Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need previous hiking experience required to go on a trek?
Most treks require a moderate level of fitness, so if you are physically fit and have enough enthusiasm for the trip, previous experience is not required.
How hard our trek will be?
Trekking in the Himalaya region is not a walk in the park, and depending on what sort of trek you are doing and your level of fitness will determine how difficult the trek will be. On average you will be trekking for about six hours per day, some days will be easier and some harder (especially when you are making steep accents). We have given difficulty grading for all of the treks featured on this site so you can get a general idea of the level of fitness required for each experience. Remember that we are highly flexible so if you need to walk for a shorter time or take a rest day along the way at any point, we will be happy to cater for your individual needs.
Will the altitude make me sick?
Air is "thinner" at high altitudes. When you go too high too fast, your body cannot get as much oxygen as it needs. So walking can become more difficult and you may need to breathe faster. This causes the headache and other symptoms of altitude sickness. As your body gets used to the altitude, the symptoms go away.
Experts do not know who will get it and who will not. Neither your fitness level nor being male or female plays a role in whether you get altitude sickness.
What precautions do I need to take for Acute Mountain Sickness (altitude sickness)?
For treks below 4000m, there is little likelihood of developing the symptoms of altitude sickness. Kathmandu rests at an altitude of 1350m and at this altitude there is no likelihood of altitude related sickness. For treks over 4000m we will be advising you well in advance of all necessary precautions you need to take. In most cases this only requires you to bring along the drug Diamox which relieves the symptoms of altitude sickness. Our treks above 4000m do require acclimatization periods. But don’t worry, if any of our tours require acclimatization we have already built this into the itinerary, which comes from a combined experience of 75years and the best medical advice.
Staying hydrated and not drinking caffeine or alcohol is also recommended.
What do I need to bring?
When it comes to the equipment you need to bring on your trek it comes down to personal preference. If you are hiring a porter weight is not a big issue so you can bring along more clothing options. If you are carrying your own pack more emphasis needs to be placed on weight and to cut down on the clothes you bring you will need to be washing your clothes every few days. Here is an example list of clothing and gear you might want to take on your trek:
• Trekking pants/Lightweight Trousers or shorts
• T-shirts (quick dry is useful)
• Socks and underwear (several pairs)
• Hat and sunscreen
• Thermal underwear
• Beanie, gloves, scarf or wind buff
• Fleece Jacket or Sweater
• Windproof Over trousers and Jacket (Gore-Tex is ideal)
• Down Jacket (can be hired or bought in Kathmandu)
• Footwear (good quality hiking shoes/boots)
• Sandals or thongs (for when you are not trekking)
• Backpack, duffle bag and day pack
• Down Sleeping Bag (can be hired in Kathmandu)
• Polaroid Sunglasses (Wrap around)
• Trekking Poles
• Head torch
• Water bottle
What arrangements for drinking water are made while on trek?
You should bring a non-disposable water bottle with you on the trek. Safe drinking water stations are available along the way and this is the preferred method as the money goes to the local community and plastic waste is avoided. You should also bring along water purification (tablets, drops or UV water filter). You can also buy mineral water if necessary if you trek areas like Annapurna, Everest and Langtang.
How much money do I need?
Hard to say! This varies significantly depending on your tour package and your personal spending. You may need money for a taxi fare, for a beer, presents and tips. If you do not intend to buy lots of gifts and are not intending to extend your stay, then for a week US$200 should be ample. But please be aware that your ability to access money along the way is very limited and you should have some extra money with you from the beginning. Very few places accept credit cards and they cannot be relied upon. The price of everything increases as you get higher up the mountain due to the remoteness and difficulty to obtain.
What is the food like on the trek?
Fantastic! If you havent already tried Dal Bhat you are in for a treat - there is nothing better to fill that trekking appetite. Dal Bhat is the signature Nepali dish - rice and lentil soup served with two types of curried vegetables and pickles. It is on the menu in every tea-house on the trek. A nice breakfast specialty you might also want to try is Tibetan Gurung bread with honey. The mountain tea houses will also serve up more familiar western dishes like pizza, or muesli for the morning.
Snacks such as chocolate bars, nuts and chips as well as drink are available at little stores all along the way.
What will the weather be like?
Depends on the season of course and you should check the weather forecast before you go. Please ask for more details based on the tour of your preference. You could be trekking in a T-shirt or with a wind breaker, but mostly the days are fine and the evenings cool to chilly. If you are doing treks above 4000m in winter then it could get -10 degree Celsius at the most. The weather can be quite varied so be prepared for most conditions.
Are there any local customs I need to be aware of?
It is important that you are respectful towards the local people and observe their way of life. Greet others with a ‘namaste’ whilst bringing your hands together in front of your chest and a slight bow. Address locals who look older than you as ‘didi’ (older sister) for females and ‘dai’ (older brother) for males. For younger females use ‘bahini’ (younger sister) and males use ‘bhai’ (younger brother). If they are much older use ‘ama’ (mother) and ‘baa’ (father).
Don’t wear revealing clothing such as short skirts or shorts above the knee and cover your shoulders (women), particularly in temple areas.
The local people live basic lives so don’t expect 5-star hotels. Water supplies, electricity and fuel for cooking and heating are limited; sometimes you will find them boiling a kettle so you can have a hot shower! Any supplies you need must to be brought up the mountain via Sherpa, donkey or jeep on the same route you came so don’t be fussy.
Do not leave meals unfinished, not only is this considered rude but it has been difficult and expensive to attain.
Is Nepal Safe to Travel?
A recurring question, perhaps fuelled by poor journalism or by out-of-date advice from
Governments, is Is it safe to travel in Nepal ?
The short answer is yes, it is very safe in fact. Nepal feels more safe than most other countries around the globe, possibly due to the the religious nature of the people and their natural kindness. Over the past 10 years Nepal has enjoyed a growing fascination to visit from travellers from all over the world. The People are very hospitable. The Nepalese accept that tourism is a mainstay of the economy, and are very welcoming. This applies to all sections and political groups: even during the Maoist hostilities of the early 21st century there were very few cases of any hostility towards visitors and the Maoist-led government declared 2011 to be Visit Nepal Year.
The following statistics (from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office) are interesting: whilst obviously there are greater numbers of UK visitors to New Zealand and to the USA than to Nepal, they nonetheless suggest that Nepal is a safe destination (Source- trip Advisor)