The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna Region. It offers magnificent and overwhelming mountain views.
The trail goes alongside the terraced rice paddies, lush rhododendron forests and amazing landscapes of the Annapurna range.
It is also a great introduction to the joy and excitement of high altitude trekking venture.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is at an altitude of 4130 m /13549 ft.set among the majestic peaks of Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Machhapuchhre (6993 m) and Hiunchuli (6441 m).
Annapurna Base Camp trek has some of the most beautiful mountain views and sunrises in the world. It is the perfect package of pleasant walks along different landscapes, settlements, forest, and fauna.
Thus, The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a dream venture for many trekkers and travelers all around the world. It is also one of the most recommended treks in the world.
But, trekking or traveling to any place at an altitude as of ABC’s requires some preparation. So, here are some tips on how to prepare for your trek to the Annapurna Base Camp.
Physical Fitness and Health
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderate trek and demands no technical skills. It doesn’t need any kind of pre-trekking or technical mountain climbing experience.
It is perfect for anyone with average fitness level who walk 5-6 hours a day with a light baggage.
The Annapurna trekking routes offer plenty of time for your body to adjust, hence there is a very low risk of altitude sickness. However, you must take the necessary precautions.
You should train yourself by engaging in physical activities such as running, swimming, doing weight exercise and hiking every now and then. It helps increase your stamina and endurance level.
Best time to trek
The best and right time to trek the Annapurna Base Camp is Autumn that is (Sep. to Dec.) and Spring (Mar to May). These two seasons are the best time to trek in Nepal.
These two season offer clear mountain views, stunning landscapes, and colorful cultural experience.
These seasons are also recommended to those who want to enjoy the view provided by the lush green forests and full blossoms of rhododendron on the way to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).
Whereas in winter, the base camp is full of snow and the trail route is boring. The cold temperature might not be suitable for everybody. Likewise, Monsoon invites the risk of landslide, floods, leeches, and dirt.
Trekking in a remote mountain area in high altitudes is not 100% safe even with the best precautions.
Misfortunes can take place anytime. So we recommend that you get travel insurance which covers for trip cancellation,interruption,and travel delays. Plus, loss of baggage and travel documents, medical expenses including emergency evacuation packages.
This is very important for your safety as the weather condition in Nepal is always unpredictable.
Guide and Porter
You can opt for Annapurna Base Camp trek with or without a guide. But, trekking in unknown trekking trial can be challenging.
Thus, we recommend hiring a professional trekking guide and supportive porters who can help make your trip comfortable and enjoyable.
A guide can not only help you from getting lost but will also describe and share necessary information about the people, culture, places etc.
They can also warn you with possible risks and help you take the necessary precautions.
However, without a guide, your expense will be less. But a great experience counts more than a little saving. And as such you might not want to worry about the extra expense.
Also, by hiring a guide and porter, you will be supporting them with their livelihood.
There are two types of trekking permits required by every trekker to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. They are:
- TIMS (Transport Information Management System) and that costs NRS. 2000 (about US $20)
- ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit). This costs:
For SAARC nationals: Nrs.200 (about US $2)
For Others: Nrs.2000 (about US $20)
The second permit is because some parts of the trek are through the forest areas of the Annapurna region which falls under the conservation area.
Trekking agency will help you get these permits from Pokhara and Kathmandu.
Don’t neglect on getting the permits as there are checkpoints where they ask you to show these permits. In case of not having one, you will have to pay fine and may need to buy them at a higher cost.
Trekking Gears or Trekking Equipment Required
What to carry for the trek is one of the most important questions. Not having proper gears can be problematic. It may cause health issues and may even ruin your trekking experience.
Here is a general guideline on what you should take to the Annapurna Base Camp Trekking:
- A lightweight trekking boots
- A pair of slippers
- Four pairs of liner socks.
- Few pairs of underwear.
- A high-quality ultralight down jacket and a down pant
- T-shirts and trousers
- A set of thermals
- A light sleeping bag
- A trekking pole
- Two pairs of Gloves. (One for warm weather and one for the cold)
- A woolen hat
- A torchlight or a head torchlight
- A First aid kit including Diamox and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS)
- Toiletries– (Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water purifiers, sunscreen, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste).
- A waterproof map of Annapurna Base Camp
- Snacks you like and entertainment such as books, cards, an iPad etc.
Food, Accommodation and their costs
Annapurna Base Camp trek is popular trekking and as such it has well-maintained trials. The route has developed networks of hotels and guesthouses. So, you can get all kinds of food in hotels and restaurants.
Lodges cost around $2 per day. You can rent a private room with twin beds or a dorm room with 4-6 beds. They are small but cozy and tidy.
Locals there expect you to eat where you stay. There are different food options you can choose from. You can have eggs prepared in different ways, chapatti, cereals with milk, and sandwiches. Or, potatoes prepared in different ways, packet noodles, chowmein, momo, macaroni, pudding, Dal Bhat Tarkari and more.
Dal Bhat is the staple dish available in all the hotels and is the cheapest and most fulfilling option. For drinks, you can have tea, coffee, flavored hot drinks etc. They sell alcohols as well. But, for high altitudes you must avoid alcohol and coffee products.
On average, $25 per day will cover three meals, no matter what you choose to eat, and many cups of hot beverage. This budget does not include alcohols.
Altitude Sickness (AMS)
Anyone traveling over 2400m should know about AMS, also known as Altitude sickness which is most common while trekking at higher altitude. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS )can be life- threatening.
The symptoms of Altitude sickness are a headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, and so on. It is always advised not to ignore the symptoms. Doing so can make it worse and turn into fatal conditions such as HAPE or HACE.
The best thing to do in case of AMS is to stop ascending. Turn back and descend or stay in the same elevation for the day. Most people adjust in a day, some people can take 2-3 days. Diamox helps in acclimatizing. If it does not get better, descending is the best option.
Annapurna Base Camp trek takes you over 4000m. So, it is very important to take preventive measures like staying hydrated, eating well, ascending slow etc.
Some more tips for preparing for the Annapurna Base Camp are :
- Do not forget to take a camera and click photographs along the way. This trail makes for some of the greatest pictures with the mountain views in the background. In the lower regions, the blooming red and white rhododendrons, and local people in their traditional attire are the perfect reasons to take pictures for memories to recall later in the future.
- Choose the best weather conditions for a perfect and 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 favorite snacks for the trek. Sometimes, this can be helpful to give you that extra push needed for the climb.
- Do not travel in a tight schedule. Since the weather is quite unpredictable at the Himalayas, flight cancellations are possible. Keeping a day or two aside will help you stay away from making a mess.
Planning and Preparing are necessary for any treks or travels to a high altitude region. Thus, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is no exception. The trek is suitable for everyone. All you need is a little bit of preparation.
Train yourself to be able to walk uphill 4/6 hours on a daily basis. This will serve very helpful for the trek to go smooth.
There are many trails that you can take in the Annapurna region. This solely depends on you to choose the one that is right for you.
For further questions or queries, you can contact us. We are here to assist you in the best way we can.