Trekking in Nepal is an awesome adventure. Filled with magnificent peaks of the world, Nepal is undoubtedly the best destination for adventure and trekking. Nepal offers variety of treks serving different needs of various adventurers from a beginner to a professional trekker. If you are ready for the adventure of walking in the beautiful and have an open mind to different cultures, you will definitely enjoy trekking in Nepal. If you are preparing to make your dream of trekking in Nepal into reality, then these tips will help you prepare for the very first trek in Nepal.
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1. Start off easy
It may sound exotic to do days long trek in the foothill of Nepal but if this is your first time tackling the Nepalese hills, then it’s best to start off easy. It is great to do some short, low altitude treks before conquering the more challenging longer trekking routes. The easy treks will familiarize you with uphill and downhill of the Nepali hills. Don’t feel that you will miss a lot by choosing the easier treks because even the easy treks in Nepal are full of beautiful landscape, farmland and spectacular mountain vista.
2. Use a trekking agency or go independent?
It is good to have a support of a reliable trekking agency. Trekking agency will be of great help if you are trekking for the first time. Trekking agency will arrange everything for you and help you adjust to this new country. It will provide a support team of porters and good English speaking guides to assist you with the trekking. A good guide will not only be your new friend in a foreign land, but will also facilitate logistics during the trek. He will help you have an insightful adventure by taking you to the lesser known and seldom visited areas, and give you information that your guidebook missed. Having a reliable trekking agency to help you plan your first trekking trip in Nepal is definitely a good idea for a first timer.
3. Luxuries of the cities are out of your reach
It is good to mentally prepare yourself not only for the physical activities, but also the seclusion from the worldly luxuries. Although the accommodation in the main cities and the nearby areas are quite good and offers standard quality services, same cannot be said for the lodges in the villages. The tea houses and the lodges of the villages are simple and have minimum facilities compared to the western standard. Food is cooked by the local villagers rather than the professional chef and the menu is very limited. Eastern squat toilets are very common as you travel away from the main cities. It is good to carry your own sleeping bags, even in the tea house trekking. Morning and the evenings can be very cold in the mountains. So prepare yourself well with warm layered clothing. Do not expect to take shower every day and warm water may not be available in the remote village lodges. The food gets expensive as you move to more remote and higher altitude.
Do not let these difficulties discourage you to enjoy this wonderful experience. Have a positive attitude and take these challenges as an adventure. You will definitely enjoy more once you start ignoring these little discomforts and relishing the hospitability of the simple villagers and beautiful atmosphere.
4. Listen to your body
Not many of us are trained to walk in the mountains for days in a row. Regardless of the physical fitness, age and sex, you will have a risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) while travelling to higher altitude. Learn about Altitude sickness and take precautions to avoid it if you are travelling over 2500 meters. Watch out for the symptoms of the AMS and treat it promptly. It is very important to realize that this is your vacation, and you are here to enjoy it. Forget the days when you had to run to catch the train and don’t treat the trek like a race. Take slow steps and listen to your body. It is ok to sit and relax as much as your body asks you to. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries around you and walk in your pace.
5. Don’t buy, rent!
If you are not a regular hiker and do not have all your hiking gears, you should know that there is an option to rent some of your gears in the main cities. Renting allows you to simply return items that you may never use again after trek is over. The renting option will help you save lots of money.
6. Other helpful trekking hacks
- Bring plenty of passport sized photos for your visa and trekking permits.
- Remember to trek in a comfortable boots that has been broken in for a week or two.
- Dress modestly in the villages to avoid offending the local culture and customs.
- Learn few Nepali words to quickly connect with locals.
- Wake up early to view sunrise, because no one does a sunrise right like Nepal.
- Bring extra memory cards and batteries for your camera. Charging points are very rare in the mountains and you do not want to miss out the photogenic mountains.
- The mountains are usually a Wi-Fi free zone where communication with family and friends back home may be hindered. Get a cell phone and a Nepali connection to it. It may be hard to get network signal in the remote areas. But when you get the signal, you will be glad that you have your cell phone with you.
- Don’t forget your medical kit with all the necessity medical supplies.
- Are you confused what to take and what not to take for trekking ? Here is the list of things to pack for trekking in Nepal
By following the above mentioned things, you will be able to have a fun, adventurous and memorable trekking experience in Nepal.