Trekking is typically an enriching experience and a lifelong experience. Although trekking is not risky, it is always important to keep in mind about health and safety precautions. Whether you’re going for Nepal’s Everest Base Camp, Peru’s Inca Trail or Kilimanjaro. It’s really necessary to be cautious about safety and possible accidents. So, we recommend you to always prepare yourself as much as you can before going on a trek. So, we have enlisted a few tricks and tip that can be a great help while preparing for a trip or a long journey.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Trekking
- For all weather conditions, make sure you have the right choice of clothes. Stay prepared in adverse weather conditions and follow the “better safe than sorry” mantra.
- Generally, water is not clean at high altitudes. Therefore, please always bring water purification tablets, carbon filters, or anything that can purify water for you.
- To not to get sick, personal hygiene is essential. Other than water purifier hand sanitizer or soap for disinfection can take you a long way.
- Please bring with you your cell phone. When “out there” it may not always find the network, but if it does and you need it, you’re going to be happy to have it. An option is to carry a satellite telephone (although this is not a must).
- Bring a kit of first aid, especially if you’re walking alone. They can be a great help to you if you suffer from a minor injury.
- Although trekking can sound chill, you can get plenty of sun during the long days of hiking. So always wear sunscreen, sunglasses and maybe even a sun hat.
- Trekking in a remote area means long days and nights without electricity. So, always carry a torch with you for safety.
- In case of sudden weather changes, do bring warm clothes and rain pack so that you can always have enjoyable trekking.
Things to Keep in Mind While Trekking
- You’ll have to go through mules and yaks regularly while hiking in remote areas. Stay on the side of the mountain while you wait for them to walk at first. Mules are yaks that often carry heavy and full loads, so if you’re not careful enough, they can accidentally kick you off the mountain.
- Do not drink any beverage. It will dehydrate you and, if you go above 3,000 m, it increases the risk of altitude sickness.
- Do not ascend too quickly when trekking over 3,000 m. It is not generally recommended to walk down more than 3-500 m daily as this will increase the probability of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) significantly.
- Plenty of sunlight and plenty of walking are causes that dehydrate and drain your energy. Therefore, I always have enough supplements. Staying hydrated will help prevent altitude sickness to a higher level.
- Take a map, compass and possible GPS so that you always know where you are (these things are mostly applicable in Nepal’s more remote trekking areas).
If you are a patient with the following diseases, you have to reconsider going for a hiking or trekking
Sickle cell disease- Some with sickle cell disease have a risk of sickle cell crisis enhanced by tenfold.
Pulmonary hypertension- High risk of pulmonary oedema at high altitude (HAPE).
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome- High risk for severe mountain sickness, pulmonary edema at high altitude (HAPE) and even can cause heart failure.
Carotid surgery- This surgery causes difficulty in breathing in low oxygen levels. Before making plans, you better consult your doctor beforehand.
Congenital Heart Problems- If you are the patient of Cogenital Heart problem then there is a high risk of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), so they are highly recommended to not to go through the adventurous tour. A pregnant woman is also recommended to stop going through a risky adventure.
Is Immunization Necessary Before Visiting Nepal?
Being a very welcoming country, before granting a visa to Nepal, no one will bother with your immunizations. But not getting immunized may not always be your benefit. No one in their right mind imagines that, when planning a trip to Nepal, they will get a touch from rabies-contaminated animal or so on. But over time, there are around 118 such cases involving travellers and that too from only one hospital. Nobody knows what can happen next. However, it’s better to think, ‘that might be me,’ rather than ‘Oh Lord, why me?’
Necessary Immunizations to Get Before Trekking in Nepal
The list given down below is some of the critical Immunizations that you can take before visiting Nepal.
- Chickenpox- Chickenpox, sadly, is still a problem in Nepal. And if you’ve never had this disease before you come to Nepal and plan to keep it that way, get the needed vaccine already. As there is no guarantee, you will not suffer from chickenpox once you visit Nepal.
- Typhoid Fever- This is another illness that you surely do not want during the stay here in Nepal
- Hepatitis A & B- Likewise, you also have to consult your doctor before arriving in Nepal for the preventive method of Hepatitis.
- Influenza- Every year, this vaccination is revised and highly recommended. In the past, Nepal had a fair share of Swine Flu and Bird Flu, so prevention is better than cure.
- Tetanus- If you cannot remember the last time you took upon buster doze, then its high time for you to take up one tetanus vaccine.
- Rabies- Throughout Nepal, dogs are usually not bred for companionship, and it’s worse for stray dogs. Few stay dogs have extreme anger problems due to their raising and bad early days. So, don’t forget to get a vaccine.
Environmental Hazards that can Affect your Health While Trekking
Many health hazards can cause during hiking or trekking. Some of them are given below:
As you go on a higher altitude, you’re likely to cough a lot more, and sometimes the coughing can get so intense that it hurts to the extreme level. Surprising as odd as it may sound, there is no treatment to this problem. Maybe it has something to do with bronchial inflammation due to cold, dry air. It is also believed that coughing through the mouth would exacerbate the situation. The best way to avoid Khumbu cough is by using a mask of some kind to breathe humidified air.
For this reason, a buff is perfect, and a handkerchief is going to do just fine. Just make sure that it’s not too suffocating and tight. Always, make sure you dress warmly and try to keep the chill from your neck and head.
Walking up to hundreds of kilometres and walking down the same route is no joke. Even a small of downhill looks like godsend symbol to walk quicker and regain some of the missing pride after the labours of an uphill climb. But you have to be wise enough and know downhill creates more problem to your feet’s than uphill trekking. If you want to get away from the possible knee problem, using trekking poles will do a great help.
The snow Blindness can sometimes be misleading. While snow is essential, the determining factor is the amount of UV, which can be a harmful health hazard for you. Right UV-protected sunglasses are needed, and you should put them on even on cloudy days. Make sure the glasses also provide the eyes with sun protection and complete protection. Straps protecting the lenses of the glass is highly recommended as it makes it very difficult to drop the frames. If you suffered from the snow blindness, it would eventually go away in a couple of days on its own. In the meantime, prevent light exposure and don’t rub your eyes frequently. Nevertheless, it is necessary to avoid localized anaesthetics.
Make sure the shoes fit you properly as it may cause you blisters. Additionally, a thin internal sock is perfect for blister prevention. Your moles can also cause you the blister in the foot area. Chafing is another issue that many are facing. The inner thighs and collarbone area are the most suspect parts. Moleskin will work great if you are susceptible to rubbing your inner thighs and your collarbone will be taken care of by a pair of socks tucked under the strap of your bag. Calamine lotion works wonders for the skin suffering from chafing.
Frostbite is irreparable, with the unpredictable mountain environment. Get a couple of functional boots that can do a great help for you to reduce frostbite in a greater range. Be updated from lodges and other trekkers about the weather.
Frostbite is the reaction of the body to shield vital organs from rapid loss of warmth by limiting the amount of blood circulation to the part of the body that is way from the heart. As such, the frostbite symptoms will first surface in the body parts, which is away from the heart, such as feet, fingertips, nose, lips, and eyes. You can increase blood circulation to these parts by moving them from time to time.
Layering a few more clothes can be a great heal too. Cover your ears, your nose, and your cheeks from the environment temperature. But your primary goal should be to find a lodge’s warm shelter as quickly as possible. Treating your body parts in lukewarm water will be very helpful, which is around 40 degrees C or 105 degrees F. This treatment is particularly important if the numb parts are beginning to turn whitish and waxy. Don’t rub these parts as it may cause further problems. Start the procedure until the whitish sections are orange.
Place where an avalanche is a problem is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. While relatively quite a few numbers of accidents have already occurred. Perhaps the casualty rate is so low due to the precautionary measures. There are some avalanche gullies which channel avalanches and most of them typically occur after 10 am, despite media depictions that might have given the impression that avalanches might occur anywhere at any moment. The segment between Dobhan and Machhapuchhre Base Camp is the most effective avalanche zone in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. And even in this section, there are some of the more dangerous gullies. The best rule of thumb is that you don’t loiter around that place when you see an amazing waterfall or stream on your side of the trail.
In the same way as rain, snow gets funneled, and therefore streams and avalanches usually follow the same path. Crossing avalanche-prone areas before 11:00 am also a good idea. This is particularly important if there has recently been freshly snowed or rained.
There are certain measures you can do to increase your chances of success should you encounter an avalanche personally:
- Hold your arms in front of your head and build an air pocket across your face. Regardless of what the case will be, you’ll need oxygen.
- If you’re close to the surface, try to remain in the surface by swimming or at least try. This way, you’ll sit close to the surface.
- Take a deep breath when the whole action stops, and try to raise your arms before the snow becomes hard. Once the snow becomes hard, it’s going to be even more difficult for you to get away.
- Lastly, stay calm, collected as wait for help.
Insurance for Trekking in Nepal
The fine print is the most important thing about travel insurance. It must protect the highest altitude in your itinerary, and the Himalayas should ensure sure the insurance reaches up to 6,000 meters. Perhaps notably, it must include evacuations by helicopters facilities as well. It is not necessary to cover ambulance from Kathmandu as all the hospitals here have ambulance facilities. Check with insurance companies you are already related and search for the help.
Let’s say you’ll never get an insurance claim. But if you need an emergency helicopter, make sure to keep all your documents and medical reports certified in a safe place. Note, that Nepal’s helicopter firms won’t send in a chopper unless they are completely assured of compensation and don’t mess with your insurance business. You will send the money and then file a claim with your insurer. Credit cards, trekking and hiking agency or your embassy can provide the guarantee of your insurance.
It is also very important to know that the guide and porter that you use along the way are also insured. And if anything occurs and there’s no cover, you might be in for huge trouble. One of the advantages of going through a travel agency is that the porter/guide’s insurance will be taken care of on your behalf by the company.