Hiking and Trekking in Nepal: An Essentials Guide

What’s the difference between trekking and hiking? Where and when should I go? Our local experts and partner Kandoo Adventures gives you the lowdown on everything you need to plan and have the adventure of your life.

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Nepal’s dramatic landscapes, towering mountains and lush forests lures trekkers and hikers from all over the world.

Yet with so many awesome treks to choose from, it can sometimes seem a little daunting to decide on the perfect option.

Should you trek? Should you hike? What guides do you use and what do you wear?

If you’re panicking, then don’t!

This essential guide will get you well on the way to planning the perfect walking holiday in Nepal.

Trekking vs Hiking

I’m often asked ‘what’s the difference between a trek and a hike?’ The simplest answer I can give is that 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 3 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.

Kathmandu markets. Photo credit: Mark Whitman, Kandoo Adventures

Top Regions to Trek In

There are ten trekking regions in Nepal, all of which offer something completely 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 giants soar above you.

Top Seasons to Trek In

The two best seasons to trek in Nepal are February to end of May and September through to November.

The weather is generally dry during these periods and providing ideal conditions to take in the spectacular vistas.

June, July and August are the monsoon season where the Eastern and Southern sides of Nepal receive loads of rainfall.

Spring brings out the blossoming rhododendrons which sets the forests alight with color.

Altitude Sickness

Many of the treks in Nepal are conducted at high altitude. Therefore, altitude sickness is a serious concern and should never be taken lightly.

There are very little treatments available for altitude sickness and you’ll need to monitor yourself carefully.

Make sure you don’t push yourself hard and remember to take in plenty of fluids. Always descend swiftly if symptoms occur.

Bhaktapur. Photo credit: Mark Whitman, Kandoo Adventures

Basic Gear

Although you’ll most likely be trekking in the dry months, 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 to 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.

Who’s Who in Your Crew

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.

Top Tips and Advice

  • Wear your boots in before the trek to avoid blisters.
  • Never ascend quickly.

What to Do In An Emergency

If an accident does occur on your trek then get your guides 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 is not uncommon.

If you are in danger and are insured with us at World Nomads, contact our Emergency Assist team immediately.

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Whether you're off for the trek of a lifetime, an unforgettable safari, or just to soak up the amazing culture, get our FREE Insider's Guide to Nepal to make the most of your trip.

This article was written by our partner Kandoo Adventures in collaboration with Mountain IQ.

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