My decision to trek Nepal the first time around happened fast. I bought the ticket from a friend spur of the moment. It was a good price and Nepal sounded appealing. I was already used to travelling alone. Then it hit me. I’d just booked a trek in Nepal!!! I knew NOTHING about trekking Nepal. I had no idea what to expect, what I would find waiting for me and what the actual trek would be like. I could have done with an article like this. I needed Nepal trekking information and a few top tips from a seasoned trekker!
A Day in the Life Trekking Nepal – Starting Your Day!
After a restful night’s sleep (all being well), prepare to wake up early. Usually around 7-7:30am, but sometimes earlier if you’re scheduled to catch an amazing sunrise.
I won’t lie. It’s tough getting out of your warm sleeping bag and getting changed into your trekking gear, especially when it’s really cold. Pick a number, count to it, then get up and change quickly!
Put your trekking clothes in the bottom of your sleeping bag through the night, so they’re warm when you put them on in the morning. It really works!
You’ll likely only have access to an outside cold tap, making it difficult to have a wash beyond your hands and face. Biodegradable hygiene wipes are the order of the day and perfect for staying clean where it matters! I promise, after a day you won’t care what you look or smell like! But don’t forget to use purified water to clean your teeth.
Once you’re up and dressed, pack your bag ready for a quick departure after breakfast. Pack your essentials in your day pack and the rest in your backpack. Head to the dining room where your guide will give you a menu with a choice of yummy breakfast options.
Try a pancake, muesli-fruit-yogurt or our Team Nepalorama favourite – plain Tibetan bread with an omelette, or fried Tibetan bread with honey. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee (if you’re a coffee snob, ask for tea!). There’s no hanging around. We get started straight after breakfast. Make sure you’ve got enough water and add your purification tablet so it’s ready when you need it!
I also add an effervescent vitamin tablet to my water. It tastes good and gives me a boost for the day!
Time to Trek!
You might not feel like putting one foot in front of the other after yesterday, but you’ll soon prove yourself wrong! We always pace ourselves sensibly and walk at the speed of the slowest walkers in your group. You carry your own day pack and your trusty porters will usually walk ahead with your backpack. Have your camera ready, so you don’t have to keep stopping for long periods. It’s good to find a rhythm when you walk, it’ll help when the going gets tough!
Sometimes you’ll start the day with an incredible sunrise and eat breakfast after. Other days you’ll get straight back to the trekking trail and continue to your next destination. It’s impossible to describe all the different terrain you’ll experience. But on the whole, paths are normally clear and easy to follow but can be extremely rugged. In the Himalaya, we often say ‘what goes down must go up’! It’s true, especially on your way to your ultimate destination, you’ll often hike down only to hike back up! So, be prepared for some serious up and downhill most days of your trek if not all of them.
Reflect While You Trek
Once you find your trekking rhythm for the day, and we promise that you will! Tap into something extraordinary. There’s a unique and powerful feeling in the Himalaya. Experience an overwhelming sense of connection with nature that invokes deep self-reflection. Contemplate your life, your values, your vision and test whether or not you’re following your true path.
Once You’ve Worked up an Appetite!
We take a break mid-morning, earlier if we’ve done a good climb. It’s not always a teahouse stop, so have some refreshments ready. Enjoy the view or appreciate resting your legs for a while!
You don’t want to carry kilos of snacks! I stock up on bags of dried fruits and a couple of packets of biscuits that I ration throughout the trek. You can also buy snacks at the teahouses but they get more expensive as you trek higher.
You might want to keep your favourite snack or chocolate bar in reserve for when you really need a boost!
We continue trekking until lunchtime when you have a good hour to relax and enjoy a hot meal. There are always many things to choose from, so it really depends on how you feel. But make sure you try the Nepali staple and our favorite dal bhat at some point!
The Final Push
It can be hard to get started again after lunch. Warm sunshine will make you feel particularly lazy!
The distance we cover in a day depends on the altitude. We can safely ascend up to 500m/1,640ft between sleeps. Some days we actually finish walking at lunchtime and take the afternoon to relax. But often, we’ll continue after lunch, enjoy an afternoon break and reach our teahouse by mid to late afternoon.
Not a Mirage – It’s Your Teahouse!
When you lay eyes on your teahouse, you’ll feel relief and an incredible sense of achievement. You made it! Now you can relax, rest and reflect on the amazing day you’ve had.
Your guide will organise your room as quickly as possible. Get changed into your evening/sleeping clothes (for me it’s a fleece top, pants and light trainers/flip flops). Grab your entertainment – book, e-reader, journal or pack of cards and head for the dining room. Or have a lie down before dinner!
You can see spectacular sunsets in the Himalaya. Your guide will let you know if it’s possible to see the sunset from your location. If you can, don’t miss it! Even if it feels really hard heading back out to a vantage point. It will be well worth it!
Evenings are usually long. Enjoy your choice of meal from an extensive menu and then you’re free to chat with your friends, guide or other trekkers. Read, play games or write notes – whatever feels right for you.
I love writing a journal when I’m trekking. Firstly, so I don’t forget any of the amazing things I’ve seen or experienced during the day. Also to check in on myself. How am I feeling? What do I want to focus on tomorrow? How can I dig deep?
Most trekkers enjoy an early night on account of being too tired to stay up. You’ll be looking forward to climbing into your sleeping bag and fully relaxing for the night. You got through another day – go you!
As the days pass, you get into a routine and find it easier to go with the flow, even though you know the flow is tough! The first day is always very hard going, so brace yourself! It’s a different world trekking in the Himalaya, but you’ll quickly learn to love it!
We all have at least one bad day! Last time I trekked in Langtang, I had a few hours when I felt like I was literally trekking through treacle! It was really hard – physically, mentally and emotionally. But your guide will always be there to cheer you on and provide the encouragement you need to keep going!
If you’re not used to multi-day trekking, I recommend you start with a trek up to a maximum of 7-8 days walking. It’s even more challenging in the Himalaya due to the high altitude. Ghorepani Poon Hill is a great first trek in Nepal that you can walk in just 4-6 days. Annapurna Base Camp, Langtang Valley or Everest Panorama View Trek are also great options.
What a Feeling!
In this blog I’ve provided lots of Nepal trekking information. The good, the bad and the ugly! But let me tell you, trekking Nepal is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced for so many reasons. I can’t help going back over and over again!
I love the feeling of being in the Himalaya, not caring about what I look like, just being comfortable with myself and embracing the overwhelmingly beautiful nature. Pushing my boundaries every day, achieving new feats and above all, loving life!