Ten most important things you have to remember before you do trekking in the Himalayas
It seems Himalayas and trekking are the synonyms. There are so many routes where people can walk. Many people having the dream trip to achieve a milestone in their life observing these regions from very near. Himalayas are famous for its unimaginable beauty, stunning landscape and enchanting views. Walking in the high mountains has their own inherent problems. Based on experience operating the trips in the Himalayas for many years we are trying to share the best incentives for hikers whose next destination is the Himalayas. Following is the list of things you have to remember before you head for the Himalayas.
Buy/hire gears in Kathmandu or Pokhara
As most of the popular brands the locally manufactured gears are available at knock down prices in Kathmandu or Pokhara it is not necessary you can buy gears back home at expensive prices. As long as you are not going for expeditions these gears will protect you enough and some of them even you can hire. Trekking poles, sleeping bags and down jacket you can hire from stores in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Only problem of hiring is they might not be clean enough or some time you might not get of your desired size. Be ready to buy new stuffs if you are not able to hire. You also need to have time to explore around or take assistance with your trek organizer. New shoes are not recommendable, use the worn out shoes for any type of hiking in the mountains.
Water purification tablets
Many people they start the symptoms of acute mountain sickness for not having sufficient intake of fluids. Dehydration in altitude is especially dangerous and bottled water is expensive up there. So carry sufficient amount of water purifying tablets. It is very common they purify water using iodine tablets or chlorine solution. Chlorine leaves an odor which many people don’t like stick with iodine tablets. Paying some extra dollars you always get boiled water in the trek. 2-3 liters of water every day is necessary for everyone.
No ATM or might not work
Many trekking area ATM’s are not available and even if you get it might be out of order or it does not support your card type. We recommend carrying cash and believe over the philosophy “Cash is king”. Now a day, many tea houses on the way accept foreign money but the exchange rate is always low compared to what you get in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Figure out your expense and carry local money in cash. You are the winner at the end of the day. If you love to drink beers that are the expensive and luxury drinks up above. Higher elevation and going ups, alcoholic beverages are not recommended.
You can buy snacks on the go
Small snacks are available on the go, but you need to pay the mountain price and that goes as high as 3-5 times as the normal super market price of Kathmandu or Pokhara. As you go higher there will be limited choice. Check the expiry date before you buy them, some time they are already expired. Chocolate bars, potato chips, biscuits, instant noodles are very common. Some local brands are spicy and hot, make sure before you buy they are right for you. Buying the snacks on the go you are helping for the local family to sustain also.
Sleeping condition in the tea houses
Most of the tea houses in the mountains are furnished with twin beds and might be triple beds. The facilities are shared and outside. Mostly they have one western toilet and one squat toilet. Most of them also have wash basins outside to share. In a higher elevation you might need to share the room with anonymous hiker especially in busy season, if your group doesn’t fill the entire gap. The tea house owners like to take advantage of any space there. Don’t blame you guide he cannot control this. This gives big trouble to solo trekkers in high seasons.
Extra layers are essential
In high mountains temperature will go very low during the night time so extra layers are essential. If you are going in higher elevation don’t forget to carry lining or inners for you sleeping bags they are very useful. You can ask for extra blankets in the tea houses which are also subject to availability especially in high season they don’t have extra blankets.
Prepare for any weather
Mountain weather is very hard to predict and keep changing very fast so prepare for any weather. Carry a light weight disposable rain coat, enough sun creams for the day time etc. Normally mornings and evenings are chillier than the day time. It might snow in the higher elevation at any month. Besides the weather forecast system is not that advance here.
Pharmacy and health center is not very common in the mountains so carry sufficient medication with you. Many of the hikers develop lot of blisters so carry sufficient amount of Band-Aid. Different type of bandages and medicine as well as medicine for mountain sickness is essential for all serious hikes in the Himalaya. If you are under regular medication, carry them in a sufficient amount. Medicines in Nepal are cheap and even to buy antibiotics, doctor’s prescription is not necessary but you need to be familiar with generic name of the medicines as they put any trade names.
Right Packing list
Organize your pack list very well, don’t leave things what you going to need in the mountains and don’t put what you never going to use them in the mountains. The domestic flight in the mountain area has weight restriction of 15 kg per passenger including everything. Carrying unnecessary stuffs will result you to pay extra on the flights and also difficult for your porters. Do research where you going and do pack wisely. Unnecessary things you can always store in your hotel in Kathmandu or in Pokhara but you need to have an extra bag for that. Remember suitcases are not for trekking. Duffel bags are the comfortable choices. To know about right packing list another blog about packing list might be helpful for you.
Choose the right organizer
There are quite a lot companies who organizes trips in the mountains. We don’t claim our company is the best companies but choose the right organizer for your unforgettable journey in the high places. We have different tiers you get facilities according to the tier you choose. Beware of the rebranding of the companies and who has gimmick names we are local operator for Himalayan trips and based in Kathmandu. The competition is quiet high and many companies fight over customers and lure hikers with the lowest price, cutting back on the wage of the guide, porter, your food and accommodation in the high places. When you sign up the trip with international operators your money will split up internationally than the ground handlers but you will have more confidence and you are paying for the brands. I have another blog about the hidden cost in the trekking you might find useful. Prepare for everything and we hope for your successful trip in the mountains. Further queries you can write to us or visit our website www.himalayantravelconsultant.com
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