FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Being you local outfitter in Nepal, we suggest our guests to go through this page so that they know exactly what to expect while in Nepal and what stuff could be required for the trip. As outfitters based in Nepal, we consider it our duty and responsibility to provide you with as much information as possible before you land in Nepal. With our tour operating experience in Nepal, we have compiled a few very important facts that you should be aware of before travelling and starting you Trekking in Nepal Experience.
What should we bring to travel Nepal for Trekking?
Pack light, but pack right.
Being comfortable at high altitude in a remote setting means having the right equipment. The basic clothing items you will need are described below, with explanations about each item. Remember that excess baggage can be a burden to you and the support staff in the field. Pack light, but pack right. This will allow you to enjoy a comfortable journey with your energies focused on the trekking in Nepal experience be it Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek or any other trek.
Keeping the proper temperature is best accomplished by adding or taking off layers of clothing. While hiking during the day, you may be in shorts or skirt and a long-sleeved shirt. During the evening, as the temperature cools, you will add a sweater and, perhaps, a parka. Bringing the items outlined below will ensure that you are adequately prepared. Make sure that your clothing is sized to allow you to “stack” your layers and still move comfortably. This will prepare you for any weather extremes or unexpected situations that may arise. Casual Clothes: Bring a few lightweights, easily washable items. Leave these in a luggage storage room at your hotel.
One pair of sturdy light to middle-weight hiking boots. Typically these are combination of nylon and leather. As outfitters in Nepal and with our experience, we suggest boots with a Gore-tex lining to be waterproof. These types of shoes have a lug sole for good traction and provide lateral support for the ankles that is essential while hiking (for example; the Vasque Clarion and the Asolo Approach). Be sure your footwear is broken in and fits well. Boots should fit comfortably over one thin liner sock and a mid-weight wool sock. This reduces chafing and blisters. Tennis shoes or sandals are also useful in camp use or bathing.
Four pairs of liner socks. Four pairs of mid-weight wool socks. Socks and footwear should be coordinated for a proper fit.
Polypropylene, Thermax, or Wool, are the best choice—a set of tops and bottoms.
Two loose-fitting cotton and / or lightweight wool or pile pants. Blue Jeans often restrict movement and are not advised.
LONG SKIRT FOR WOMEN:
For cultural reasons, women should wear light cotton skirts or long pants. A skirt is not only great for hiking, but culturally a skirt may open doors for women trekkers to get mixed with the locals. Women can increase the warmth while wearing a skirt by layering pants or polypropylene underwear underneath.
SHIRTS / BLOUSES:
Two long-sleeved shirts.
Regular everyday type.
One heavy wool or synthetic pile sweater or synthetic pile jacket (such as Polartec 200 fabric)
Either down or synthetic fill, rated to 20 degrees F and able to accommodate your sweater underneath. This type of jacket might typically be used for skiing.
The jacket should be very water repellent and roomy. Nylon coated or a waterproof/breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex. WIND SHELL:
A nylon or synthetic wind jacket. A waterproof/breathable jacket such as Gore-Tex can be used both as a rain and a wind jacket.
Wool gloves and / or mittens.
Down sleeping bag rated for -20 degrees. Bags can be rented in Kathmandu (an additional fee). Sleeping pads are provided.
Valid passport, two extra passport photographs (for trekking permits), airline tickets, luggage tags.
Visas can be obtained upon entry into Nepal (cost is $40 for 30days & $60 – 90days).
As your outfitter in Nepal, we strongly advise that you be in proper physical condition for trekking in Nepal. We will be hiking 6-8 hours each day at altitudes averaging 10,000 feet in a remote location. At high altitude, the percentage of oxygen molecules in the air is not the same as it is at sea level (21%). This means that with each breath, you are exchanging less oxygen than you would at sea level. Your cardiovascular system must be in good shape in order to handle the physical demands of trips in Nepal. You must be on a regular physical fitness program, as outlined below, at least 3 months prior to the trip. The list below is a sample and should be considered the minimum requirement. Remember, in order to enjoy trips in Nepal, your body needs to be in good aerobic condition. Failure to be in proper shape could lead to serious health problems. If you have not been involved in a regular exercise program, please see your physician. If you are over 60, you must have a stress test.
Walking - 4+ miles a day at a brisk pace
Jogging - 2-3 miles a day
Biking - 05-10 miles a day
AS your outfitter during your trekking in Nepal experience, one of the goals of the trip is to allow you to experience the Nepali culture in depth. Part of the trip will include some daily instruction in the Nepali language. We recommend that you purchase the Nepali Language Tape by Stephen Bezruchka and practice basic pronunciation before the trip. This will help you communicate more easily with the Sherpa people.
ARRIVAL and HOTEL:
The group arriving from different countries will be meeting us (your local outfitter in Nepal) and each other at the Tribuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to transport you to the hotel. If you are making your own airplane reservations, please let us know your flight and arrival time so that we can arrange transportation to the Hotel.
PHONE CALLS and EMERGENCY CONTACT:
You will find that the phone system for calling home very reliable and provides an excellent connection. Contact the hotel front desk for service but collect calls are usually not possible. Calls are about US$ 2 per minute. Nowadays it is better to use internet phone and use free mediums like Viber or Skype.
You may have mail sent to our address in Kathmandu. Mail usually takes two weeks to go or come from Nepal. Mail should be addressed to you. Now we do have following international mail service in Kathmandu:
Federal Express Mail
EMS - Emergency Mail Service
TNT mail service & UPS mail service.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXCEPT IN TREK SUCH AS FOODS, TRAIL INFO, CUSTOMS, ALTITUDE SICKNESS and MEDICINE?
(i) Preparing at the Hotel:
The day before the trek begins, you will need to divide your belongings into trek and non-trek items. Non-trek item such as air tickets and your passport will be left at the hotel in safe room or leave with us in our office in Kathmandu for reconfirming your flight back to home.
(ii) On the trail:
We will be hiking 6-8 hours. Each person will carry a small daypack with an extra layer of clothing, water bottle, and camera. All the rest of our supplies will be carried by porters. Our cook will prepare all of our meals each day. At night we will be sleeping in tents or lodges along the trail
Bathing facilities are, of course, limited. Each morning, the porters will bring a basin of hot water and soap to your tent. During the day there may be opportunities for washing with water taken from streams. When bathing in public areas, please wear a bathing suit (one-piece for women). In larger towns that have lots of trekking traffic bathing in streams is not recommended.
Bathrooms are non-existent. The Sherpa staff will prepare a pit-toilet tent each evening, away from camp. During the day you are on your own “finding nature.” Please dig a small hole and cover your activity when finished. It is rather waxy. We would encourage you to also bring a small lighter for burning the paper when finished. In the villages we pass through, we might get lucky and find an outhouse available.
Food will be prepared by Nepali chefs. Be prepared for a simple fair. Breakfast is dry cereal, oatmeal, eggs, or pancakes or some form of chapatis. Lunch is varied. There are always bread, biscuits juice or noodles potatoes, and often-canned meat like tuna fish or cooked Spam. Dinner always starts with a hot soup. The main course utilizes rice, potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, often with curry and other spices. Sometimes chicken or buffalo meat is available. We supply local and imported foods for trek/climb. Our chefs cook continental, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, Thai and classic Nepali dish.
We do have many interesting cultural taboos and customs that are important to be aware of. These will be covered in more detail when you arrive in Kathmandu. These include not whistling inside a person’s home and only using the right hand to eat with and to give money or a gift with. Signs of affection to the opposite sex like holding hands and kissing in public are not only offensive to Nepali people but are seen as quite rude. People of the same sex, however, may express friendship by holding hands.
Since the trek takes place at high altitude, must have planned the trip with staged ascents and a number of rest days to allow you to acclimatize. Since few people have been to such altitude, it is hard to know who may be affected. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don’t. Altitude gains will be limited to between 1,000 and 2,000 feet per day in order to allow people to acclimatize and we will take periodic rest days. It is important that you understand the types of illnesses that can occur at high altitude and their potential severity.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is common at high altitudes. It is the body’s response to the decreased oxygen uptake at higher altitudes. At elevations over 10,000 feet, 75% of people will have mild symptoms. The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon the elevation, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival and begin to decrease in severity about the third day. The symptoms of Mild AMS are headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and when respiratory drive is decreased. Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within 2-4 days. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate.
Our guide will be monitoring everyone very closely for AMS throughout the trip. It is essential that you communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to the trip leaders. The cure is either acclimatization or descent. Mild AMS is treated with Diamox (Acetazolamide) and pain medications for headache. Both help to reduce the severity of the symptoms. We strongly suggest that you take Diamox 125 mg twice a day, beginning the day before the ascent and continuing for at least five days at higher altitude. You should experiment with taking it 48 hours before departure to Nepal. This will let you know if the drug has any adverse effects. Side effects include tingling of the lips and fingertips, blurring of vision, and alteration of taste. Symptoms subside when the drug is stopped. Contact your physician for a prescription. Since Diamox only reduces the symptoms of AMS, inability to take it does not preclude participation in the trek.
Moderate AMS includes severe headache not relieved by medication, nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, and lowered coordination. Normal activity is difficult although the person can still walk on their own. At this stage, only advanced medications or descent can reverse the problem. Once at a lower altitude, symptoms may reverse and, with acclimatization, the person may be able to continue to higher altitude. Severe AMS presents as an increase in the severity of the aforementioned symptoms, including shortness of breath at rest, inability to walk, decreasing mental status, and fluid buildup in the lungs. Severe AMS requires immediate descent to lower altitudes.
Here are two other serious high altitude conditions, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Both of these happen infrequently, especially to those properly who are not acclimatized. Their usual occurrence is with people going too high too fast or going very high and staying there. Since our ascent will be gradual and our average altitude will be less than 13,000 feet, we do not expect serious problems. However, it is important for you to be aware of these conditions. HAPE results from fluid buildup in the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, and a productive cough. The fluid prevents effective oxygen exchange. As the condition becomes more severe, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream decreases, and this can lead to cyanosis and impaired cerebral function. HACE is the result of swelling of brain tissue from fluid leakage. Symptoms can include headache, loss of coordination, weakness, and disorientation. It generally occurs after a week or more at high altitude. The only effective field treatment for either condition is early descent. Severe instances of either condition can lead to death if not treated quickly.
(vi) Medical Problems on the Trip:
Serious medical problems are not anticipated during the trip. Minor problems will be deal by trip guide/staff. The most likely medical problems are altitude sickness, gastrointestinal problems, or joint problems, particularly knee problems from hiking.
Everyone should bring a prescription antibiotic for GI infections (we recommend Ciprofloxacin 500 mg) and Diamox 250 mg for altitude sickness (the new recommended dosage is 125 mg twice a day, so 250 mg tablets can be cut in half).
Jet lag results from the disruption of the body’s rhythms. Throwing off the sleep/wake cycle may cause digestive problems; headaches; changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing patterns; fatigue; as well as many other disconcerting side effects. The farther you travel, the longer jet lag may last and the worse it may be. Your body has an internal biological clock that helps guide your daily activities—preparing your stomach for food; regulating energy, strength, and alertness; and causing sleepiness at approximately the same time each evening. Your biological clock uses a variety of major time cues to help decide what activities are or are not appropriate. Major cues include diet, light, exercise, drugs, and social interaction. Adjusting these time cues before and during travel can help the body reset its internal time clock so that functioning alertly in a different time zone is achieved more quickly and easily. You should begin preparing your body for long distance travel three days prior to departure.
HOW DO WE GET INTO NEPAL?
We do have several international airlines flying to Kathmandu, some are listed below:
1. Thai Airlines has Everyday flight to/from Bangkok
2. Qatar Airlines (Doha) has 4 flight in a day
3. Gulf Airlines (Bharian) has 9 flights a week
4. Arky from Holland has 3 flights a week
5. FlyDubai has 2 flight a day
6. Silk Air has 6 flight a week
7. Air Arabia has 9 flight a week
8. Etihad Airlines has daily flights
9. Air Asia (Malaysia) 5 flight a week
10. Jet Airways has 3 flights a day
11. Air India has 3 flights a day
12. IndiGo and Spice Jet from Delhi have 2 flight a day
13. Indian Airlines has daily flights
14. Additional flight available with Oman Air, Jordian Air, Bangladesh Airlines and Pakistan Airlines
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