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What “not to do” while trekking in Nepal

1. Never Trek Alone: (find a guide)   

No matter how many times you've gone trekking, the Himalayan terrain is a different prospect altogether. If you think that you can travel on your own without the assistance of a guide, you're only fooling yourself. This isn't your regular streets where you can just open your Google Maps and follow the directions. You may not even have access to the internet in the foothills of the Himalayas to make a call; surfing the internet is practically impossible. You can explore the cities on your own, but when the time finally comes to ascend and descend the high altitude areas of the Himalayas, it's imperative that you hire guides who have several years of experience trekking. Trekking alone without hiring a local guide is not only a risky thing but it is also against Nepal’s government policy. Trekking alone also increases the risks of getting lost along with risks of suffering from altitude sickness.

2. Avoid Walking On The Edge Of Trekking Trails:

Always be careful while making your way through trekking trails, ascending and descending through narrow, steep routes. Especially, don’t walk near the edge as you might fall or be hit by animals passing by. Also avoid taking selfies at risky sites like the edge of the mountain, top of rocks, etc. Whenever you see Yaks, or other animals passing by, let them pass by before continuing on your journey.

3. Only drink purified water:

Drinking water from local resources is risky. You might see locals drinking non filtered water, but you should avoid it and stay on the safe side. Non purified water may be contaminated and it may cause exposure to water transmittable diseases. Always drink purified water. You can purify the water yourself before drinking using chlorine tabs or other UV methods or filters. Ask your guide for safe drinking water. You can also buy mineral water at the local stores.

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4. Don’t Take Unnecessary Breaks:

Aim to finish the day walking the same speed at which you started. Think about the rhythm and flow of your walking. Don’t stop anywhere on your own, take breaks on proposed stops.

5. Walk, Don’t Run:

Trekking is not a race. It is a fun activity which if done at a steady pace is more enjoyable. Don’t try to compete with your friends while trekking. Moving too fast or running makes you tired easily. Take time to enjoy the once in a lifetime view of Nepal and the Himalayas!

6. Enjoy the local food:

Some menus at lodges and trail restaurants may offer international cuisine, but it’s likely to take a long time (thus delaying your trek if it's the noon meal), and it probably won’t taste like what you expect. Ordering local food, like dal and rice and vegetables, or chow mein will result in your food being ready quickly and it’s delicious after a long day of trekking. You can sometimes have your guide call your meal order ahead for you so that the food is ready when you arrive. Ordering breakfast the night before is also a good idea, so that you can get on your way early in the morning.

7. Bring along small gifts or candy:

Along the trail and at your stops, if you make friends with the children, it’s nice to give them a small gift of candy or a pen, stickers, etc. Try to do this one on one so that you aren’t swarmed with children asking for gifts! It’s also a good idea to bring photos of your family or country to show the locals you’re staying with. It’s a good conversation starter.