By following these recommendations when trekking:
- Ensure you have adequate insurance which covers emergency rescue by helicopter. Some permits or trekking agencies make this obligatory and require to see evidence.
- Avoid walking alone. A porter, guide or friend can help you in case of High Altitude Illness. If you are trekking in a group don’t try to compete with anyone (or yourself!). Set your own (sensible) pace.
- Acclimatization is important when trekking at high altitude. In order to prevent High Altitude Illness walk slowly and ascend no more than 150 meters a day above 3500m. If you go higher than that in one day make sure you descend and sleep at a lower altitude. Download our information sheet on High Altitude Illness here.
- A minor ailment like blisters can make trekking a miserable experience. Ensure your boots are well broken-in before you arrive. Pay attention to your feet while walking.
- Keep hydrated while trekking - drink little and often. Don’t wait to drink until you feel thirsty because you push your body to the early stages of dehydration. Drink at least 4 litres of water daily. If your urine is clear it shows you are well-hydrated but if it is very dark make sure you drink more water and take electrolytes to replace body salts.
- Keep eating even if you are not hungry. Trekking at high altitude is an immense physical challenge. You burn a lot of calories and there is a risk of losing muscle, so it is important to eat nutritious food like pulses e.g. Dal Bhat, walnuts, almonds etc. to repair muscle and recover properly from the exercise you are doing.
- At the end of your daily trek, do some gentle stretching exercises particularly focussing on your calf and hamstring muscles to prevent injuries.
- Please remember that you are responsible for the welfare of the support team you take on a hike, whether you hire a guide or porter directly or go through a trekking agency. Make sure your porter is well looked after and has the correct clothing, bedding, food and health and safety provisions. See p.10-11 for more information.
- Diarrhoea is a common problem for travellers but with careful attention to hygiene it is possible to reduce your chances of suffering frequent trips to the toilet.
- Never drink tap water or use it to brush your teeth – use iodine or other water purification solutions. Be aware that local beer ‘chyang’ is often made with untreated water.
- Make sure boiled water really is boiled and not just heated.
- Avoid eating meat while in the mountains and stick to carbohydrates and vegetables.
- Wash your hands frequently and ensure everybody in your group, including staff, follows this rule.
There are now several health posts located in the main trekking areas, some staffed by western volunteers. Be aware that some are only open during the main trekking season.
Sagarmatha National Park (Everest region)
- Nicole Niquille Hospital
- Lukla Government Health Post
- Namche Bazar Health Post
- Pheriche HRA Aid-post
- Khunde Hospital
- Machermo Rescue Post
Annapurna Conservation Area
- Besisahar Government Hospital
- Chame Government Hospital
- Manang HRA Aid-post
- Ghorepani Government Health Post
- Jomsom Government Hospital
- Muktinath Government Health Post
Langtang National Park
- Dhunche Government Hospital
- Syabru Government Health Post