Nepal is a country of the Himalayas, with some of the highest mountains in the world. The rugged terrain of Nepal makes it best explored on foot, with trekking being a popular activity among visitors.
Trekking in Nepal offers the opportunity to enjoy the wilderness and natural beauty of the country, with stunning landscapes and breathtaking views.
In addition to the scenery, trekking in Nepal provides a chance to immerse oneself in the local culture, including their religious practices and way of life.
Meeting and interacting with the friendly locals is an experience in itself, and learning about their traditions and customs can be an enriching experience.
Here are some tips to improve your trekking experience in Nepal.
1. Trek with a trekking Company
Trekking in Nepal can be a thrilling adventure, but it is important to understand that the Nepal Tourism Board has banned solo trekking starting April 2023. As a result, it is highly recommended to trek with an experienced and reputable trekking company.
One of the main advantages of trekking with a company is that they are well equipped and prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather or flight cancellations. This can provide you with peace of mind and ensure that your trekking experience is safe and enjoyable.
Another benefit of trekking with a company is that they can provide a guide who is well acquainted with the terrain and local people. This can enhance your overall experience and allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and environment.
When choosing a trekking company, it is important to do some research beforehand. You can check reviews on websites like TripAdvisor, TrustPilot, Facebook, and Google to see what others have to say about their experiences with the company.
In addition to reading reviews, it is also a good idea to check the company’s social media pages for recent activity and updates. This can give you an idea of their level of activity and engagement with their clients.
Furthermore, it is important to choose a trekking company that has a sustainable policy. This can ensure that your trekking experience is eco-friendly and does not have a negative impact on the environment.
Lastly, you can contact the trekking company’s previous clients to get their feedback and ask any questions you may have about their experience. This can provide you with valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.
2. Consider the Weather Before Booking
When planning a trekking trip to Nepal, it is important to consider the weather conditions during your intended travel dates. If you are an experienced trekker, you can trek throughout the year in Nepal, but it is best to avoid the monsoon season and deep winter.
The two best seasons recommended for trekking in Nepal are spring and autumn. The spring season is from March to May, while the autumn season is from mid-September to December. During these seasons, the weather is mild and you can enjoy stunning mountain views.
Booking your trek during these seasons also reduces the chances of flight delays and cancellations due to unforeseen weather conditions. This can provide you with a more hassle-free and enjoyable trekking experience.
Overall, it is essential to learn about the weather conditions before booking your trekking trip and to choose the best season for your trip based on your preferences and experience level.
3. Train for the trek
Preparing yourself physically and mentally is essential to make your trekking trip to Nepal a success. Training for the trek beforehand is highly recommended as you will be walking for many days and it is better to get prepared to enhance your fitness level. This will increase the chances of you enjoying the trekking experience to the fullest.
To prepare physically, you can practice hiking if there is a hill nearby or workout in the gym, performing cardio exercises to build stamina and endurance. Eating a balanced diet is also crucial in keeping your body fueled and energized during the trek.
In addition to physical preparation, mental preparation is also equally important. It is essential to prepare yourself mentally so that you are equipped to handle any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the trek. This can include preparing for any challenging terrain, unpredictable weather conditions or unexpected changes in your itinerary.
Overall, taking the time to train and prepare yourself both physically and mentally can greatly improve your chances of success and enjoyment during your trekking trip in Nepal.
4. Buy travel insurance
As with any adventure activity, trekking comes with its own set of hazards. The rugged terrain and wilderness provide stunning views, but there are also chances of hiking mishaps such as falls, fractures, or sprains.
These accidents can happen at any time, and it is essential to be prepared for them. One of the best ways to protect yourself while trekking is by purchasing travel insurance.
Travel insurance can be a lifesaver in case of an accident. Travel insurance policies often cover medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and other unforeseen circumstances.
By purchasing travel insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are protected against potential financial losses.
In addition to hiking mishaps, natural calamities such as floods, landslides, and avalanches can occur anytime. These disasters can be extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause significant harm to trekkers.
Furthermore, there are chances of trip cancellation due to adverse weather conditions, political instability, or health concerns. By purchasing travel insurance, you can protect yourself against these potential financial losses.
Another hazard associated with trekking in Nepal is the chance of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). AMS occurs when the body is unable to adjust to high altitudes, and symptoms can range from mild to severe.
In some cases, emergency evacuation might be necessary, which can be very expensive. However, if you have travel insurance, it may cover the cost of emergency evacuation.
In conclusion, if you are planning to trek to Nepal, it is a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers the hazards mentioned above.
5. Carry cash in local currency
While credit cards are accepted at major points on the Everest and Annapurna trails, it is still recommended that trekkers carry cash with them.
Carrying cash is essential as it can come in handy in remote areas where there might not be access to ATMs or credit card machines. Furthermore, it is essential to have cash on hand to pay for food, accommodation, and other necessary expenses while trekking.
To ensure that you have access to the local currency, it is advisable to exchange your money in cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. These cities offer better exchange rates compared to the mountains, where the rates might not be favorable to you. It is recommended that you exchange your money at authorized money exchange centers to avoid any scams or counterfeit currency.
While trekking, it is important to have enough cash with you as there might not be any opportunities to withdraw money. It is recommended that you keep your cash in a safe and secure place, such as a money belt, and carry only the required amount with you at all times.
6. Stay Hydrated
As you trek to higher altitudes, the air gets thinner and drier, causing you to dehydrate more quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while trekking in the mountains. The recommended amount of water to drink per day is approximately 3 to 4 liters.
Drinking enough water also helps in the acclimatization process, which is crucial for your body to adapt to higher altitudes. It helps to reduce the risk of altitude sickness, which can be potentially dangerous and even fatal in severe cases.
While trekking in Nepal, you can easily buy bottled water at major trekking trails. Alternatively, you can carry a portable water filter such as the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter and purify the water yourself.
7. Walk at steady pace
When trekking, it is advisable to walk at a steady pace. Walking too fast can lead to fatigue, which can drain your energy and tire your muscles. Therefore, it is recommended to walk at a comfortable pace that will keep your heart rate steady.
It is also essential to find your own rhythm and walking speed that you can sustain for hours. This will help you conserve your energy and prevent burnout.
It is also important to take breaks in between and continue walking. This will allow your muscles to rest and recover, enabling you to continue your trek without feeling exhausted.
Additionally, taking short steps can help you better leverage your leg muscles, reducing the strain on your body and making your trek more comfortable. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your trek while minimizing the risk of fatigue or injury.
8. Eat vegetarian meals
At higher altitudes, the digestive system can be under pressure due to the decrease in atmospheric pressure. This can cause gas in the digestive system to expand, leading to bloating and discomfort.
Therefore, it is recommended to be mindful of the types of meals that are consumed while trekking. It is best to eat vegetarian meals as they are generally easier to digest compared to non-vegetarian meals such as meat, which contain excess proteins that require more time and energy to digest. This can strain the digestive system, causing further discomfort.
In addition, meat carried from lower regions to higher altitudes might not be hygienic, leading to a higher risk of food poisoning and diarrhea. Alternative protein sources such as soybean chunks, chickpeas, and legumes can be consumed instead.
It is advised to eat meat after the completion of the trek.
9. Have acclimatization days in the itinerary
Acclimatization is an essential part of trekking at high altitudes. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air becomes thinner, and there is less oxygen available to breathe. This decrease in atmospheric pressure at higher elevations can lead to altitude sickness, a condition caused by the lack of oxygen at high elevations.
To prevent altitude sickness, it is necessary to acclimatize to the thin air gradually. Acclimatization allows your body to adapt to the lower oxygen levels and adjust to the changes in atmospheric pressure. Without proper acclimatization, there is a higher chance of developing altitude sickness.
Trekking to higher altitudes without proper acclimatization can lead to serious and life-threatening illness. It is crucial to follow trek itineraries that include acclimatization days. For example, the Everest Base Camp trek itinerary has at least two acclimatization days built into the schedule.
It is important not to remove acclimatization days from the itinerary to make the trek shorter. Skipping acclimatization days can increase the risk of altitude sickness and other serious health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize acclimatization to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
10. Buy trekking gears in Nepal
If you’re planning to go trekking in Nepal, you don’t necessarily need to bring all of your trekking gear with you. Buying your gear in Nepal can be a practical and cost-effective option, and it also helps you pack lighter for your trip.
Another advantage of buying trekking gear in Nepal is that you can find a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest gear available or high-end equipment, you can find it all here. This makes it easy to find the gear that fits your needs and budget.
In addition to buying gear, you can also rent items like sleeping bags and down jackets. This is a great option if you don’t want to invest in expensive gear or if you’re short on space in your luggage.