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Top 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid while trekking in Nepal

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thu Jan 13, 2022
trekking

Trekking in Nepal is adventurous, fulfilling, and nothing like you've experienced anywhere. Due to the diverse geography, lush nature, and remote Himalayan trials, the journey on foot will be enjoyable and demanding.

Whether it is a short trekking or long mountain trekking in Nepal, there are many things to be considered before taking your next flight to Nepal. Having little to no knowledge about the trekking region you are traveling to can lead to many mistakes. The topography of the Himalayas is unforgiving, so one needs to properly prepare for trekking in Nepal.

Make your trek in Nepal a memorable and successful one by learning about the common mistakes made by trekkers and how to avoid them. While there is a lot to learn from these mistakes, whether your own or someone else's, it can be expensive and, at times be fatal. Hence, it is best to do in-depth research about Nepal trekking to avoid making silly mistakes.

Given below are the top 10 common mistakes to avoid while trekking in Nepal:


1. Not Taking Enough Training Or Taking Wrong Training

In terms of difficulty, trekking in Nepal can range from easy to moderate and challenging. The winding topography, altitude, and weather contribute to the difficulty of a trek. Many trekkers do not consider the difficulty grade level and board on a trek that is physically arduous to complete. It is advised to properly assess the level of effort involved in the trek and then prepare yourself accordingly.

It is best to have some prior hiking or short trekking experience for a lengthy high-altitude trek. If you don't live near a hiking or trekking trail, then consider cardio training, running, swimming, and cycling, which will strengthen your muscles. Remember that only lifting weights in a gym will not suffice as you need to walk 4 to 8 hours per day on a rocky trail.

2. Walking Quickly At A High Altitude

Walking Quickly

A common mistake among many young trekkers in groups is their perception that trekking is an act of athletic challenge. In that sense, they wish to reach the destination quickly and become the victim of altitude sickness at higher altitudes.

The oxygen that the body and brain get at higher altitudes is compromised, so you will not have as much energy or oxygen to spare. It is also one reason why trekkers experience the symptoms of altitude sickness such as vomiting, dizziness, fainting, and more. In the worst-case scenario, altitude sickness can even cause fatality. Moreover, the high-altitude trails are mostly slopey, narrow, and rocky, making them difficult to walk.

Appreciate the wilderness, the natural beauty, and the serene silence. Remember, the mountains are not running anywhere, so nor should you! Hence, it is best not to take big leaps or run from one destination to the next.

3. Shortening The Trek

Acclimatization or a rest day is essential in a long high-altitude trek to make your body acquainted with the altitude change and recharge yourself. Another common mistake closely associated with walking quickly at high altitudes is shortening the trek. We often get queries from rookie trekkers who wish to complete a trek in a short period, which was otherwise lengthy. Most have a limited budget or time to travel to Nepal. Many of us even go as far as to minimize the total trekking days by walking quicker than average and skipping the acclimatization days.

Trekking in the Himalayas and hills of Nepal is meant to bring us closer to nature, put us at peace, and instill new experiences. If you have limited time, you can reach out to us to plan a shorter trek best suited to the budget and situation. However, don't try to rush the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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4. Trekking To The Himalayas Without A Guide

Trekking Without A Guide

By now, we already know that trekking in Nepal is not as easy as it seems and that you have to consider a lot of things. Is it mandatory to trek in Nepal with a guide? No. Do we recommend trekking with a guide? Absolutely!

Except for a couple of restricted regions in Nepal like Upper Mustang and Dolpo, you don't need to hire a guide to tag along with you during your treks in Nepal. However, it is highly suggested to hire one because they are a great source of knowledge and safety. If it is your very first time trekking in Nepal, you might get confused around the tricky trails and even the unique local language.

Guides can help you navigate the trails easily, interact with the locals, offer insights on the history and culture, help during testing times, and enhance the entire experience. Especially if you are trekking to the high altitudes, your guide with years of trekking experience will undoubtedly assist you in the unfortunate case of altitude sickness.

You can contact local trekking agencies to hire a well-experienced guide who speaks your native language or English.

5. Overpacking Or Under Packing

how to pack you back pack

We understand that overpacking is something most travelers cannot help overcoming. Old habits die hard. Throw in a couple of trousers, and before you know it, you will have emptied your cupboard into your backpack. 

Heavy trekking bags prove to be a bigger hassle than expected while you are trekking in the terrains of Nepal. Imagine carrying a heavy bag uphill, trying to take pictures while catching your breath in high altitudes!

While we are on the topic of packing, we also want to make it clear to our readers that underpacking is equally a poor decision. Missing out on a thick layer of clothing in the freezing temperatures of the Himalayas can cause frostbites and prove fatal.

It is better to be resourceful, but you need to do ample research about the trekking destination's climate, remoteness, and altitude before making your packing decisions. There can be only a few things that you can pack for trekking in Nepal. After arrival in Nepal, consult with your guide, then hire some essential outer clothing and gear from a rental shop. Moreover, to make the trek easier, you can hire a porter to carry about 25 kgs of your bag, which could be an alternative. Check out the .

6. Careless Consumption Of Food

This one is fairly common among rookie trekkers. Trekking is a high-energy intensive activity that consumes double the calories on an average day. Hence food is what keeps you going. But taking the wrong food can cause unwanted digestive issues.

We might be tempted to consume junk food like noodles, chips, and cookies, which might easily lead to constipation or diarrhea.

Don't be tempted to try something that doesn't sit well with you, and make sure you ask the ingredients in the meal so that you don't catch food allergies. Also, it is best to avoid consuming meat at higher altitudes because, in remote areas, there isn't proper storage, it could be days old, and high-fat meals take longer to digest. Eating local produce and veggies is perhaps the best option.

It is best to stick to three meals a day, including a heavy breakfast in the morning, local lunch in the afternoon, and a light dinner. Additionally, you can add filler snacks like energy bars and chocolates while walking.

7. Drinking Water From An Unknown Source

Drinking water is generally available in open streams or tap water in Nepal. Drinking straight out of a stream could mean carrying germs that cause cholera, diarrhea and stomach ache. Many tourists believe in living like a local while traveling, which might be true in most cases but not in food and water consumption. 

Most houses in remote areas don't have filtered water, so they might generously offer you the water that they consider is healthy. However, your body might not be acquainted with drinking such water.

In saying that, not every region in Nepal has shops that sell mineral water. In most high-altitude areas, the cost of a liter of mineral water can cost three times more than the average cost. Hence, it is best to carry a reusable water bottle with an inbuilt water filter to fill the tap water or free streams and drink without worries.

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8. Not Drinking Enough Water

drink enough water

It is wise to avoid drinking water from unknown sources; that doesn't mean you stop drinking after all. Keeping yourself hydrated is very essential during treks.

In the drift of excitement, many trekkers forget to keep themselves hydrated and go about trekking for many hours without a single drop of water. Some trekkers feel that drinking sugary drinks and coffee constitutes water intake which is a misconception.

Trekking requires a lot of energy and water via sweating, so your body can easily become dehydrated. It makes us walk even slower and causes constipation as well. The symptoms of dehydration are headache, dizziness, weakness, and confusion.

Remember to drink water after each hour, even if it poses a distraction. The ideal water intake for a day is about 3 to 4 liters.

9. Not Applying Sunscreen

We have heard of men warding away sunscreen as a cosmetic. But sunscreen is more of a necessity to protect your skin against diseases rather than a beauty product. There are many regretful stories of how trekkers forget to carry sunscreen or underestimate the damage it causes to not carry one.

Trekking requires you to walk hours and hours under the scorching sun leading to sunburns that are not pretty to look at. The sun is intense at higher altitudes due to the thin atmosphere and the reflection from the snow, so you will most certainly feel the heat seeping through your skin.

Use a sunscreen that suits your skin type and protects against UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. If you are trekking to a high altitude where there is a possibility of snow, cover up any exposed areas like hands, ears, neck, and face with sunscreen. Additionally, you can use brimmed hats and caps to protect your skin.

10 Trekking In Normal Shoes

The landscape of Nepal is not normal but rather rugged. There are frequent uphill climbs on rocky, uneven roads. Normal sports shoes that could be used for running or jogging simply don't cut them. We have seen many trekkers who confidently wear all types of shoes but experience discomfort and excruciating pain after a long journey.

For short and easy treks, specialized boots might not be required, but trekking boots are the best option for longer treks in rugged trails. Trekking shoes are different because they have ankle support and grooves with good grip and soft soles. Shop for the best fit, not too loose nor tight. A high-quality trekking shoe can last many treks and make these treks all the more comfortable.

Another thing to note is that many trekkers often feel the hot spots appearing on their heels due to excessive walking but often ignore it. The humble blister can eventually become an excruciating pain if you do not treat it quickly. Make sure to carry ointments to spot the hot spots from developing.

People also commonly overlook cutting their toenails. Make sure to cut your nails as well. When long toenails hit the wall of your tight boot, they will get squashed and cause bleeding.

Conclusion

Trekking in Nepal is the most adventurous activity, which requires a clear understanding of the country before travel. With adequate research on the best month for trekking in Nepal, packing checklists, and common mistakes to avoid, you can enjoy Nepal to the fullest. Make sure to reach out to our experienced guides and representatives to plan and book tours in any of the best trekking places in Nepal.



  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thursday Jan 13, 2022

Recent Comments

trekking
Lia Massey | Thu Jan 20, 2022
I think you miss rain coat! Or cover for the bag. Sometimes it rains outta nowhere! So better carry rain-cover for the bag.
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Mayur Rattan | Wed Jan 19, 2022
not carrying toilet paper is also a big mistake; you never know when you have to run into the forest or the hill to release the poops :D
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Oliver Jiménez | Tue Jan 18, 2022
These are good tips and I agree much more with tip #3. My friend tried shortening EBC trek to 12 days and he could not complete the trek.
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Rafael Cook | Tue Jan 18, 2022
I had a blister and burn while trekking to Mardi Himal due to bad shoes, and I can never forget it.
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Karina Rees | Fri Jan 14, 2022
taking note on 6. Careless Consumption Of Food, it is absolutely a common mistake. I always go for fresh or local foods, mostly Dal Bhat, and fresh boiled eggs and potatoes. And never eat meat, you know it!
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Jaswant Mahanti | Fri Jan 14, 2022
I did EBC trek without a guide so yes I do not agree with #4. I know it is always best to hire a guide to enrich your trek experience but it is not necessary to trek with a guide unless it is mandatory. The well-maintained trails and the friendly locals were the guide for me. I mean I didn't have any problem doing the trek without guide.
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Ollie Morris | Fri Jan 14, 2022

trekking faster at higher altitudes is the deadliest mistake. My friend had to stop at the Dingboche for two days, descending immediately because he was walking faster than usual and got caught with a severe headache. The acclimatization day helps a lot. make sure to entail at least one acclimatization day.

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Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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