There are 2 main ‘styles’ of trekking in Nepal. Which style is right for you completely depends on your destination, budget, time available and personal preferences. There is no better or worse style, in fact, you might find your self-combining styles in some destinations to provide a wider experience.
- Teahouse trekking with a guide
The dramatic increase in the standard and convenience of teahouse trekking in the major trekking trails – Everest, Annapurna and Langtang areas of Nepal has attracted tens of thousands of trekkers every year. For example, The Sherpa Capital – Namche Bazaar in the Everest region now boosts 24-hour electricity with multiple internet cafes, bakeries, and other essential facilities at 3500 meters. Commercial trekking companies from all over the world sell organized trekking holidays using these teahouses and a local guide agency. They are flexible enough to suit almost any kind of fitness and experience level. Recent years have seen the steady growth and development of more basic tea house facilities in Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Makalu, Rolwaling, Tamang Heritage Trail and Mustang – all of which offers an authentic trekking experience in Nepal. There is no need to camp and a selection of western style foods are available on the menu. No special permits are required – however Conservation Area and National Park Entry Permits fees are mandatory. The main areas for these treks are Everest/Khumbu Region, Annapurna Region, Mustang Region & Langtang/Helambu.
- Trekking with a camping crew
The most flexible, comfortable and hygienic way to explore the Himalaya is on the camping trek. Trekking in Nepal was initially very much camping based which means that even the first time camper will be comfortable and well looked after by the support of the team of experienced staff. The roles of various crew members are normally well defined – the guide or ‘Sirdar’ is in charge and leads the trail, the Sherpas look after the clients during the trek, serve timely meals, set up and pack up the tents. Likewise, the cook and the kitchen department staffs prepare or cook the meals while the porters carry all the trekking and camping equipment. Facilities available in remote areas are less extensive than in the more popular areas. Off the main trails where there are no lodges and food from menus, a camping crew becomes very essential including guide, porters and full support. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, Upper Dolpo Trek, Rolwaling Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek, Makalu Circuit Trek, Rara Lake Trek, Kalinchok Cultural Trek are some of the trails that are done as camping trek.
Alternatively, there are several Home-Stay trekking destinations where you will get the opportunity to experience the local Nepali culture and daily survival activities. Trekking trails such as Tamang Heritage Trail, Pikey Peak Trail, Lower Manaslu Eco Trek, Ruby Valley Trek are some of the best and adventurous trekking with the convenience of lodging and fooding with local homestay facilities.
For many trekkers, camping style treks are their favorite method of exploring the hidden wonders of Nepal. They say that their experience feels more genuine. Camping brings you much closer to nature and the atmosphere built around the campfire often outlasts longer than that of teahouse trek.