18th October, 2022

Things to do and not to do during trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal

Things to do and not to do during trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal

The Himalayas of Nepal have the tallest mountains in the world and numerous trekking routes. Nepal is home to eight out of the top ten highest mountains in the world and hundreds of 7,000 meters, 6,000 meters, and 5,000 meters peaks. The Himalayas, which are also home to numerous national parks, verdant forests, lush valleys, and pristine glaciers, make Nepal one of the best trekking destinations in the world.

From the very popular Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek to the challenging Annapurna Circuit trek, Kanchenjunga trek, Dolpa trek, and Manaslu Circuit trek, the trekking options in the Himalayas of Nepal are beyond your imagination. These trekking trails attract adventurers and nature enthusiasts from all around the world every year.

Undoubtedly, trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal offers an unparalleled venture. In addition to enjoying the panoramic views of the mountains, you may get to experience the heartwarming hospitality of the local people. You can explore nature like nowhere else on Earth, from diverse ecosystems to pristine wilderness. 

As exciting as it sounds, these journeys in the Himalayas are not without difficulties. Both beginner and seasoned trekkers have to be reasonably fit and well-prepared for any trek, whether it is moderate, difficult, or strenuous.

This blog will share what you should and shouldn't do while trekking in Nepal. But in the beginning, let's know about a few things that you should do before trekking in the Himalayas: 

Things to do before trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal

Trekking in the Himalayas requires a lot of planning. From getting physically fit to packing all the trekking clothes and gear, many preparations are required before you even set foot on the trail. 

Herewith, we have made a list of things you should do before beginning trekking in the Himalayas. These things are so important that you shouldn't underestimate them because they might make your entire trekking experience better or worse

Research and plan your trekking route

  • Difficulty level: Choose a trek that suits your fitness level. Himalayan trails are not leisurely, even the beginner-friendly ones. They demand at least 5 to 6 hours of walking on rugged mountainous terrain every day. The trail is not entirely straight, either. It passes through landslide areas somewhere and makes a steep ascent and sharp descent. Therefore, based on these facts, select a trail that you can conquer or accomplish.
  • Weather conditions: The trekking routes in the Himalayas of Nepal range from sub-tropical forests to the alpine zone, with varying altitudes. It means that you will traverse through diverse climatic zones with different weather characteristics in different seasons. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable. It changes shortly. Depending on the season, the weather is variable. As to my best experience, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to do any trekking in Nepal. However, there are still plenty of trekking packages that you can also do in the summer, monsoon, and winter. Therefore, you need to choose the appropriate trekking trail at the appropriate time before embarking on your journey to avoid any natural calamities and get an updated weather forecast during the trip. Select the right time to meet your requirements. 
  • Permits and regulations: Most of the trekking regions in Nepal, including Annapurna, Everest, Dhaulagiri, and Langtang, require a trekking permit with a licensed guide. Likewise, there are also restricted areas such as Upper Mustang, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, and Upper Dolpa that need special regulations and permits. Trekking with a local company like us is always recommended for a safe and hassle-free journey. We will prepare all the documentation, logistic support, and transportation and arrange for an experienced guide and porters required for the trekking. 
  • Itinerary: We have trekking packages throughout Nepal. You can either follow the itinerary we have offered or customize it as per your requirements and preferences. Our team will create the best itinerary for you, depending on your requirements, preferences, physical fitness, acclimatization, and contingency plans.

Get in shape

To trek in the Himalayas, you should be both physically and mentally fit. Depending on the fitness of the trekkers, the trekking experience can vary from person to person. The more fit you are, the better the trek is. However, some trekking routes are so challenging that they demand prior trekking experience. 

Depending on the challenges of your selected trekking route, you may need to increase your strength, endurance, and resilience. You may strengthen your upper body, legs, and core with yoga, pilates, and weight training. Similarly, to increase cardiovascular endurance, include activities like swimming, jogging, cycling, and trekking in your workout routine.

Pack the essentials

If you are well-packed for the trek, the journey will go smoothly. You have to pack all the essentials, including SPFs, paper soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. Likewise, every trekking route demands more or less trekking clothes and gear, so pack as per your requirements. Do not overpack, but also be smart. 

Most importantly, you can buy all the trekking clothes and gear upon reaching Kathmandu at an affordable price. There are shops ranging from budget-friendly pricing to shops selling high-end trekking clothes and gear. Similarly, you can also rent many trekking clothes and equipment for USD 1 to USD 3 per day. 

Inform others about your trip and take out nice travel insurance

Before you commence the trek in the Himalayas, make sure you have shared all the details of your trip with your loved ones. Stay connected with them and keep updating your whereabouts. Share your loved ones' details with your trekking company and vice-versa. 

Likewise, get travel insurance that covers emergency helicopter evacuations under emergency circumstances such as health problems, physical injury, or any natural calamities like earthquakes, landslides, floods, or snowfall. Note that to trek in Nepal, travel insurance is compulsory. If you are climbing mountains or peaks, make sure you or your trekking guide have a satellite phone because you may go off-grid for several days. 

Things to do and not to do during trekking in the Himalayas

Below are some of the things that you should do and not do for a smooth and safe trek in the Himalayas. These things will make your trip much more meaningful. 

Stay hydrated and nourished

The Himalayas challenge your mind and body, so they must be in good condition to fight back. You will trek for at least 5 to 6 hours a day, so you need energy. Here's what you should do:

Drink plenty of water: You may not feel thirsty because of the climate during trekking. However, you must drink at least 2 liters of water daily to avoid dehydration and, ultimately, altitude sickness. Likewise, include soups, dal, energy drinks, etc. in your diet.

Don’t drink tap water or natural stream water instead of boiled drinking water. We do not recommend you drink this water during the trek. Because you are not used to this type of water, it may cause health problems like diarrhea and dysentery. Hot water is generally available in the lodges and tea houses along the trek routes. You can get it at a minimal cost of USD 1 to USD 2 for 2 to 3 liters of water. It is more affordable than buying plastic water bottles, which also do not harm the environment. For additional safety, you can use a water purification tablet. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with boiled water whenever it is empty. 

Eat nutritious meals: The food you consume must be good and nutritious during the trek. Make sure to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal as your first meal of the day. Combine protein and healthy fats. Pick dishes that have not been frozen for a long time. Also, carry high-energy snacks, nuts, and bars.  

Follow safety guidelines

Adhering to safety guidelines is very crucial during trekking in the Himalayas, and safety is our primary goal. Follow the guidelines of your guide and his advice to avoid any distress in your body. Stay on the marked trails and do not wander off the established route. You may come across hazardous terrain and hurt yourself. 

Similarly, trek with a guide, following his guidelines. You can join our groups or trek privately with our guide and porter. Our guides are experienced and trained individuals who can assure your safety in the mountains. We have multilingual guides to bridge the communication barrier. They are friendly and reliable. Feel free to talk to them openly and ask whatever you want to know. 

Take frequent, short breaks to catch your breath. Do not skip acclimatization days from your itinerary, and follow altitude sickness preventive measures. Also, stay updated with the weather forecast and plan the days as needed. 

Respect local customs and the environment

The Himalayas are home to centuries-old traditions, cultures, civilization, and an extremely fragile natural environment. Remember that you are exploring the local ethnic people and their villages while trekking in the Himalayas. Consequently, you should be aware of those things that would not harm nature or the local culture as well.

Cultivate a culture of respect for the environment and the local culture. Carry eco-friendly tissue paper, biodegradable soap, food wrappers, etc. Make sure to dispose of the trash at designated sites. Do not throw your trash on the trail. Likewise, respect the wildlife and flora. Do not feed any animals without asking, and do not touch any plants or flowers. 

You will spend the night in the Himalayan villages along the trekking routes. The lives of the local people will surely surprise you. Try to understand the real life of remote areas and express gratitude for having accommodation and food to fuel your journey. Make a polite request before taking pictures of the people and religious sites.

Pace yourself and practice self-care

Trekking in the Himalayas can be exhilarating and overwhelming, but to experience it to the fullest, you must find your grounding. Keep your pace steady and take your time to enjoy the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with the locals, and enjoy the local food too.

Listen to your body. Be aware of fatigue, dehydration, or altitude sickness. Do not strain yourself. You are in the Himalayas to unwind and rejuvenate as well. Take the necessary action if you get sick of altitude sickness. 

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially right before meals. Keep hand sanitizers on hand. Likewise, maintain personal hygiene and take care of your skin. Use moisturizer and SPFs regularly. Use antibacterial wipes to stay fresh when you cannot take a hot shower.

Don't underestimate altitude

Most trekkers typically ignore the consequences of altitude. Altitude can affect even the healthiest bodies if people are not attentive. Do the following things or actions to make sure that your trekking experience is not ruined by altitude:.

  • Do not ascend rapidly, or don’t climb too quickly. A slow, steady, and gradual pace reduces the AMS problem. There is always a risk of altitude sickness, therefore, you shouldn't raise your daily altitude by 500 meters because it increases the risk of altitude sickness. Give your body sufficient time to adjust to the lower oxygen level at high altitudes.
  • Be aware of altitude sickness symptoms like nausea, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, headaches, insomnia, etc. Take Diamox medicine as a first aid. Descend to a lower altitude if these symptoms persist regularly.
  • Take a day off in between the journeys for acclimatization. These days are crucial in adjusting your body to the high-altitude climate. So, go for a hike at a high elevation and get back. It is really helpful for your body to become used to the high-altitude climate by reducing the symptoms of altitude mountain sickness (AMS). 

Altitude sickness and health problems

Altitude sickness is a common health problem during trekking in Nepal. It is also easily avoidable and treatable, so you do not have to worry about it. These are the major symptoms of AMS (altitude mountain sickness): headache, breathing difficulty, loss of appetite, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, etc. 

If you have these symptoms, you can take medicine under the guidance of guide. Resting and descending to a lower elevation is another way to get rid of this problem. The sign of altitude sickness goes away in 12 to 24 hours if you take proper first aid. Inform your guide if you feel any discomfort. 

First aid for high-altitude sickness

Herewith below, we have a list of the things that you can do to avoid and treat altitude sickness:

·        Take the necessary medicine and rest.

·        Descend to a lower altitude if required.

·        Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. 

·        Maintain your pace, and do not overexert your body.

·        Have carbohydrate-rich meals and get ample sleep every day. 

·        Keep checking your oxygen level, and inform your guide if it drops. 

·        Do not drink alcohol or smoke. Also, do not consume a lot of caffeine.