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Training and Preparation for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trekking in Nepal
Mountain Sherpa Admin
Jul 20, 2021

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 Annapurna and it's constant backdrop along the trekking trail is laudable. The world-class trail to Annapurna Base Camp is 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. Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world. The elegance of Annapurna and the legendary trail to Annapurna Base Camp might not be unfamiliar to you. Having said this, we are pretty sure that you have had envision to embark on an adventure to Annapurna Base Camp. If you're thinking of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp, you must be acquainted with several things before heading to the Himalayas; you must be able to heed different anticipations regarding Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Training and preparation for the trek are indispensable. Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a lifetime experience, but without proper training and preparations, this might be just another day. Keeping that in mind, we have prepared comprehensive tips on training and preparation for Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

Physical Fitness:

Annapurna Base Camp Trek demands a moderate fitness level. You will have to walk for up to 7 hours, 6-7 hours a day through rough trails and elevating around 5500m. The thin air at this height can be challenging if you are not physically fit or if you do not have prior trekking and hiking experience. Though the trek is a moderate trek, you ought to be physically fit. If you can walk for a couple of hours, you are set to go. However, we recommend you to go for some physical training that may include walking and hiking for some hours. Perhaps hitting the gym can help a lot.  Be sure to do some aerobic exercise.

Prepare for Cold and Wet Weather:

As you will be ascending and descending at an altitude of 4,130 m, the weather is unpredictable, and as far as temperature and climate is concerned, you have to be prepared for cold and wet weather. The rain may pour any moment and who knows the chance for a blustery day. So it is genuinely suggested that you prepare yourself for this.

Adaptation to high altitude:

Trekking to the base camp of the 10th highest peak in the world is challenging and rewarding. When soaring to a higher altitude, your body must adapt to high altitude. Please consult a doctor about high altitude or research extensively. Here are some necessary preparations for adaptation to higher altitude:

a) drink  adequate water:

Drink adequate water to help your body stay hydrated every day. Drink at least 5 liters of water every day while trekking. Since your body does extra work while trekking in higher altitudes and a thin layer of oxygen, your body will require excess water.

b) Eat, Eat and Eat:

It is apparent that you have to eat and nourish your body while trekking. Carry snickers, bread, trail mix, ready-made tuna salad pouches, salmon, freeze-dried fruits, and veggies for your adventure to Annapurna Base Camp.

c) Avoid dramatic gain in altitude:

This is imperative that you are aware of altitude gain while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. Trek about in your own pace avoiding a dramatic increase in elevation. Don't rush; we repeat, don't rush. Take time to avoid high altitude sickness. Remember the saying- Better late than never.

Choose the best footwear:

Trekking in the rugged trails in the Himalayas demands comfortable footwear to avoid several problems like blisters, bunions, and minor feet injuries. Walking/trekking/hiking for hours up to the mountains can cause intricacies on your feet, and hence it is necessary that you invest in quality shoes for trekking. You can go for water-resistant hiking boots with good grips for a better trekking experience.

Use Walking Poles:

Always prefer walking poles for trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal as it is lightweight and your friend to the soaring height for sure. Using walking poles is comfortable and beneficial. Walking poles help you ease the load on your body and supports your knees for a pleasant trek and using walking poles while trekking also avoids stumbling. 

Train with a lightweight backpack:

This is important! You will be trekking in the Annapurna region with your light backpack. Make sure you carry enough stuff for the trek that won't weigh more than 5-7 kg. You might want to bring your camera, gadgets, snacks, water bottle, charger, and a few daily-use stuff. So we suggest you train with a lightweight backpack before actually trekking. Walk around your home or in the park with a light bag that will definitely help you with your adventure to Annapurna Base Camp.

Carry Cash:

You might be wondering why the currency is even preparation for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The plausible explanation for this would be fundamental; carrying Nepali currency helps you in every way for your monetary transactions in Nepal, especially in remote areas where life goes beyond modern comfort. 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.

Best Season for Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp:

The Best and ideal season for Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp is Autumn and Spring, particularly September to December and  March to May. During the preferred season, the weather gives the best for the trek; the weather remains balmy, and you can get the best out of the trek. The mountain views are undoubtedly incredible and that my friend is second to none. The blooming forest and stunning landscape along the trail are no less magical during the preferred season. And there are fewer chances of consequences except for the crowd.

Visa Preparation:

For your Visa Preparation, rest assured to get it from Tribhuvan International Airport on your arrival in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.  Please note that you must have valid passport for at least 6 months.

Trekking Permits:

TIMS  (Trekkers Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permits) are two permits required for your adventure to Annapurna Region. 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.

Backpacking: Gears and Supplies:

While preparing for the trek to the base camp of the world's 10th tallest mountain, backpacking can be daunting and harrowing. It is absolutely imperative that you are sure of what you carry and backpack. Basically, you got to be aware of what gears and clothes you would carry and their use to withstand altitude and challenges during the 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.

Travel Insurance:

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. Your safety is not to be compromised, and hence, we recommend you to get your travel insurance.


Now, this is crucial. Your itinerary must be adequately outlined that best fit your fitness and flexibility. Notwithstanding the fact that you can go for an outlined itinerary, you can also customize itinerary for the trek. The bottom line is you are safe and sound, and the trek is pleasant and auspicious with the itinerary of the trek.

Medical Check Up:

All trekker must opt for a medical checkup prior to trekking. You are highly suggested to check your health condition and assure if you are ready for the adventure. The strenuous adventure through rugged must not be overlooked. Please make sure that you have prescribed medications for certain conditions in altitude and health issues. We strongly believe in Prevention is better than Cure. For safety concern, make sure you are ready for the trekking by going through medical check up.

Vaccinations, Immunizations and Medications:

We urge you to prepare a medical kit for emergency cases. Carrying a medical kit is indispensable while trekking to the Himalayas. Your medical kit must include primarily bandages, sterile cleaners,  blister care, Paracetamol and aspirin, Rehydration salts, antibiotics, antifungal cream, and diamox. 
Before we put any words for Vaccinations and Immunizations, we highly recommend you to consult a professional travel medical practitioner. When it comes to diseases in Nepal, Nepal is considered as a safe country as there are no records of such cases. But please be noted that rabies can be a problem due to street dogs in cities and rural areas. So there might be a chance of emergency rabies vaccinations. Following are the recommended vaccinations and immunizations;
  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Typhoid
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

Be Mentally Prepared:

Having prepared all of the above, the crucial preparation is your mental preparation for the trek or adventure. Traveling away from home or 10000 miles away is never as easy as it may seem or you hope. You have to be mentally prepared for any inconvenience and unforeseen circumstances. What we focus on is staying at a local lodge and teahouses where amenities are minimal, and food and accommodation are quite basic. The trekking trails are rugged, and you have to encounter steep ascent, and descent and altitude is no joke. And henceforth, you have to have a positive attitude for a successful trip to the base camp of the world's 10th highest peak.

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