Here are answers to a list of generic questions which are asked to us on any treks. We have tried to answer most of them and this list of questions keeps growing with time. If you still have doubts, contact us over phone or email to clear your doubts. We will be happy to help !!
- What is camping trek ?
- Camping treks are treks in which you spend your night in tents. Tents are pitched in a location which meets the basic requirements of a camping ground like source of water, safety from rocakfall, flash floods, etc, good views to mention a few.
- What is a tea house trek ?
- Tea houses are a style of trek in which you rest for the night in a commercial lodges made on the trek route to accommodate the trekkers. In this kind of arrangements, rather then sleeping in tents, you will sleep on a cushioned bed, in a room or dormitory provided to you. The tea house will also provide clean quilts or blankets, pillow and a clean bed sheet. Some tea houses, specially in Nepal also provide room heaters. The facilities of a tea house varies from place to place.
- What kind of facilities should I expect in a camping trek ?
- In this trek, you will be staying in the tents. You will be provided good quality sleeping bag and matresses. A tents will be shared by 2 or 3 depending on the team size. Lights will not be there. Solar lamps or other lighting arrangements will be made while dining. There will be separate dining tents, kitchen tents and toilet tents. For smaller groups however, we carry dining-cum-kitchen tents. Toilet will be dry tolet, done in a pith dug in mud, which will be covered by a toilet tent. Water source will be river water, purified with iodine or chlorine drops. Cooking utensils will be carried by us including your plate and spoons. You may choose to bring your cup, plate and spoons though. Food will be cooked and served by the cooking team who will accompany us throughout the trek. There will be a trekking team which will consist of a one or two guides and helpers to walk with you during the trek and guide you safely to the next campsite. A trek leader lead the team of entire trekkers and staffs, and will see through the entire running of the trek right from your comfort, to guidance, to safety, to staff management, trek planning to organizational goals.
- What kind of tea house facilities should I expect on a Tea House Trek ?
- In this type trek, you will be staying in the tea houses. Example, in Sandakphu Phalut Trek, you stay in the tea houses of Tumling, Kalapokhari, Sandakphu, Phalut and Gorkhey. Other similar type of treks are Everest Base Camp, or most of the treks in Nepal.
You will be provided a clean bed with blankets or quilts and pillow. Lights may or may not be there. If there is no electricity, candles will be provided. The tea houses mostly will have a concrete toilet or made by woods. It usually has wash basins with water, either running or kept in a bucket.
The tea houses will also serve you food. Some of the tea houses provide a wide range of food from different cuisines, whereas some provide some basic food. Some tea houses, specially those of Nepal provide luxurious facilities like room heater, continental meals, drinks and few also allow you to camp on their premises
- What kind of food should I expect on a Camping Trek ?
- In a camping trek you usually carry your own cook, ration and fuels. So the menu to be served to is totally dependent on the ability of your cook and the ration you carry.You definitely do not want to overload yourself with too much of weight due to ration, and at the same time, you do not want to bore yourself with similar food. The trick is to maintain a good balance between both.
Almost in all of our trek, good quality, tasty food are provided, which are best suited for high altitudes. Mostly for lunch, you will be served Rice (fried or steamed) with Daal ( boiled and spiced pulse) and Local Fresh Sabzi ( cooked local fresh vegetables). Usually, pickle, papad, salad and chutney, etc accompany your meals. For dinner, expect similar menu with a little variety each day. Non veg meals can be expected, but depends on the mass demand and availability of fresh chicken/ meat. You will be served evening snacks which may range from momos, thukpa, fried noodles, pop corn, pakoda, etc. Packet soups like Knor, Maggi etc will be served before dinner. Breakfast menu will mostly look like oats porridge, milk cornflakes, chapatti with vegetable, soupy noodles, upma etc. Tea and coffee will be available.
- What kind of food should I expect on a Tea House Trek ?
- Mostly tea house kind of trek is famous in Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling. Few other treks also have a trekker's hut, by the side of which, you might have a small canteen to serve you with local variety of basic food.
In Nepal or Darjeeling, expect Nepali style cooking the most. Mostly for lunch, you will be served Rice (fried or steamed) with Daal ( boiled and spiced pulse) and Local Fresh Sabzi ( cooked local fresh vegetables). Usually, pickle, papad, chutney, etc accompany your meals. For dinner, expect similar menu with a little variety. Non veg meals can be expected, but depends on the mass demand and availability. You will be served evening snacks which may range from momos, thukpa, fried noodles, pop corn, pakoda, etc. Packet soups like Knor, Maggi etc will be served before dinner. Breakfast menu will mostly look like oats porridge, milk cornflakes, chapatti with vegetable, soupy noodles, tibetan bread, sandwich, etc. Tea and coffee will be available.
- What do I need to carry for the trek ?
- If you are trekking with us, you need to carry just your clothing, camera and other electronic devices such as mobile, iPad, music player, etc. You may bring a trekking pole and binoculars to help you on trail.
We would be carrying all of the camping and technical equipment and the cost of it will be included in the package price. If you had requested a customized trek package, this will depend on what you have asked for.
For a detailed generic list of what to carry on a trek, follow the link Things To Carry On A Trek
- Can I charge my mobile phone or camera batteries on trek ?
- Due to lack of electricity on the route, this facility cannot be provided. The solar chargers which the staffs carry with them are to help them cook in the dark and help you while dining. We may let you charge your mobiles, if there is a bandwidth. However, it is advised that you carry a solar charger for yourself as per your charging requirements. Its light and cheap these days.
In tea house treks, tea houses usually have electricity through direct line or solar chargers. They usually allow to charge you batteries for which they charge you money. This is not always guaranteed though. It is advice that you bring double batteries or solar charger for your charging requirements.
- What if I want to offload my personal load ?
- We promote carrying your rucksack by yourself. However, if you are not in a position to carry it by yourself, we may hire you a porter to do so. Any such requests should come before the start of the trek. Else, in the middle of the trek, we cannot assure you a porter to carry your bag, as its not guaranteed to get the porters on the way. The charges will depend upon the number of bags to be offloaded and needs to be consulted prior to the beginning of the trek.
- Do I need to tip the staffs ?
- It is not mandatory, but they expect a little token of good will gesture from you. Usually, the entire group collects an amount and distributes it to the local staffs by themselves. We promote the same theory.
- What if I get injured in middle of the trek ?
- Such situations will be treated as emergency and we will act according to the seriousness of it. While sometimes we may require to give you full attention, affecting the entire team. While on other occasions, it might be a minor injury and treated accordingly, with importance. If we require to send you back, we will accompany a helper with you, who will take care of you and take you down to safety. The entire team is expected to cooperate fully on such occasions. We will be abided by our Terms of Travel for such situation, and you are expected to read it before you join one of our fixed departures.
- What is the evacuation strategy from a trek in case of emergency ?
- In a seriously high altitude trek special care needs to be taken to keep away AMS and other altitude hazards. Since compression bags are ultra expensive, we do not carry it with us. The guides and leader accompanying you on the trek are well acquainted and versed with altitude care. However, things do turn ugly at times, due to altitude sickness or physical injury.
On such occasions, you need to be brought down to safety to the nearest road head. Deciding the road head will depend on factors like your walking ability, the cause of the problem, your location, etc and will be best decided by our leaders and the trek guides present with you. You will be accompanied by a helper for assistance, or the leader himself will come down depending upon the seriousness of the case. If you cannot walk by your own, you need to be carried by porters or horses. From any of the point, our objective is set to get to the nearest safety town to get medical attention, warmth of a household or a hotel
Himalayan treks are in remote areas and you are expected to be aware of all such scenarios beforehand, and adapt accordingly. Our Team will try its very best to cope up all the hassles and tackle any emergency. Your trek leader will be knowledgeable on high altitude effects, its care and medicines
- What about the cost in an emergency situation ?
- All the expenses made during an emergency situation has to be borne by the individual. We will assist with all our knowledge, information and connections to respond to that emergency.
- What time do you expect me to be in the base camp. Will you come to receive me ?
- You are expected to reach the base camp by 5 PM. You will be given a location to report to, however, you may contact any number of times for assistance. If required, any of our team member will get you to our base camp.
- What about the transportation cost before and after trek ?
- Check the inclusion and exclusion tab to see if transportation is included or not. Usually its not. We may arrange a vehicle for you, the cost of which is to be shared by you or the group using the vehicle on actual basis.
- Can I drink alcohol on trek ?
- Drinking alcohol is not advisable on a High Altitude Trek. Alcohol dehydrates our body and in high altitude dehydration becomes a big cause for Altitude Sickness. We suggest and DO NOT allow having alcohol, specially while still gaining altitude. On descending and after getting ourselves down to a safe altitude, we can have it.
- Do alcohol keep our body warm ?
- No. Drinking alcohol has a reverse effect on our body temperature. It further lowers our body temperature, and feeling warm is the response to stimuli. Discovery Channel Busts this myth. read on http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/alcohol-warms-up [ extract ] "
Alcohol may make your skin feel warm, but this apparent heat wave is deceptive. A nip or two actually causes your blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the surface of your skin, making you feel warmer temporarily. At the same time, however, those same veins pumping blood closer to the skin's surface cause you to lose core body heat - the heat you need to survive, especially if you're stuck in a snowdrift . This effect could lead to fatal hypothermia."
- Is smoking allowed on treks ?
- Smoking hampers your climbing and cardio-vascular abilities. Smoking is not advisable and a fit trekker does not smoke. However, if you still want to smoke, its your choice, but the comfort of other members of the group should be taken care of.