Just some tipps and hints on how to stay warm and hydrated and healthy and happy and how to live that trail life in style and comfort.
- Bring your own warm sleeping bag. It’s is going to be really, really cold up in the mountains even in summer and there is no heating in the guesthouses. I brought my superwarm North Face down sleeping bag up to Annapurna Basecamp and literally everyone was superjealous and always colder than I was. Also, yes there are blankets provided by the guesthouses. Most of them are really old, really smelly and really damp and thus slightly disgusting. Its worth carrying the extra weight of your own warm sleeping bag.
- Bring some trusted high-energy-snacks like Cliff-Bars. Food safety is not always guaranteed in the guest houses, and if you do get sick with a food poisening its good to have some nibbles with you that you ‘ll feel comfortable to eat. Be assured tough that Snickers and Pringles will be available all the way to the top, they just get more and more expensive as you gain on altitude.
- Snicker Roll. Try it. Love it. Its sweet and warm and just what you need to refuel and feel all happy and fuzzy after a long day’s hike.
- Garlic Soup. Sounds disgusting. Tastes quite nice actually and will help you acclimatize to the altitude.
- Bring iodine tablets or some other water purifying device you’re comfortable with. The selling botteled water is banned on some treks, and even if it is still allowed there is no environmentally friendly way to dispose of the bottles. And you will need to drink a lot to stay hydrated at that altitude. On the bright side: A lot of guesthouses have started provide filtered water at a small cost, using a professional water filter, and I made great use of that even tough I did have iodine tablets with me, to support the whole concept of purifying “local” water rather than hauling up imported and bottled water.
- You will be able to charge your phone in nearly every guesthouse on popular trekking routes. Also a lot of them have though somewhat shaky wifi.
- Get up early. Rain and storms usually set in by two pm, so you’ll want to be done with your day’s hike by then. Also sunrises is usually teh best time to see some tall mountains.
- Bring a book. When you are done hiking by mid-afternoon, there is still a lot of time to kill and there is only so much time you can spend reorganising your pack or playing cards with your fellow hikers.
- Shower whenever there is a decent shower available. You never know what the next one will look like. If there will be one at all.
- If donkeys and mules appear on the trail, give way to the donkeys and mules. As in a lot of way. Or you’ll get simply pushed off the trail. And don’t laugh at them. They might just try to kick or bite you.
- (And an extra hint for all the Swiss fellow hikers: Yes, there will be a dish on nearly every menu in the guesthouses called Swiss Roasty. Or Rosti. Or Roisty. Yes, it is what we would call Rösti, and wich is essentially hashbrowns. And yes, it can taste surprisingly familiar and they even make it with eggs and cheese on top.)
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