How hard is it to go on trekking without a guide? What are the benefits? What are the risks?
These are a few of the questions that always revolve around your head when wanting to go on a trek that you wouldn’t wanna miss and regret afterward. Trekking in Nepal is something that’s on almost every trekker and adventure lover’s wish list. And why not when Nepal has got plenty of alternatives to offer?
To trek with a guide or without a guide is a big confusion. Since both alternatives have got their perks and downsides, it is at the end your sole decision to go for the one you think is the best. If you are an adventure lover who loves exploring new things on your own, are very much confident, or are tight on your budget, the latter option i.e. Trekking without a guide is for you. But before you are inspired by reading only this much and are deciding to go on a trek without a guide, just remember that you will have to be very very careful! We have tried to cover all the important things that you need to consider while going on a trek without a guide.
Trekking is all about not losing hope, not pushing too much but at the same time not giving up because, in the end, the best view comes after the hardest climb! It is something that boosts energy, gives you an adrenaline rush throughout the journey, fills your soul with thrill and excitement, gives you an escape from your daily life, and you’re left with moments you will treasure forever. One will have heavy breaths, dirt all over the face, aching muscles, and sweat drooling down the face to the chest but the destination is what will pull you more and more towards itself.
Trekking experiences are indeed one of the best experiences to share and hear about. And the best part of the trek is the positive energy co-trekkers pass on, hyping each other up and motivating them to take more steps until the destination is reached. These activities let you observe mother nature closely and achieve ultimate peace of mind, heart, and soul. Hence one must trek at least once in a while.
Tips for trekking without a Guide
No matter how you choose to trek (with a guide or without a guide), some tips are equally applicable in both conditions. The most common of all is to start doing stretching and light exercises from about a week before the trek. The reason is simple; you wouldn’t want your sore muscles to ruin your adventure. Or imagine it the other way wound, you wouldn’t want to have bed rests for a day or two after so much fun. Would you?
There are many tips to consider before or while Trekking without a guide. Here we have tried listing some of them:
- Have a physical layout of the trekking route (mobile might go out of power)
- Understand important things about the trekking trail (like weather, trekking difficulty, and so on)
- Wear durable and comfortable shoes. Shoes are the king of trekking
- Don’t take the paths less taken
- Don’t trek alone. Trek in a group if possible
- Have one or a pair of trekking sticks for support while trekking
- Communicate with other trekkers and locals, etc.
Bag-pack for Trekking
When trekking without a guide, you have to be extra careful while packing your bags. Make sure you pack all the trekking essentials. Avoid carrying unnecessary stuff you do not need during the trek (that will just add an extra burden to your shoulders). Make sure you don’t miss to keep a water bottle, a pair or two of socks, a torchlight, a power bank (to charge your mobile phone), an extra pair of cloth, food to keep your stomach full and give you energy, and most importantly a first-aid kit box. Don’t forget to include Bandages and pain relief cream or spray in the box.
Trekking usually leads to higher altitudes and trekking to higher altitudes may result in altitude sicknesses to many (if not all) like breathing problems and dizziness, so ensure that you carry medicines for altitude sickness too, or the simplest- carry a clove of garlic. Yes, garlic! Keeping a bulb of it in the mouth while moving forward does the trick and saves you from danger. So pack your trekking bag wisely and you are good to go.
Don’ts while on Trek without a Guide
No matter if you have or have not a guide, assure that you do not harm your surrounding in any way. We here at Peregrine are very conscious about nature and encourage all our trekkers to go eco-friendly. Coming back to the topic, do not litter here and there. Keep all your waste (trash or wrappers or plastic bottles) you use during the trek inside your bag and dispose it carefully in dustbins wherever you find one. Trashes wouldn’t add an extra burden to your shoulders but unnecessary stuff would!
Here are few other important things to keep in mind:
- Do not play with fire. Don’t lit dry grass or leaves or woods; you might put yourself in danger if the trail is prone to fire.
- Don’t walk on the edges. Your leg might slip by mistake.
- Accidents come unnoticed. Don’t push anyone even playfully.
- Avoid jumping or diving into the water bodies. You never know what might happen!
- Capturing moments through the lens is joyful. Do not go on the peak ends seeking better views or pictures.
- Be very careful before stepping on stones.
Pros and Cons of Trekking without a Guide
If you ask someone about the biggest perk of trekking without a guide, don’t be surprised to get an answer that says: ‘You can save money’. Yes, you indeed can save money and it’s a wonderful feeling for someone who has got a low budget and a strong will to wander. Without a guide, you might get to explore so much more than the package, or maybe lesser. You are more independent and can schedule the trek at your convenience, you get things in your favor when you interact with the locals and other fellow trekkers. They become our best unpaid guides along the path. But money must not be the only priority and we need to know the downsides of not having a guide along.
While not hiring a guide can save your good amount of money, saving money isn’t all we want. Safety above all! Talking briefly about the guides, they are the people who are usually from local places having good knowledge of the trekking trails. They are the trained persons who make sure that the trekking is executed safely. Guides know what actions to take when in difficulties. With a guide alongside, you get to hear stories and experiences never heard before. You get to go on trails that otherwise need permission from the authorities to enter. When hiring a guide from a travel agency, all the essentials are included in the package so you do not really have to panic even if you are trekking for the first time. Remember that it’s always best to travel with someone or in a group. Especially when the trekking is difficult or moderate.
So now that you know everything about trekking with and without a guide, you must as well be crystal clear about what’s best for you. If you need more information about Treks and Tours in Nepal, Peregrine Treks & Tours is always here at your rescue!