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 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 in 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 any taking your time, here are the 25 best tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek for you:
1) Be mentally prepared
“The fear we don’t face becomes our limits“
Preparing mentally is important as preparing physically. Having a fear that you can’t do is the thing that actually prevents you from doing it. Panicking at high altitudes can be fatal because you may suffer from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). However, if you have full control over your body then you can overcome any rough situation.
2) Train before going
“Results or Excuses“
Training is the best way to prepare for any trek because it builds up your stamina. Training for Annapurna Base Camp includes light cardio exercises, short hikes, and aerobic exercises. You should be capable of carrying a 5 kg backpack and walking a minimum of 5 hours a day.
Preparing at least 5-6 weeks before your trek is recommended for Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
3) Get the right gears
Choosing the right gears keeps you from overload, sickness, and injuries. Wearing even sweat-soaking innerwear can prevent you from cold. From a sock to hats & bags, everything matters. If you become careless and avoid the necessity of the right gears then it can get fatal. Pack for innerwear, outerwear, footwear, and accessories when planning your trek to ABC.
4) Go to ABC via Poon Hill
There are two routes to trek to Annapurna base camp. You can go straightway to base camp from Nayapul which is the shortest route. You can take a jeep or local public bus to Siwai and trek to Chhomrong. Then you will trek to Deurali and Annapurna base camp on the 3rd day. However, it can be dangerous because of possible altitude sickness due to a short time.
But I heartily recommend to you to trek through Poon Hill. Choose a clockwise route from Nayapul. These are so beautiful areas with local villages. Poon hill itself is most popular for its stunning sunrise views. You can witness the 7th highest mountain Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Mt. Fishtail, and more from Poon hill. You will be acclimatized nicely from this area. And it will be easy to go to Annapurna base camp.
5) Walk Slowly
There is a road till Ulleri village nowadays. If you took a jeep to Ulleri you will miss the popular Ulleri steep uphill. This Ulleri steep uphill has more than 3200 steps. It is built of stone so walk slowly here. Basically, walk slowly all the way to base camp. If you hiked fast it can be dangerous in high altitude areas. Nepal Himalaya area always threatens possible altitude sickness. So it is the best idea to skip altitude sickness, go slowly. Slow and steady always wins the race.
6) Keep your body hydrated
Planning smartly for any kind of trip/Journey means keeping yourself out of danger. And the most basic thing to keep your body healthy is by keeping your body hydrated. Things like the right kind of water bottle, purification tablet, or Steripen are a must.
When trekking at a warm temperature, you should drink at least 1 liter per hour. And at the time of cold temperature, you should drink a minimum of half-liter per hour. Staying dehydrated will only consume more energy which can result in altitude sickness.
7) Choose a local trekking agency
So, why choose a local trekking agency rather than an international one?
Nepal is a poor country and the income of Nepalese people is mostly depending on the tourism industry. More than thousands of trekking agencies are here in Kathmandu with thousands of guides with licenses. Taking an international agency means cutting off someone’s job in Nepal. Besides that, local trekking agencies are cheap and provide the best guide and porter. A guide who is born and raised in the mountain knows better than anyone if I assumed.
8) Get travel insurance
Do you know, why you need travel insurance? Well, no one knows what can ruin your planning. It may be flight delay, unexpected medical emergency, helicopter evacuation, or any kind of interruption. So, during that crisis time, Travel insurance helps with any medical assistance, covers your loss and evacuation.
However, checking the background of travel insurance, its eligibility, terms & conditions is the smart way to start. Also, please remember that you are going trekking and you should ask travel insurance to provide health insurance below 5000m elevation.
9) Be careful in an Avalanche area
You have heard many times about the Annapurna tragedy in Nepal trekking history. There are some points you have to be very careful with an avalanche. Between Hinku cave (30 min before Deurali 3,200m) and Deurali is one of the dangerous avalanche points in the Annapurna base camp area. Six trekkers including 4 Koreans were killed in January 2020. Another avalanche point starts just after Deurali and goes till Machhapuchhre base camp. You have to walk through every lap of Steep Mountain. Normally, January to March gets a lot of snow in this area. This gorge area is considered a dangerous area for avalanches. Try to cross this area in the morning which is safe due to the cold temperature.
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. Between Gurjung Khola and Chhomrong is one of the most landslide areas. Sinuwa to Deurali is also dangerous for landslides. You will trek mostly via Modi Riverside which River will have a high water level and fast speed. Most of the riverside areas make possible landslides in the monsoon.
11) Do not go alone in the jungle area
Many solo trekkers attempt themselves Annapurna base camp trek. That is absolutely fine. But sometimes they go wrong. Especially, there is big jungle from Ghorepani to Tadapani, Chile, Ghandruk. There is all jungle after Sinuwa to Deurali except small tourist settlements in between. Normally, there is a big trekking trail all the way and signs too on the way. But there are many branch road for a shepherd in the jungle which makes totally confuse. Or sometimes you do not feel you are misleading the trials. So try to follow other trekkers. The low season will be a problem. Get adequate information before starting the day.
12) Do not harm wildlife
Annapurna Base Camp is the home of some endangered animals like Red Panda, Deer, Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard & so on. From small animals like birds to large animals, you can’t harm any wildlife here. If found violating the rules and regulations you will be punished according to the National Parks & Wildlife Conservation Rules. However, you can take pictures of animals when trekking.
13) Respect local culture
Nepal is also known to be a friendly and peaceful country. We, Nepalese people, are famous for respecting other cultures, traditions, and religions. So, when trekking to Annapurna Base Camp we suggest you to
- Dress appropriately
- Use appropriate Gestures
- Adhere to the cultural etiquette and many more.
Also, learning and using of Nepalese words also act as respecting to local people.
14) Enjoy local culture and nature
There is no word to describe the natural beauty of ABC in one page. The mystical land has always been dazzling no matter how many times I trek there. Apart from the busy life in the city area with pollution & Technologies, the Annapurna Base Camp is indeed heaven.
Similarly, Local Cultures are also one of the roots of attraction in ABC. The preservation of local culture in this region is still here which also encourages people to learn and explore more. Rather than just watching, I suggest you take part and enjoy a little bit of Nepali culture by Dancing, Singing and talking with them.
15) Take your water bottle or camel bag
Becoming the second most crowded region in Nepal there is always an increase in the number of trekkers which results in less management of wastage. So, to control some wastage in Annapurna Base Camp, while trekking to ABC from Ghorepani, plastic water bottles are not allowed nor you can buy any plastic water bottles.
The option to get clean drinking water is only from Lodges which will provide you as much as you want. You can also use Steripen to purify your water if you filled with tap water by chance. That is why you should bring your own water bottle or camel bag.
16) Do not bring pork and beef meat after Dovan
Please do not bring any pork and beef meat after Dovan. Dovan to Annapurna base camp area is considered a sacred area. Local people have faith there is a Goddess, she does not like any pork and beef meat in her territory. If you brought prohibited meat here, the weather will be so nasty. Respect this thing and make your trekking fantastic with good weather.
17) Be careful about photography at base camp
Annapurna base camp is a piece of heaven. You will love it and of course, you will make photography. Please be careful while taking pictures here. The Right Side of the base camp has been losing its territory day by day due to landslides and glacier melting. So it is deep and steep on the right side of the base camp. Trekkers take their position on the top of the ridge for photography. It can be costly if you are careless.
18) Do not swim into the Modi River
At some point, you will be very close to Modi River. Specially, you will go for Hot Spring in Jhinu Danda. Hot spring is located just beside the Modi River. This river has very fast flows and goes into gorge areas. Do not try to swim in the Modi River.
19) Book your bed in advance after Chhomrong
Please book your bed in advance during the busy season after Chhomrong. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) does not allow building after Sinuwa to base camp. One guest house cannot build more than six rooms and a new one also cannot get permission to make lodges. Every tourist settlement has only 2 to 6 lodges. They have 4 to 8 beds in a single room. You should go for sharing room in peak season. It is hard to get even beds. So reserve your bed by calling before you go there. If you have a guide, they will manage it. If you trekking yourself, get phone numbers at guest houses. Every guest house has a list of phone numbers from Chhomrong.
20) Rain jacket is necessary-pre monsoon and post-monsoon
Facing unpredictable weather is not a new thing while trekking in Nepal. No one knows when and where you will face the sudden change in weather. And when it comes to pre-monsoon & post monsoon, you have to be always prepared for rain. You can’t stop rain but you can stop getting wet and cold by wearing rain-jacket. We always make trekkers to carry one rain jacket when trekking in pre-monsoon & post monsoon.
21) Go for hygienic food
Another best tip to complete the Annapurna Base Camp is by eating hygienic foods. Because the worst situation that you may get when trekking is a bad stomach or getting sick due to food poisoning. Avoid eating too much spicy and oily food including meats too. Yes, Meats because the meats available during the trek are not frozen properly and old.
22) Bring cash/Nepali rupees
Nepali Currency always comes in handy when traveling in Nepal. To exchange your money for Nepali currency you can find many Money Exchange shop in Thamel area. The reason to carry Nepali rupees is to buy souvenirs, pay for foods that you like, bottled water, medicines, and other personal expenses.
23) Enjoy hot spring
After a long day of trekking, soaking in hot spring water is the best option. It is believed that hot springs naturally detox your skin, boost the blood circulation, heal skin problems, reduce stress & promote sleep. However, it is advised to soak in hot spring for 15 min at a time which can be done repeatedly and avoid overdoing it.
24) Tip to guide and porter
Giving tips to guide & porter means showing your gratitude towards them. You may not know, but being a guide & porter is very hard in Nepal. They give you information, carry your loads, care for your health and help you to complete your journey. When no one is there in your Journey, Guide & Porter stays with you to entertain. So, it may not be seen as best tips but it is the way to inspire them to continue to keep up the good work.
25) Go for the best time
Finally, choosing the best time for Annapurna Base Camp Trek is another best tip for you. Being the easy/moderate level trek, it can be done even in post-monsoon/winter & pre-monsoon/winter. However, you shouldn’t be careless when planning your trip. Consulting with a local travel agency or researching about “Best Time to visit ABC” can be a smart way to plan your trek.
This are the 25 best tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek according to my experience. If you have any suggestion then I will be happy to mention that too. Hope you enjoy this blog and get information you were searching for.