Although immensely popular, these days, camping trek is a lot less popular than one might assume. All major trekking trails from east to west are dotted with teahouses, aligned parallelly across stone-paved streets; thus, removing even the remotest need for camps. However, if you are looking for a more authentic trekking experience, far from the comfort of teahouses, camping trek is the perfect choice for you. Luckily, in this case, there are still several trekking regions in Nepal that are not yet popularized and commercialized and are perfect for camping treks. Here, we have prepared a list of everything you need to know about camping trek in Nepal.
A typical day during camping trek
The day starts quite early, depending on your itinerary for the day. Along with a warm cup of tea, you will be greeted with a big bowl of warm water to wash your face. Soon, the breakfast will be laid on the makeshift table. While you eat, the staffs will pack the tents, so make sure to pack your bags beforehand. The general norm is that cooks will walk faster so that they can reach early to make tents and cook, while the porters who carry all the logistics will be last to arrive.
It is expensive
Just like every other rare commodity/experience in the world, camping trek is expensive. Everything from cooking utensils to oxygen cylinder to tents has to be carried by men, thus elevating the cost by manifolds. Also, most of these treks take place in remote and hard-to-reach places, requiring air flights and raising the cost of logistics even more. Even for the most reputed travel agency, arranging a camp trek is far more tedious and demanding. Moreover, there will be several men including porters, cooks, and guides, accompanying you for safety and service purposes. Factors like these underpin the high cost of camping treks.
Going in only groups
Camping treks generally take place is secluded areas at a higher elevation, which don’t have a permanent human settlement if any at all. There are several hazards and risks compared to teahouse trekking. Thus, we strongly recommend that you only trek as a part of an organized trekking group under a registered trekking company. That way, they will take care of everything from permits to visit restricted regions to checking in on dangerous routes and finding alternatives, and you can trek freely without any kind of worry.
Leaving only footprints behind
Pollution and waste management are very grave issues in the Himalayans. Due to lack of proper sanitation and disposal facilities in the mountains, if we are careful enough, we can leave behind a great quantity of waste, which will have several negative impacts on the environment. Smallest acts like putting the plastic wrappers in our bag, minimizing the consumption of superfluous things, and properly disposing of after excretion are some things that we can keep in our minds and practice. Although on an individual level, it doesn’t seem like much, our collective efforts will go a long way.
The best time to go
There are some areas that can be trekked throughout the year and some that can be even be trekked until early winter. However, in the case of destinations that usually require camping treks, there are only limited time stretches. Autumn (from mid-September to November) and Spring (from March to May) are the peak seasons that are characterized by clear skies, favourable weather, and higher visibility. During Monsoon (from June to August) and Winter (December to February), there are high chances of landslides and avalanches respectively.
Understanding the food choices
Breakfast typically consists of eggs, toasts, pancakes, porridge, tea/coffee and juice. The staple meal for lunch and dinner is a platter of rice, lentils, curry, and pickle. The food for mid-day and evening will consist of ready-to-eat snacks and items prepared and packed beforehand. If you prefer something continental, the cooking crew will readily make dumplings, chow mien, and apple pies. These days, the even go as far as baking a cake if it’s your birthday. However, make sure that you don’t make unnecessary and difficult demands.
These are some very basic but important things that one needs to understand about camping trek in Nepal. We hope that it’s helpful to you!