Annapurna base camp trek is one of the best trekking routes in the world. Located on the lap of the 10th highest mountain Annapurna I in mid-west Nepal, the base camp is only 4,130m in elevation. Similarly, it is also one of the most asked trekking after the Everest base camp trek.
Today, from my 17 years of experience in trekking and guiding in Nepal including Annapurna Base Camp, I want to share some best tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek with you. Days back, I was a porter- became a guide and reached this amazing place more than one hundred times.
I trekked all four seasons on ABC and got all kinds of experience to tackle any hard situation. Also, this is the lucky trekking route for me in Nepal as I have given 100 percent to my clients who were attempting to be here.
So, without taking your time, here are the “15 best tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek” that you should have known before visiting:
1) Annapurna Base Camp Trek is not so hard: Train your mind to build Confidence
“The fear we don’t face becomes our limits“
After trekking Annapurna Base Camp, I notice that preparing mentally is as important as preparing physically. Having a fear that you can’t do is the thing that actually prevents you from doing it. If you think about the altitudes, accidents, evacuations, illness, etc then you will be afraid without trying it.
First of all, panicking at high altitudes can be fatal because it can race your heartbeat which can result in extreme exhaustion- you may suffer from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). However, when you trek in confidence then trekking will be a little easier for you.
I suggest people do yoga, meditation, a short hike, and a solo adventure to build confidence for a serious endeavor like trekking.
2) Train before going
“Results or Excuses“
Training is the best way to prepare for any trek because it builds up your stamina. Make sure you create a training schedule at least 1 month before trekking. This will assist you with keeping you on track for the coming adventure.
Here’s a training exercise for you to prepare for Annapurna Base Camp Trek:
- Hiking: Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities that can help you with serious endeavors like trekking. A short & easy type of hike is recommended at first & only then begin to increase the distance, intensity & gradient.
- Cardiovascular Activity: Cardio exercises are very important if you want to build your stamina. Whether it’s swimming, running or jogging, make sure you are following your training program. The motive for cardiovascular activity is to raise your heartbeat and to control breathing.
- Cooldown & Stretching: After your training, cooldown & stretching is very important so that you won’t get a muscle cramp. Also, it improves the flexibility of your muscle.
- Strength Training: There is many strengths training program for your specific muscle only which can help you in trekking. Focus on increasing your legs muscles, core muscles & glutes.
3) Pack the Right Gears only
Managing your investment in gears, packing the right gears, and making the backpack light is the best tip you should not miss out on. Because you will carry your backpack during your trek, you need to make it lightweight and compact.
As a solo trekker, your backpack will weigh more than 20 kg whereas if you are with your porter then you will only be carrying up to 5kg.
So, what are the most important items in trekking that you need to bring with you:
Head Wears: Sunglass, Buff/neckband, Beanie, Cap/Hat
Inner Wears: Warm Gloves, Quick dry T-Shirts, Wicking long-sleeve T-Shirts, Thermal Underwear, Bra
Note: Avoid cotton clothes.
Outer Wears: Fleece Jackets, Waterproof Jackets, Shorts, Gaiters, Insulated Trekking Pants, Insulated Jacket or Down Jacket
Foot Wears: Hiking Boots (Full Boot), Cotton Socks, Woolen hiking Socks, Sandals,
Other Essentials Gears: Sleeping Bags, First Aid Kit & Toiletries, Water bottle, Trekking Pole, Portable Charger, Solar lights, Book & Cards.
For detailed information about gears and how to pack efficiently, you can check our article “What to pack for Trekking in Nepal?”.
4) Trekking Annapurna Base Camp via Poon Hill is worth it
There are two routes to reach Annapurna Base Camp, via Poon Hill or via Nayapul. If you choose via Nayapul then it will save you a lot of time because it is a direct bus to Siwai & a short trek to Chhomrong. After that, you will trek to Deurali & then Annapurna Base Camp on the 3rd day.
Even more important, choosing the shortest route via Nayapul can be a little difficult and has a chance of getting AMS.
However, if you trek to Annapurna Base Camp via Poonhill, you will have enough time to rest, a chance to get a splendid view of sunrise and enjoy the Annapurna Base Camp trek fully.
You won’t just believe your eyes after watching the view of sunrise above the 7th highest mountain–Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Mt. Fishtail & other peaks. For this reason, it is best to trek Annapurna Base Camp via poon hill.
5) Walking Slowly eats less time than taking continuous breaks:
Trekking is a multi-day long arduous journey where you can’t push yourself to walk faster. Instead, you will enjoy the trek strolling gradually, spending your time in nature. And not only this reason but also the reason to walk slowly during the Annapurna Base Camp trek is to be safe from possible threats like AMS, dehydration, knee pain, muscle cramp, etc. Also, walking slowly eats less time than taking continuous breaks.
Trekking is not a competition – it’s a journey so enjoy every moment when trekking in Annapurna Base Camp Trek and walk slowly.
6) Drink enough fluid during the trek
The reason to trek in Annapurna Base Camp or any part of Nepal is to have the best time in nature & to be happy and healthy. However, trekking is a serious endeavor where there are many possible threats like dehydration, altitude sickness, heat illness, and muscle cramps.
Above all those, dehydration is one of the most common illnesses seen mostly among senior trekkers because they have 10% less fluid in their bodies than young trekkers. Moreover, trekkers experience a diminished sense of thirst when trekking which reduces the intake of fluid resulting in more chance of dehydration.
Therefore, to avoid dehydration during trekking, you should remember to drink one or two cups of water before starting the trek and after finishing the trek. Minimum 3-4 liters of water should be consumed in a day.
Indeed, even after all the precautions, if you somehow become dehydrated then make sure to treat it as soon as possible. An oral rehydration salt is the best way to treat dehydration, diarrhea, or vomiting. That is why don’t forget to put it in the first aid kit.
7) Local agency is best than International Agency
No matter what, you simply can’t beat the local agency to its knowledge, package price & entertainment. Trekking through the local agencies will always end with the best authentic experience. Also, the price of packages in local agencies is very affordable than international agencies.
More importantly, booking with local tour operators supports in local economy too which helps in the growth of tourism. Local operators also have intimate connections with local suppliers that can benefit you in getting a room during trekking. For this reason, local agencies are best than international agencies.
8) Get the Travel Insurance for Trekking
There’s no guarantee that your best-planned trek won’t get ruined nor you can stop it from getting ruined. When traveling overseas many situations like flight cancelation, medical emergencies, theft, etc. occurs unknowingly. Therefore, to cover all those losses, Travel insurance is a must.
However, when getting your travel insurance for trekking, the travel insurance should cover the losses below 4,000m or 6,000m according to your trek altitude.
Usually, travel insurance companies like World Nomads can get you trekking insurance for you. So, please consider travel insurance before trekking in the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
9) Be careful in an Avalanche area
Avalanche can occur at any time of year but the most possible chance is during winter or spring when the mountains have to endure snowpack. In Annapurna Base Camp trail, Deurali is known to be the Avalanche area. On 01/17/2020 due to continuous snowfall, Deurali was hit by Avalanche burying seven people including four Korean.
Therefore, you should be careful when trekking in the Avalanche area as well as about the season you choose to trek in Annapurna Base Camp. Similarly, from an expert guide, here are some of the tips that can increase your chance of survival instead of giving up:
- Create room to Breathe
- Grab something Sturdy if possible
- Hold One Arm Up
- Stay Calm and think
- See if you can move to the side once you see the avalanche coming in your way
10) Be careful in the landslide area
If you are trekking in the monsoon season you have to be careful with landslides in the Annapurna base camp trek. Monsoon Season is a rainy season & off-season in Nepal which is why you need to be careful with landslides between Sinuwa to Deurali, Gurjung Khola & Chhomrong when trekking in Annapurna Base camp. The only option to avoid landslides is by not trekking during the early & mid monsoon season.
11) Respect local culture
Nepal is also known to be a friendly and peaceful country. We, Nepalese people, are famous for Trekking is a long outdoor activity where you will be able to learn, see and experience things as much as you can. However, remember that you are just a guest in this person’s community & the rules and cultures hold a great significance in their lives. Therefore, even if you follow these simple rules, it can show that you respect their local culture and do not offend them.
- Dressing Appropriately
- Using Appropriate Gestures like receiving anything with the right hand or both hands
- Adhere to cultural etiquette and many more.
12) Careful with your Photoshoot
Annapurna Base camp is a heaven on earth and no one can resist without taking the photograph. However, don’t ignore the danger over the beauty because there are many cases where people have fallen from the cliff while taking photos.
Also, if you are taking a photo of local people and their culture, ask for permission. It will be rude to take photographs without asking them. To summarize, it is ok to take photos of anything on the Annapurna Base Camp trek but you need to follow the rules and procedure.
13) Bring extra cash
After your arrival in Kathmandu, the first priority you need to do is to exchange your currency for Nepalese currency according to your need for the destination. It’s better to pay the bills with NPR instead of your currency because you will not get the exact value for your currency in the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Usually, NPR 1,000 per day can be enough per person for the Annapurna Base Camp trek. If you don’t know why you will need cash for trekking then it is for the hot water, hot shower, charging devices, and other things which are not included in your package price.
14) Enjoy the hot spring
Hot Spring is the perfect healing bath to clear all your fatigue after summiting the Annapurna Base Camp. Not only clearing the fatigue but also it has so many benefits for the body which are as follows:
- It has calcium & sodium bicarbonate which help in better blood circulation & oxygen flow throughout the body.
- The minerals like silica & sulfur present in Hot spring makes the skin soft & smooth.
- Soaking for 10 min is enough to reduce stress, and muscle pain and promotes sleep.
Similarly, there are two separate hot spring baths for men and women. So, don’t forget to enjoy your hot spring bath on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
15) Choose the Best season for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking
Choosing the best time for trekking is the crucial part when planning your trek. The safe trekking season in Nepal is Spring and Autumn season due to the favorable weather. So, if you are planning to trek in Annapurna Base Camp then choose among these two seasons.