Having the best trekking routes in the world, to and around several mountains including Mt. Everest -the highest mountain in the world, Nepal is considered as a trekkers’ paradise. Most treks go through altitudes between 1,000 and 4,000 m, while some popular parts reach over 5,000 m. A well-organized trekking may provide a special opportunity to walk through Rhododendrons blooming forest or explore lively culture in Nepal. Similarly, one may stumble across the number of interesting events, nature and lifestyle during the period of the trekking.
Traditionally, the most popular trekking routes have been the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions. But now, the Dolpo in northwest and Kanchanjungha in the eastern Nepal are gaining as new popular destinations. Recently, the government has developed a number of heritage trails in different parts of the country and for those with the time and the stamina, there is ‘The Great Himalayan Trail’ that stretches 1,700 km east to west in the Himalayan region – a trek that will take months to accomplish.
All trekkers, whether be Free Individual Trekkers (FITS) or those who take the service of government authorized trekking agencies, are required to obtain the TIMS card before embarking on their trip. The provision of Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) came into effect on January, 2008. Since then, the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) started recording trekkers’ details and began issuing TIMS card to trekkers. To trek in protected areas, one must acquire the entry permit by paying Entry Fees to enter the particular National Park or Protected Area.
Trekking can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. Nepal, being a mountainous country, is more appropriate to think in terms of hour(s) spent on walking, rather than the miles covered; this is what we use in our grading system. A typical day’s walk lasts from 5 to 7 hrs and involves a number of ascents and descents.
It involves trekking to altitudes around 3500m or less; it is relatively easy walking around 5 hrs/ 15 km per day, with occasional longer walks. These treks can be enjoyed by anyone who lives a reasonably active life.
Grade: Moderate Easy
It involves some longer walks to altitudes around 4000m or less; walking around 6 hrs/ 20 km a day. Some previous hill-walking experience is desirable. Moderate Easy may be described as mild to moderate.
It involves moderate trekking to altitudes of 2000m to 4000m for up to 6hrs/ 25 km per day, sometimes including excursions or pass crossing up to 5000m.
Grade: Moderate Hard
It involves strenuous trekking to altitudes predominantly above 3500m with excursions and pass crossing of between 5000m and 6000m.
It requires a high level of fitness and experience. There will be ice axes, crampons, and in some cases, ropes are used. Climbs, however, are non-technical. The altitude would be predominantly above 4000m with quite a few nights above 5000m. Some climbing experience and elementary knowledge of the use of crampons and ice axe are essential.
Choosing your Trek:
There are two main styles of treks common in Nepal – Teahouse Treks and fully organized Camping Treks.
Teahouse Treks are possible on popular routes including Annapurna Circuit, Langtang and Everest. These involve meals and overnight stays in modest accommodation at teahouses and lodges along the route. You are accompanied by a guide who leads the trek and porters who carry luggage and equipment.
Fully Organized Camping Treks
Camping Treks allow you to venture into places untouched by mass tourism and to set your own pace. All food and camping equipment is taken with us, along with guides, cooks and porters to take care of all the logistical details, set up camp and prepare delicious meals.
You must remember that to trek is, above all, to walk and that even if you reach very high altitudes, it is not necessary to carry any specialized mountaineering equipment. However, neither it is advisable to go under-equipped wearing only a sweater and pair of sneakers.
For Low and Moderate Altitude Trekking
• Sleeping bag
• Water bottle
• Torchlight (plus spare bulb and batteries)
• Multi-purpose knife
• Survival blanket
• Lighter or matches/candles
• Toilet paper
• Sewing kit
• Medical and first-aid kit
• Waterproof wallet
• Walking stick
• Lip guard • Day bag
• Hiking shirts and pants
• Jumper or pile jacket
• Polar jacket or sweater
• Waterproof jacket
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Polypropylene/woolen socks
• Trekking shoes/boots
• Camp shoes
For High Altitude Trekking (Above 4,000 m)
• Light cotton socks for under wool socks
• Woolen socks to wear with boots
• Mountain trekking boots
• Insulated pants
• Nylon wind jacket • Nylon wind pant
• Thermal wears
• Woolen hat
• Snow gaiters