|Age - is no barrier to a succesful trip, just choose a suitable grade of walk. |
Safety is of great importance and you should check out the safety record of your tour leader. Also, make sure that they possess and use all the essential safety equipment and that you follow JoJaffa's basic hygiene tips.
Health and fitness - all trekking demands good levels of health and fitness. Remember, that you’ll spend most of your time walking up an down step hills and paths, so make sure that you are capable of short bursts of strenuous activity.
Choose your trek with care. For a first time trip take an easy to moderate route (see JoJaffa's grade of walks advice above). The distances covered are not great so you should have plenty of time to rest. Whilst the physical exertion is strenuous at times, it is not sustained. Make sure you follow JoJaffa's health and fitness tips
Altitude sickness - this can be a problem above 3,000 feet. The key is to allow yourself enough time – usually a couple of days to aclimatise, before you set off into the wilderness. A good tour operator should already build this into the program – usually a chance to look around Katmandu or similar beautiful city.
Less able - can anyone advice JoJaffa on less able people’s trekking experiences?
Cost - trekking doesn’t come cheap. As with all things you tend to get what you pay for. As well as all the usual costs of flight, accommodation and tour operator fee, you’ll need to spend money on visas and permits. You tour operator help sort these out.
In addition, a good pair of boots, top quality jacket and other clothing essentials are vital if you’re going to be comfortable and enjoy your trip. Check out our kit and caboodle section for advice.
Decide whether you want to go alone, own group of part of an organised group. Then choose a place and then the best season to go. Then book and enjoy.
When to go
Check the best trekking season for your destination. You do not want to be arriving in mid winter or at the height of the monsoon season (or perhaps you do?).
Who to go with:
Only trek alone if you are extremely experienced and know the area well, accidents and extreme weather conditions can happen even on short treks, always let someone know where you are going and, if possible, when you expect to be back.
If you’re going to trek with a group then you’ve got two options. Either get to the nearest big town to the trek and meet up with other travellers or if go with an operator based in your home country.
If you’re taking an annual holiday then use a good Adventure Tour Operator. Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time waiting around for visas and arranging stuff. Most operators can arrange for you to join a small group trek to one of the great trekking destinations around the world.
If you wish to go it alone, (ie without using a tour operator) you should still trek travel with at least one other person for safety reasons. Try to gather as much information about the area you are going to first and read all the guide books you can lay your hands on. You'll need to be prepared.
Where to go
Choose the kind of trekking experience you want
Then you'll need to find a tour operator to take you there. Check back to this space - a list of tour operators is coming soon.
- High mountain pass
- or perhaps a combination?
Adventure tour operators and trekking companies are very useful, as they take care of all the organisation and planning details, they can sometimes also offer access to areas that would otherwise be closed to the independent traveller.
A good adventure tour operator specialising in trekking, will arrange flights, visas and permits. They will give you a recommended list of equipment you will need for the trekking area and any local guides and porters will be ready and kitted out on your arrival. It is usually not possible though to change your trekking route mid trip and your travelling companions for the trek are fixed.
These appear to be some of the best companies (we've not trekked with them - but they seem well organised and know what they are doing)Before booking with a company, check them out to get a feel for how and where they operate. It is usually just a matter of emailing or phoning them for more information. Ask for their fact sheet detailing how to prepare for the trip.