Trekking solo in Nepal is possible and many trekkers are trekking alone every year. For more than 40 years ago, solo trekkers are enjoying their trekking adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. For nature lovers who love to be alone and want to experience the world, they prefer solo trekking.
Trekking alone in the wilderness area have advantages and disadvantages too. This article describes about the benefits and challenge of trekking single in Nepal.
Some advantages of solo trekking in Nepal
Trekking alone gives the full freedom on the daily schedule. A trekker can plan and walk on his/her own schedule and want. Trekker can rest, take photos, interact with locals or explore the nature without any rush. If you trek with agency guide, he/she give you the daily schedule plan and you must follow them. You will require to follow the timeline and stay where they plan to keep you. So personal freedom is possible while you trek alone. In a trekking with group you must rely on the slowest member. That means everyone is either going faster or slower than they would like to be. A solo hiker moves as fast as he desires and can alter his pace whenever he wants.
Trekking single gives cost effective vacation. You don’t need to pay for guide/porter. Your cost for food and accommodation can choose on your own. You can spend money as much as you want. You have more options on spending your budget while you are alone. So solo trekking gives cost effective journey.
When you are on solo trekking, you must do some necessary job yourself. Searching a hotel, finding a trekking route, cook your food, keep you safe, make all the decisions and take responsibility on your own. So gaining outdoor skills is the key benefit of single trekking.
Gaining Self Confident:
When you trek alone, you will gain self-confidents by doing many things. It give the chance for self-examination, relaxation away from the rat race for awhile, and a chance to meditate, contemplate, or just zone out for miles at a time. You will be commander of your own and walk faster, farther, or longer hours than you’re used to. Similarly you will face more difficult trails, uncomfortable weather, and rough environments which gives you more confident.
Disadvantages of solo trekking
Trekking single does have some potential drawbacks too. Be prepare to address the potential steps before you start trekking alone. Some drawbacks are describes as:
Trekking alone in the remote part of the Himalayas gives loneliness feelings. The mental drain of isolation is a huge drawback of solo trekking. Trekking a day without talk with other become boring and walking in nature without city noise, background traffic or white noise makes you feel lonely. You only have fear of walking long distance to complete the target distance. Also you have chances of missing the route. If you have an electronic music player or book reader, which keeps you little relax.
While trekking alone, you don’t have any helper to carry your goods such as camera, water bottle, clothes, shoes, foods, etc. You will carry you all gears on your own shoulders. So a heavy load on your back must carry by yourself which might make you more tired. It is difficult to carry your big bag all the day is chaining one.
Danger of Getting Lost
Trekking solo in the wild without no one to check your map reading and direction finding, losing your way is the most common problem. Learn all about wilderness navigation and practice it often before setting out on your own. There’s a good beginner site at Compass Dude to start you in the right direction
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are handy and efficient, but a map and compass should always be ready as a backup. Even with good navigation skills, nature can turn you around with wind, blizzards, fog, overgrown paths, and snow cover. So danger of getting lost in the wild is the common problem of solo trekking which is very dangerous and might take you in risk.
Possible Attack of Human and Animals:
While trekking in Nepal there are very rare cases of human attacks to the trekkers. But sometimes might happen if you are alone. You might be loot by the people. So be friendly but keep distance with new people. Also do not go out with the people you meet. Solo female trekkers are prone on of human attacks.
Similarly animals may attack you in order to protect themselves, their young, or their food. Keep your eyes and ears open while walking. Monkeys can attack you for food, bears, wolves and other carnivorous animals can attack you. So trekking alone is risky and suggest you to trek with guide.
Risk of Injury
The natural environment is changing each moment. Natural events such as wind, rain, snow, lightning, sun, flood, earthquake, falling rocks, falling trees, wildfire etc might occur anytime. While trekking in the wild without any supportive person, it is highly risk for you to trek alone. You might have chance of injury, so be prepare earlier. Sometime you might be ill. Trekking routes might be rough and you might fall and injure. So don’t choose the challenging trekking route while you trek alone. Be prepare for the gears that you need to safe you. Before going solo, Wilderness First Aid training should be completed. You’ll be the only one around so you’ll need to know what to do and how to do it.
Risk free route for solo trekking in Nepal
Solo Trekking in Everest, Annapurna and Langtang region more often. Many tourist walk alone on these routes. You need to have TIMS card and national park/conservation area permit to enter and trek in these area. But all part of these region are not safe. The more frequent trekking routes are advisable to trek alone but we recommend you not to trek alone in Nepal. A trekking guide/porter not only show you the way, he/she is your friend while trekking. You can share your joy and sorrow with them. But still it might have risk of trekking single with single guide/porter. Always hire a guide from a reputed trekking company. Guide must have license from the Government of Nepal.
Some trekking routes suggest for solo trekkers are:
- Ghorepani Poon Hill trek
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- Sarangkot hiking
- Langtang valley trek
- Everest View trek
- Dhampus trekking
Tips for Solo Trekkers
- Always aware of altitude sickness. No matter how healthy and fit you are. Do not avoid any symptoms of altitude sickness.
- Keep some chocolates, extra snacks and medicine with you to deal the situation
- Do not hesitate to ask for help to the person nearest to you
- Update about your location regularly to avoid the chances of lost
- Always try to reach your destination before it is too dark
- Trekking in Nepal will not make you uncomfortable because the people here are renowned for their kind hospitality and humble nature. The locals follow the phrase” Athithi devo vawa” meaning “Guests are God”.
- If possible hire a guide or guide cum porter which is far better for your safety.