How to start trekking in the Himalayas.

So you have decided to trek the himalayas and are not completely sure how to go about it? There are three primary things for you to keep in mind for your first trek in the himalayas. Deciding the trek, booking the trek and preparing for it. You should ideally decide and book your trek - one to three months before the trek date, so it gives you sufficient time to prepare for it.

How to decide on your first Himalayan Trek?

1. Short list the possible trek options you have on mind and then finalize the trek you would want to do.

This may be a confusing task as every trek has pictures which seem equally mesmerizing, the best way to finalize the trek from the shortlist would be to speak to a friend who is a regular trekker OR you could search the treks here and filter them as per your choice OR you could drop us an email and we could give you our unbiased opinion.

The factors which you would have to consider while deciding on your first trek would be

  - The month you plan to trek, as some treks are open around the year whereas some aren't

- The number of days you have on hand. Based on this you could balance between trekking days and travel days. You would need a minimum of 3 to 4 days excluding travel.

- Your current fitness level and age. If you are in a group, consider the least fit person as the benchmark to decide on the trek. The easiest way to shortlist the treks would be to filter it based on your needs in the search treks option on sherpafeet. For example, here is a list of trek which can be done in October in under 4 days. Just use the filters on the page!

- Some folks are particular about a certain aspect they are looking for in the trek, like some may want to see and touch snow. So that could be taken into account while deciding the trek.

Once you have decided on the trek, the second thing is booking the trek.

How to book your Himalayan Trek

Booking the trek guide is the second step. Based on your budget and needs you could decide to either trek in an exclusive small group or solo for the real Himalayan experience or you could do it with a big group which would work out cheaper, but you may miss out on the real mountain experience. The best way to decide on this would be to drop us a quick email and we could suggest the guide and agency who could be suitable for your budget or needs at no extra cost. The other way would be for you to contact the multiple guide/agency options you have for the trek and discuss it directly with the guide/agencies. Which ever is convenient for you. 

Points to keep in mind while discussing your plan with the guide and agency.

1. You should mention the approximate date you would want to trek, so the guide agency could check their availability and could also update you on the current weather and route conditions.

2. You should mention the number of people in your group or if you are solo. Either ways.

3. What clothing, equipment which you and/or your group should carry.

4. Finalize the cost of the trek with the guide or business. The cost of the trek is usually dependent on the number of people. [If you are looking for an exclusive trek you should let the guide and agency know that you are not ok with additional trekkers joining you/your group. On similar lines, if you are good with additional trekkers joining, you should check if that would lead to a reduction in the trek cost for you and your group.]

5. You would have to make an advance payment to the guide or business to confirm the plan. Keep in mind that the advance payment is usually not refundable on cancellations. 

Once you have finalized and booked your trek, you would need to prepare for it. This is the most important part of the trek

How to prepare for your Himalayan Trek

On an himalayan trek, physical and mental fitness is of paramount importance. That apart you would need to have the proper clothing and gear to successfully and comfortably complete an himalayan trek. 

  1. Physical fitness which is about preparing your body for the rugged and harsh climate.
  2. Preparing the necessary clothing and gear needed for the trek

Physical fitness and mental fitness is needed for the personal safety of the trekker and the group. This shouldn't be taken lightly. Regular long brisk walks, running and cycling are good exercses to build up the required muscular and cardio endurance.

Being able to run a minimum of 5 km in about 30 to 35 minutes should be taken as the minimum threshold before embarking on any trek. It goes without saying, that the more difficult treks would need a higher fitness. If you have any doubt on this aspect, feel free to drop us an email and we can help you think through this.

The next important thing would be the needed clothing and gear for the trek. The trekking shoes, warm comfortable clothes, a proper bagpack and other essential items would be needed. There is a trekking checklist we have prepared to help you with this.

Do double check with your trekking guide and agency if there is anything additional needed apart from what is listed in the checklist.

Thats it! You are now prepared and set for a wonderful himalayan trek!