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Trekking in Nepal

Difficulty Levels

We separate trekking grades in to five levels to ensure trekkers feel comfortable. Easy trekking, by himalayan standards is generally between 900 meter to 3000 ft. And 2000 mtr. to 6500 ft. There are always plenty of ups and downs anywhere in the Himalaya and clients need to be regular walkers to get full enjoyment from their experience. It is possible however to design ‘easier’ three to four days treks with perhaps only three to four hours walking per day on request.

Easy

Easy trekking, by himalayan standards is generally between 900 meter to 3000 ft. And 2000 mtr. to 6500 ft.

Moderate

Moderate trekking 900m to 3000ft. And 3000m. To 10,000ft. But possibly involving side trips to higher elevations.

Difficult

Reasonably demanding trekking at altitudes up to 4,000m. To 13,000ft. With side trips to higher elevations. Some treks included here will, in part, be well away from villages on ill-defined mountain trails.

Strenuous

Treks of the demanding nature, requiring all participants to be fit and in excellent health. Often in remote alpine areas and sometimes reaching altitudes in excess of 5,000m. To 18,000ft.

Alpine

Extremely demanding treks sometimes in very remote areas on rough terrain and perhaps including (in Nepal) one or more of the so called trekking peaks maximum altitude, Mt. Mera at 6461m./ 21,192ft. Participants should have at least a basic knowledge of use of crampons and ice axes, though first time climbers may be accepted on some of the so called ‘easy’ routes on these peaks. Medical certificates are required prior to acceptance on any climbing treks.

Pre-tour preparations

Travel and Trekking Premits

Passport, Visa and Trekking Permit Requirements: all travelers to Nepal must hold six month valid passport. Beyound your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa for nepal is also required. It can be obtained either in advanced from your local embassy or upon arrival in Nepal. If you plan to obtained it in Nepal be sure to bring one extra passport size photographs with you for this purpose.

Climate

Temperatures tend to be quite cool in the morning and evening, but heat up at midday due to the strong direct sunlight at high altitudes. The Terai plain, where Chitwan national park is located, is about 3000 feet lower in altitude than Kathmandu, and is consistently warmer than the rest of Nepal.

Clothing and Equipment Needed

In town:

Unless you are attending a special party, ceremony or official function,dress informally. Men wear slacks and a sports shirt, women wear a casual dress, or slacks outfit. Conservative dress is always appropriate. Both in the cities and along trekking trails, tight revealing clothing and sliveless men may offend the modest norm. However, outside of Kathmandu loose-fitting shorts are acceptable for both men and women.

On Tour:

Comfortable clothes of fabrics that breathe are essencial. Shorts and a loose shirt of lightweight cotton are ideal during the day,since it is always warm.comfortable trousers would also be appropriate. Bring a thick sweater or fleece sweater shirt to wear in the evenings, when temperatures declne considerably. A light weight jecket or windbreaker will also be useful.
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While Trekking:

The most important item you will require is suitable footwear for trekking. Lightweight walking boots with ankle support and rubber soles with thick thread are best. Unless you are trekking during the rainy season, they needn’t be waterproof. It is essential your walking boots be comfortable and broken-in, uncomfortable boots can ruin a trek. Your boots should be worn with thick natural fibre socks.

Toiletries and Medical Items

All travelers should bring a supply of personal toiletries. Trekkers sometimes suffer from blisters, cold, coughs and minor stomach upsets. We recommend every traveler to bring a basic medical kit containing nail scissors, moleskin, band-aids, sunscreen, diarrhea tablets, aspirin and remedy for cold and coughs. Taking acidophilus tablets a few weeks before travel can help prevent bacterial diarrhea abroad. Acidophilus is available at most health food stores. Cipro, available by prescription, is the best known treatment for bacterial diarrhea. Your trek leader is first-aid trained and will also carry a standard medical pack.

Baggage

We suggest you pack in a soft-sided bag in order to keep the weight down. Departing Nepal, the weight limits is 20 kg. Only check in bags and one carry on bag are allowed. Excess baggage is charged at up to US$ 15 per kg. Makes sure you have locks for the bags.

Customs

In addition to personal effect, foreign visitors may import the following in to Nepal duty-free: up to 200 cigarettes or 20 cigars, one quart of distilled liquor or twelve cans of beer. There are limitation on importing certain electronic goods, including 6mm lanced cameras, for which a special permit is required. Still cameras and 8mm video camera for your personal use may be imported duty-free, though you may be asked to declear them on arrival.
There are limitation on the export of Nepalese antiques and items of archaeological, historical value. If you purchase any such items ask the shopkeeper to assist you in obtaining an export license from the department of archaeology, reputable dealers are usually willing to assist. Antique carpet, brass metal statues and thankas (finely detailed paintings, depicting Buddhist themes) are among the items in this category. Remember it is illegal to export any items made from any endangered species of wildlife into most countries.

Packing Checklist

To assist you in planning your trip, we have prepared a suggested packing list. It is meant as a guideline only. Always take your own preferences into account when determining what to bring.

CLOTHING:
1. Pair of walking boots for trekking.
2. A pair of tennis shoes, for wearing at lodges in the evenings.
3. Four pair of field shirts; 2 long sleeved and 2 short- sleeved.
4. Five T-shirts
5. One thick sweater or fleece sweat shirt.
6. Light weight, windproof jacket.
7. Three pairs of shorts; women may wear skirts if they prefer.
8. Two pair of comfortable trousers, or skirts.
9. One track suit, 1 set of warm sleepwear, 4 handkerchiefs.
10. 5 pair of socks, 5 pair of thick,natural fiber walking socks.
11. Underwear up to you how many, flipflop, belt, sunglasses with high UV.
12. First aid kit, water purification tablets or liquid, medicine for headache, fever, AMS, diarrhoea, handy plast etc.

Sundries & Miscellaneous:
1. valid passport at least 6 month, Airline ticket, pass photos (at least 5), UV protection sun cream, flashlight with strong bulb and batteries or winding lamp which you dont have to carry batteries all the way, 1 pair of lightweight binoculars, 1 watch, notebook and pencil, personal toiletries, including a small hand wash cloth, digital camera, basic medication and first-aid kit, any prescription medications you require,(original containers) ie; malaria pils, books on tape, a pocket knife,and Ipod etc.
2. If you are going to do white water Rafting, add a pair of rubber sandals and a pair of quick drying shorts. We will provide life jackets, helmets and waterproof drums for your equipment.
3. If you are visiting wildlife National parks:- some of your clothing should be in neutral colors, like khaki, white and bright colored clothes distrub the wild animals.
4. If you are trekking during the off season or (monsoon):- you are require to have heavier( waterproof) boots and outerwear ie; rain poncho or umbrella etc.

Health and Safety

While trekking is not extremely strenous, you must be in reasonable health, as medical facilities are generally unavailable in trekking areas. The altitude in Kathmandu is 4500 feet. We trek between 3500 to 7000 feet, so altitude sickness should not affect you at these hights. However almost everyone suffer some shortness of breathe on some uphill sections. Anyone with breathing difficulties should consult with a physician to determine there fitness for travel.
Although no inoculation is required for Nepal, you should consult your local health department or your house doctor for disease control, for the updeted recommendations. The most important inoculations are gamma globulin (for hepatitis and tetanus.)
Unboiled water is not safe to drink anywhere in Nepal. Most hotels provide a flask of purified drinking water on request. When in doubt, stick with bottled drinks. Local mineral water is perfectly safe to drink or treat your own water with purification tablets. You must be aware of ice blocks or quibs.
Uncooked vegetables are also not safe to consume, unless they have been properly treated with Iodine water. You should always peel your own fresh fruits. A pocket knife would be useful.
In the event of an emergency while trekking, a helicopter will be summoned. You will then be flown,with your guide to Kathmandu or Pokhara where you will be met by our office staff and taken to the international hospitals if necessary. Ensure that your insurance policy covers for such unlikely evetualities. Medical evacuation by helicopter has to be paid by the guests prior to departure from kathmandu.

Thefts do occasionally occur in Nepal. Valuable should be protected. Always carry your passport, airline tickets, and other valuables with you, or lock them in a hotel or guest houses safety box. We recommened leaving valuable jewelry at home, and using lockable baggage.

Trekking Conditions and Preparations

Our trekking itineraries are only moderately difficult and follow a leisurely pace. Each morning, after an early breakfast we set out at about 8:30 am, stopping mid- morning for tea and continue trekking untill stopping for lunch around midday. The trails are winding and well worn, but are generally in good condition. Along the way there is plenty of time to stop and photograph the breathtaking Himalayan backdrop, and to explor the countryside. Folowing lunch, we continue along to our overnight accommodations, where we arrive around 16:00hrs. During the day we walk 6 to 8 miles per day. While a considerable amount of the trek is downhill, this can sometime be as tiring as uphill trekking. To condition yourself, we recommened a program of excercise at least two months prior to arrival in Nepal. Step class and stairs prepare one for the hills as well as jogging or bycycling on an incline, these exercises should be done in conjunction with proper stretching.
The highest ascent is in the middle of the trek, when we climb 3500 feet, from Birethanti to Ghandruk or Ulleri/ Banthanti, which at 7000 feet, is the highest point on the trek. Otherwise, we trek mostly at altitudes of 3500 to 5500 feet. Anyone in good health who enjoys hiking should find this trek enjoyable and should be able to accompilsh it with ease, although somewhat of a challenge at times.

Travel Insurance

We urge our guests to purchase adequate trip cancellation, medical and baggage protection. Please ask for additional information.

Etiquette

While Nepal is generally a relaxed and informal country, there are a few practies the visitor should be aware of. When visiting temples you must remove your shoes. The same applies when you are entering a nepali house. In some temple, it is forbidden to wear any leather goods. Other temples, such as those in Pashupatinath and manakamana do not allow non-Hindus to enter. These are normally marked with a sign in English, and we urge you to respect such practices.
Always ask permission before taking photos inside any temples, anf before photographing any local people. Many villegers are unfamiliar with cameras and are unwilling to be photographed for religious reason or for reasons of personal modesty. When permission is granted, always be sensitive when photographing people and nonintrusive when shooting inside temples when pravers are in progress generally photography is allowed outside Buddhist and Hindu temples, at religious ceremonies and fest and festivals.

Begging

An unfortunate impact of begging is that it may create dependency. We discourage giving anything to beggars, particularly to children. If you wish to contribute, it is more beneficial to give to your tour leader who will distribute the donation to the local schools. Exceptions are made for giving to the physically handicapped and disabled people. Our advise to you all if you want to help the needy children you may give some washing soap would help more then candy and ballons.

Minimizing Your Impact

Blueplanet Trekking and Expedition (P) Ltd. strictly subscribes to an environmental policy of minimizing traveler’s impact on Nepal’s fragile environment. By utilizing lodges rather than camping while trekking, we minimize use of precious firewood. Solar power and generators are used for heating water at the lodges and kerosene is used for cooking. We urge all travelers to join us in seeing that no litter is left along trails.

Communication

A good standard telephone system is readily available in Kathmandu and Pokhara, fax machines and e-mails services are also available in KTM. And PKR. Even now and than there are some kind of communication services available in the rout of trekking and jungle safari tour. There are no excess in the rafting trip. Please give your postcards and the appropriate amount of rupees for stamps to your guide or in the hotels receptionist in the town, do not leave on the trek. Than they will post them in the post office. This will be more reliable.

Language

The national language is nepali, with distinct dialects spoken in different areas. All of our guides speak english, as do the porters at a more basic level. In the cities and towns English is widely spoken, particularly among those serving tourists; but in villages and other more remote areas, the local people you encounter probably will not speak english.

Time Zone

Nepal is 15 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 10hrs 45 minutes ahead of eastern US and Canada time. Therefore, when it is 12:00 noon standard time in New York it is 10:45pm in Nepal.

Photography

We recommend bringing all the camera equipment and film you’ll need for your trip. Most people find Nepal more photogenic than they anticipated, so bring more films than you think you will need. However 100, 200, 400 ASA films are widely available in Kathmandu and Pokhara and are relatively inexpensive. The amount of films depends on the individual. For the most part, slower films will be needed, though it’s a good idea to bring a few high speed rolls for interior shots; due to the high altitude, the sunlight is very intense in Nepal, and we recommend bringing a sun filter to cut the glare. Bring some extra camera battries too. Now and than you have the high quality digital cameras so you may no need to carry so far.

Food and Drink

Kathmandu and Pokhara has a surprising veriety of restaurants serving many types of international cuisine. Remember that Nepal is a relaxed culture and service is usually much slower than westerners are used to. Outside of the cities, the food is primarily a combination of Nepalese and Tibetan. Rice , lentils, vegetables and pickles are staples, with a variety of meats used somewhat sparingly. Tasty soup, fresh breads and steamed dumplings filled with meat or vegetables are among the local favorites called MoMo.
The national drink is a sweet milk tea or masala tea. The local beer is quite good, though it’s not always served ice cold. Locally produced rum, vodka and gin are good quality. Imported spirits are also available but are rather expensive, so if you have a favorite brand, consider using your duty-free allowance to bring a bottle with you. While coke and fanta sodas are available in Nepal, diet and decaffeinated beverages are not. Coffee is usually instant. Although we have a picknic lunch each day while trekking, some travelers also bring their own snacks along, such as trail mix and candy.
Blueplanet Trekking and expedition offers the first, most complete adventure programs in Nepal. Our programs enable you to experience all aspects of this wonderful exciting country. The following information has been prepared to help you get the most from your trip to nepal, by providing important details on pre- tour preparation