Like any other adventure enthusiast, I love to venture on off the beat paths, explore an ambitious trail and experience the magic of the Himalayas. But, making trekking arrangements by myself, that’s what I find troublesome.
Now, you may argue that it’s nothing but mere laziness but why to bother about the arrangements, when I can wake up with a morning call of “Good Morning Madam! Tea or Coffee?”, head off to the dining table and enjoy a hot breakfast and at the end of the day, after grabbing a hot cooked dinner, get a good night sleep in a well arranged sleeping tent or lodge. You like all this, don’t you? Well, if you do, consider joining organized trekking.
Still wondering? Let me give you some detailed insight of the basic concept and benefits of being a part of an organized trek.
What is organized trekking?
A fully organized trek offers virtually everything; from providing extensive advice about the equipment, health and travel to arranging flights, from planning the itineraries to ensuring that everything works smoothly throughout the trek.
It can be managed either through an international or a local trekking agency and the group size may be as large as 20 or as small as one. The trek is under the control of Sirdar (Trail Boss) who is also accompanied by other supporting staffs (guides, porters and so on). In the past, organized trekking existed only in the form of camping trek but now, even tea house trekking is gaining popularity.
International or Local Trekking Agency?
Well, the choice is yours. Both have their own merits and demerits. The international agencies have their own seductive brochures, experienced western guides, well- trained staffs but they are also at the top of the price range and its pretty difficult to book a package esp. on short notice.
On the other hand, the local trekking agencies organize a fully equipped trek, even on a few days’ notice and that too with much cheaper price. If you make arrangements with the local trekking agencies, expect to pay around US $50- US$120 per day per person. The cost includes everything, food, accommodation, guide/ porter fare and even permit fees, depending on the route.
There are more than 300 agencies in Nepal so be careful while selecting your agency. My advice to you is, book your trekking package with an agency that is a member of the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) as they’re much more credible.
Well, again it’s a matter of choice as both camping and lodge treks are types of organized trekking.
If you want to avoid the daily haggling for food and shelter, go for lodge treks. The escorted lodge trek is assisted by a guide and porter and it provides the food and accommodation facility as a part of the package.
On the other hand, camping trek in Nepal is also fully supported, where setting up tents/food/guiding will be taken care of for you, by competent and experienced crew. All you have to do is walk!
You may choose to camp by yourself if you are so inclined, but it’s probably more enjoyable and safer to go for the tea-house or supported camping trek.
A Typical day on Trail
In the morning, there is a wake-up-knock on your door. The cheerful faces hand you piping hot mugs of coffee/tea. You drink, have breakfast, pack your gear in your bags and start to walk. You arrive at a spot in the afternoon where the lunch is served and again, you are ready to go. You arrive at the lodge/ reach the camping spot and set up the camp, in the late afternoon or evening, relax over a cup of tea, dump your gear, get freshened up, meet the fellow trekkers and chat about the day. You wait for dinner to be served, eat and head to bed for well earned sleep. You follow the same comfortable routine throughout the trail.
Whether it’s a complete novice or an experienced trekker, organized trekking suits both. It’s a complete bargain, fits your schedule and above all offers the best wilderness experience in the quiet corner of the Himalayas.
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