Nepal is a trekking heaven, and so many people go here to do nothing else. If you plan to go trekking during your vacation, make sure you prepare physically for it, especially if you are going for the more strenuous routes. If you have limited trekking experience, it is recommended that you stick to the less challenging trails. The following are some things you need to know before you go trekking in Nepal.
First, never trek alone. Trekking on your own may sound like a lot of adventure but it is not advised. Even if you plan to go to the popular trekking areas where you will probably run into different groups of trekkers every now and then, it is still best that you trek with someone or with a group. Mishaps do happen along the trail, so as a safety precaution, don’t go up the mountain alone. If you are on your own, tag along with other trekkers you see along the trail.
Second, hiring a guide can do you a lot of good especially if it’s your first time to go trekking in Nepal. You will benefit greatly from their experience and familiarity with the area. There’s a difference between a guide and a porter. A guide can take you through the trail while a porter basically just helps you carry your stuff. The average rate of guides is $5 to $6 a day while that of porters is $2 to $3 a day.
Some hotels and travel agencies can help you find a guide or a porter. If you decide to hire either when you go trekking in Nepal, be reminded that they become your responsibility. You must make sure that they are properly clothed and fed during the trek. You must also provide them with the necessary gear. Some porters hire themselves out to earn money but are unaware of possible health risks they might face in high altitudes.
Third, make sure you have obtained the necessary trekking permits. Most trekking routes in Nepal require a permit before you can enter. You can get trekking permits from the Department of Immigration, which has offices in Pokhara and Kathmandu. To get the permits, you need to pay a small fee, provide two passport-sized photos, and present your visa. There are different categories of permits for various activities so pay careful attention when you are getting yours.
Fourth, have a checklist of the things you need to bring along the trek. If you are a first time trekker, reading guidebooks on trekking will give you an idea of the things you need. Some of the basic things you should bring include a pocket knife, compass, insect repellent, and a radio for communication. An altimeter will also help so you can track your altitude. Don’t forget a first aid kid. You will need sturdy trekking shoes and clothes that will keep you warm especially at night when temperatures drop.
Trekking in Nepal can give you an experience of a lifetime. Sound knowledge about the things you need for this activity and adequate preparation ensure your safety.