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Coming Oct. 4

OUR SUPPORTERS

Sometimes calling "911" just isn't possible.

SUPPORTERS OF

Everest ER

FIRST STEPS HIMALAYA

TREKKING 10 FAQ'S   +  GEAR DISCUSSION  +  GEAR CHECK LIST


                                                             TREKKING 10 FAQ'S

1. What will I carry?
A day pack- this should fit comfortably. You will need to carry only the daily necessities such as water bottle (1 litre), camera, personal toiletries, and a jacket.

2. How far do we walk each day?
Rather than distance, time is a better way to measure- about 5-6 hours for a full day. In the morning we walk from about 8:00am-11:00am and in the afternoon from 1-3pm. We go extremely slow as we are to only to make a 300 meter or 1000 ft gain per day to help the acclimatization process.

3. Can I walk by myself?
Yes. All we ask is that you take it very slowly.

4. If I need help on the trail can I get it?
The Sherpas and guides are your helpers. Their first priority is your safety.

5. What will the trail be like?
Most of the trails that we follow are centuries old there for well maintained with rock steps placed at what seems to be the appropriate place and time. Where the trek follows rivers there will be bridges as the trail will often switch sides. The bridges are constructed with cables, wire, and plank and are strong enough for heavily laden pack animals.

6. What is the accommodation like? When the first group of well-heeled, adventurous tourists entered Nepal in 1955, they had little choice in accommodation. Today the countryside is mushrooming with lovely teahouses and lodges. We use our Sherpa friends homes and lodges. They are cozy and comfortable after a day on the trail. They have heat, showers and tasty fix'ins to feast on.

7. What is the food like? Food is simple and nutritious with an emphasis on carbohydrates and local vegetables. Some chicken and meat may be served. Our cooks are known for their excellent soups, hot porridge, dal bhat (rice and lentils), pasta and a surprising ability to bake a cake. The water is thoroughly boiled and extreme hygiene is practiced by our Sirdar and cooks while handling food.

8. What will the weather be like?
Spring days are warmer and longer but the air is hazy at lower elevations. The fall is colder at night, the days shorter, but views are clearer. Both periods are dry. These are the highest mountains in the world, and exceptions to the norm can happen. Temperatures can range from +27c to -10c.

9. How fit do I have to be? As long as your lifestyle is active and you are in good health we have a trek that will suit you. A positive mental attitude is as important as good health.

10. Who carries our bags?
A combination of porters, Zokyo's and Yaks.. Yaks can not tolerate the lower altitude so between Lukla and Namche we use porters or Zokyo's. Zokyo's are cross between and yak and cow. This breed of animal can tolerate lower altitudes. After Namche we often change over to Yaks depending on the season and health of the animals.

 


 

 TREKKING GEAR DISCUSSION

The crux of knowing what to take is, knowing what to expect. Please discuss with us anything you are not sure about. This list is for our high altitude treks.

Dress standards

Cultural sensitivity is the hallmark of considerate travelers. Dress standards vary considerably around Nepal - eye-popping halter-tops and loincloth-clad saddhus to the Victorian ankle standard, but foreigners are judged differently. For trekking tidy with covered shoulders and long pants or a long skirt earns the most respect, skimpy tops and tight leggings invite unwarranted attention.

In Kathmandu

From April to the end of October it is warm, even hot during the day. Cool, light clothes are best, longer shorts are acceptable. November thru to the end of March, it is still often warm during the day and a single layer will often do, but in the evenings you will want a jacket, either a fleece or gore-tex and during late December thru to February, a light down jacket is better for eating/drinking outside. The hotel stores free of cost whatever you don't take trekking, and of course they have a laundry service. You might want to plan with a clean set of clothes for your return from the trek.

Who carries what

You carry a daypack with your camera, jacket, water and snacks. The porters (or sometimes yaks) carry your duffel bag and anything else.

Teahouse trekking in the Everest region - what you are planning for

Because we fly in to Lukla we miss the hot low country and so slightly different gear is needed. It will be mostly cool but sunny however we should be minimally prepared for all types of weather. At medium altitudes a shirt will do, higher up a thermal top or thermal and T-shirt is a good combination. If there is a breeze then walking in a fleece or windproof jacket becomes practical. Trousers are standard wear, rather than shorts. Lodges usually have a potbelly stove but open doors and drafts mean that it can still be fridge-like in some of the high altitude lodges. Here a thick down jacket and fleece pants and/or long johns and trousers are necessary. Washing at altitude is difficult however most people get by with only 2 changes of top and a single pair of pants. When deciding on warm clothing the principle of only what you can wear at once should apply. Take another thermal top to sleep in but your evening long johns should do for sleeping as well. Take the best but no excess.

Sleeping bag

Down-filled bags or the new synthetic ones are required. High altitude nights will be cool. Good bags should be, light and fluffy. Reasonable sleeping bags are cheaply available for rent in Kathmandu. Alternatively add a fleece sleeping bag liner to add warmth to a 3 - 4 season bag.

Sleeping bag liner

Cotton, silk or fleece. Saves washing your sleeping bag and adds warmth. Fleece liners are readily available in Kathmandu and cost around $15.

Inflatable sleeping pad

A closed cell pad is required for climbing expeditions on the mountain. If you are part of trek that includes an overnight at base camp, we provide sleeping pads to the trekkers.

Daypack

This should be comfortable and a good waist- band that transfers some of the weight to the hips is most important. It needs to be big enough to take a jacket, fleece, water, camera and odds and ends.

 

Boots

For a happy trek you need comfortable feet. Good boots have: good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion, and are light because with every step you lift your boot up. Good lightweight trekking boots or light all leather boots are perfect. Boots must be lightly worn in before trekking and this should include some steep hills to show up trouble spots. The longer the trek, the better the boots you need.

Socks

In the low country your feet will be warm or even hot while walking. We recommend the two-sock system, one liner poly pro sock to absorb moisture and easy to dry at night covered by a wool sock for comfort and higher up warmth.  A good combination to ward off blisters as well.

Camp shoes

Pamper your feet at the end of the day. Sandals or running shoes or recommended.

Baby powder

Your tent or roommate will appreciate this very much at the end of the day. Toss some in your smelly boots and dry your feet with it.  Another experienced tip is to toss a bounce laundry sheet in your sleeping bag and duffel bag. Personally I find a little aroma- therapy can make a big difference.

Fleece top

Most trekkers consider this essential, but alternatives are a thick thermal top or a light down jacket.

Down jacket

Essential for cool evenings, if you don't already have one they are easily rented in Kathmandu for around $2 a day.

Wind/rain jacket

Waterproof and breathable is required for temperature control and staying dry inside and out. Plastic or non-breathable raincoats are not suitable

Thermal underwear top and bottom

Good thermals are one of the secrets to cold weather trekking comfort. Expedition-weight thermals are the most versatile and can be worn as your high altitude trekking top.

Nightwear thermal top

Mid-weight is better, useful but not essential.

Fleece/sweat pants

Great for the chilly evenings, thicker is better.

Day wear shirt

T-shirts are popular but a wicking polypro shirt is more versatile. The collar protects the back of your neck and the sleeves can be rolled up or down. Take two so you can swap damp for dry.

Trekking pants

You will live in these. Light material, loose and dark-colored is best. You can survive with only one pair.

Wind pants

if your trekking pants are reasonably windproof then special wind pants are not needed. If you do bring a pair, it is not necessary to have gore-tex or similar, non-waterproof is quite OK.

Underwear

4 to 5 pairs or more if you are on an intended trek itinerary. If you are on a climbing expedition or have a base camp stay, you can do laundry here.

Warm hat or balaclava

Trekking poles

Definitely useful, especially downhill on steep, rough terrain, but if you are not used to using them you can survive without. Also if you opt to bring them be careful not to lean on the too much. Shoulder problems are a common complaint of pole users. To prevent this using  one instead of two poles works great and less to pack in your luggage.

Sunglasses

Suitable for snow, itís bright up there, but specialized glacier glasses are not needed. Contact lens wearers report very few problems. However cleaning them in these remote conditions can be troublesome. Ski goggles are unnecessary for trekkers.

Mittens/Gloves

These don't need to be fancy. A light pair works best for trekking and in the evenings, pockets work great.

Water bottle

Should be one litre or more in capacity, take boiling water and be leak-proof. You want a total of 1 litres capacity. Camel back hydration systems are very convenient resulting in one drinking more often with ease.

Pee bottle

Very useful on cold nights! I use an old Nalogene bottle well marked to avoid error.

Torch

The new LED headlamps are best. I donít recommend a flashlight. They are cumbersome for reading, walking and anything hands free. A head style torch is a must.

Toiletries and odds and ends

Essentials for the trek only: There are a surprising number of showers or buckets of hot water available. The smallest tube of toothpaste is perfect for a trek. Donít forget to bring a supply of toilet paper. I make small zip lock bags with folded paper in each of them. These bags doubled for storing used paper for dropping off at the lodges. Please avoid tossing waste on the trail or the trail toilets. Paper will be happily burned as fuel supplements at the lodges.

Towel

Bring only a small one for trekking, the quick dry hiking style are best. In Kathmandu the hotel supplies towels.

Sun screen and lip care with sun protection

The sun is strong at altitude, especially after snowfall.

Moisturizer

A small tube for sensitive or well cared for skins. The air is dry and the sun harsh.

Sunhat 

The best being a wide brim one to help protect the back of your neck.

Personal First aid kit

Donít forget the moleskin and something to cut it with.

Medicines

Donít forget to bring any personal medicines that you may need. And please consider that broad spectrum antibiotic. Very important!

Water purification

We tend to use boiled water from the lodges. Iodine tablets can be helpful on days when boiling water is too rushed not allowing time to cool before consumption.

Camera

Bring plenty spare batteries. Recharging of batteries from local power sources is not always possible. The best thing to do is to just bring more batteries to last the trip. 

Video Camera

Generally there is nowhere to recharge your batteries. The limited places where charging is available is also very busy with everyone lining up to use the limited power sources. If you choose to bring chargers donít forget adapters.

Novel

One or two is good with high swapability. Kathmandu has some great second-hand bookshops.

Money pouch/belt/inside pocket

Most people find wearing one while trekking a hassle and keep it buried in their kitbag or daypack. The bulk of your credit cards and money you donít need on trek, passport and airline tickets will be best stowed in Kathmandu in our company safe.

Snow gaiters

Not really needed but if you have them, bring them. You just never know!

Evening camp wear

Around camp you can wear camp shoes, sandals (for non-winter treks) or leather boots. No matter what altitude and what season, it is cool to bloody freezing in the evenings. By far the best clothing is:

  • ō       Down jacket, light or heavy.

  • ō       Thick fleece pants

  • ō       Fleece hat and neck gaiter

  • ō       Thick socks

Snacks and nutrition

You will feel your best with plenty of good food and keeping hydrated. Chocolate and chocolate bars and nuts are readily available in Kathmandu.  Cliff bars, Power bars are also now available. Bring vitamin tablets from home and your favorite energy bars or drinks that you are familiar with. Meat is not readily available on the trek so those who may have a craving it is advisable to consider bringing along some beef jerky or sealed pepperoni for you personal stash. You can buy this in Kathmandu and it is quite good. Juice crystals such as Gatorade or Crystal-Lite are great additives to help with hydration and it is also enjoyable to cover up that smoky flavor the boiled water sometimes absorbs.

What is available in Kathmandu

There are dozens of small gear shops in Kathmandu but they mostly sell locally made local clothing and a strange variety of knock offs.

The items that are better brought from home are: socks, boots, thermal underwear, quality fleece, liner gloves and Gore-tex jackets.

Renting equipment

Easy to rent items in Kathmandu include: down jackets and sleeping bags and daypacks.

What we provide

We provide all the sleeping tents, and dinning dome tents, sometimes sturdy A frames and normally people share one tent between two; a foam mattress each; all the cutlery and utensils, cooking pots, stoves; candles/kerosene lantern, tables and stools, kitchen tent, dining tent. Three meals a day ore provided but not snacks or mineral water, alcoholic beverages or showers.  


 

                                                TREKKING GEAR CHECK LIST

It is very important to have appropriate equipment for trekking Nepal. It's frustrating to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced or unable to do all you want because of improper equipment, and of course it can even be dangerous. Pack carefully following the list below. Don't overload yourself-or the porters--. But do make sure what you bring is suitable. (Duffel bags for the trek should only weigh about 15kg or 33 pounds.)

Equipment like down jackets, sleeping bags can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu in trekking shops.  There is no need to purchase expensive equipment if you won't need it again.  Although the exact model or style that you want may not be available in Kathmandu, there is quite a selection of gear to choose from. This may be especially pertinent for people undertaking an extensive journey in Asia where the Nepal trek is only part of it. We will be able to assist you if you want to rent or buy equipment in Kathmandu upon your arrival.

 TRAVEL

  •  Valid passport for at least 6 months to the end of the climb.

  •  Secure Travel Wallet

  •  Photocopy of first two pages of your passport

  •  Two Passport photos for visas

  •  Personal spending money

  •  Reading, writing materials

  •  Personal travel accident insurance

LUGGAGE

  • 1 large duffel bag: This will carry all your personal gear on the trek. It should be strong and durable.  The best size would be around 30" x 14", with a full-length zipper and handles.

  • 1 small padlock: Your duffel bag should be locked.

  • 1 rucksack or day pack:  This should accommodate a sweater, rain gear, water bottle, camera and accessories and any miscellaneous items you want to have during the day.  We recommend a pack with at least 1450cu. In capacity, or smaller if you are not carrying a large amount of camera equipment.

  • 1 small duffel bag or suitcase: Items not needed on the trek can be left at the hotel in Kathmandu. This bag should also have a lock.  Be sure to leave room for purchases, or buy one in Kathmandu they have many good quality ones available.

  CLOTHING

  •   1 down or fibrefill jacket: The temperatures can fall to minus 10c on Everest Trek at night at high altitudes and it can be cold and windy at times. You will use this item often so pick up a good warm jacket.

  •   2 long sleeved warm shirts, 2 short- sleeved shirts or T's: at lower elevation it can be quite hot.

  •   1 pair hiking pants, 1-wind shell type pants and 1 pair of fleece pile pants is a good combination.

  •   1 heavy sweater or fleece pile jacket.

  •   1 windbreaker or shell clothing (ie:Gore-Tex) including pants.

  •   1 set of polypropylene gloves or mittens.

  •   2 pair heavy socks, at least 80% wool.

  •   2 pair light weight cotton or polypropylene socks

  •   1 fleece or knit hat

  •   1 brim hat for sun or rain.

  •   1 pair medium weight hiking boot with vibram lug sole.

  •   1 pair running shoes

  •   1 pair flip flops or sandals to air your feet out at night, also good for the primitive shower facilities.

  •   1 sleeping bag Ė10 rating.

  EQUIPMENT

  •   1 plastic water bottle, quart capacity or (Camel Back) style re-hydration system.

  •   1 pair good quality sunglasses. Glacier goggles are sometimes required if going on the glaciers.

  •   1 toilet kit: soap, tooth brush/paste, thin quick drying towel, toilet paper, and 1 pocketknife.

  •   Sunscreen- total block & lip care products.

  •   Toiletries, including foot powder.

  •   1 flashlight or headlamp- with spare batteries.

  •   Earplugs-

  •   Wristwatch with alarm.

NOTE* Our rental equipment includes the following: Please ask for a rental application if required.                  

  • Sleeping Bag

  • Down Jacket

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