Explore Adventure Travel Consultant Lisa Spratling has been lucky to have lived in Nepal for 3 years and has trekked throughout the Himalaya. She explains why the autumn is such a popular time for trekking here and shares her tips on how you can start to prepare for your adventure.
October and November are some of the most popular months to trek in Nepal. What makes this time so special?
The autumn is my favourite time in the Himalaya. The monsoon rains have finished leaving the air crystal clear. The always amazing mountain views are at their most impressive. The weather is sunny but it’s not too hot – the perfect conditions for trekking. And everywhere is green and beautiful.
What would you recommend someone planning an autumn trek could do now to start preparing?
The main thing is to get walking and used to your wearing your walking boots! Get out at the weekends on longer walks of 5 to 6 hours. Don’t worry too much about distance, the thing is to get used to walking for the best part of a day. As your trek gets nearer I’d definitely recommend planning for some walking in mountains. Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons, Lake District and Scotland are all great places to shape up for the ascents and descents you’ll experience in Nepal.
And what about getting ready for trekking at altitude (i.e.over 3000 m)?
It’s not really possible to prepare for altitude in this country! I always advise customers not to worry in advance about altitude as even if you’re super fit, you are as susceptible to its affects as anyone else. All Explore’s treks are carefully planned to allow for acclimatisation on the trail. I’d recommend drinking lots of water, listen to the Tour Leader who will brief you about altitude and take a slow, steady, pace - don’t race!
What sort of gear will I need for a trek in Nepal?
Your boots are the most important thing. You don’t need to spend a fortune but you must definitely have boots with good ankle support – so not shoes or trainers! A good fit is essential, so you really need to get these from a shop where you can try them on rather than buying online. I personally think trekking poles are brilliant. They are the best thing you can have to take the pressure off your knees and can help with balance on rocky terrain and the stone staircases that you’ll find on the trail. As well as your trekking clothes (lightweight and breathable layers) you’ll need a waterproof jacket and trousers and a fleece. I like to take both a thin and thick fleece for maximum versatility and this means that I can get away with not having a down jacket for the evening too. As far as a sleeping bag goes I use a 3 season bag plus an additional polartech liner for late season or very high treks.
Thanks Lisa! – Finally, any top tips?
I trek with an umbrella – it makes both a great sunshade and is much cooler than a goretex jacket in the rain. And you really must go on your trek thinking that you can do it. Positive thinking is so important!
Find out more about our trekking holidays in Nepal.