FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are the frequently asked questions by Visitors and here we’ve tried to write up a comprehensive list of answers to questions. Before making us a general inquiry please read this page carefully along with our trekking, travelling, photography information on this pages and saves the time.
HOW FIT DO I HAVE TO BE FOR A TREK ?
You need not have any special fitness level but you should be able to walk for 5 to 6 hours on moderate trails. Practicing jogging, swimming or tread mill excercises about one or two months before your trek may help you enough. Assessing your personal fitness is quite subjective, but we've made it as easy as possible to choose your level by giving each trip. Grades range from Easy to Moderate to Strenuous and Tough. We've assessed each trek on the number of hours walking each day and the amount of ascent and descent, also taking into account factors like the terrain, altitude and likely weather conditions. On lots of trips you can walk at your own pace, as guides walkers of all speeds. Occasionally for safety reasons the leader might pull the group together.
WHAT DO I NEED TO CARRY?
On nearly all our treks your luggage is transported for you from one overnight stop to the next (by vehicle, porter, mule, even camel) so all you need to carry is what you need during the day, for example water bottle, camera, extra clothing, sun-cream and a small personal first aid kit. We recommend a 15 to 25 litre day pack for most of our trips and a slightly larger pack for the handful of treks where you need to carry gear for an overnight stay.
WHAT ABOUT TENT, SLEEPING BAGS AND MATTS
On some treks they are provided and on others they're not: please see individual trip notes for details. If using your own sleeping bag we suggest you play safe and bring a warmer bag than you think you need: better to be too warm than too cold. A sleeping bag liner adds warmth too. The most effective mattresses are self-inflating air mattresses (Thermarest or similar) and a lightweight self-inflating pillow can also help you sleep more comfortably.
WHAT ABOUT A FIRST AID KIT?
Your tour leader will carry a comprehensive first aid kit. This is intended for emergencies only, so you'll need a small personal kit of your own to deal with any cuts, scrapes or blisters you may pick up along the way. The more remote your trek the more comprehensive your personal first aid kit should be.
WHERE CAN I BUY EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING?
We suggest Quechua Travel for their comprehensive range of clothing and equipment for walkers and trekkers. If you live close to any of stores you may prefer to visit them in person and try out the equipment or clothing beforehand.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET FIT FOR A TREK?
The best way to train for a trek is to spend plenty of time beforehand simply walking. Ideally try to walk similar distances and ascents to those you'll experience on the trek itself. Aerobic training at the gym helps too, but there's no substitute for simply walking for several hours at a stretch. It's also a good opportunity to check out all your trekking equipment, clothing and footwear – to make sure it's all comfortable and works OK.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
You'll need to check the trip notes for each trip individually to see what specific equipment we recommend. The equipment list will vary according to the likely weather conditions, the trekking terrain and whether you're camping or not.
WHAT IS A TEA HOUSE TREK?
Tea Houses are local lodges where you get to eat and sleep during your trek. There are plenty of tea houses across all the trekking routes in Nepal. A tea house trek means that you get to stop and rest each day at a tea house during your trekking period. Unlike camping treks you don’t have to carry food, tents and other items during a tea house trek.
HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR TREKKING AT ALTITUDE?
There's no other way to prepare for altitude than to acclimatise slowly. Our trek itineraries have been carefully planned to allow for gradual acclimatisation once we climb above 3,000 metres. Altitude sickness can affect the fittest trekkers just as easily as the less fit. Once on trek the main recommendation is to keep your fluid intake up and stay hydrated. As a precaution on our highest treks we carry emergency oxygen cylinders and a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC).
HOW DIFFICULT ARE THE TREKS ?
The difficulty of our treks depends on where you want to trek and how long you want to go. The shorter Treks tend to be easier while the longer ones require some physical fitness. Be prepared for some steep trails leading to amazing views. The pace at which you hike is up to you. We have friendly and dependable porters to assist you with your personal gear so you just carry a day pack.
WHAT IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
Altitude sickness is also known as Acute Mountain Sickness which generally occurs when people ascend too quickly in altitudes of over 3000 m. It is fairly common that most people will feel shortness of breath, affect of altitude and possible light headed. It is quite different and normally involves sickness, severe headache and loss of awareness. To ensure minimal risk, you can either take enough rest or descend to a lower altitude.
WHAT TYPE OF SHOES SHOULD I HAVE?
For shorter treks comfortable tennis shoes or snickers is enough while longer treks require carefully chosen hiking boots which should be kind of strong, well-made but light boots. Shoes and boots are best to buy before arriving in Nepal. Proper fit is a must for boots and we advise you to wear your new shoes for sometime before trek for your feet to feel absolutely comfortable during trekking.
HOW MANY HOURS WILL I NEED TO WALK?
For many of the trekking areas you need to walk at least 4hrs before lunch break and 5hrs after lunch. Sometime you need to walk 8-9hrs per day when you are doing a Tea House trek, for you are fully dependent upon trailside lodges and inns for accommodation and other provisions. In case of a Full Catered Camping Trek it is up to you how far you want to walk each day, you are not governed by particular destination. You have all the provisions carried along by our porters and other trekking crews.
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD NEED ON THE TREK?
Almost every tea house serves the traditional Nepali meal Dal Bhat (rice and curried lentils). All tea houses we stay at have a variety of different foods on the menu including noodles, rice, potatoes, vegetables and soup. Some have Nepali versions of western food such as pizza, lasagnia, pasta etc. Sodas and beer are available at most of the tea houses and of course tea and coffee is served everywhere.
TEA HOUSE TREK OR CAMPING TREK?
Different types of treks available in mountains like :
- Tea House Trek: Along the popular trekking routes as such Everest, Annapurna and Langtang region, there are lots of trail-side lodges and inns where we can take food and stay overnight in lodges and inns. We are not equipped with camping gear. We take along with us the apparel that we need during the trek - cameras, medical kits, and other things of a personal nature. A guide and a porter or two accompany you. In Nepal it is hard to find yourself in complete wilderness until you are above 4,000m (12,000ft). Still, you will sometimes encounter taut nomad people during summer when they herd highland-cattle for grazing.
- Camping Trek: You're fully catered for camping. All the camping gear including foodstuff, tents, sleeping bags, medical kits and other relevant stuff will be carried along the trek by our porters and packed animals. We pitch the camp on marshland or where is the most suitable and eat the food that our trained cooks prepare. You will be accompanied by a guide, Sherpas, cooks, porters and sometime packed animals.
TYPE OF FOOD AVAILABLE DURING TREK?
During the trek our cook will serve you with local food such as Dal Bhat (rice and lentils) along with vegetables and tinned products or momos (vegetable dumplings), noodles etc. Good breakfast compromising of cornflakes, porridge, toast, eggs, sausegaes, mashed potaoes etc. will be served. Our cook and staffs are well trained, so we know well what to serve you during the trek. We will also ask you for your like and special need and will try all our best to arrage it if it within our reach. You will be served varieties of delicious food every day during the treks and tours.
WHAT GEAR DO I NEED?
When you book a trek or climb with us we will send you a complete gear list, indicating what we provide included in the trek :
- cooking, eating equipment
- Twin share Tent, toilet tent
- Sleeping mattress
- Climbing rope, snow stakes
- Sleeping bag, boots
- Personal clothing
- Personal climbing equipment
WHAT ABOUT ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS(AMS)?
Yes, it is certain that if you rapidly gain height you will feel a sort of sickness in high altitude commonly known as Acute Mountain Sickness. But with good planning and common sense it is easily avoided. AMS occurs as the result of a failure to adapt to higher altitudes. Fluids accumulate in between the cells in the body and eventually collect where, unfortunately it can do the most harm in the lungs and brain. As the fluid collects in the lungs, you become breathless more easily while walking and eventually more breathless at rest. A cough begins, initially dry and irritative, but progressing, in its most severe form, to the production of pink, frothy sputum. The person ultimately drowns in this fluid if he/she doesn't descend. This syndrome is referred to as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). When fluid collects in the brain, you develop a headache, loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting. You become increasingly tired and want to lay down and do nothing. As you progress, you develop a problem with your balance and coordination (ataxia). Eventually you lie down and slip into coma. Death is inevitable if you do'ít descend. This syndrome is called High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). HAPE and HACE can occur singly or in combination.
- Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
- High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
IS IT SAFE TO WALK ALONE (SOLO)?
In general, yes, of course. If we think any section should not be walked alone, we say so in the guidebooks. The mountains at any time, and some other areas in autumn are prone to mists – if you plan to walk alone, take a tent so you can shelter if the mist comes down. Do NOT walk in mist or blinding rain. For all mountain routes, near or above the tree-line, we recommend that you check the weather forecast and use a GPS. We also recommend using a GPS or i-phone app on the newer routes until the trail becomes well-used.
WILL I GET LOST?
Undoubtedly. That’s part of the pleasure of walking. Plan your walk, read the book and look at the map and take your time. If you suddenly find yourself without waymarks, retrace your steps to the last mark, check the book and map, and look in a 100m radius. If you don’t find a mark, consider how it could have been destroyed. You’ll soon sort yourself out. Then build a cairn to help the next victim!
SHOULD I HIRE PORTER/GUIDES?
Porters can carry your heavy loads (tents, food, etc) which make your trekking easy and rewarding and cost. Guides can guide you through different places. You can ask a local trekking agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara or your hotelier to find one for you. So, be prepared for it too. You can not trek anymore without a trekking guide anymore after series of incidents involving trekkers disappearing. Make sure you agree upon the wage before hiring them. Also, make sure they have adequate clothes and other things necessary for the trek. You should take full responsibility of their health.
DO I NEED A TREKKING PERMIT?
Trekking permit is required only for the restricted areas like Kanchanjunga, Dolpa and others. It can be easily obtained from Tourism Department by paying the required trekking fees and showing your visa. It is not required in the trekking routes such as Everest, Annapurna and Langtang. Trekking in restricted areas is open for groups only so, you will not get trekking permit if you want to go there individually. You should obtain multiple trekking permits if you want to trek in multiple places.
About the author
Andy Rawat Very passionate about visual design. I'm enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. The point is when I see a sunset, waterfall or something, for a split second it's so great, bcoj a little bit I'm out of my brain. And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.