What is responsible trekking in Nepal?
There are many aspects to concider when planning a responsible trek. Staff security, impact on environment and nature and of course the local people of the area. To stay in homestay or in community owned guesthouses is a good way to make sure the local people benefits from your travel. Always carry a plastic bag and collect your waste until possible to get rid of it in a environmentally friendly way. Bring your used batteries with you home. Bring a water pruifyer and avoid plastic botttles. Make sure that the trekking staff have proper equipment and that your porters are not carrying too heavy loads.
How is a normal trekking day?
Of course all treks are not exacly the same, but it depends on trekking mode (teahouse/homestay/camping), group size, trekking area, season and many other things. Below is an example of a normal day in a teahouse trek in an area exposed to tourists.
In the chilly morning you will be woken up by the trekking staff who knocks on your door to give you hot black tea och say good morning around 6 am.
Around 6.30 the breakfast will be ready, made by the trekking staff in cooperation with the staff of the teahouse where we sleep. Breakfast can be porridge, muesli, omelet, toast or something else and of course coffee or tea.
An hour later we start off on the trail. Your guide will give a quick briefing of what to expect from todays trek. A trek could be very difficult if you need to hurry or to walk slower than comfortable. That is why we make sure to have enough staff so no guest will be out of sight.
Around 10 we might have a teabreak with the much loved ginger-lemon-honey-tea and around 12.30 we will reach our lunch place. We stop for a proper rest and have a hot meal with lots of carbohydrates to gain back the energy we have lost during the first half of the day.
After lunch we walk until reaching the teahouse where we stay for the night. Your porter has already reached with your luggage which is waiting by your room. You might want to have a shower before the evening and the cold comes. the shower and toiletis shared between the guests and there is not always a western toilet (one which you can sit on) but often a Nepali model (hole in the floor). Hot water is either from the tap by solar power or in a bucket.
Dinner is around 7.30 pm and you are free to choose from the menu (dinner order is taken on arrival to the teahouse). Beer and rum will be for sale for whoever wishes so, but careful, tomorrow is an early morning!
When you go to your room you will be cold because in a teahouse there is no heating system except for a fire stove in the dining hall but you will be provided with thick sleeping bags by Beyond Borders Ethical Adventures during the trek and you will not be cold in the night.
What is the training and experience of the guides?
As a professional company Beyond Borders are cautious to only employ the very best guides! All of our guides hold a license issued by Nepals government and they are continously undergoing trainings and practising their skills. Our guides speak good English and have undergone medical trainings and leadership trainings.
As a guide it is also very important to understand the needs of both the clients and ones own staff, assistant guides and porters. We make sure our guides are responsive to everyones needs and able to help in small and big issues.
All of our guides have also undergone the training by ECPAT’s The Code, on how to combat and report child sex tourism.
What kind of meals can I expect during a trek?
On all of our camping treks we have our own experienced trek and expedition cook who strictly follows our hygiene guidelines. All food is well cooked and hygienically prepared.At other treks we have one person responsible for keeping an eye on the cooking to avoid any stomach problems!
Breakfast can consist of muesli, cornflakes, eggs in any style, pancake or anything else. Lunch is generally a light and fast cooked dish like pasta or noodles, vegetables and salad. Dinner will be more heavy and maybe contain meat. At places where there is a menu to choose from you can pick your own choice. With all meals at the trek tea or coffe is always included.
Why are many things included but not water with the food?
Because we have gotten indications that some guests have been drinking a large amount of water during the food time to not have to buy/carry their own water bottle during the hours of walk, which is very dangerous. That is why we have decided that we are not giving any free water but asking our guests to make sure themselves that they have water.
What about beggars, should I give them?
Beyond Borders Ethical Adventures are never encouraging giving money or things to any beggars but instead give the same to an orgaization which knows who is in need of your equipments.
A child, or a grown-up with a child should not under any circumstances be given anything since it can give the parent the idea to keep the child out of school to make money on the very short term work of begging. However, you might see very old or very handicapped people, not able to work, begging. If you choose to give them or not is up to you, but we still recommend to give to any trustworthy organizations to make the greatest impact with the money.