Tips to help you prepare for High Altitude Trekking

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Anything above 8,000 feet is regarded as high altitude, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It is regarded as being at a very high altitude once elevations reach between 12,000 and 18,000 feet. Few experiences are more satisfying for a hiker than reaching the summit of a high altitude trek. If you’re coming from a region where sea level is your starting point, high altitude trekking is no joke. To ensure a secure and enjoyable ascent, it’s critical to be ready and physically fit for the task at hand. You will want additional preparation for such high altitude excursions, whether they are in the Himalayas or on Mount Kilimanjaro. Given the foregoing, we have compiled a list of 10 crucial guidelines that you must adhere to both before and during high-altitude trekking.

Know the dangers of trekking at high altitudes:

Do some broad research on the distinctions between High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Be aware of the symptoms of an altitude “sick person” and be ready to act if you or others of your team exhibit them.

  • Unfortunately, AMS, the mildest form of altitude sickness, has a hangover-like sensation. You might feel tired, queasy, or have a headache. If you have any of these signs, take notice because they may indicate a higher risk of developing HAPE or HACE.
  • HAPE happens when liquid seeps into your lungs and you experience the sensation of having your breath taken away. Additionally, if you cough up frothy foam, it’s time to turn back and dive as swiftly as you can.
  • HACE results in a lack of focus and coordination. If your speech is slurred and you start to stumble, you need to descend right away since you are in danger of dying.

Pick a hike based on your level of fitness:

It’s crucial to conduct your research and choose a journey that fits your level of fitness before embarking on any hike. There is no shame in starting out on a simple trek if you are a beginner. Easy treks allow you to pace yourself and gain a deeper understanding of the mountains. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise; hiking is supposed to be enjoyable. 


Giving your body enough time to adjust to the elevation change is one of the most crucial things you can do to get ready for high elevation hiking. You can adapt to the new, lower level of oxygen available by giving your body three to five days to acclimate to high elevation regions. Acclimatization should take place between 8,000 and 9,000 feet because most hikers opt to do it when ascending at 10,000 feet or higher. One of the greatest ways to adjust to these new conditions is to gradually raise the elevation at which you sleep. The elevation achieved when trekking has a tendency to have less of an impact than the elevation obtained while sleeping. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t raise your sleeping altitude by more than 1,000 feet per day.

Train Physically:

It’s crucial to start preparing for your expedition as soon as you’ve chosen it. Squats, calf raises, and lunges are exercises you must incorporate into your fitness routine. Furthermore, it’s crucial to learn how to pace yourself while you walk, run, or swim. It’s also vital to include stair climbing (with or without weights), as it will assist build the muscles needed for uphill climbing. Visualization and research can aid with mental preparation, which is just as crucial as physical preparation.

Avoid distractions and maintain your attention:

The most sensible advice is to avoid complacency, casualness, and overconfidence after recognizing the fundamental threats that await you at high altitude. Maintaining your attention on the trail can help you avoid distractions that could have detrimental effects. Your focus can be diverted from hiking by distractions, which can come from both internal and external factors, such as anxiousness, hurting feet, and weariness; stunning mountain views, fantasizing about a cozy bivy; being pressed for time; or darkness. Try to prevent making poor decisions by remaining vigilant. Using headphones while walking on mountainous terrain is a horrible illustration of this. The main reason for this is that you might not be able to hear if a landslide is approaching, although there are other factors as well. Your first response in such a situation is frequently the most crucial because it can improve or ruin your chances of avoiding a potentially fatal landslide. Tree cracking and rumbling that gets louder are unusual noises that should be taken as warnings and not ignored.

Ensuring that your hiking boots are broken in:

The most crucial piece of gear you own is a good pair of hiking shoes. Ideally, you ought to buy the highest caliber items you can. It is crucial to begin breaking in your new shoes as soon as you buy a pair. By wearing them, the leather, rubber, and Kevlar “break in” and mold to your foot. They will fit better as a result. Additionally, it provides you a chance to adjust to the weight and feel of the shoes. Utilizing shoes as you prepare is the ideal strategy to break them in. Making sure the boot molds properly means walking around the home and in the evening in trekking boots. Blisters, chaffing, and a variety of other foot ailments can be avoided with a “broken-in” shoe.

Less is more when it comes to packing:

This step is less significant because mules or horses will be used to pull your man sack. When preparing for a hike, you should try to pack as lightly as possible. There must be several stages to your packing procedure, with items being removed at each stage after the first. You should leave behind any extra T-shirts, jeans, or toiletries that you are certain you won’t use. You will slow down dramatically with each kilogram of weight, especially at elevations higher than 3500 meters. Any unnecessary items should be left at home or packed in your main luggage, and your day bag should only contain the things you know you will use.

The game includes fear:

Before beginning any expedition, it’s common to feel some anxiety or trepidation. Being a little apprehensive even before beginning the ascent to a mountain pass or a perilous portion of a crossing is typical. Even the very finest people experience some fear. Accepting the fear and moving slowly through it are the best ways to get over it.

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Top 9 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Trekking in Nepal

Trekking in Nepal is exciting, rewarding, and unlike anything you’ve ever done before. The trek on foot will be both pleasurable and challenging because to the varied topography, rich wildlife, and distant Himalayan difficulties.

There are many things to consider before flying your next flight to Nepal, whether it is for a short trekking trip or a long mountain climb.

Having little to no understanding of the trekking region you will be visiting can lead to a slew of errors. Because the Himalayan topography is severe, trekking in Nepal requires proper preparation.

The following are the top Nine common trekking mistakes to avoid in Nepal:

Not Getting Enough Training or Getting Inappropriate Training:

Trekking in Nepal can range in difficulty from easy to moderate to severe. The difficulty of a journey is increased by the twisting landscape, altitude, and weather.

Many trekkers fail to consider the difficulty grade level and go on a physically demanding journey. It is recommended that you determine the level of effort required for the trip and then prepare accordingly.

For a long high-altitude trek, it’s best to have some prior hiking or short trekking experience. If you don’t live on a hiking or trekking trail, cardio exercise, running, swimming, and cycling are all good options for muscular strengthening. Remember that lifting weights in the gym isn’t enough; you’ll also need to walk 4 to 8 hours per day.

Walking Quickly at A High Altitude:

Many young trekkers in groups make the frequent error of thinking of hiking as an athletic endeavor. In this sense, they want to get to their target as quickly as possible without succumbing to altitude sickness at greater elevations.

At higher elevations, the oxygen supply to the body and brain is compromised, so you won’t have as much energy or oxygen to spare. It’s also one of the reasons why trekkers have altitude sickness symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, fainting, and more. Altitude sickness can even be lethal in the worst-case scenario. Furthermore, the high-altitude routes are typically slanted, small, and rocky, making travel difficult.

Cut down the trek Days:

In a long high-altitude journey, acclimatization or a rest day is necessary to acclimate your body to the altitude difference and replenish your energies. Shortening the route is another common mistake connected with walking swiftly at high altitudes.

We frequently receive inquiries from first-time trekkers who want to accomplish a long journey in a short amount of time. Most people do not have enough money or time to visit to Nepal. Many of us even go so far as to walk faster than average and skip the acclimatization days to reduce the total number of trekking days.

Trekking to The Himalayas Without a Guide:

Is it mandatory to trek with a guide in Nepal? No. Is it important to trek with a guide? Absolutely! Except in a few restricted areas of Nepal, such as Upper Mustang and Dolpo, there is no need to hire a guide to accompany you on your treks in Nepal.

However, hiring one is strongly recommended because they are an excellent source of information and safety. If this is your first time hiking in Nepal, you may be perplexed by the difficult terrain and even the peculiar native language.

Guides can assist you in navigating the trails, interacting with the people, providing historical and cultural insights, assisting you at difficult times, and enhancing the whole experience. Your guide, who has years of trekking experience, can surely assist you in the awful scenario of altitude sickness, especially if you are going to high altitudes.

Packing Too Much or Not Enough:

We acknowledge that most tourists can’t keep themselves from over packing. Old habits are difficult to break. Add a couple of pairs of trousers, and you’ll have emptied your closet into your backpack in no time.

While trekking in Nepal’s terrains, heavy trekking bags prove to be more of a bother than planned. Imagine trying to capture shots while dragging a large load uphill at elevated heights while catching your breath! While we’re on the subject of packing, we’d like to point out to our readers that under packing is also a bad idea.

In the frigid temperatures of the Himalayas, skipping a thick layer of clothing can result in frostbites, which can be fatal. It is preferable to be resourceful, but you must conduct extensive research on the climate, remoteness, and altitude of the hiking destination before making your packing decisions.

There are only a few things you should bring with you when trekking in Nepal. Consult with your guide after arriving in Nepal, then rent some needed outerwear and gear from a rental shop. Furthermore, if you want to make the walk easier, you can hire a porter to carry roughly 25 kg of your luggage, which is an option.

Food Consumption Without Caution:

This is a rather popular one among first-time hikers. Trekking is a high-energy sport that burns twice as many calories as a typical day. As a result, food is the fuel that keeps you going. However, eating the incorrect foods can induce stomach problems.

We may be tempted to eat junk food such as noodles, chips, and cookies, which can cause constipation or diarrhea. Don’t be tempted to sample something you don’t like, and make sure to ask about the contents in the meal to avoid developing food allergies.

Furthermore, it is better to avoid eating meat at higher elevations because, in isolated places, there isn’t always adequate storage, meat may be days old, and high-fat meals are more difficult to digest. It’s important to eat fresh, local produce and vegetables.

Unknown Source of Water for Drinking:

In Nepal, drinking water can be found in open streams or from the tap. Drinking directly from a stream may expose you to microorganisms that cause cholera, diarrhea, and stomach aches. Many visitors assume that while traveling, they should live like a local, which is true in most circumstances but not when it comes to food and water consumption.

Because most residences in remote places lack filtered water, they may gladly provide you the water they believe is safe. Your body, on the other hand, might not be used to drinking such water. As a result, it’s essential to bring a reusable water bottle with an integrated water filter with you so you may fill it up with tap water or free streams and drink without worry.

Not Applying Sunscreen:

Men have been known to shun sunscreen as a cosmetic. Sunscreen, on the other hand, is more of a need for protecting your skin from diseases than a cosmetic item.

There are numerous regrettable instances about hikers forgetting to bring sunscreen or underestimating the harm that not having one might inflict. Trekking necessitates walking for long periods of time in the hot sun, resulting in unsightly sunburns.

Due to the thin atmosphere and reflection from the snow, the sun is more powerful at higher elevations, so you will definitely feel the heat pouring through your skin. Use a sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type and provides UVA, UVB, and UVC protection.

If you’re hiking to a high altitude where snow is a possibility, apply sunscreen to any exposed parts including your hands, ears, neck, and face. You can also shield your skin by wearing brimmed hats and caps.

Walking in Regular Shoes:

Nepal’s scenery is not typical, but very rugged. On steep, uneven roads, there are numerous uphill climbs. Normal running or jogging shoes simply aren’t up to the task. Many trekkers wear various types of shoes with confidence, yet after a lengthy journey, they feel discomfort and agonizing pain.

Specialized footwear may not be necessary for short and easy hikes, but trekking boots are the ideal alternative for longer hikes on rugged trails. Trekking shoes are distinct in that they offer ankle support, grippy grooves, and soft bottoms. Look for the optimum fit, which is neither too loose nor too tight.

A good trekking shoe will last for many treks and will make them more pleasant. Another thing to keep in mind is that many trekkers notice hot areas on their heels as a result of extensive walking but disregard them. If you don’t cure a blister as soon as possible, it can become excruciatingly painful.

Keep ointments on hand to prevent hot spots from forming. People frequently neglect to clip their toenails. Also, remember to trim your nails. Long toenails will get squished and cause bleeding when they touch the wall of your snug boot.

Final Word:

Trekking in Nepal is the most adventurous activity, and it necessitates a thorough knowledge of the nation prior to departure. You may enjoy Nepal to the maximum if you do your study on the best month for trekking in Nepal, packing checklists, and common mistakes to avoid. To organize and book excursions in any of Nepal’s greatest trekking destinations, contact our knowledgeable guides and experts.

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