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    Nepal is well-known around the world for its picturesque beauty and also for its breath-taking landscapes. Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas is located in Nepal—the Himalayan nation(read: Where is mount Everest located?). This country is known to the locals with the metaphor “Sagarmatha” as described in Nepali as the forehead of the sky. The Everest base camp located here is one of the hot destinations for trekking thus adventure lovers from around the world always find in this country a sought after place for exploration.  

    Apart from the Everest region, which is the most popular destination, Nepal also offers a number of other options to make the best of a trip they plan such as the popular Annapurna Region, Upper Dolpo, Upper Mustang, Kanchenjunga, Langtang Region and the like meant for the avid trekkers to choose from. 

    Depending on their level of proficiency, and the ease or difficulty of trekking, trekkers can choose from a number of options available to them here. Nepal has been attracting more than 2 lakh trekkers every year with a number of agencies offering various services of interested trekkers. 

    Although a feast for the eye and an item on the bucket-list for the avid trekkers, trekking in Nepal comes with its own set of challenges as well. With extremely long hiking treks, unpredictable weather, rough terrain, limited civilisation and also limited access to the resources pose a set of problems to the trekkers which they need to be aware of and prepare themselves accordingly.

    Factors that might ruin your long distance treks in Nepal
    Here is a list of the most popular things that might ruin your long distance treks in Nepal:

    Unpredictable weather conditions 

    This is the first and foremost important factor that might ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. The weather in Nepal is very much varied depending on the geography and altitude of this region. Temperatures drop at a rate of 6 degrees C for every 1000 m raise in altitude. In winters though, temperatures can plummet to sub-zero levels too. Trekking in the monsoon season can also be accompanied by rain, mist and fog almost every day but when the clouds part, one can experience the beautiful views of the valley. Spring season is generally warm but higher altitudes will have the storms and snowfalls. 

    In this season, beautiful local fauna can be seen at the lower altitudes. Winters are severe, with many of the passes being closed for the security reasons. Smaller treks at the lower altitudes are preferable during this time. Towards the end of winter, the air becomes more fog-ridden and there is a lot of smoke-haze from the local fires. This might obscure the distant views defeating the purpose of hiking too. Autumn and summer are considered the best time for hiking purpose.  

    Much easier and shorter treks can be done in both winters and summers. But the weather can change at any time with the unexpected snowstorms and also the avalanches are there. It is always good to have a thorough understanding of the weather and accompanying risk factors before planning a trek in Nepal.

    Altitude sickness 
    Altitude sickness is another major factor that can ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. A lot of treks go beyond the height of 1500 to 2000 metres too. As you go higher, the air pressure reduces and the air gets thinner as well. It means lesser availability of oxygen for your body. Consequently, your heart will start beating faster to produce more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to different parts of your body. The whole process generally takes some time. You need to give some time to your body to slowly get acclimatised to the higher altitudes.

    Quick trekking, ignoring the body adjusting time, can lead to oxygen deprivation thus further leading to the common symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, tiredness, dizziness, collectively called the Acute Mountain Sickness amongst others.  

    High Altitude Cerebral Edema is another condition marked by the symptoms such as mood changes, confusion to blurred vision and vomiting et al. It is thus necessary to have a good awareness of all such conditions to give your body enough time to acclimatize to the increasing heights.

    Mountain gear 
    The varied topography and geographical conditions make trekking a challenge for the trekkers. Such scenarios arrive especially when you are opting for more difficult treks. Unexpected snowstorms and avalanches will be there to cause more challenging conditions for you while you will be trekking. It might not always be an easy and practical thing to carry all the trekking gear from your home country. Therefore, getting improper trekking gear might become a factor that will ruin your long distance treks in Nepal.  

    Trekking gear(read: Ultimate packing lists for trekking in Nepal) of all ranges of costs, quality and ranges are made easily available in Nepal. A large number of shops dot the streets literally making it difficult for you to make the right choice. As trekkers, you need to do extensive research on it that which is the shop that sells the right gear to suit your budget and also the exclusive requirement. At the same juncture, you shouldn’t compromise on quality. It is always good to select the shops that are familiar with the local weather conditions. They can advise you appropriately on the right gear to be purchased and much more. 

    Guides’ selection  
    Selecting the wrong guide becomes another major factor that will ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. A lot of treks need to compulsorily have guides, as mandated by the Government of Nepal, due to difficulties in the terrain and also because of the unpredictable weather conditions. Accidents that occurred in recent years have resulted in the stricter rules and regulations. 

    It becomes important for the trekkers to choose right guides who will have good knowledge and experience. Nepal, being a tourist destination, will have a lot of touts scouting for the trekkers. Their targets would usually be the first-timers who have little or no experience in the country. There is a risk of being cheated out of money or more prices being quoted for very little service provided. The Internet will have a lot of information from the hikers posting their personal experiences. 

    Hikers, especially first-timers, need to do due research, looking for experienced hikers that have a license from the government and understand the average amounts that can be charged for their requirements, so as not to be cheated. Before a guide is finalised, you should also remain abreast of it if the guide is giving a personalised service or is catering to a group. The quality of service rendered will vary depending on all such associated factors.

    Hike trail selection 
    Nepal, due to its vast topography, offers an equally vast number of trekking trails to choose from, right from the very basic to low-altitude plain trails for the novices, to medium-range for the slightly experienced, to very complicated trails that are in the high altitudes for the vastly experienced and et al. Being over-confident and choosing a wrong trail that doesn’t match with the experience can be a factor that will ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. Novices shouldn’t attempt the complicated trails as it might cause altitude-related health issues that would possibly prove a life-threatening experience for you.

    Blisters on feet 

    Blisters are the common problems that will possibly ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. Cold weather combined with constant friction on the feet leads to the ideal conditions for blistering that make further trek a major headache. Due care has to be taken while choosing the right footwear. Footwear should be of good quality and perfect size too. Strong but soft shoes that allow good air circulation should be selected. It will ensure that the feet are kept moisturised all the time, avoiding the growth of blisters. 

    Newly bought shoes are a strict no-no, as a hike is not the right time to break into the new shoes rather. It is always a good idea to use the shoes that have already been broken into. Heavy and thick shoes are also a strict no-no. It is always a good idea to take a break during the trek, take off shoes for a while, clean your feet with water, wipe thoroughly and ensure that your feet are properly dried before resuming your hike. It will prevent blisters and also any fungal infections that might occur due to prolonged exposures to moisture.

    Hygiene related issues 
    Doing no sincere efforts to focus on proper food, water and cleanliness become the key factors that can ruin your long distance treks in Nepal. Tourists who come here for the first time may not have an ideal condition that were there back home. Drinking water is generally one of the major sources of contamination, leading to water-borne illnesses. Trekkers can opt for the bottled water or carry their own portable water purification devices to ensure that pure drinking water is made available. Nepal had also been facing water shortages recently thus making the availability of good drinking water all the more remained difficult. 

    Trekkers should also look into the local food habits and what is available where to avoid any culture shock immediately after their arrival. Online resources have vast information for the trekkers on what is easily available and what is not. The burst of tourism has led to a lot of tea houses cropping up all over the hiking trails that can be of rescue provided proper hygiene is maintained. Wide variety of local foods(you may read: 15 Most Popular Nepali Foods you should Try) is available with multiple menu options. Trekkers can order quickly as soon as they arrive at these tea houses, have a quick meal and proceed with the hiking thereafter.  

    It is essential to avoid the tourist rush at the tea houses. Stocking on energy bars is very important as these are calorie-dense and will possibly provide a good source of energy on the long and tiring hikes. Since a lot of energy is burnt up hiking, trekkers should take care to have food and water and regular intervals.

    Staying hydrated is essential to ensure good blood circulation. When it comes to waste disposal, it is always good to carry a trash bag to carry all the wastes and dispose it at the end of the trail.

    Nepal, the land of best Himalayas provides a wondrous experience for the trekkers. A well-informed, well-prepared trekker can have a blissful trekking experience and cherish memories for the rest of his life. Are you the one who is willing to preserve similar memories? If so, gear up now for an experience for the lifetime.

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