Nepal’s dramatic landscapes, towering mountains and lush forests lures trekkers and hikers from all over the world. With so many awesome treks to choose from, it can be a little daunting to decide the perfect option.
Should you go trekking? Should you do a short hike? What guides do you use and what do you wear?
Stop panicking. This essential guide will get you well on the way to planning the perfect hiking trip in Nepal.
I’m often asked to explain the difference between a trek and a hike. The simple answeris a trek consists of multiple walking days, while a hike is generally conducted on a single day.
Being such an epic country to explore, Nepal generally offers trekking routes that are at least three days in length.
While there are several hikes around Kathmandu, these don’t even come close to what you can experience on a Nepalese trek.
There are 10 trekking regions in Nepal, all of which offer something unique and wonderful.
If pushed for a favorite, then two regions stand out – the Annapurna and Everest regions.
The classic Everest Base Camp Trek is hard to beat, as is the famous Annapurna Circuit.
Both treks take you into the absolute wilds of Nepal, where towering mountains soar above you.
The two best seasons for trekking in Nepal are spring (February to end of May) and Autumn (September to November).
The weather is generally dry during these periods, providing ideal conditions to take in the spectacular scenery.
The monsoon season (in June, July and August) is when the eastern and southern regions of Nepal experience heavy rainfall.
Spring brings out the blossoming rhododendrons which sets the forests alight with color.
Many of the treks in Nepal are conducted at high altitude, so altitude sickness is a serious concern and should never be taken lightly.
There are few treatments available for altitude sickness and you’ll need to monitor yourself carefully.
Make sure you don’t push yourself hard, and remember to drink plenty of fluids. Always descend swiftly if symptoms occur.
Although you’ll most likely be trekking in the dry months, the high altitude means that it can still get very cold, particularly at night when temperatures often fall below freezing.
Wearing layers is key. Make sure you bring several under layers, a quality fleece and an outer shell waterproof jacket.
Good trekking boots are key, as is an all-weather sleeping bag.
Depending on who you decide to trek with, you’ll most likely have one senior guide, an assistant guide and porters to carry bags.
These guys work extremely hard, and often have fascinating stories to tell if you’re willing to listen.
Take the time to get to know them, and always follow your lead guide’s instructions as he will know the best course of action at all times.
If an accident does occur on your trek then get your guide's attention immediately. He will contact the relevant authorities to organize a rescue.
Depending on where you are, you may need to be carried by a porter. If you are seriously unwell then a helicopter rescue might be required.
If you are in danger, and are insured with us at World Nomads, contact our Emergency Assistance team immediately.
For less experienced hikers and families with young children, Kandoo Adventures suggest some easier treks to do in Nepal.
Altitude sickness can be fatal. Find out about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of this condition before you go to high altitudes.