Information for trekkers

5 Things you need to know and do before teahouse trekking in Nepal.

  1. Get Medical/Evacuation Insurance

    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

  2. Get in Shape (Fitness)

    Trekking is a physically demanding activity, although well within the capability of those in average physical fitness. Many people make their first trek in the high Himalayas, so there is no need to be intimidated. With that in mind, it is important you listen to your body and do not overexert yourself especially with respect to altitude. If you are not use to walking or hiking regularly then it is recommended that you prepare by doing some extra walking or hiking before arriving in Nepal.

  3. Know the symptoms of Altitude Sickness

    It is very important to be aware of symptoms of altitude sickness. For most people, a headache is the first symptom that occurs at high altitude. Loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, light headedness, and trouble sleeping are all common effects of altitude sickness. While many people have a few mild symptoms especially at night, make sure you keep your guide informed to your situation. If your symptoms get worse or you do not feel better in the morning, then the only safe option is to descend. Taking Diamox can help you adjust to altitude faster when taken prophylactically, but it is not an alternative to descending once you have altitude sickness. A good review of altitude sickness can be found at:

  4. Bring enough cash

    Please ensure you have enough cash in local currency to last the entire trek. It is also advisable to a portion of your cash in smaller denomination notes since getting change is often a problem in remote regions. You should have at least the equivalent of $25 a day for food and lodging. If you plan to drink beer or other beverages it will be more. Extra money for snacks and of course sufficient money to properly tip your guide and porter if you have hired one. More about changing money in Nepal.

    Tipping Guidelines

    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 porters wages but more for larger groups and if your guide went above and beyond you 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.

  5. Bring the right equipment

    Having the right (and not too much) equipment is critical to enjoying your trek. Below we’ve put together some guidelines on clothing and other equipment that many people find useful when trekking in the Himalaya.

    • 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. 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 chap stick 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.