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15 Things You Need To Know Before Trekking To Annapurna Base Camp

Trekking in Nepal
Mountain Sherpa Admin
Jan 19, 2038

Nepal is a beautiful country blessed with eight of 14 highest mountains in the world. Everest, the top of the world along with bountiful mountains makes Nepal the trekker's paradise, and a haven for a plethora of adventures from justly sightseeing in the medieval cities to trekking to the rugged trails of Everest, Annapurna, Langtang region and beyond. Trekking in Nepal has been a dream adventure for thousands of adrenaline junkies, particularly in Everest and Annapurna region that house world's highest (Everest (8848m)) and 10th highest mountain (Annapurna (8091m)) in the world. Everest Base Camp Trek along with Annapurna Base Camp trek is two of the predominantly popular trek of Nepal. 

Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the most sought after treks of Nepal. Annapurna Base Camp Trek is famous for its unrivaled mountain vistas of Annapurna massif. The breath-taking views of Himalayan ranges and it's constant backdrop along the trekking trail is laudable. The world-class trails to Annapurna Base Camp Trek are brimmed with natural grandiosity from a wide spectrum of lush forest and farmlands to the lofty mountain up to an elevation of 8091m. The staggering drawcards of Annapurna Base Camp call thousands of travelers every year to embark on a quest to explore Annapurna Base Camp. One must be acquainted with several things before heading to the Himalayas; one must be able to heed different anticipations regarding Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Here are 15 things to know before trekking to Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

1) Cost: How much it cost to trek to Annapurna Base Camp?

First thing first, the cost of the trek is a crucial matter to consider, from planning your budget to actually executing your budget for the trek. Your trek cost is readily dependent on many foreseen factors like itinerary, season, accommodation rate, cost of guide and porter, etc. Basically, the price of Annapurna Base Camp trek differs from company to company, primarily based on the quality they pledge and offer. The cost of the trek varies from company to company mainly on the following bases:

Itinerary: How long will be the trek?

Let us take it simply. The longer the trip, the costlier is the trek. Some company offers around 7-day short trek, whereas some offer 12-day trek or extended. We have 7 days trek to ABC , 12 Days Trek to annapurna base camp as well as 14 day Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and undoubtedly 12 & 14 days trek are expensive than 7 days trek to ABC.

Season: Season can contribute to the price of the trek.

If you're trekking in peak season, then it is evident that the trek price is quite expensive. Offseason is usually quoted with discounts and offers that are less expensive as compared to those price in peak season.

Accommodation: Which hotels are designated for your trek?

Well, here we are clear. The expensive hotel in the itinerary of the trek leads to high-quality trek and expensive trek. Some company might use 3-star hotel and lodge while some may use the 5-star hotel.

2) Season: Best season for Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp

The best season to trek to Annapurna Base Camp is autumn (September to November)  and spring (March to May).  Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in peak season is rewarding; the weather remains ideal and balmy. The vista of the Annapurna Massif are breath-stoping, and the trekking trails remain favorable throughout the season. You can get the best out of the trek in peak season. But remember, the trekking trail in the peak season remains quite busy with an influx of many travelers. Notwithstanding the peak season, sometimes the weather can be unfavorable for trekking in the Himalayas, it can change dramatically. Therefore it is recommended that you do enough research on the weather before you head to Annapurna Base Camp. You need not to worry as we make sure you get the best out of trek by assuring everything prior to your arrival in Nepal.

3) Nature of the trek: Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderate trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek commences from Kathmandu, the capital city. It is comparatively easy and short trek. A trek to Annapurna Base Camp is a short 12-day hike through the most beautiful and diverse landscape with vibrant mountain, Gurung villages, terraced fields, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The trek is moderate; anyone with good physical fitness can trek to ABC. The trekking trail to ABC  is relatively easier, with flatlands and less rugged landscapes. It is ideal for hikers/trekkers who can walk 5-6 hours a day with a light day pack and who are in average physical fitness with an excellent health condition.

4) Backpacking: What things to carry (clothes and Gears)?

While preparing for the trek to the base camp of the world's 10th tallest mountain, backpacking can be daunting and harrowing. You might get confused with the things, what gears to carry? We have prepared a list of complete equipment guide for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Admittedly the list can be long enough for you to consider. But we have come up with a comprehensive list for the trek from clothing to gearing that is basic and not-to-miss stuff. 

For clothing, it is obvious you choose clothes according to the season. But it is important that you remain cozy with the clothes you wear. As you ascend and descend, the altitude plays a vital role in body temperature, and it is apparent that you must wear clothes that readily adapt to the temperature. Below are some of the basic clothing and gear list:

Trekking Shirts, Trekking trousers, Insulated Jackets, Fleece Jacket, waterproof hard shell jacket, hat, Beanie, Neckband, Inner and outer gloves, sturdy hiking boots, pairs of hiking socks, Gaiters, Sleeping Bag, daypack, backpack, breathable sports underwear, trekking shoes, warm thermal socks, rain cover, towels, sunglasses, trekking poles, water bottle, camera, portable charger,  headlamps, spare batteries, Waterproof Ziplock bags.

(These are under essential list, but you can also go for your personal preferences.)

5) Currency: You need to carry Nepali currency

You might be wondering why the currency is even a thing for you to know for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The plausible explanation for this would be very basic; carrying Nepali currency helps you in every way for your monetary transactions in Nepal. You can exchange currency at Airport itself in Nepal. Besides, you can readily exchange money around thamel area and in Kathmandu. Exchanging currency in the vicinity of Kathmandu and Pokhara is never a problem, but you may not find it hard in the trekking trails. Therefore it is recommended that you exchange currency while you're in Kathmandu or Pokhara. 

6) Guides and Porter: Whether to hire a guide and porter for yourself or not.

The genuine and common questions are here; "Should you trek with a guide or not?" "Are guides and porters compulsory for you to trek to the Himalayas of Nepal?" "Can I embark on an adventure to the Himalayas on my own?"

Well, it is obvious you can, and maybe it is not necessary. But the Nepal Government has legalized the fundamental of trekking for a foreigner with a guide as a compulsion. One must trek with a local guide to the Himalayas.  Besides, we recommend everyone to seek for an adventure in the Himalayas with guides and porter. This is for the very reason; your safety and successful trip. A local guide can help you in every way from planning to preparation and execution. Hiring guide and porter will contribute to your auspicious and enjoyable trip. And doing that, you are practicing responsible tourism by supporting local people. When it comes to guiding, Sherpa guide is by far the best. Sherpa is local mountain-dweller, well acquainted with altitude and mountains. Their mountaineering and expedition skills are laudable. We are 100% Local Sherpa owned & operated Company, and we are mountains Specialists “No one Knows Himalayas as we do."

7) Documents and Permits

You will need TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System)  and permit for your trek to Annapurna Base Camp. You can get it from tourist centers in Kathmandu and Pokhara. TIMS  card will cost you around 2000 NPR and 2500 NRS for the permit.

8)  Food and Accommodation: What food you eat and where do you sleep?

When we are talking about foods and accommodation in the Himalayas, they are basic and comfy.  Expect to eat local food and sleep mostly in teahouses. You will be accommodated in hotels/teahouse owned by local people that serves basic food menus like pasta, pizza, garlic soup, momos, noodles. Menus are good with reasonable price; Dal Bhat (steamed rice and cooked lentil soup) is a great option and popular food in Nepal, especially among trekkers in the Himalayas. The room will be clean and basic with a single bed or two beds, a table, a warm blanket, a thin mattress, and a pillow. 

Note: Hot water is readily available almost everywhere throughout the trek.

9) Insurance, rescue/evacuation

Your insurance for the trek to Annapurna Base Camp must cover cancellation, medical expenses, and helicopter rescue evacuation. Sometimes you might face dire consequences to which your trek must include insurance. And in case of severe health problems, helicopter rescue and evacuation shall be standby if your insurance covers it. 

10) Gurung people and their culture

Gurung is an indigenous group of Nepal with their homeland mainly in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. On your way to Annapurna Base Camp, you will witness quaint Gurung settlement and their enticing culture. Their warm hospitality is commendable and will captivate you. Gandruk on the way to ABC  is also called as  the "Land of the Gurung." Gurung people have their own (myriads) festivals and celebrations; Kulpuja (offering for ancestors), Lhosar (New year) are two major festivals. There are many teahouses owned and operated by Gurung people in Annapurna Region. You will thoroughly enjoy their tradition and lifestyle. Relish the enticing Gurung culture and lifestyle while on your adventure to legendary Annapurna Base Camp.

11) Respect Local Culture

'Respect Local Culture' as easy and as simple as it sounds. No matter what part of the world you travel to, you ought to respect the local culture. Respecting local culture is a sign that you are willingly practicing Responsible Travel. It is a way of immersing yourself into the culture with contentment and on the other hand, it is also preserving and promoting the culture.  You may learn how to greet in local language and wear local attire in a festival or celebration. Besides, you can research the local culture of the destination. We urge every client of ours to respect local culture and indulge in it.

12) Practice Responsible Travel

Practicing Responsible Travel has been an indispensable part for both tour operator and travelers. Responsible Travel is all about responsibility; responsibility of tour operator, government, hoteliers, local people, and most importantly tourist to pledge and practice for a better world. It is being socially and culturally conscious while traveling for positive impacts on environmental and social aspects thereby minimizing negative impacts on social, cultural and ecological aspects. It also encompasses activities for booming local economy and contributing to the conservation of cultural heritage and treasure of mother nature. 

13) Morning Views are best 

Views of Annapurna massif and surrounding peaks are best observed in the morning or at sunrise. Spectacular morning views are the major highlight of this trek, making Annapurna region a photographer's paradise in Nepal. The lofty mountains glisten with the sunlight early in the morning rewarding incredible panoramic mountain views. You will be awestruck and completely fixated by the morning views of the mountains. 

14)  First aid kits

The maxim: "Prevention is better than cure" helps us surmount many problems in our life. So is with trekking or any adventures. When you are 10000 miles away from home, you got to be careful, avoiding difficulties in every way possible. And of all, one smart move is carrying first aid kits. The primary items on first aid kits are Antiseptic, ointment, Pain killers, Crepe bandage, Malaria prophylactic tablets, Blister treatment, Throat lozenges, Acetazolamide or Diamox, Scissors, hypodermic needle, Safety pins, etc. 

15) Health Issues

What are the imminent Health issues while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Overlooking this question can be detrimental to you. So it is highly recommended that you be sensitive to health issues. Ascending and descending to high altitude is not a joke. Acclimatization is a must while trekking to the Himalayas. Although the trek is confined to lower elevations as compared to Everest Base Camp Trek, you need to be prepared at least 2 months physically prior to the trek. You got to have the right gears and be mentally prepared. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the trek. Notwithstanding, you are trained, sometimes altitude can affect on your health any moment. So prepare yourself for altitude sickness and altitude-related health issues. We firmly believe in Prevention is Better than Cure. However, our experienced and astute guide will help you throughout the trek regarding health issues. 

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