You can bring your own light-weight sleeping bag from home or you can rent one in Kathmandu ( VHTE representative will help you with). Most teahouses also have blankets you can use; in the warmer month, you may just want a sleeping bag liner to use with the blankets, and in the colder months, you’ll want a warmer winter sleeping bag.

Yes. All of the necessary permits for your trek are included in the price and will be arranged for you prior to your trek. For certain restricted regions (like Manaslu), you’ll need to have a full day in Kathmandu prior to your trek as we will need your passport for the permit registration.

Your trek starts on the date that works best for you, given all of the tours are tailored to your travel dates.

You can leave your additional luggage at your hotel in Kathmandu or at our company office. Either way, your luggage will be waiting for you at your hotel when you return back from your trek.

You can buy virtually everything you need for trekking—from down jackets to water bottles—in Kathmandu. There is a variety of authentic name-brand stores as well as a large selection of knock-off products that are fairly good quality. It’s still worth bringing your own gear if it doesn’t take up too much weight, especially your own trekking boots to avoid any potentials issues when purchasing new shoes.

You should bring trekking boots that are comfortable and broken in. Especially when crossing high passes, there can be some snow so it’s good to be prepared for a variety of conditions. Your footwear doesn’t need to be warm but should be strong and durable. It should have a chunky sole—preferably made of Vibram or another durable material—and should also protect your ankles. There are a variety of styles available at any outdoor store made of leather or synthetic materials, so it’s really up to you what’s more comfortable.

Tipping is not required but is expected, and really depends on how happy you were with the service. Guides (both for trekking and cultural tours), porters, and drivers are typically provided with a tip at the end of your service with them.

Classifying the difficulty of a trek is somewhat tricky, as it depends on your fitness and experience hiking in the mountains. In the Himalaya, a trek’s difficulty depends on the steepness of the trail, the general altitude, and the duration of the trek. Generally, the higher you go the more difficult the trek becomes. For most treks in the lower foothills (Ghorepani, Ghandruk, and Pikey Peak), it’s fairly moderate trekking, although some days will be more challenging than others. For higher-altitude treks (Everest Base Camp, Gokyo, Annapurna Circuit, and Nar Phu), the treks become more challenging as you’ll be going over 5,000m passes and longer days.

Teahouse trekking refers to staying at a small local lodge or mountain hut each night of your trek. The lodges are basic and consist of 5-10 rooms with a common area used for eating and hanging out. Most treks in Nepal are teahouse treks where the lodges are run by members of the local community.

Most days in the mountain involve 4-6 hours of trekking. When you consider your day starts at 8 am and ends around 4-5 pm, it’s not too arduous as you’ll be taking a number of breaks and stopping for lunch along the way. The higher you get in elevation (especially in the Everest region), the shorter your trekking days will get to ensure you don’t gain altitude (and thus altitude sickness) too quickly.

You’ll carry your daily essentials (sunblock, water, hat, light jacket, and camera) but your porter will carry the bulk of your gear, such as extra clothing and overnight essentials. Porters are especially helpful for longer treks where you’ll be carrying more gear. For shorter treks (2-3 days), you may opt just to have a guide if you’re comfortable carrying your own gear, but hiring a porter is a great way to support the local economy and is quite affordable.

Porters typically carry up to 30 kg. max. (to ensure they’re not overloaded). For fragile items, such as cameras, it’s still best to carry these items yourself.

There is normally one guide for every five people. Greater than five, an assistant guide will likely join the group and will stay back with slower walkers in case the group splits up during the day. For porters, there is one porter to every two trekkers.

The local trekking guides our specialists work with are often born and raised in the regions you’re trekking through and have grown up in the mountains. Most often, they’ll have started in the business as a porter, then graduated to a cook’s helper, then to an assistant guide, and finally to a fully-certified guide who has completed a four-week guide training course organized by the Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) and the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN).

All of the guides our specialists work with speak fluent English and have many years of experience in guiding foreign travelers. It’s a requirement that they all are trained in first aid as well as carry a first aid kit with them during the trek.

For group treks (treks that start on a specific date and are open for travellers to join), the group size can range from 2-10 people but typically ends up being around 4-6 people.

If you fall ill during your trek, the course of action depends on what’s wrong. If it’s altitude sickness, moving to lower altitudes and taking altitude medication will solve most cases; if it’s quite severe, your guide will arrange for emergency evacuation by helicopter (be sure that emergency helicopter rescue is covered in your travel insurance). If you have a stomach sickness or other types of food or water-related illnesses, your guide will have medication on-hand for the most common illnesses.

You usually meet your trekking guide once you’re in Kathmandu. You’ll have a full briefing on the trek at the start of your trip where you’ll meet your guide, be able to ask questions and receive all the information you’ll need for the trek. Sometimes due to logistical restraints, your guide may also meet you at the airport for the flight to the beginning of your trek.