Escaping the Dangers of Trekking in Nepal

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Trekking has always been an adventure and what is adventure without some danger, right? That being said, I am not hinting you to deliberately put your life at risk by jumping off a cliff with an umbrella in your hand or fighting a bear. To help you be prepared, I will be highlighting some of the dangers while trekking in Nepal.

Danger No. 1

altitude sicknessAltitude, your biggest enemy! It would not be wrong if I said trekking in Nepal would most of the time mean trekking against the altitude. And the thing is, there is not much you can do for this than reduce the risk of it.

Once you go up above 3000 meters, there is a high chance that you will be hit by the altitude to some degree. It often starts with headache and dizziness but may turn worse resulting even in unconsciousness.

What can I do about it?

Trek at a slow and measured pace and if it’s intolerable, take a break and ascend slowly, to recover. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 3 liters of water during a 4-5 hour trek. I am not a doctor, but taking Diamox also helps in case of altitude sickness and Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS).

Danger No. 2

health-trekking‘Normal’ health problems: It is most likely that you will get ill (the bitter truth) due to many reasons. Fever, headache, stomach problems are common.

What can I do about it?

Try avoiding meat, milk, cheese, uncooked vegetables and unpurified water. Use water purification tablets or bottled water,in spite of the locals trying to assure you that the water is drinkable. Getting diarrhea would make you go into the bushes more often and make you weak and dehydrated.

Another illness you could get would be cough due to dry air, dust and cold temperature. It is always better to have yourself vaccinatedfor typhoid, Hepatitis-A, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, meningitis, BCG and cholera. Use sanitizers and insect repellent to be on the safe side.


Danger No. 3

Not choosing the agencies: It is really important that you choose a good and reputed trekking agency, even if it means spending some extra bucks. Trekking on your own is troublesome and even includes risk of life at times.

What can I do about it?

Do your research properly and maybe even have a small chat with your guide or porter over a cup of tea. This will let you know the person and his ability to communicate with you in your language. Also, if you doubt on the agency’s quality of service, offer to pay them after the trip. But it’s the experience that matters, not the money, right?

Danger No. 4

Trekking Solo: Well,the law on banning independent trekking in most of the teahouse trekking routes has been put on hold indefinitely. All the solo trekkers out there can live their dreams now.

But I still consider trekking solo, risky! The risk of getting ill or having an accident or physical injury (or all) is always there, but it is going to be worse if you are trekking alone. There are places with no ‘human’ habitation for about 10 km or when you are doing something like high pass, where you can be stuck like in the movie ‘127 hours’.

What can I do about it?

Hire at least a guide or a porter or find a trek-mate! If you’ve changed your mind! But if you’re still sticking to solo, just take extra precautions with everything and try to stay connected with your family and friends at all times. It’s better to even have a proper travel Insurance, that even covers helicopter rental, just in case!

Danger No. 5

Mobile phone coverage: I am not sure if you would need your mobile other than in emergencies! You will be busy enjoying your trek and getting lost in the beauty of the nature. But you might need to make calls, in case you get trapped somewhere! Hope that doesn’t happen!

What can I do about it?

Now, there is quite widespread network coverage in the main trekking routes and many other parts of Nepal as well. I would recommend you taking both NTC and NCellSIM cards. Satellite phone is the other option, probably the best option, if your resources can handle it.

Danger No. 6

Weather and season: This is not much of a DANGER but I am going to mention it anyway.

What can I do about it?

If you are planning to come on off-seasons, be prepared to battle the nature. In rainy seasons, get ready to face the downpour, slippery trails and the LEACHES (from below and above). This will happen in most trails, so be ready to face them.

If you are planning to fly, there is a high chance of delays and cancelation due to the weather. Also, if you are here to view the mountain ranges, come during an appropriate time, when it’s not raining or cloudy. Winter would not be a good time to trek due to the chances of heavy snowfall. It’s even risky. In the past, many trekkers found themselves in life threatening situations, all because of their will to trek during off season.

Some of the roads in Nepal fall under the ‘Most Dangerous Roads in the world’ category and in monsoon, the roads are even worse. So, if you prefer driving or riding on your own, do it safely! And I have to tell you, the drivers go a great job here!

Most importantly, Danger No. 7

Danger of Addiction! This is going to be a chronicle, a long-term effect on all of you trekking in Nepal. This is a WARNING for you – Nepal is addictive. Like the Lay’s, “Betcha! Can’t eat just one!” You just can’t trek once in Nepal!

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Escaping the Dangers of Trekking in Nepal
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