Explore Himalaya organizes treks in three different styles: CAMPING, TEA HOUSE & GAP (abbreviation of Guide, Accommodation & Porter).
1) CAMPING TREK
CAMPING TREKS & SUPPORT CREW
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Sirdar and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don’t take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Some of the best moments of the trek are the times spent getting to know your trekking crew who are born and brought up in remote mountain villages. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is eaten and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tents, your camping staff dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.
A TYPICAL DAY ON A CAMPING TREK
A typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the morning’s walk. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free.
Dinner is usually served between 6 and 7pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
MEALS & DRINKING WATER ON A CAMPING TREK
We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain remarkably high standards of health over many years of trek organization – and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
2) LODGE TREK
LODGE TREKS & SUPPORT CREW
Some of the popular trekking routes in Everest, Annapurna & Langtang are served by lodges making it possible for you to stay at local Tea house (mountain hut) during your trek. Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most teahouses, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the shared bathroom facilities are often outside and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the teahouses do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Tea house treks are less expensive then Camping trek and are largely suitable for small group. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory.
MEALS & DRINKING WATER ON A LODGE TREK
On our lodge based treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.
On tea house trek you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The crew consists of a local leader (Sirdar) and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two group members. Sirdar speaks reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Go outdoors and sleep on a comfortable 2 person tent in a camp. This type of holiday is a perfect way to appreciate nature and feel closer to the environment. It is a great way to have a deeper appreciation of the things around you. It’s also a good bonding moment for families and couples looking for a more active getaway. It’s important to go to a camp where there are professional trekking guides that can teach and show you the essential knowledge and skills in camping.
A TYPICAL DAY ON A LODGE TREK
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. All we need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of our gear for us.
After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free.
After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
3) GAP TREK
This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters and trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. This option works only in certain routes in Everest, Langtang, Annapurna regions where trekking routes are served by local tea house or lodges. Entire arrangement is exactly same as Tea House except you pay for your own meals. We take care of all expenses of our staff.