Sherpana FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Trekking in Nepal

All of the hotels in Kathmandu allow you to leave luggage while you trek (most of them for free). This is usually the most convenient place to leave a suitcase or bag. - view answer

For treks that do not require camping, you can bring snacks if you like. The trekking lodges serve food and most require that you eat in the lodge since they make most of their money on food rather than on the room. - view answer

While it may be possible to get by without a sleeping bag using only the lodge's bedding (for teahouse treks), it is generally recommended to bring a sleeping bag, for both comfort and sanitary reasons. - view answer

There are ATMs where you can get extra cash only in a few places on certain trekking routes, such as Jomsom in the Annapurna Region and Namche Bazaar in the Everest Region. However, it's best not to rely on these ATMs since they tend to run out of money or are sometimes out of service due to network connection problems. If you are desperate, there are lodges and shops that will change major currencies at a poor rate along the trail. There are also a few places on major routes (Annapurna and Everest Base Camp) that give cash advances on credit cards for a fee. If you are planning to take out money from an ATM in Kathmandu for your trek, make sure you check with your bank to find out how much money your bank allows you to withdraw in a day. Most Nepal ATMs only allow withdrawals of no more than 35,000 NPR per transaction (many less than that), so you may also need to make multiple transactions to reach your bank's limit.

More about changing money and ATMs in Nepal can be found on our blog: ATMs and Changing Money in Nepal

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Yes, most lodges will allow you to charge electronics for a fee. The fee gets larger the higher up the lodge is on the trail. Lodges in villages that depend on solar power may not have enough electricity to charge your devices if it has not been sunny that day. Bringing extra batteries or a charging pack is recommended. - view answer

It depends on the route and the service provider generally NTC (Nepal Telecom) has better service in most remote areas, but sometimes the private provider Ncell is better such as in the Everest Region. There is a cell tower at Everest Base Camp. If you really want to do your best to maintain connectivity, you can pick up a SIM card for each network. SIM cards are cheap in Nepal and easy to get from any phone shop. You will need a copy of your passport and 2 passport photos in most cases. - view answer

We recommend that you have insurance covering helicopter evacuation if necessary. Keep in mind that some travel insurance companies require you to pay for supplementary ‘adventure sports rider' insurance to cover trekking. Many treks take place in remote places that are inaccessible to vehicles. While we do everything possible to ensure our clients will have safe trips, with itineraries are designed to provide adequate acclimatization, accidents do happen and people react differently to altitude. In the case of altitude sickness, the only guaranteed cure is to descend to lower elevation immediately. Below are a couple options for reasonably priced trip and medical insurance:

Get a Travel Insurance Quote through World Nomad
Covers hiking/trekking up to 6000 m under standard plan.

Quote/Purchase Patriot Travel Medical Insurance® through IMG
Requires Adventure sports rider

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It is customary in Nepal to tip trekking staff, they work hard and if you feel they have provided you with good service please reward them appropriately. Please insure you have enough cash to tip your guide and porter (if you hired one). Suggested tipping: approximately 12%-15% of the guide and porter's wages, but more for larger groups. If your guide went above and beyond your expectations, then please reward him or her accordingly. For a guide, generally the equivalent of $2-$4 USD per day per person is good if there are multiple people; if only one person, then the equivalent of $3-$5 USD per day. For a porter, the equivalent of $3-$4 per day total (between all the people using the porter); or if one person has hired a porter, the equivalent of $2-$4 USD per day. If you need to cut your trip short for any reason the guide and porters will receive the wages for the full booked time but it is appropriate to tip based on the amount of days actually completed. - view answer

Generally, porters would use your backpack or bag. But they can also bundle multiple bags together. Ideally a waterproof duffel bag would be best. You can find them pretty reasonably priced in the Thamel area of Kathmandu if you don't have a suitable bag. Especially if you are trekking between April and early October pack anything you definitely needed to stay dry in a plastic or waterproof bag. You will probably want a small day pack to carry anything you want accessible to you while trekking. - view answer

  • Clothing & Shoes

    Weather changes abruptly in the mountains; it can be hot in the morning, and later in the day you can be trekking in a cold rain or snow. Because of this variation, layers are usually the best option when it comes to clothing. It is useful to have one layer that is at least water-resistant if not waterproof. Good rain gear is recommended at any time of the year but especially if you are trekking in May-June. During this pre-monsoon period, it is useful to have an umbrella as well as good rain gear or at a minimum a rain poncho. Sample layers: short-sleeve t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, fleece, warm jacket, rain/wind layer. Convertible pants (that zip off into shorts) are nice but not necessary, also, tights or long underwear for higher elevations may make your nights and early mornings more comfortable. Clothes made with materials that dry quickly are preferable. If you are going above 4000 m, or trekking in the winter then gloves and a warm hat are highly recommended. If you are trekking in the winter December to March then they are essential in addition a down jacket is highly recommended during those colder months. Good shoes are a must. Waterproof hiking boots are preferable. Just make sure you have sufficiently broken in your new boots before heading off on a trek, or you may be in for a painful foot full of blisters.

  • Trekking poles/Walking sticks

    Another piece of gear many people find useful is a walking stick or trekking poles. These are especially handy in wet conditions where the trail may be slippery. Cheap Chinese made trekking poles can be found at many stores around Thamel in Kathmandu. These poles are usually sufficient for a trek or two but tend to wear out quickly.

  • Sleeping Bag

    Though some may find the blankets from the lodge are sufficient, a sleeping bag is more sanitary and makes for a better rest at night and a more comfortable trek overall.

  • Water Bottle

    A refillable water bottle is also recommended. While bottled water is available for purchase at most lodges, these disposable bottles are a huge burden on the environment. Lodges will provide drinkable boiled water for a fee. Many people also prefer to bring their own filters and water treatment system. Remember: no matter how pristine the mountain stream looks, don’t drink it without treating the water!

  • Sun Protection

    The sun is very intense at high altitudes, bring sun block (preferably a water/sweat proof one), sunglasses, and chapstick or lip balm (with spf).

  • Head Lamp

    A head lamp or at least a flashlight / torch is highly recommended. This can help with early morning ascents, unexpectedly late arrivals, power outages in the lodge, or nighttime trips to the toilet (often an outhouse).

  • Snacks

    While not necessary if you would like to carry some snacks to eat along the trail you will find both the prices and selection better if you bring them from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Of course, the downside is you will need to carry them if you want to have them accessible to you while you hike.

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You will need Nepali Rupees for all transactions in Nepal including guide/porter's tips, food, and lodging at teahouses. You can change money pretty easily. There are money changers all over the Thamel area of Kathmandu that have late hours. There are also some teahouses and shops on the trek that will change money but for a far worse rate than you will find in Kathmandu.

More about changing money and ATMs in Nepal can be found on our blog: ATMs and Changing Money in Nepal

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The normal cancellation charge is 10% of the airfare, however, if the flight gets canceled due to weather or other reasons by the airline the fare is fully refundable. In the case of bad weather, the airlines often do not officially declare the flight canceled till late in the day 1 or 2 pm. If you decide to take a helicopter in the meantime and cancel your flight ticket the cancelation charge is still charged even if it is a near certainty that the flight will eventually be formally canceled. - view answer