Trekking Tips

Trekking TipsPhysical Fitness
Treks vary from short three-day walks across low altitudes to the three-week Snowman Trek that covers 356 kilometers and climbs three of the Kingdom’s highest passes. Not only the overall duration but also the daily walking distances vary substantially according to the different trek routes.

Guiding, Food and Camping
In Bhutan, all trekking supplies – camping equipment, kitchen implements, food – are all carried by pack animals. Porters are rather unusual in Bhutan with loads usually carted by horses or, in higher regions, yaks. All trekkers are accompanied by a guide, a cook and usually at least one horseman or yak herder. With the surest footing; they lead trekking groups across the passes. The horseman and cook will usually run ahead during a trekking day. They will have prepared a packed lunch for hikers and will go on to the night’s resting place to set up camp.

They set up tents, cook dinner and ready the area for arriving trekkers. When trekkers reach the campsite they are greeted with a hot cup of tea and biscuits in the dining tent. After six hours on the mountains, no drink will ever taste sweeter. For dinner the cook will usually prepare a buffet of dishes that are as welcome as they are delicious.

Trekking Gear
Although trekking gear is available in Bhutan you are advised to bring your own gear.

What to Bring
FOR ALL TREKS
Footwear

  • Trekking or running shoes
  • Camp shoes or thongs
  • Socks (polypropylene)

Clothing

  • Down or fibre-filled jacket
  • Jumper or piled jacket
  • Hiking shorts
  • Waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella
  • Hiking pants
  • T-shirts or blouses
  • Underwear
  • Sun hat

Other equipment

  • Rucksack
  • Self Inflating Sleeping Mattress (optional, “normal” mats provided by Bhutanese tour operators)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Water bottle
  • Torch, batteries and bulbs.
  • Photographic Equipment

FOR TREKS ABOVE 4000 m
Footwear

  • Mountain trekking boots
  • Socks or wool to wear with boots
  • Socks, light cotton for under wool socks

Clothing

  • Insulated pants
  • Nylon windbreaker
  • Nylon Wind pants
  • Long underwear
  • Woolen hat
  • Gloves
  • Long gaiters

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

  • Toilet articles
  • Cigarette lighter
  • Small knife
  • Sun block / Sun block for lips
  • Sunglasses
  • Towel
  • Laundry soap
  • Medical and first aid kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Bandana
  • Walking sticks
  • While on trek your Bhutanese tour operator will be providing you the following items:
  • Two-person tent
  • Trekking mattresses
  • Eating utensils
  • Kitchen equipments
  • Other camping equipment such as dining tent, toilet tent
  • Trekking guide
  • Trained cook and other helpers

What you are supplied

Health & Safety
Trekkers are warned that altitude sickness can be a serious problem at the altitudes hiked to in Bhutan. If you feel sick, dizzy or have a worsening headache, stop and drink as much water as possible. If the symptoms persist, go back down the mountain.

Bhutanese guides are trained to look out for altitude sickness and other ailments that can affect trekkers. They are expert walkers who have been trained as trekking guides and follow routes that have been walked for centuries. All trekkers are required to strictly follow trekking rules to protect the fragile environment at high altitudes.

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