Have you ever considered trekking in the Everest region or other areas of Nepal? Whether you choose a spring trek for resplendent rhododendron displays or a classic fall date for crisp, clear views of the world’s highest peaks, it's sure to be a memorable journey.
Justin, an REI Adventures Nepal program manager, shares three of the most common mistakes of Nepal trekkers and offers the following tips:
1. Tight Flight Connections
When traveling in Nepal, understand that “plenty of time” is a relative term. If your schedule requires you to be in a specific place on particular date and time, you should plan on arriving at least 24 hours in advance of that time/date. Savvy trekking companies like REI Adventures actually plan this into their itineraries. When flying from Kathmandu to Lukla and back, delays are the rule rather than the exception, so don’t book a non-refundable city tour in advance on the same day you plan to return to Kathmandu from the Khumbu. You can make those arrangements in Kathmandu when you are back in the city.
2. Careless Cultural Mistakes
While you may not even realize you’ve offended someone, a careless cultural slip-up can negatively impact the way you are received as a guest. Dress conservatively and avoid public displays of affection for the opposite sex. Avoid yelling to get someone’s attention and when trekking, pass to the left of Mani (prayer) stones, even if it means hiking just a bit out of your way. Learn the local greetings and use them. These signs of respect will help prove to the locals that you are a trustworthy and respectable guest, and you’ll receive even better treatment.
3. Overestimating Personal Abilities
You are headed to one of the highest and most remote regions of the Earth, and it warrants a visit with your doctor before you go. Consult with him or her about your physical health and any issues you might expect to encounter. Be prepared! Train for your trek and understand that the altitude is going to change everything about the way you hike. Hiking too high, too fast is certain to derail your dream trek and can result in very serious illness, or worse. Plan your route carefully, ascend slowly, schedule rest days appropriately and don’t overdo it. There’s plenty to see if you take your time.
To summarize: Give yourself plenty of connection time arriving and departing. Know the culture, be respectful and plan your trek appropriately based on your abilities. The result is that and your Everest trekking adventure will be much more fun and enjoyable.