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Pierats
29th May 2007, 03:58 AM
I have traveled extensively to India but planning 1st trip to Nepal/Tibet in August with my 21 year old daughter. Bought the leech proof socks, have boots, backpacks, etc and have signed on with Friendship Nepal (http://www.friendshipnepal.com) - has anyone trekked with them before? They seem OK, but I'd like to hear from someone who has used them. Although we are only trekking 4 days (and then on to Tibet for a week), any advice on leeches, etc. (OK - you have probably noticed that the leech thing kind of freaks me out).

critter2722
29th May 2007, 07:26 AM
I trekked last August with an independent guide so I don't know much about Friendship Nepal. However, I do know something about the leeches. They are not as bad as people think. While you are trekking, look at your shoes/clothes when you take a break. If you see any, simply knock them off. You won't realise that they are on you until you see them and you will be surprised that they can get on while walking fast. Be careful where you sit and where you put down your pack. They are pretty small and hard to see when you are moving but your guides will probably point them out as you go. I trekked about 10 days at an altitude that you find leeches and only had one get to my skin. I probably only knocked off 5 other leeches the rest of the time. Once above Lukla, there wasn't a need to watch out for them. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions about trekking in August/monsoon, let me know.

happy trekking,

critter

yakshaver
29th May 2007, 09:32 PM
No knolwedge about Friendship Nepal. Like critter2722 I also usually trek with an independent guide/porter.

I imagine in four days of trekking you'll not manage to go to the areas in Nepal that are in the rain shadow of the Himal, and therfore protected from the worst effects of the monsoon... Plus, you'll probably stay under 3500m altitude in this timeframe. I know I make some assumptions, and my assumptions means, yes, leeches.
I have successfuly warded them off with copious amounts of tropical strenght insect repellent. It worked well against leeches for me. In Australia I use Rid Tropical strenght, os some such. I imagine you can find it. It is prettiy potent poison, and it will protect you quite well, if applied on most partts where the little buggers can crawl: socks, any exposed skin (they love to nestle behind your ears (goob blood supply there...) etc. And so on.
I guess that the poison might get to kill you as well, if you use it for weeks and months on end. But used just for a few days you'll be ok, and the leeches will have to suck on someone else.

Per
10th July 2007, 03:39 PM
Bought the leech proof socks, ... any advice on leeches, etc. (OK - you have probably noticed that the leech thing kind of freaks me out).

You get used to them, pretty much as mosquitoes. Leech proof socks will just send them to other parts of your body. They are good climbers.

Most important is to hike large trails. Then you see them coming. If you stop to rest or whatever, stop in an area with a good view of the area around. If you hike smaller trails, with underbrush etc, it might be worthwhile to soak your socks over night in "khaini", the local snuff, leeches hate it and die from it.

I have trekked a lot during the monsun and have only been bitten a few times. On the major trails it is not really a problem as long as you do not sit down just anywhere.