An experience like a trekking trip in Nepal or India will undoubtedly stay long in your memory. However, as you’ve probably guessed, if you’re really going to make the most of the experience, it does require some preparation. Here’s our nine-point guide on how to prepare for a trekking trip. Follow these points to really super-charge your enjoyment of your trek.
Do some training to help you prepare for the environment.
The terrain can be rough and the paths are high. Training can help you deal with the altitude, physical exertion, terrain, fatigue and temperatures. If you have good general fitness, aim to start training around 3 months before your trip. What you are aiming for is not to be an Olympic level athlete, but to build your stamina to such a point that you can maintain a steady pace over several hours on a similar terrain, as well as being equipped to cope with the altitude.
Trekking through the Himalayan countryside.
Improve your fitness and work towards your personal fitness goal.
You can improve your fitness by working up a plan and sticking to it. This might include joining the gym, doing exercises at home, pounding the pavements or cycling to the office. Whatever it is, work your body the way you’d use it in an ascent and descent, and build up your stamina. On our trek to Everest Base Camp, you can be trekking for up to 8 hours on any given day!
Plan some mini practice treks in your own great outdoors.
No matter where you live, use the great outdoors to help you prepare for a trekking trip. Research a few routes of varying intensity and length and build them into your training plan. It can be a forest track, a hill walk or a walk to the next again town.Such treks will help you prepare, but they’ll also act as milestones and will show you how well your day-to-day exercising is helping you build your fitness. Seeing progress is great motivation to do more!
Strolling through the mustard fields of Chitwan.
Do some mental preparation.
That brings me to the next point. A trekking trip will be the trip of a lifetime. Perhaps the experience will push you out of your comfort zone, which can be a great thing. So, it’s important to prepare mentally and build your confidence about your own physical capabilities. Don’t worry about the trip by underestimating what you and your body can do. Physical preparation will help you here, and the more you prepare your body, the more you’ll calm your mind, and from there the world is your oyster! It'll all be worth it to see some of the stunning views on offer in this part of the world, such as those from the Annapurna Base Camp!
Build up a diet plan and eat the right things.
When you build your fitness plan, remember to think about the fuel you will need to help you as you exercise. Keep yourself hydrated. Practise eating on the move so your body is used to taking on board fuel as you walk.
A monkey eating outside a temple in Kathmandu.
Get your vaccinations up to date.
Speak to your physician or GP about the trip and make sure vaccinations for life in your own country are up to date, and take the recommended vaccinations for your destination.
Prepare your clothing and equipment for the trek.
Check the average temperature and wind chill for your trek and the weather conditions expected for the time of year.
Pay attention to any etiquette for clothing in that country – for example, in Nepal and India conservative dress is required and you need to limit how much bare skin is on show.
Always wear your hiking boots during your outward journey, or pack them in your hand luggage – just in case your checked-in baggage gets lost. It’s difficult to replace boots that have been broken in! However, you’ll be able to replace most other items.
Above all – follow the recommended clothing and equipment lists that your trekking guide company should provide you with. The basics will be include good, broken-in walking boots, a good but light backpack, multi functioning outdoor clothing, camera, spare batteries, currency in a small enough denomination (there will be little change to be had once you’re on your trek), snacks like nuts and oat bars, water bottle, medication. Following these simple tips will allow you to have the best experience possible; check out our tour to the Pin Parvati Pass and some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world!
A basic campsite is the best campsite. Leaving behind the luxuries and ‘things’ of modern living can be refreshing.
Read up on the culture and language of your destination, and the native ethnic groups.
I always think that trekking in Nepal and India is a great privilege. The people who live there welcome us, therefore we should always afford them the grace of understanding a little of their culture and language, and the expected ‘dos and don’ts’. Again your guides will keep you right, but try to prepare before you arrive.
One of our local friends in Nepal.
Prepare for the unexpected.
Make sure your travel and medical insurances are up to date. Bring along medication to deal with some of the ailments that sometimes affect trekkers – diarrhoea, common colds, sinusitis, coughs and bronchitis.Your trekking guides will also brief you on the signs of altitude sickness and how to handle this. We hope that you don’t suffer any of these issues, but it’s always best to be prepared with medication and knowledge on what to look out for and do in such instances.
About the author of this blog:
Nima Lama has been trekking in the region for over ten years. The managing director of Mountain Quests, he still regularly leads treks and loves it. The trek to Everest base camp is his favourite – and trekking with Nima means you’ll make a friend for life. Contact Nima and the team for more information on trekking in Nepal or trekking in India.