Passport, visa and travel documents
Remaining validity on your passport must be 6 months or more on the last day of your trip in Nepal. Make sure there are enough blank visa pages for visa stickers, arrival and departure seals. You can obtain Nepali visa from Nepali Embassies or consulates at your country or you can wait until you arrive at Kathmandu airport. A 15 day valid visa costs US$ 25 and 30 day costs US$ 40 and needs to be paid in exact US$ cash. You need to also provide a passport size picture with the application form.
We strongly recommend that you take out an adequate insurance policy that covers the risks of traveling in remote mountainous areas including helicopter rescue expenses in case of accident or illness where road transport is not available. Highland Asia Travel recommends Travel Guard Travel Protection Plan. Please, call us to purchase the policy or purchase it online.
Although you don't need to be an athlete to trek in the Nepal Himalaya, some degree of fitness level is required. The more physically active you are, the more you will enjoy the trek. Trekking is about taking your time, setting your own pace and enjoying the experience to its fullest. Its common that most first-time trekkers are concerned that they won't keep up, but soon discover that a steady pace will have them in camp well before they would have expected. Trekking in Nepal Himalaya is not like a race or walking contest but a walking holidays for people of all ages. Trekking hours can be as short as 2 hours and as long as 7-8 hours in an uneven terrain. The trail can be steel uphill or downhill and at times crosses rivers and springs by suspension or wooden bridges. Enthusiasm for walking and mental preparedness play the vital role.
You may be at the best shape but if you have no interest in walking, trekking is not for you. With a little training exercise and enthusiasm, you can participate on any trekking trips in Nepal Himalaya. There is no one size fits all kind of training program. Everyone is different. There is no better training than trekking itself. Get a day pack on and get out there as often as you can. But if, like most people are, you are limited with free time, you can do short power exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics etc which you need to start 2-3 months prior to the trip date. The exercises strengthen your muscles and builds stamina and confidence for the trekking. If you can manage a couple of valley floor to ridge line ascents per bushwalk, you will cope with a moderate graded trek. Speed is not the essence; stamina, confidence and continuity are.
However, if you are planning to join a commercial trekking or mountaineering expedition you will need to develop a high level of fitness so that you can comfortably and safely endure several weeks on the trail.
General packing list
The following is the list of generally recommended clothing and accessories. It's not comprehensive list as the clothing and equipment may vary depending on the trekking route, trip length and your preference. The following list includes general items that we think are essential. Please, do research on other resources, compare and use your best judgment for what you need to pack.
- Wool or fleece hat, or balaclava
- Hat or cap for sun protection while trekking
- Sunglasses or goggles
- Sunscreen lotion (<25 SP)
- Lip guard or chapstick
- Warm gloves
- T-shirts, and long sleeved shirts, preferably capilene or polypro
- Thermal shirt for colder areas
- Warm shirt, possibly fleece, for colder areas
- Fleece jacket or warm wool jumper
- Windproof, waterproof outer shell garment for higher altitudes
- Down jacket (optional for cold nights & mornings and on high altitude treks, provided by Highland Asia office in Kathmandu)
- Walking boots with suitable ankle support. Must be water proof and well broken in prior to the trip.
- Trainer or good walking shoes for level walking or while in the cities and towns.
- Warm socks for colder areas
- Gaiters, in case of rain or snow
- Strong rucksack, or large duffel bag (water proof)
- A light day pack for your water bottle, wallet, camera etc that should be big enough to tuck the sweater or jacket.
- Plastic sacs or stuff sacks to store/separate trekking gear inside your main bag
- One liter water bottle
- Personal first aid kit to include essential items
- Sleeping bag, 4 season (Can be rented cheaply in Kathmandu or request one with Highland Asia office in Kathmandu)
- Torch, ideally headband torch with batteries.
- Camera with chargers.
- Toiletries items and towel
- Scarves or bandana for neck
- Ear plug, just in case your room mate snores or the room is not sound proof.
- Books (see Recommended Reading)
- Playing cards / backgammon / chess set
If you are climbing a peak
In addition to the items mentioned above for trekking, the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.
- Plastic or leather mountaineering boots, with gaitors & crampons that have been tested for a good fit
- Fleece trousers or salopettes
- Additional mits and gloves suitable for climbing
- Ice axe, and ski poles (note - ice axe can be hired in Kathmandu)
- Climbing harness
- 2 x tape slings
- 2 x screwgate karabiners
- Descender/abseil device
Trekking in The Nepal Himalaya
Author: Stan Armington
Trekking In The Annapurna Region
Author: Bryn Thomas
Trekking In The Everest Region
Author: Jamie McGuiness
The Trekking Peaks of Nepal
Author: Bill O'Connor