WHAT’S IT LIKE ON A CAMPING TREK IN THE NEPAL HIMALAYA?

Simply put on a camping trek in Nepal all you need to do just about is eat, sleep and walk

Yet the thought of camping high and wild in the Himalaya seems to either inspire people or send them running in search of a 5 Star hotel!

Camping in the Himalaya may not be a 5 Star hotel, but it’s definitely a 10 Star experience

Camping is all about getting back to nature and it’s  genuinely atmospheric and “earthy” too.

Breakfast

Morning porridge and coffee next to Phoksundo lake

Sure, we “kinda sorta” understand when we get people enquiring about a trek in Nepal and saying “ABSOLUTELY NO CAMPING”. But that does then narrow down your trekking choices.

Whilst Annapurna Treks, Everest Treks and even Langtang Valley Treks utilise the many trekkers lodges (aka teahouses) for convenience, the existence of trekking lodges indicates one rather important thing…..lots of trekkers!

It’s pure economics……demand and supply. Building and managing a trekking lodge is a big investment, so a steady stream of paying trekkers is essential….and then there’s the question of competition too.

Juphal valley

Trekking “off the grid” has fringe benefits….like this!

So, if you want to go trekking in the Nepal Himalayas, be a bit more “off the grid” and go in search of more genuine cultural experiences and “wildness”, then camping is the way!

Here’s our FAQ’s about a camping trek in the Nepal Himalaya.

THE GOOD NEWS! No one does camping trekking quite like the Nepalese.

Do we bring our own camping gear?

No…we will provide everything except sleeping bags and we can even arrange sleeping bag rental if needed.

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Curious locals from a nearby village come to visit a trek camp

Do we have to carry tents and other gear?

Absolutely not! Your trekking crew and porters will be carrying all the gear (including your main baggage) and supplies, leaving you unencumbered to enjoy each day of hiking in the Himalayas with just your usual back pack to carry.

Do we have to put up our tents?

You won’t need to worry about the hassle and effort in erecting and dismantling your tent either. Our trekking crews will be taking care of that for you too! In fact our trekking crews will usually be walking a lot faster than you. In spite of their loads, these are hardy, very fit “mountain people”. Chances are you’ll arrive at the end of a days trek and find that not only is camp all set up and ready, you’ll be welcomed to camp with a hot brew and with tonight’s dinner already being prepared.

Night camp

A snowy scene and lit up tents under a sea of stars at Kagmara Phedi

Don’t we have to cook and wash up?

No…you don’t cook and you won’t be doing the washing up after a meal either. There’ll be at least one cook, a master chef of hearty trek food. In fact you are likely to be truly amazed at both the quality and quantity of food that you can stuff yourself on in the “middle of nowhere”. The cook/s will have their own large tent to prepare meals in. But, you’re always welcome (and we encourage you to do so) to at least pop in to see what’s going on in the cooking tent. It’s a good way of bonding with your team and you might learn one or two “tricks of the trade” too.

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Supper time on trek

Do we eat dinner in our sleeping tents?

Nope. Usually there’ll be a dining tent, often complete with table and chairs, cutlery, lighting…..everything to make the meal a very comfortable and cosy experience. Of course if it’s sunny and warm, you can’t beat dining “al fresco” amongst jaw-dropping Himalayan scenery.

What about…..er…..a toilet?

There’ll be a toilet tent for privacy…..a dug deep latrine i.e. a temporary earth toilet.

What about personal hygiene?

You’ll be given water bowls (with hot water) both in the morning and evening to wash with.

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What about drinking water?

Camps have to be pitched nearby a reasonably close, known water source. So, our crew know how to make this water safe to drink.

How does breakfast work?

Ah….here’s one of the best bits…..being woken up with “bed tea”. Something that you really could get a liking for. Early morning one of the crew will be your “human alarm clock” and come to your tent to gently rouse you. Just unzip your tent, stick your head outside and you’ll find a very cheery face with hot tea (or coffee if you prefer) for you to wake up nice and easy with from the comfort and warmth of your sleeping bag.

Next, it will be the previously mentioned hot water bowls and then it’s time for brekkie!

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When was the last time you had a family breakfast together in the Himalaya?

How is camp broken down?

This usually begins whilst you’re enjoying your breakfast. It’s a “well oiled machine” affair too. All you need to do is hand over your main baggage for porterage and look forward to another day of wonderful hiking in the Himalaya.

Usually you’ll set off on the days hike before camp is completely broken down and packed away.

Our crew will be making sure that things like the latrine are filled in, all rubbish is removed etc too. Minimising the impact of a camp is really important and the chances are were you to return to a dismantled camp you’d wonder if there’d ever been one there!

Karnali rafting trip

Some rafting trips involve camping too….on the beach!

What about lunch?

Usually this is more of an informal picnic, as the crew will be hurrying on ahead with all the gear to get the next nights camp set up before you arrive. The cook will have already prepared everything for a picnic style lunch in advance and some of the crew will be walking ahead of you (or overtaking you en route) so that it’s all there for you when you reach the lunch halt.

What sort of equipment is taken on a camping trek?

Just about everything you could possibly think of!

Food (for you and the crew), pots, pans, cooking stoves and fuel, sleeping tents, cooking tent (the crew usually sleep in this), folding chairs and tables, cutlery, mugs, plates, kitchen utensils, washing bowls, mess tent, lights and fuel, various containers, toilet tent, toilet paper, disinfectant, matches, various spares…as the saying goes “everything but the kitchen sink”…..but, then again there is a mobile kitchen sink in a way too.

What do we need to bring?

Basically exactly the same as if you were on a trek where you’d be staying in trekking lodges.

jangothang_camp

At Chomolhari Base Camp on  Bhutan Trek

Is it the same on a Bhutan Trek?

Pretty much the same. In fact Bhutan doesn’t have trekking lodges like Nepal. Maybe the only noticeable differences between a camping trek in Nepal and Bhutan is that in Bhutan pack animals tends to carry the loads instead of people.

NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL CAMPING….IN STYLE!!!!

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Snow Cat Travel – Nepal & Bhutan Trekking Specialists

 

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