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Thread: safe to trek alone ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    18

    Default safe to trek alone ?

    hi everyone

    I'm traveling to Nepal alone for around 3 months from the end of February to June.I'm hopefully going to trek the Annapurna circuit and everest base camp, all the way from jiri , not flying into Lukla. I was planning to go it alone , keeping costs to a minimum , maybe meeting some people along the way, walking the majority alone but I read about ulian going missing and now I m having doubts.
    Is it safe to trek alone? I've read in a couple of places it isn't and a few others have said it's perfectly fine.It seems a lot of people on here have been to Nepal and have first hand experience on how safe it is.
    what would people recommend? Would it be easy to find a trekking companion in Pokhara/Kathmandu? Is it advisable to have a guide on these two treks? how much would a guide cost approximately or would it be better to go on an organised trek?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    cheers
    Jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Where Atlantis used to be
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    7

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Alright, In order, everything you need to know:

    -In terms of people and crime, it's safe so long as you don't play up the lost tourist bit, dont show alot of money, or always have an expensive camera hanging around your neck, take the time to get to know locals, your perfect.

    I would not do the treks alone though,especially the days where you will be at altitude, going with another traveller because you want someone who can help you out if things go bad, acute altitude sickness, food poisoning whatever, especially places like thorung la. Just making sure that you are prepared, and who you are with is as well.

    -Finding trekking partners is just a matter of running into the right people, and this is done easier at the starting places to the treks. or hop around restaurants and just be social.

    - skip the guide, forget the organized stuff, if you carry your own stuff and can follow a road, or try to get locals to point you in the direction, your a-ok. costs I dont know, I didn't use these either, but teahouses can get a bit more expensive along the way, especially for food. But you can always find a way to sleep budget, sometimes in the eating areas or if adventurous in a farmers storage area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Indonesia
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Just look at the stats...
    Every person who got lost and into strife was alone.
    Odd?
    You can certainly trek as an individual but try to walk with some one else as much as you can. You might still slip and fall over the edge, but at least someone else may know.
    Enjoy,
    Dave

  4. #4

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathanellis
    Is it safe to trek alone?
    On the major trekking routes, yes. I have trekked the AC, to Khumbu (starting from Lamosangu), to Rolwalling, and a couple of other treks alone. However, for high passes, especially those rarely crossed, or any deviations from the main tea house trail it is better to have a companion. Some one that can call for aid if you sprain an ankle, or whatever. You will also meet plenty of other trekkers. Although I set out alone I had company with many trekkers. It is easy to make new friends on the trails.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Pokhara Nepal
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathanellis
    hi everyone

    I'm traveling to Nepal alone for around 3 months from the end of February to June.I'm hopefully going to trek the Annapurna circuit and everest base camp, all the way from jiri , not flying into Lukla. I was planning to go it alone , keeping costs to a minimum , maybe meeting some people along the way, walking the majority alone but I read about ulian going missing and now I m having doubts.
    Is it safe to trek alone? I've read in a couple of places it isn't and a few others have said it's perfectly fine.It seems a lot of people on here have been to Nepal and have first hand experience on how safe it is.
    what would people recommend? Would it be easy to find a trekking companion in Pokhara/Kathmandu? Is it advisable to have a guide on these two treks? how much would a guide cost approximately or would it be better to go on an organised trek?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    cheers
    Jon
    Hi Jon,

    to trek alone bears always a certain risk. Although there are at this moment a lot of comments due to the missing of the British citizen Julian Wynne...it is not the possibility that one is getting lost, that makes trekking alone unsafe, because missing cases are not the main hazard while trekking in Nepal. There are a number of minor hazards as well for people who desire to walk alone in any remote area.
    Hiring a local guide is not really making your trek more expensive compared with these minor hazards,if you get to encounter one.

    The help of a trekking guide , who is paid by you it is always cheaper than asking locals at major treks to send for help. Once in trouble your guide will automatically try to solve any problems because he has a reputation to keep, while when depending on help during trekking it is far more difficult to find a person who knows how to assist a foreigner in trouble. There is lesser chance to find someone who speaks English well enough, there is lesser sympathy for your budget and there is no fixed price for direct aid.
    Minor hazards could be anything from a sprain ankle , a sudden gastric problem that weakens you physically or worse...a minor cut or wound , blister or scratch that turns out to become a nasty infection with fever and body ace. Our survey during a long time research shows, that about 9,5 % of foreign hikers encounter such minor problems and had to shorten their treks because they had to use their entire cash budget that they had planned and carried for a trek, to get out of the trouble.

    It is a very high percentage of chances and why take such risk. If you need a guide in Pokhara, there are plenty of them to be found. Free Lance as well as attached to agencies in tourist hub Pokhara Lake Side. HRDSN advices: ask for their license before hiring them! Offering guide service without license is illegal and unsafe. A guide can cost you between 7 and 12 Dollar a day. Competition is stiff. A trekking day around Annapurna with food and shelter varies between 8 and 12 Dollar at the moment. Be careful with visiting the Annapurna Sanctuary in April....there the avalanche season is between last week March till third week April. They occure during that season usually in the morning hours when the sun heats up the slopes. If you have detailed other questions do not hesitate to send me a private message

    Govinda

  6. #6

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    I should add, for the sake of clarity, it is not generally a good idea to trek alone. My point is that you rarely do in Nepal. The "tea-house" routes go through a landscape that is full of small towns, villages and homesteads. Everywhere are inns set up just to cater for trekkers. In fact people have been migrating to the "tea house" routes to build lodges. So one is virtually never alone!

    Furthermore, though there are exceptions, Nepalese people tend to be curious, friendly, and helpful. They will take good care of any foreigner that is in trouble. So, "tea house" trekking is not to trek alone. One hikes through a landscape that has been inhabited for ages and encounters lots of people all the time, and one can be quite certain that aid can be arranged if it is needed.

    On the other hand it is fool hardy to leave the tea house trails on one´s own. It can be considered reasonalby safe to do day hikes. Then, one should let the lodge know where one is going and when one is expected back. They will go looking for you, not least because they like to settle your bill. High and difficult passes should be avoided, such as Ganja La, Cho La and Dhampus Pass. There you really will be trekking alone, with no one to assist if something goes wrong. Even a minor injury, e.g., a sprained ankle, can turn to a disaster if it comes to the worst.

    As for guides, some people have them for friendship and entertainment, but for the "tea house" treks there is no objective need. There are countless guide books that will give the same or better info, some even on line http://www.yetizone.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.htm (upper right corner). More important is that guides tend to colour your experience, to impose themselves on you, run your trek, and some have been known to be seeking commision on everything you spend. As they bring your custom they tend to be "mr 10 percent" or more.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    380

    Smile Re: safe to trek alone ?

    You might get an hour to yourself on a trek but you can also set off when the others leave and keep someone in sight all the time.

    I really understand that if you have not trekked then going alone must seem a bit worrying.

    Should you be worried ask someone at a lodge to walk along with you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    There is no problem trekking alone .I always have .Keep to the main trails and you should be ok.Remember a branch across the trail means danger! I disregarded this once and nearly came to an abrupt finish!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    2,851

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    I believe it is quite ok to trek without support (as different to alone) on the classical treks in Nepal, provided you heed some of the advice given by Per and others.
    However there are known spots where people have been occasionally robbed in the past, say Larjung forsets near the start of the ABC trek or Dhampus. However these have been rare cases.

    The point made by some, that all the people gone missing in the last few years have been people trekking alone, is a valid one. Albeit there may have been thousands in the same period who trekked on their own without mishap.

    Nepal is a safe country compared to many other travel destinations, including developed countries like Italy, the UK or USA.

    However bad stuff can happen ocasionally.

    My advice for a fist timer to trekking in Nepal is to do so with some local support like a porter-guide, of a guide. Not just for safety's sake, but also you might get a bit more from the journey that way. Opinions differ, but this is my two bobs worth.
    yakshaver

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    hi

    thanks for all the information.I ended up hiring a guide for the AC and it worked out ok although it definitely had its negatives. I think I m going to do part if not all of the everest base camp trek without a guide a porter or atleast from Namche to Jiri at low altitude.My only issue is altitude sickness.I think I suffered from it mildly , going over the thorung la ( I had severe nausea and ended up making myself sick to feel better but i had no headache whatsoever). are there loads of guides around in Namche?

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