Frequently Asked Questions About Trekking in Nepal
How fit do I need to be?
Trekking is not as difficult as you might think. Chances are that if you are considering trekking in the first place, then you are fit enough to trek. You should be able to walk for 6 -7 hours in a day, including sustained and steep uphill sections as well as long down-hill parts. But, you can move at your own pace and rest often. The first day may be difficult as you find your trekking legs, but you will quickly get used to days spent walking throughout the spectacular landscape.
Do I need a guide to go trekking?
A guide is not mandatory to go trekking in Nepal. The routes are well maintained and usually well marked. A guide however, will certainly improve the experience without adding that much to the cost. With a guide, you can take your mind off of the route, the accommodations, the meals, and anything else you would otherwise need to sort out yourself. I have seen many self-supported trekkers wander into a village to sleep at night, only to find all of the tea housed booked in advance by the guided trekkers. In addition, you will undoubtedly learn something from your guide about Nepal and the area. If you still aren't convinced of the benefits of a guide, then remember that Karma is strong in a country like Nepal, and giving honest work to a deserving Nepalese guide can only be a good thing.
Do the guides speak English?
Yes, and they are licensed trekking guides who know the area and know how to run a successful trek with foreign customers.
When is the best time to trek?
There are two trekking seasons in Nepal: March until June and September until November. The remaining months are either during the monsoons and too wet to trek, or in the heart of winter, and too cold/snowy. Nepal is in the Northern Hemisphere, so the seasons are the same as North America and Europe. When the temperatures begin to signal a change of seasons in North America or Europe, then you can bet that the same is happening in Nepal. Therefore, March and November can be cold with chances of snow, while June and September can still be rainy or muggy.
Do I need a porter?
I recommend a guide to get the most out of trekking in Nepal, but you do not need a porter. You can cary your own gear for all of the treks offered.
What is a porter?
A porter is a hired helper who will carry your gear for you on the trek. They will gladly take up to 20Kg on any length trek and if the price is right, they can take more. Don't feel bad for the porters, as it is a good-paying job in Nepal and they are stronger than you anyway.
Where do we sleep each night?
On all of the standard treks offered, you will stay each nigh in a 'tea-house' or 'mountain lodge.' These are just Nepali hotels along the trekking routes. Some are nicer than others, but you can always expect a bed and a hot meal. Beyond the basics, your guide will know the lodges that also offer hot showers and internet.
Should I worry about altitude sickness?
Every individual is affected differently by higher altitudes. For the most part, you time will be spent under 3,500 meters (131,482 feet), but depending on your route, you could get up to 5,416 meters (17,769 feet). Just trust that your guide will allow for the correct acclimatization time and be able to recognize and treat symptoms of altitude sickness.
What do we eat on the trek?
You will be surprised with the food options available to you while trekking. The tea houses where you sleep and stop to eat will all offer a similar but large menu. The staple Nepali food is Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup, curry/cooked veggies, and pickles), but you can also always find noodle dishes, potato dishes, pizza, Indian food, Chinese options, and assorted warm and cold drinks. The higher you get into the mountains, the more you should stick to the typical Nepali foods, but in the popular trekker villages and anywhere with road access, you can be confident that the food will be good.
Can I buy trekking gear in Nepal?
Yes, in Nepal you can find an imitation version of any piece of outdoor gear "The North Face' written on it. This gear is cheap and does not come with a warranty, but it will all get the job done for a few weeks and sometimes you can't tell the difference between the real brand-name gear and the fake stuff. You can even rent imitation down sleeping bags for about $1 per day that are perfect for trekking. If you are gonna buy one well-made item and bring it from back home, make a good pair of shoes.
What if I get hurt or sick while trekking?
The trekking routes are all well-trafficked, so major accidents are reported and dealt with in a timely manner. Helicopters will fly rescue missions if the situation warrants. Otherwise your guide will be trained in basic first aide and always know the safest and quickest way off of the trek and to civilization/safety. If you are just too sick to continue walking, then it is always an option to turn back and recover in the comforts of a city hotel room. If you have to cut the trekking time short due to illness or injury, then be aware that a refund will not be issued. No refund will be offered if you are unable to complete the trek due to physical fitness. For these reasons, Adventurelocals always recommends traveling with travel insurance. We prefer policies from World Nomads that specifically cover travel for trekking and other adventures. Click here for more travel insurance info.
Where is Nepal?
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