineraries to allow for acclimatization and can be utilized to explore the surrounding countryside. The food provided is a combination of western and local cuisine and trekkers are usually astonished at the quality and variety of meals produced in the camp kitchen. The cooks and kitchen staff are fully trained to the highest standards of hygiene.
Trekking seems to be a physical work. Of course it is some sort of physical work as well. Trekking in the trails of Nepal is adventure too. Thought you do not need to be a best athlete or a well trained mountaineer to trek in Nepal. A few weeks of soft training and mental preparation is a bonus before your arrival to Nepal. The best way is a long walk is always rewarding. What is most important is to be in good physical and mental condition before you start trek. Take few hours of walk in a day on the road. Walk upstairs rather than using the elevator. Those how are planning to climb the trekking peak need to be physically very fit. For more information please ask with us, we are pleased to help you.
Equipments & Clothing
The following equipment lists are suggested and essential for both camp & teahouse treks in the Himalayas. Make use of this list as a guideline; some of the equipment can be hired in Katmandu as well. Besides, keep in mind trekking gear can be bought in the many adventure shops in Katmandu, the majority of gear is locally manufactured (hence a lot cheaper) although it is becoming more common for gear to be imported from China and therefore of better quality.
1 large duffel bag: This will carry all your personal gear on the trek. It should be strong and durable. The best size would be around 30" x 14", with a full-length zipper and handles.
1 small padlock: Your duffel bag should be locked.
1 rucksack or day pack: This should accommodate a sweater, rain gear, water bottle, camera and accessories and any miscellaneous items you want to have during the day. We recommend a pack with at least 1450cu. In capacity, or smaller if you are not carrying a large amount of camera equipment.
1 small duffel bag or suitcase: Items not needed on the trek can be left at the hotel in Kathmandu. This bag should also have a lock. Be sure to leave room for purchases, or buy one in Kathmandu they have many good quality ones available
Head and Face Gear:
Sunscreen with a very high SPF factor
Lip balm with a high SPF factor
Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
Thermal underwear- Top and bottom. Synthetic is best
2 Long shorts
2 Trousers- (loose and comfortable) One thin, one thick and warm
Fleece Jacket (or a windproof jacket)
Waterproof jacket with a hood (or a poncho)
2 pairs of gloves/mittens (1 thin and 1 thick)
1 sweater to be worn under the fleece jacket
Light weight walking boots- (leather is recommended)
• Spare laces
• 2 pairs of thick woolen socks.
• 2 pairs of thin socks to be worn under the woolen socks
• One pair of sandals or comfortable shoes for camp
1 thermos- Water tends to freeze in ‘normal’ water bottles at high altitude temperatures.
• 2 one-liter water bottles
• Purification equipment- Boiled drinking water will be provided but further purification with iodine or purification tablets is highly recommended.
Sleeping and Carrying Equipment:
30-40 liter daypack
Rucksack- Without aluminum support
Water Proof Bag- A water proof bag to cover the rucksack
Sleeping Bag- Please brings a bag that can resist temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius.
Personal Medical Kit:
Bandage for sprains
• Iodine or water filter
• Moleskin/Second skin - for blisters
• Antiseptic ointment for cuts
• Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
• Aspirin/paracetamol - general painkiller
• Oral rehydration salts
• Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
• Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
• Diarrhea stopper (Imodium - optional)
• Antibiotic for Giardia or similar microbe or bacteria
• Diamox (altitude sickness - can be bought in Kathmandu)
• Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
• Reading book
• Trail Map/Guide book
• Journal & Pen
• Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
1 medium sized quick drying towel
• Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
• Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
• Nail clippers
• Face and body moisturizer
• Feminine hygiene products
• Small mirror
Altitude sickness often known as acute mountain sickness (A.M.S.) in general may occur when people ascend too quickly normally in altitudes of over 3000 m. We ensure minimal risk by building in rest days into our trekking itineraries. Most people will feel some affect of altitude, shortness of breath and possibly light headache, this is fairly common. Acute mountain sickness is very different and normally involves a severe headache, sickness and loss of awareness. In almost every potential case there are enough warning signs to take appropriate action. Basically, there are three stages of altitude sickness and symptoms.
1. Normal AMS - Should expect but not worry.
2. Mild AMS - NEVER GO HIGHER
3. Serious AMS - IMMEDIATE DESCENT
Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Allow sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters)
• Don’t make rapid Ascent. Don’t go too far too fast
• No Alcohol, Sleeping pills and Smoking
• Drink more fluid 3-4 Liters a day, clean water-boiled or treated / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
• Climb high and sleep low
• Do not trek/travel alone, take guide/porter
• Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local, guide book
• Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
• Never leave or descent sick person along.
• Avoid getting cold.
• Take easy and comfortable trekking rout even it is longer.
Nepal Trekking Grade
It is very necessary to know which trek matches most with your physical capabilities in order to enjoy your trekking in Nepal. Trekking grade gives an idea of what to expect while still leaving something to the imagination wherein of course lies the challenge of the venture. In all Mountain baggers treks there will be some crossover between grades. Thus, we have categorized all our treks in the following ranks.
Grade * (Easy):
This is the easiest of our grades trekking by Himalayan Standard is generally up to 2000m. This type of trip is best suited for those who leave a reasonably active life. At this level we are operating in hill and middle mountain areas on reasonable paths and tracks. Maximum walking time is approximately 5 hours a day.
Grade ** (Moderate):
Many of the classic Alpine treks come into this category. Here we have high mountains with long ascents to cols and passes often hovering around the 3,000m mark. Consequently paths can be rough, steep with some exposure. Early in the season expect snow patches at higher altitudes. A good level of fitness and health condition are necessary. On these trek, generally we attain the altitude between 900m to 3000m.
Grade *** (Demanding):
It is a reasonably between Moderate to Strenuous trek at an altitude up to 4000m with side trips to higher elevations. This is classified as ill – defined trails, away from habitation. These are considering little bit hard trek where experience, fitness and a good health conditions are required.
Grade **** (Strenuous):
Ventures at this grade are 'Tough Treks' on steroids; these treks must be fully supported. The altitude attained between 3500 to 5000m. & this trek also involves several night stays above 4000m. These are genuine expeditions where experience, fitness and a willingness to 'rough it' are essential.
Grade ***** (Challenging):
These have an element of exploration about them. Essentially we decide on a mountain area unknown to Mountain baggers and devise an interesting and challenging 'expedition' the outcome of which can be in doubt throughout. Obviously we hope to fulfill our objectives but realistically can only guarantee start and finish times. If the routes are deemed successful then they become regular ventures in the Mountain baggers programs. So far not many have achieved this status, but we've certainly had some of our greatest mountain experiences while trying. For this reason we limit such treks to those with a good level of personal experience, an outstanding sense of humor, and high tolerance levels. During trek, you have to cross snow - covered passes in very remote areas or climb up to 6000meters.
Visitors are advice to leave only footprints and take away only photographs. In the recent days, local people and some environmental organization are taking concern to preserve the environment of the area. Increasing number of visitors need more service, that demand more wood for construction of teahouse and fuel, which has caused to deforestation in the hilly region. On the other hand, the scale of waste has ever increasing without proper management, causing some popular trekking trails and villages ugly and unhealthy. Ecological awareness has rapidly increasing to the local people and the trekkers as well. Though, awareness message should be spread across the region to preserve the environment for the generation to come. In our way of thinking, conservation of nature doesn’t reflect to disconnecting people from nature and vice – versa; rather, it is an approach to promote the human – nature relationship even stronger. Our team is guided by the fact that we must respect our nature for our own survival & it has been matter of pride for us as Nepal is naturally enriched country. We are very conscious of our duty and responsibility toward conserving the natural diversity. We left no stone unturned to protect their natural state. We simply do following on our trip:-
Use only kerosene or gas as fuel
Dispose degradable waste properly and bring back non-degradable waste
Left the camp site clean and manage the toilet spot properly
Use as less fire as possible in the forest area
Never polluted water sources
Respect local culture
Protect natural aspects
Porter in Nepal
Nepal is land of mountain and hills. Most of the people reside in the remote village. All necessary goods they needed for daily living are carried by porter and cattle. You can see men and women of all age carrying goods on big bamboo basket or sack on their back along your trekking trail in the hills of Nepal. As you walk past the group of porter on your way, they will leave a room to you with their cheerful attitude and friendly smile. You can’t remain without appreciate of their gesture.
There are two types of porter in Nepal. One who is working in the local communities and the other is working in tourism trade. Local porters are mainly hired by local business person to carry loads one place to another. The other one are used as a supporting staff of a trekking group. Tourist porter’s job is better organized than the other’s one. They are better paid, ranging from Rs. 400 to Rs. 800 depending on their loads, the route and the agreement with the organizer. They will engage in the job until the trips end. They will stay in the same hotel as the group stay. Though carry a load on the back is extremely hard job. Keeping all this in consideration, we are always focused on how can make the better living of the porter. Recently, some changes have been taken to make the life of porter is better.
Safety & Security
We had some sort of security problem in the past due to conflict between government and the Maoist rebels. After the restoration of democracy and peace accord signed by both side, the decade long conflict has permanently over. Now the past rebels are in the parliament as well as in government.
Traveling in Nepal was never a threat despite negative message spread around the world even during the conflict; rebels did no harm to the foreigner who wishes to visit Nepal. There was not a single case that tourist has been manhandle by the rebels. The conflict was only limited within the Nepalese. Though they apply some charge in the name of tax of so called their controlled territory. No more such act is on the run now. The government has now reinstating its security agencies and police post which was abandoned during the conflict era. The ex Maoist rebels are now sweating their knowledge and flex on reconstruction and social works. They are no more in violence and intimidation. This is a great sing of prosperous and new Nepal.
Despite these facts when you are traveling in the remote area take some precaution. It is risky to travel alone or without informing to security agencies.
Food & Accomodation
Food and accommodation is not a major issue during the trekking on the popular trail these days. Most teahouses (Nepali say hotel) prepare delicious Nepali food like Daal, Bhat, Roti (bread), soup, eggs, curry, fresh vegetable and noodles. Western courses as well as meat items are also available in some of the teahouse. Hot drinks like chocolate, tea and hot lemon are also served. While you are on camping trek there will be a kitchen crew along with the group. Kitchen staff will prepare all food stuff on time as of your interest. Some time we use locally available products such as green vegetable, fish, chicken, cheese and other supply to provide as fresher as possible. Our prime concern is to prepare fresh, nutritious, testy and hygiene food. We never consider on the quality of food and accommodation which is directly connected to your health.
For teahouse trek we use clean and nice lodge available in the area. We have strong and long relation with many fine lodges on the main trekking trail. They have all basic facility and clean. The owner and staff of the lodge are very friendly, welcoming and charming. On the camping trek we carry quality two men tent, down jackets, sleeping bag, pillow, insulted mattresses and hot water bag to keep you warm during the cold night in the highland. We also carry toilet tent and dining tent with tables and backrest chairs, which provide a comfortable atmosphere to eat and chat with friends in the evening. We assure you to providing the quality accommodation, hygienic food, and comfortable trip, helpful and informative guides and crew.