Trekking in Nepal is a popular adventure. The high Himalayan peaks, beautiful surroundings and serene nature make the trekking experience in Nepal an unparalleled one. Although trekking is a very famous travelling activity, it’s completely different from other treks in many parts of the world. There are a few things that everyone who wants to go trekking in Nepal needs to know beforehand.
The high snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the northern part of the country have given Nepal an extraordinary boost in the natural beauty. Anyone travelling to those majestic mountains cannot remain without being overwhelmed by the charm that those mighty peaks spell upon them. Multiple days of walking through the mountain terrains, deeper into the valleys and past several timeless villages is definitely an adventure that any adventurer would like to go on.
But trekking in Nepal is a high altitude activity that involves walking a lot of up and down the mountains. Unless you are a seasoned trekker who has trekked similar mountainous terrain elsewhere, you will have to be well prepared from different perspectives of adventure. We have prepared a list of few things that if you know them before you plan a trek to Nepal, it will be of great help in understanding what it is like.
Trekking vs. Climbing
Many people seem to have a little confusion between trekking and climbing. When somebody says that they are trekking to the Everest Base Camp, many other people confuse them to be going to the top of the Everest. First of all, you need to be clear, if you want to go trekking in Nepal, that trekking is just walking through the mountain trail without needing to have any technical skills whereas mountaineering is strictly a technical feat. Trekking goes through the region where you can visit different human settlements and can stay in simple lodges, in most of the region whereas climbing is in a single mountain, through the snowy path and sleeping under tents for many weeks extending up to two months.
Wilderness at the Best/Worst!
You will find the extreme form of wilderness while trekking in the mountains whether you like it or not. Although most of the trails that you trek through are well-trodden, the area still is a remote mountainous region deep into the mountain valley. A lot of difficulties and challenges may arise while trekking in the wilderness of mountains. You have to be well prepared for any situation that may come during the adventure trekking. If you like the wilderness at its best, then there is nowhere to experience it like in the mountains of Nepal. Even if the wilderness gives you a chill but you still want to go trekking in Nepal you can go. Either way, you have to stay well-prepared and always expect the unexpected. After all, it’s the wilderness of mountains.
Rugged Mountain Trail Walking
Trekking in Nepal is not a normal trail walking that you may have been familiar with. It’s a real tough adventure walking through rugged mountain trails that meander up and down the mountains along jagged cliffs, river and mountain valleys and solitary areas of the vast landscape. The walking hours may differ every day but you can expect six hours of walking on average throughout the trip. It’s tiring, distressing, discouraging, full of pain, but at the times it’s incredible, motivating to persevere, challenging to your limits, exciting for the experiences and after all fulfilling journey. You have to decide which side you want to go with – the first or the latter. If you want to face all those adverse situations and yet gain an experience of a lifetime, I think, you are ready to go trekking in the mountains of Nepal.
It is not your basic here. Not the basic of your developed country but basic of the remote mountains. What are your expectations about accommodation in the mountains of Nepal if you are planning to go trekking there? Don’t expect anything and don’t complain. Just embrace what comes along. Even if the accommodations are not luxury, they are clean enough. Although you may have to carry a sleeping bag, the beds are good enough to lie down at night and wear off the tiredness of walking whole day. So, before going on a trekking adventure in Nepal, learn to embrace the basic and humble. You will gain an experience that you will cherish.
Learn to Say ‘Dal Bhat’
‘Dal Bhat’ is Nepali staple food. It’s a platter of rice, lentil, vegetables, curry, pickle etc. And you are going to eat a lot of ‘Dal Bhat’ while trekking. Although you will have choices of food from the menu, you will love how ‘Dal Bhat’ power works in the mountains. The carbohydrates, proteins and minerals that this food gives are extraordinary to sustain in the mountains.
Gear Up Properly
Very important point. You are thinking of going to trekking in the wilderness of mountains so you have to have proper trekking gear. Any lack of proper gear may result in giving you troubles on top of challenges. Here are some basic gears that you should get before trekking in Nepal.
- Duffel bags or Rucksack (rugged and waterproof duffels are preferable)
- Daypack (25-30 litres)
- Sleeping bags
- Down Jacket
- T-shirts or Shirts (synthetic t-shirts that absorb sweat are preferred)
- Base layer or thermal inner-wears (synthetic long johns) and mid-layer (additional warm layer woollen sweater, fleece or jacket that can be worn with other layers) clothing
- Waterproof jacket
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Breathable and waterproof Shell Jacket
- Casual clothing
- Climbing/Trekking Pants
- Long Trekking pants
- Hiking shorts for warm weather (not cotton)
- Softshell pants (synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable)
- Hardshell pants (waterproof and breathable, easier to put on over boots without getting undressed)
- Fleece gloves
- Warm mittens and/or gloves
- Liner gloves
- Lightweight Shoes (Running/tennis shoes for camp, around town, etc)
- Trekking Boots (waterproof and broken-in)
- Gaiters (seasonal): To keep snow, mud, dust and rocks out of your hiking boots
- Socks (liner socks, synthetic and heavyweight woollen socks to be worn over liner socks)
- Shade hat
- Warm Wool or synthetic hat
- Glacier glasses with UV protection, side shields and hard-sided storage case
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Neck warmer and Ear Muffs (optional)
- Personal first-aid kit with blister treatment such as moleskin, band-aids, ointment, etc.
- Antibiotic for upper respiratory problems
- Antibiotic for Gastrointestinal problems
- Diamox for acclimatization
- Extra strength Excedrin for altitude-related headaches
- Asthma medication, if any history of such
- Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
- Quick drying towel, toothpaste, brush (preferably biodegradable)
- Wet wipes
- Tissue/toilet roll
- Adjustable trekking poles
- Favourite snack food
- Sleeping bag liner
- Hydration bladder with a drinking tube and tube insulator
- Sunscreen (SPF 40 recommended)
- Lip balm (SPF 20 recommended)
- Water purification tablets or Polar-pure crystals
Know Your Fitness Level
As trekking in Nepal is an activity that goes from moderate to strenuous in challenge level, you have to know what physical condition you are now and what is required to do the desired trekking trip. Go for training; do cardio exercises; hike as often as you can; go to higher elevation if possible and then go on the main trekking adventure in Nepal. You have to have a very good level of fitness to trek in Nepal but no technical skills are required.
Hopefully, the list will be helpful in casting some light on trekking in Nepal before you plan a trip. It’s definitely an experience that you will get only in Nepal and cherish for the lifetime. If you have any questions regarding trekking in the mountains, we would love to answer.
Wish you good luck with the adventure!