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A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TREKKING IN NEPAL

written by: Kanti Khadka   |   Feb 27, 2020   |   207 views

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TREKKING IN NEPAL

Nepal is a tiny landlocked country with mountains on almost every backdrop. Nepal is a complete package of passages, off the beaten tracks, and a journey into another world and time, for which you’d need to be extremely fit to tackle it. Part of the appeal in this tiny country is the 14 mountain peaks which are above 8,000 meters and several climbing peaks that are above 6000 meters.

Actually, there are plenty of options to trek in Nepal solo, in a tour group or with your family. Budget, an issue for you? Just steer clear of the luxury options.

You can also simply search for the related tour packages on our Website to get detailed information about cost and itineraries.

Best Time to Trek in Nepal

Ghandruk village Trek

In fact, you can trek in Nepal all year, however, most trekkers pick between the two major trekking periods of fall and spring. On the off chance that it's your first time trekking in Nepal, we suggest visiting during one of these peak seasons. The path will be extensively packed, yet the advantages will, in general, be justified, despite all the trouble.

Fall (October - November): This is the most mainstream trekking season in Nepal. During this time you'll have the most obvious opportunity for clear mountains, bright skies, gentle temperatures, and perfect weather window. The drawback is that you'll be offering the path to crowds of sightseers and teahouses will knock, particularly along the most mainstream trails.

Some popular treks in this season include:

  • Everest base camp trek
  • Annapurna circuit trek
  • Langtang valley trek
  • Manaslu trek
  • Mustang
  • Manang
  • Dolpo

Spring (March - April): Spring is the second most well-known season to trek in Nepal. As the snowpack softens on high mountain passes, rhododendron trees blossom over the slopes of Nepal. Temperatures are commonly mellow this season and it's a decent time to view natural life as well. The two fundamental drawbacks to spring climbing are the occupied path and the probability of dim skies, which can cloud mountain sees. So, dim skies will, in general, be less of an issue as you move in height.

Trekking trails perfect for this season are:

  • Annapurna region
  • Everest region
  • Langtang region
  • Kanchenjunga trekking

Off-Peak Season

Trekking outside the peak seasons in Nepal can be compensating also. Isolation is simpler to discover, costs are less expensive, and you can get to know local people easily. All things considered, there are noteworthy drawbacks to trekking outside the pinnacle seasons in Nepal, so don't be too high handed when picking your trekking dates.

Experienced winter trekkers (December - February) can discover bright days and splendid mountains during this season. All things considered, temperatures can be unpleasant cold, sunlight hours are shorter, and unforgiving winter can upset sightseeing plans with small notice. Likewise, numerous mainstream trails won't be open during this season because of substantial snowfall at high heights.

Some of the places you can trek in this season are:

  • Ghandruk Ghorepani Trek
  • Namche Bazaar Trek
  • Kyangjin Gompa Trek
  • The Annapurna Base camp trek
  • Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Trekking during monsoon months (May - September) isn't typically opted for. During monsoon, downpours bring landslides and floods in Nepal. It makes mountain travel extremely troublesome (if not hazardous) and the last is simply gross and unpleasant. The climate can likewise be hot and humid this season and the mountains are frequently covered in clouds.

Trekking Solo or With a Guide

Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

If a particular trek requires a guide there really is no way around it, you must use a guide and porter in order to undertake the hike.

Guided Trekking Pros

All pre-trip details handled (permits, fees, etc.)

  •             All transportation arranged (bus, plane, jeep, etc.)
  •             You don't have to worry much about things like lodging, route, schedule, etc.
  •             The safety and guidance while trekking
  •             Local information on religion, culture, food, etc.

Independent Trekking Pros

  •             Can be much less expensive
  •             Hike on your own schedule
  •             More direct interaction with locals
  •             You get more choice on places to stay and eat(although guides know the best spot)
  •             You don't have to deal with groups, it will be just the route and you.

Guide and Porter in Nepal

Your guide is a good source of information on local culture, customs, festivals, and norms. The guides can be your lifelong friend as well as they are a useful source of information on the trail. Porters have an absolutely backbreaking job, so please don’t make it any harder on them.

Guides and porters are very common in Nepal (though not always mandatory) and the prices are quite competitive. Generally, the porter costs around $10-$15 per day and the guide will cost around $25-$30. As the porter will carry your heavy gear, you only have to trek with your small daypack.

Group or solo Trekking in Nepal

Lobuche Peak Climbing

As most of the trekking agencies offer group packages for popular trails, there may be disadvantages in traveling in a large group, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign up. Many trekkers prefer hiking in small groups or with a personal guide.

Difficulty While Trekking in Nepal

Practically, five factors affect the difficulty level of a destination.

  • The total duration of the trek.
  • The duration of stay at high altitude (+3000m).
  • The maximum difference in altitude per day.
  • The condition of the terrain.
  • The average duration of the daily stages.
  • Range of extreme temperature

The statistical-based classification of treks according to the difficulty ranges are given below:

Easy

Easy treks are the treks that require 6-7 hrs of walking on an average and are below 4000 meters fall under this category. Such treks can be easily completed by an averagely fit person. These treks mostly extend up to 7-16 days.

Moderate

These include difficult treks. The trails can be rough and it needs you to be fit. You are requested no to participate in case you suffer from asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease or any other such complicated medical condition.  The journey mostly lasts for 20 days or more and the altitude rises above 5000 meters.

Strenuous

These trails are extremely demanding. Most of them are in restricted areas. The area may be composed of high terrain. The altitude can rise up to 6,461m/21,192ft. You should have a basic knowledge of mountaineering. They should be familiar with the use of crampons and ice axes. You will need your medical certificate to be accepted on any climbing treks.

Trekking With Local Agency

Trekking with Local Agency

It is better to contact reliable agencies for the trekking holidays if you are planning to trek in Nepal. You will be provided with the experienced porters and professional guides to carry your goods and to make necessary arrangements such as food, accommodation, flights, ground transfers, and paper works for you.

If you are having trouble choosing the right local agency for your trek, here take help from our blog on choosing the right tour operators in Nepal.

Food and Water While Trekking in Nepal

Teahouse food options are generally simple but sufficient. Menus are roughly similar to the most teahouses with the Dal Bhat as a hearty and delicious staple. You will also most commonly find rice dishes, soups, pizzas, momos (dumplings), pasta, and in a few places yak steak and apple pie. A home-cooked warm meal is always a nice treat at the end of a long trekking day.

Although teahouse menus are always similar, the prices increase as you move farther away from cities. Most supplies must be carried by yak or donkey to remote locations, due to which food supplies experience the increase in cost. It’s also always a good idea to carry snacks when hiking between villages and on long trekking days.

Note: If you book a trip through a trekking agency, make sure to talk about food costs earlier. Most companies will give you two options:

1) Your trek package will cover all food costs on your trip or

2) You pay for meals as you go.

The first option is easier because you don’t have to hike with lots of cash and handle money throughout the day. The second option can be much cheaper, as you’ll only pay for exactly what you order.

Water

It’s important to use a water treatment plan before you trek in Nepal. Water is usually easily accessible, but you should purify it first for safety. There are several water treatment options such as water treatment pills, UV sterilizers, and water filters. Bottled water is easily accessible at the teahouses, but considering ethical tourism this option is an eco-unfriendly strategy that will greatly increase cost and waste during your trip.

Know More About Ethical Trekking

While trekking, it is highly recommended to carry at least 1-2 liters of water most preferable a reusable water bottle which can be filled up often. Remaining adequately hydrated is essential while trekking and it becomes increasingly important as you head towards higher elevation in order to avoid altitude sickness.

Accommodation While Trekking in Nepal

There are several accommodation choices available while trekking in Nepal. Among them Tea houses are the most popular thus, trekking in Nepal is also known as Teahouse trekking. Tea houses provide accommodation along the popular trails. They are the small mountain lodges.

On almost all the trails in the Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu, and Langtang regions you are most likely to pass a teahouse every hour or two. These accommodation facilities are a great place to eat a home-cooked meal, meet other travelers, warm your toes by the fire, and rest for the night.

On a teahouse trek in Nepal, you will sleep in one of these lodges every night including every meal. Accommodations are usually simple, comfortable, and very affordable. Most tea houses are cheap and cost around $3-5 per night and can be booked upon arrival. The one and only major practice while staying in a teahouse are that you are expected to eat meals wherever you stay. Snacks, candy, hot showers, beer, and sometimes even halfway decent Wi-Fi are available in a Teahouse.

For those intending to hike in Nepal’s more remote areas, camping treks are arranged through most trekking agencies in Kathmandu. This option adds cost and complexity but could lead to a unique and rewarding trek. Mostly camping treks are not that popular, furthermore, camping won’t be necessary on any teahouse trekking route. But Depending upon the trek package, trekking and camping can be combined.

Popular Trekking Routes in Nepal

Langtang Valley Trek

There are hundreds of trekking routes in Nepal each equally unique and mesmerizing. It would be impossible to list all the trails in Nepal. Instead, here is a list of a few most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. Teahouse trekking routes in Nepal are all exceptional hikes and a great place to begin your first foray into the trekking world.

Everest Base Camp

                14-16 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Everest Three High Passes

                18-20 days

                Difficulty: Difficult

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Annapurna Circuit

                12-16 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Annapurna Base Camp

                7-10 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Langtang Valley

                7-9 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Manaslu Circuit

                16-18 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Gokyo Lakes

                10-12 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

                Best Time: March-April & October-November

Upper Mustang

                10-12 Days

                Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

                Best Time: May-October

Poon Hill

               4-5 Days

               Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

               Best Time: March-April & October-November

Permits Required While Trekking in Nepal

The following permits are required to trek in Nepal. You will need to provide various documents including proof of travel insurance, photocopy of your passport and two passport-sized photos.

  1. Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) permit– designed so that the government can keep track of trekkers and respond to emergencies. Green cards are given for independent trekkers and cost $20 while blue cards are for groups and cost $10.
  2. National Park permits – for trekking in 12 different national parks in Nepal, including Sagarmatha, Makalu and Langtang National Parks.
  3. Conservation Area permits – for trekking in six different conservation areas including the Annapurna, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu Conservation Areas.
  4. Restricted Area Permits (RAP) – in these areas you must have a Nepali guide and be trekking as a team of two or more people. Restricted areas include Mustang, Dolpo, and Manaslu. The price may range from $10 per week to $500 per week for the first 10 days trekking in Dolpa.
  5. You used to buy a TIMS card and permits from the Nepal Tourism Board Offices in Kathmandu or Pokhara, on the last visit we had to buy the TIMS on the trek, just past Lukla. Nepal government has initiated this rule to keep the money where it belongs. These regulations change constantly. You can get more information from the trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) regarding the permits and fees for RAPs.

 

Take a look at the full list of fees for the Conservation area and National park permits in Nepal.

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance if you plan to trek in Nepal. In fact, one mustn't trek in Nepal without it. Most trekking locations in Nepal are very remote, so if something goes wrong, it’s likely you will need emergency evacuation, and in the absence of Travel insurance, it can get insanely expensive.

You must make sure to buy a plan that will cover high altitude trekking and helicopter evacuation in Nepal while choosing travel insurance. World Nomads are famous for travel insurance. Their coverage is excellent as well the rates are reasonable in addition the communication with them is easy.

Post-Earthquake conditions

Most of the trails have been fully repaired while some signs of devastations are still there. The accommodations are plentiful as well as safe along popular routes.

Transportation

After landing at TIA, many visitors like to go sightseeing in Kathmandu valley after having rest and plan for the trek and make last-minute hiking preparation. Generally, transportation around Nepal is a little slow. There may be unexpected delays, canceled flights, and long bus rides. So, make sure to have some buffer days for yourself while planning the trip and embrace the adventure.

Things to Consider while Trekking in Nepal

While trekking in the Himalayas, many things are necessary to take care. Some of them are as follows:

Health Care

Drink plenty of water. Plenty of water avoids becoming dehydrated. Take care of your health. If you walk fast and gain high altitude fast, then you will be the sickness of altitude. So walk gently and take acclimatization time.

Don’t eat meat items more. You may feel uncomfortable with digestion. It’s better to eat fresh and healthy food during the trek. Reduce alcoholic drinks. Arrange the first aid box with basic medicine. Keep the bandage and some tablets with you in case you have a headache or injury during the trek.

Personal Belongings

Your personal goods must be well taken care of. Keep your belongings with you. Try to make your backpack light. You must have some common things like personal hygiene goods, lights, chargers, cameras, umbrellas, rain jackets, hiking boots, walking boots, sleeping bag, poles, and lightweight bag. So be smart, keep a few things, and necessary things.

Emergency Support and Contact

During your trekking holiday, if you have a problem with health and accidental case. In these conditions, you will need emergency support. So, be prepared on whom to contact, and how to contact, before you start trekking. Emergency helicopter rescue is compulsory in case of emergency while trekking in high altitude.

Remember Swotah Travel and Adventure for your trekking and tour partner.


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