Trekking in Nepal can be a life-changing experience for some women.
But when first planning my three week trip to Nepal, I had no intention of trekking. I was scared that I couldn’t hack the physical demands of the climb, frightened of the altitude change and petrified of the isolation. No internet or contact with the outside world for over a week?!?
Ultimately, my adventurous spirit trumped my trepidation. How could I pass up the opportunity to hike the Himalayas, to watch the sun rise over ice-covered peaks, and to touch the puffy white snow with my own two hands? With this inspiration, I modified my itinerary and added an epic seven day adventure through Nepal’s Langtang Valley.
Yes, the trek was physically demanding and sometimes the isolation did feel a bit scary, but it was also one of the most rewarding, visually stunning and downright fun weeks of my life.
If you’re planning on trekking through Nepal, check out these tips:
Do Your Homework
As to be expected, Nepal has many hiking options, so do your homework before choosing the most suitable trail. The majority of tourists trek Mount Everest or portions of the Annapurna Circuit. For something more off the beaten path, it’s hard to beat the Langtang Valley. It’s relatively close to Kathmandu (though, the bus ride to the trailhead is hellish), the scenery is dramatic, and you’re more likely to encounter hordes of yaks than crowds of tourists. Though, those who require internet should definitely head elsewhere – there’s no chance of getting a signal here.
Choose an Experienced, Amicable Guide
You’ll be spending lots of time together. I’d recommend sitting down and chatting in-person (semi-interviewing) with your prospective guide before departing on the trek to ensure he/she is a good fit. I spent practically every non-sleeping moment with my lights-out extraordinary guide and porter – we trekked together, ate together and played nightly rounds of cards together. Without them, I would not have felt so secure or had nearly as much fun.
Bring trail mix to munch on as you won’t be able to purchase snacks once you begin the trek. I failed to do so, and ended up regretting it big time (three meals of Dal bhat per day didn’t cut it after hiking for eight hours).
So you’re not too loaded down on the trail (I cannot stress this enough). Do not bring beauty products – trust me, you won’t use them. Make sure to pack lots of socks, a change of shoes and a mixture of cold and warm weather gear. E-books come in handy too. Oh, and make sure to bring toilet paper – there’s nada in this neck of the woods.
Don’t Forget Tampons
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. There is nothing out here in the way of tampons or feminine hygiene products, so be sure to bring your own!