How to prepare for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. Trekking to the base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain is on the bucket list of most trekkers worldwide. This Annapurna Trek takes you to the lap of Mt. Annapurna with the mesmerizing experience and the diverse flora and fauna, picturesque village enriched with diverse culture, religion, and tradition, gorges, diverse landscapes, and many more. No wonder Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most famous treks in Nepal.
This Annapurna Trek takes you to the Annapurna Base Camp(4103m), located in a glacier basin known as Annapurna Sanctuary, surrounded by breathtaking mountain peaks Annapurna I, Machapuchare (Fishtail), Hiuchuli. Thus, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is also known as Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. Along the trek, you will also witness stunning views of Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Annapurna South, Machapuchare, Nilgiri, Himchuli, Dhaulagiri, and many more.
This trek is a perfect vacation trip to get away from the hustle and bustling life of the city and into the absolute wilderness.
When trekking to the high altitude region as Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you need to be well prepared to enjoy the trek to the fullest. So, here are some tips on how you can start preparing for your trek to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
Physical Training and Fitness
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderately difficult trek. The trek doesn’t require any alpine trekking experience or technical mountain climbing experience. If you have average physical fitness, you can complete the trek. Thus, this trek is suitable for any trekker of any age.
However, it would help if you prepared yourself before starting your trek. You will be walking around 5 to 7 hours per day during the trek. So, it is essential to do physical training and preparation before the trek. You need to mainly focus on building your shoulders, leg muscles, back, and abdomen.
You can start by going on a long walk or going on a day hike regularly before the trek. You can do a basic strength training routine such as pull-ups, sit-ups, and crunches besides the aerobic and cardiovascular training to improve your physical strength. You can also train yourself by doing swimming, exercising, and yoga for a week to increase your strength and be calm during the trip.
Best time to trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is doable at any time of the year. However, Autumn (September-November) and Spring (March-May) are considered the best time for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Due to the favorable weather and temperature condition, most traveler prefers to trek during these seasons.
During Spring, you can enjoy your journey under perfect weather conditions with moderate temperatures. The days are warm and clear, offering clear views of the gorgeous and magnificent snow-capped mountains and diverse landscapes. Along with that, the vegetation is in full blossom during spring. So, you will be walking along a lush green forest filled with colorful wildflowers and rhododendron blossoms.
The weather and temperature condition during Autumn is similar to the spring season. The days are warm and clear with clear blue skies. You can enjoy unobstructed views of the stunning mountain peak and surrounding landscapes. Along with that, it is the season of festivals in Nepal. Thus, it is the perfect time to explore Nepali culture and tradition.
A Visa is the most crucial document while traveling to a new country. It will keep you safe while preparing for the vacation trip to Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal. Getting a visa is relatively easy in Nepal. Upon arrival, you can quickly get your visa from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal. You can also issue the visa online by filling up the application form available at the Nepal Immigration website.
A trekking permit is a must while trekking in Nepal. For the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will require two trekking permits.
TIMS (Transport Information Management System) is necessary for every trekker coming to trek in Nepal.
ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit) is needed for every trekker who wishes to trek in the Annapurna Region. Some parts of the trek will take you through the forest areas of the Annapurna region, which falls under the conservation area. Some parts of the permit money go to the fund for the conservation of the Annapurna region.
You can get both of these permits quickly in Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can also get these on the trails themselves, but the price will be slightly more.
Don’t skimp on the permits, as there are checkpoints where you may be asked to disclose these permits. You will be fined and made to buy these permits at a higher cost.
When trekking to high altitude region, you must be mentally prepared while planning for the trek. Depending upon how comfortable you are being outdoor in a remote area, you have to prepare mentally for yourself.
You will be walking for 5 to 8 hours daily with your backpack on at a high altitude area during the trek. You will be trekking along with the areas where there will be no wifi, air-conditioning, etc. Thus, you should be prepared mentally as you may be disappointed if you have too high expectations of your living and sleeping quarters.
Equipment, Gears and Supplies
All treks to high altitude regions require suitable, trustworthy gears and equipment. Some of the basic things you will need on your trek to the Annapurna Base Camp trek are:
- A warm sleeping bag
- Duffel bag and a day pack
- Warm and waterproof jacket
- Trekking trousers and shirts, including a base layer and second layer fleece
- A lightweight high-quality trekking boots
- Pair of regular shoes for when you want to take a stroll
- Warm gloves, inner and outer and warm thermal socks
- Trekking Poles
The above gives you a general idea of what you should keep in mind. You can learn in detail what to bring to the Annapurna base camp trek. This should be more helpful.
Many equipment and supplies can be purchased or rented at affordable prices in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
For more details, please check our blog on “Annapurna Base Camp Trek Packing List”
Annapurna Base Camp Trek With or Without a Guide?
This is the question that I get the most from the trekkers who are planning to trek to Annapurna Base Camp, “Do I need a trekking guide for the trek?”. Annapurna Base Camp Trek, one of the most popular treks in Nepal, can be done with or without a guide.
It is recommended to hire a guide while doing any trek in Nepal. A guide will help you not get lost and will be able to share any information you require regarding the local fauna, people, culture, place, landscapes, flowers, and so on.
A guide can also improve your overall trekking experience as they are familiar with the locals in the regions. Hence, they can help you integrate more with the locals giving you a more up-close experience of the local culture, tradition, and lifestyle.
Without a guide, your overall expenses will be slightly less.
Note: Do hire a guide from a licensed agency or check the credentials of the guide you have already hired to be safe.
Having travel insurance is very important while trekking in the high-altitude region. Thus, we highly recommend you get travel insurance that covers trekking and everything associated with it, including emergency evacuation packages. Since the weather in the mountains is unpredictable, having travel insurance will keep you safe from unexpected situations.
Travel insurance also saves your extra expenses that may arise due to the loss of baggage, travel cancellation or interruptions, postponement of travel plans, etc.
However, this should be done in your home country.
You must have a well-crafted itinerary before you start your trek. If it may help you, contact us as we will design a detailed itinerary for you as per your wish.
The itinerary that you decide on will let you have the right number of days to comfortably and safely enjoy your trek to the Annapurna base camp. If you are new to high-altitude trekking, we recommend you choose the itinerary with enough acclimatization days. The acclimatization days will help your body adjust to the altitude and prevent any sickness related to the high altitude.
For more details, please check our blog on “Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary”
You can choose from a wide range of accommodation places in Kathmandu and Pokhara. These places will have all the modern amenities from wifi, bathrooms, air-conditioning, etc.
Your choice will be limited to the local, traditional tea houses or lodges on the trails. These tea houses offer rooms on a sharing basis, usually with two beds. They do provide basic facilities like toilets and showers.
With the increasing flow of trekkers every year, the quality of services provided has become a lot better. And due to the number of tea houses, they compete to make themselves better than the others.
Food and Water
When you are in Kathmandu or Pokhara, you can choose from a wide range of cuisines such as continental, Chinese, Italian, Newari, Nepali, and so on.
On the trails, your choices will be limited to the local cuisine of Dal-Bhat-tarkari (Steamed Rice, Lentils, and local vegetables), flatbread (roti), and so on. As for water, you are recommended to bring your water purifying tablets and solutions.
There are open taps, streams, and waterfalls along the way, but you are not recommended to drink directly from them. Use filters or purifying tablets, just in case. Bottled water is available; however, the price increases as the altitude increases.
High Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is a significant problem that most trekkers face during the high altitude trek, and Annapurna Base Camp Trek is no exception. Thus, before you go on the trek, you must get as much information about altitude sickness and its symptoms. This will give you an idea about what to do when you notice any symptoms, take precautions, and take necessary steps if they do occur.
Furthermore, you think of ignoring the symptoms as this is serious and can worsen or lead to death if not taken care of immediately.
Some extra tips for preparing for the Annapurna Base Camp
- Take photographs along the way as well as at the Annapurna Base Camp. This trail makes for some of the most outstanding pictures with the mountains in the background. In the lower regions, blossoms of the red and white rhododendrons and local people in their traditional attire. These are great for memories and make great postcards as well.
- Trek in the best season for a perfect and comfortable trek for beginners and anyone who wants to enjoy a comfortable trek.
- Take both winter and summer clothes as the weather in the mountains is unpredictable. A perfect morning may turn into a stormy night and vice versa.
- Take your favourite snacks for the trek. Sometimes, this is all needed to give you that extra push for the climb.
- If possible, have an extra day at your favorite place on the way back of your trek to relax and enjoy your journey. But this should be discussed beforehand with your agency.
- Keep an extra day or two for the trek as you may encounter unpredictable weather or flight cancellation. Having an extra day will help you get away from these situations.
Proper preparation is necessary for any high-altitude trek in Nepal. The trek is doable and suitable for everyone. But a bit of preparation is necessary. Train yourself to be able to walk uphill 4/6 hours daily. Training your body will help you to have a great and comfortable trek.
A little bit of preparedness will make your journey stress free. Remember you are on holiday and have fun.
Furthermore, please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions or queries regarding this trek or any other trek in Nepal.