TRAIL GUIDELINES FOR TREKKING IN NEPAL.  

Do Not Litter: Practice leave no trace behind. Do not litter at camp sites or along the trail, and pack out what you pack in. Dispose of litter at designated spots only. 
Respect Cultural and Natural Heritage: Please strive to respect the culture and traditions of the people where you visit. Languages and styles can change from town/village-to-village, and it can be fun and interesting to try and understand it wherever you are.

Stay on trails: Because you travel in unfamiliar terrain and probably don’t understand local languages, we strongly recommend you always stay on the trail and in the company of your group and support team.

Consider others: Please try to be accepting and respectful of others you meet along the road/trail, visitors and locals alike.  Also, if you walk in smaller group and quietly, you are more likely to see local wildlife.

Enjoy Your Visit: Immerse your senses in the beauty and culture of the Himalayas, soaking in the serenity and spirit of the mountains. Enjoy and make the best of everything. A trip to Nepal always makes memories for a lifetime, and keeps you coming back for more. 

Take Pictures: Don’t be shy about taking scenic pictures, especially with digital cameras around. However, please be courteous and ask permission before taking pictures of locals. Be sure to take along enough camera memory storage and battery power with you.

Trekking FAQ’s

What kind of accommodation do we get during trekking in Nepal and hiking trips?
Accommodations vary from region to region. There are clean basic accommodations available on most trekking regions, while the popular trails offer luxury accommodation. Most lodges have shared bathrooms while few do offer private attached bathrooms. Most teahouse lodges are family owned businesses and provide great service, clean bed sheets, pillow cases and blankets. Most teahouses along the popular trails are family run businesses providing you with a very homely care and service. 
On remote treks, we provide you with all the necessary luxury items including expedition tents, with mattress and pillows, kitchen tents with full kitchen crew and all the necessary items to prepare the health meals even in the most remote of regions. 

What are the meals like?
Most lodges offer the Nepali power staple, Bhal-Bhat-Tarkari, directly translated to rice-lentil soup-vegetables. This offers a great balance diet of protein and carbs, a necessary ingredient for any high mountain trek.  Western food is also available at most lodges. One can also enjoy locally manufactured yak cheese. You can budget from anywhere between a mere few dollars up to thirty dollars depending upon your choice of food and drinks. 

How do you determine the trip cost?
The trip cost depends upon how you wish to travel. You can usually choose to take a flight or travel by bus or private air-conditioned jeeps. You can choose between budget, standard and luxurious trip in Nepal. We can customize your trips to meet your requirements.

What do we use as drinking water?
Natural spring water is available on most trails across Nepal. We boil and use purifying tablets. It is also possible to buy mineral water from teashops along most trails. 

What do we use for emergency or rescue in case if we get altitude silkiness during trekking in Nepal or any accident?
We take extra care and try to get you acclimatized as we proceed on the trail. Our itineraries always factor in the acclimatization process. However, in case if you get serious altitude sickness or any accident during the trek, it is possible to call a helicopter rescue. If it is not too serious there are ponies or men who help you to lower elevation. Our guides and staff are trained and have a lot of experience handling such cases. 

How do we respect the local culture?
Always remember to ask permission before taking anyone’s pictures. Do not remove or purchase antiques. Always ask before entering holy shrines and avoid wearing revealing clothes and outward displays of physical affection.

What is the availability of electricity during trekking in Nepal?
Blackouts (load shedding) are fact of life across Nepal, even in the cities like Kathmandu, scheduled power cuts are common for 15 hours a day (during the winters).
Mini hydro plants power many villages on the Annapurna trekking, Everest trekking and Langtang trek and lodges will let you charge your batteries for a fee.

Can we get health care during our trek?
There are hospitals and health posts in larger villages. Himalayan Rescue Association operates aid posts in Pheriche( Everest region) and Manang(Annapurna region). In general, though once you are on trek in Nepal, you are on your own and your medical kit and preparations must reflect this reality. Our guides are equipped with a first aid kit on all treks. 

Is there any Telephone and internet during the trek?
Telephones are available on most of the popular trekking region. You can also find Internet service at certain towns. Treks into remote regions of Nepal might not have mobile phone coverage. 

How do we get Permit?
Trekking permits are a requirement in Nepal. Our staff can arrange this for you. For more detailed information, please stroll below. 

Do we have to have Insurance to travel in Nepal?
Yes, we highly recommend all our clients to have travel insurance for this gives you the peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Many of our trips visit remote areas where the nearest medical facility could be many miles away, in case of serious problems or emergencies, it is usually possible to arrange to be transported back out. Such expenses are often covered by health and/or travel insurance. Comprehensive insurance with additional “Sports Cover” (a term used by many insurance companies). 

How do we book the trip?
You may book your trip through internet, telephone, and letter. It is better if you book your trip in advance.

What is the business hour of Nepal?
Most government offices are open 10am to 5 pm Sunday to Thursday during summer and 10am to 4pm during the winter( roughly Mid- November to Mid February). Offices generally close 3 pm Friday and are closed for an hour at lunchtime. Banks and airlines are open 9am to noon and 1pm to 5 pm Sunday to Friday. Restaurants are generally open 10:30 am to 10pm and shops 10:30 am to 9pm.

Can we hire and buy equipment in Nepal?
It is possible to buy and hire all trekking equipment in Nepal. Outdoor gear outfitters are located in the tourist hub of Thamel. Mountain Hardwear, North Face all have authorized dealerships in Kathmandu. Locally manufactured outfitters are also widely available.  

Can we extend our trip?
Yes, there are sightseeing, short hiking and adventure sports like bungee jumping, jungle safari, paragliding, cycling, white water rafting and many other to choose from. All extended trips are guaranteed to leave you with memories for a lifetime.  

Is it safe to do trekking in Nepal?
Nepal has its political issues. However it has always been a safe destination for visitors. Our professionally trained guides and support staff are always there to make sure you are safe at all times. 

MEDICAL INFORMATION FOR ANY ADVENTURE IN THE HIMALAYAS

ALTITUDE SICKNESS or ACUTE MOUNTATION SICKNESS (AMS):

As you trek in Nepal to higher altitudes, the human body needs to acclimatize to the reduced levels of oxygen.  Altitude sickness/AMS is not uncommon above 2500m elevation. Symptoms of altitude sickness include; headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady and shortness of breath.
Always be sure to tell your team mate or guide if you are feeling these or any other symptoms so that they can help. Ignoring it can lead to serious consequences. 

Prevention

The best way to prevent AMS is to avoid rapid ascents to high altitudes. If you fly or bus into an area at high altitude, take it easy for at least three days - for most travellers this is long enough to get over any initial ill effects. At this point you might step up your programme by visiting a few sights around town. Within a week you should be ready for something a bit more adventurous, but do not push yourself to do anything that you are not comfortable with.

Steps to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness include:

Ascend slowly. Have frequent rest days, spending two to three nights at each rise of 1000m. If you reach a high altitude by trekking, acclimatisation takes place gradually and you are less likely to be affected than if you fly directly to high altitude.

Trekkers should bear in mind the climber's adage 'Climb high, sleep low'. It is always wise to sleep at a lower altitude than the greatest height reached during the day. High day climbs followed by a descent back to lower altitudes for the night are good preparation for high-altitude trekking. Also, once above 3000m, care should be taken not to increase the sleeping altitude by more than 400m per day. If the terrain won't allow for less than 400m of elevation gain, be ready to take an extra day off before tackling the climb.

Drink extra fluids. The mountain air is dry and cold, and moisture is lost as you breathe. Evaporation of sweat may occur unnoticed and result in dehydration.

Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy.

Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don't smoke.

Avoid sedatives or sleeping pills.

When trekking, take a day off to rest and acclimatise if feeling overtired. If you or anyone else in your party is having a tough time make allowances for unscheduled stops.

Don't push yourself when climbing up to passes; rather, take plenty of breaks. You can usually get over the pass as easily tomorrow as you can today. Try to plan your itinerary so that long ascents can be divided into two or more days. Given the complexity and unknown variables involved with AMS and acclimatisation, trekkers should always err on the side of caution and ascend mountains slowly.

Persons prone to AMS or those required to make a rapid ascent (such as rescuers) may consider taking Diamox (acetazolamide); the usual dose is 125mg to 250mg twice daily. It is essential that this medication not be used as a substitute for slow ascent, or for descent and appropriate treatment if symptoms develop. The medication is a diuretic and possibly contributes to dehydration (extra fluid intake is necessary to compensate). Diamox may cause vision and taste changes and a tingling sensation in the fingers.

Treatment

Treat mild symptoms by resting at the same altitude until recovery, which usually takes a day or two. Take paracetamol or aspirin for headaches. If symptoms persist or become worse, however, immediate descent is necessary - even 500m can help.

The most effective treatment for severe AMS is to get down to a lower altitude as quickly as possible. In less severe cases the victim will be able to stagger down with some support; in other cases they may need to be carried down. Whatever the case, do not delay, as any delay could be fatal.

AMS victims may need to be flown out - make sure that you have adequate travel insurance.

Other treatments for AMS may include oxyen, acetazolamide (Diamox), nifedipine, dexamethasone and the Gamow bag. Drug treatments should never be used to avoid descent or to enable further ascent.


DIAMOX:

On all high altitude treks (above 3500m) we carry Diamox for the prevention and treatment of AMS. Leaders are trained in use of these drugs. In some cases, it can cause allergy – hence discuss this with your doctor prior to departure. Side effects- tingling fingers, lips and nose (not serious) & dehydration (manageable).

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS AND RESCUES:
Many of our trips visit remote areas where the nearest medical facility could be many miles away, in case of serious problems or emergencies, it is usually possible to arrange to be transported back out. Such expenses are often covered by health and/or travel insurance. Comprehensive insurance with additional “Sports Cover” (a term used by many insurance companies). We highly recommend all our clients to be covered by travel insurance for this gives you the peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

COMMUNICATIONS DURING TREKS
It can sometimes be difficult to find network coverage while on the trail, however these days most small town do have cell phone network coverage. Beside this, small town along the trail do have landline phone available. Do check with your guide for more information. Your guide or Hotel Holy Himalaya staff can help you with purchasing a local Nepali sim card that you can use during your stay in Nepal.

Trekking Permits
To trek in Nepal you will need to obtain one or more permits, depending on the area that you plan to visit. Some permits are required in advance and some can be bought on the spot.

There are different types of permits and/or fees:

  • Special Trekking Permit for restricted/controlled areas
  • Trekkers & Information Management System/TIMS Card
  • Conservation Area entrance fee
  • National Park entrance  fee
  • Trekking peak climbing and mountaineering permit
  • Filming and documentary shooting permit

Special Trekking Permit for restricted/controlled areas

Special Trekking Permits are needed for most trekking areas besides Annapurna, Everest and Langtang & Helambu. Trekking Permits are raised by the Department of Immigration and have to be obtained in advance of the trek. They can only be obtained through an authorized trekking or travel agency. Besides, in areas where trekking permits are needed, it is not allowed to go trekking without a guide. The trekking permits are issued for groups of 2 persons and more. Special trekking permit fees vary for different destinations.
An overview of areas where you need a trekking permit you can find on the website of the Ministry Home Affairs, Department of Immigration of Nepal:  www.immi.gov.np/appendix (scroll down to Appendix 12).

Trekkers Information Management System/TIMS Card

In the trekking areas where a trekking permit is not needed, you need to obtain a TIMS card. These TIMS cards have been introduced to provide a proper record of trekkers in order to increase their safety and security; in case of natural calamities and other accidents the information gathered by TIMS helps to carry out search and rescue operations for trekkers.
There are 2 types of TIMS cards, green cards for independent trekkers (NPR 2000) and blue cards for trekkers in an organized group (NPR 1000). The TIMS card has to be obtained in advance of the trek. Independent trekkers can obtain their TIMS card at the offices of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and Pokhara, TAAN Secretariat at Maligaon in Kathmandu and TAAN Pokhara Secretariat in Pokhara. You need to bring a copy of your passport and 2 passport size photographs and fill in a TIMS application form.
You can find more information atwww.timsnepal.com.

Conservation Area entrance fee

Many popular trekking destinations are part of a Conservation Area. For the areas being managed by theNational Trust of Nature Conservationyou need to obtain an entrance permit in advance of the trek at the office of the National Trust, which is inside the NTB office in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You need to bring a copy of your passport and 1 passport size photograph. The entrance fee is NRs 2000. The areas are:

  • Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA)
  • Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA)
  • Gaurishankar Conservation Area (GCA)

For Gaurishankar Conservation Area you can also buy the entrance permit at the destination (this may change in future).
One Conservation Area is not under the management of NTNC, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), which is being managed by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). You can obtain the entrance permit at the DNPWC or at the KCA office at Lelep, Taplejung.

 

National Park entrance fee

Many treks enter into National Parks, for which you have pay a National Park entrance fee. Nepal has the following national parks: Sagarmatha NP , Langtang NP, Makalu Barun NP, Rara NP, Shey-Phoksundo NP, Chitwan NP, Khaptad NP, Bardiya NP and Shivapuri NP. Usually, the entrance fee for the National parks is NRs. 3000 for foreigners. However there are different entrance fees National parks in the Terai Region.

Besides the National Parks, there are a couple of wildlife reserves: Shukla Phanta wildlife reserve, Koshi Tappu Wildlife reserve, Parsi Wildlife Reserve for which the entrance fee is NRs 1000 per day. Finally Nepal has one Hunting Reserve, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, for which the entrance fee for foreigners is NRs 3000.

Click below for a complete overview of trekking permits needed along the Great Himalaya Trail and for trekking in Nepal in general.

Create your own Wilderness First Aid Kit

Here are some tips on how to make your own first aid kit for the wilderness. Keep in mind, you may want to increase the amounts depending on how long you will be travelling for and on how many people will be traveling with you.
To start, you’ll need something to store your first aid items in. You will want something lightweight and preferably waterproof. Ziplock bags may be your first choice, but be sure to pick a heavy-duty one with a sliding zip lock to ensure it stays dry. You may also want to look into a hard case, something plastic that can snap shut.

Size

How big of a first aid kit you create depends on a few things. Is it just for you or for a group traveling together? Are you simply hiking and camping or will you be partaking in other adventurous activities like rock climbing or rafting? If so, you may want a larger first aid kit as injuries could potentially need more attention.

What to Pack

Here is a suggested list. Keep in mind, you can always add or subtract items depending on your personal needs. As time goes on and you increase your trips into the wilderness, you may discover you’re carrying too much or not enough.

  • Basic components:
  • Small gauze pads
  • At least 2” gauze roll
  • Non-adhesive gauze pad
  • Adhesive bandage tape
  • Butterfly closures
  • Band-Aids, various sizes
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Bulb irrigating syringe
  • Povidone/iodine solution
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Chemical heat and cold packs
  • Dry-wash pads or wipes
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Moleskin pads
  • Latex gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medications
  • Antacid
  • Antibiotic (Dicloxacillin, etc.) skin infections
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl, etc.) allergic reactions, insomnia
  • Anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen) inflammation, pain
  • Hydrocortisone cream (soothes allergic skin)
  • Potable Aqua; iodine water treatment
  • Optional Additions
  • Duct tape
  • Super glue
  • Small mirror
  • Epi-pen
  • Aloe vera gel

Be sure to inspect your kit before every trip and make sure the gear is clean and supplies are in good condition. Replace expired medications as needed and add items that would have been helpful on your previous trip. Be sure the kit is easily accessible and not buried deep in your bag. Also be sure to tell others you are traveling with where your first aid kit is.

If you aren’t comfortable making your own fist aid kid, pre-packaged kits are available online or at your local outdoor gear outfitter store.


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