The tea house trekking and camping trekking are the two most popular trekking types in Nepal. The Trekking types are mainly related to the destination of the trekking. In some trekking destinations, the tea house is easily available for food and accommodation, so we do tea house trekking arrangement and in some place, the tea house is not available so we do the camp trek.
Tea House/ Lodge Trekking
Tea house trekking, also known as lodge trekking is relatively a cheap way of trekking in Nepal where you trek in the day time and stay in lodge/tea house at night for meals and accommodation along the routes. Trek is suitable for trekkers looking for comfort and not wanting to carry back-crushing rucksacks with supplies for weeks. The tea house trek is the best way to connect with the local people and explore their culture and lifestyle. Tea house basically is a local lodge.
The tea houses in the lower elevation have the best facility available and as the elevation increase, the facility becomes very basic. You need to compromise with your expectation depending upon the adventure and elevation. The lodge room will have a bed, pillow and blanket. It is recommended to carry a sleeping bag during the trek. The menu is usually simple and serves only basic meals prepared by local people. The tea house normally offers a toast, different styles of eggs, pancake, porridge, and muesli with milk for breakfast and offers a variety of potato, curries, rice, noodles, pasta, pizza, spring roll, soup and other various Nepali foods for lunch and dinner.
Tea house trekking is popular in Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp trek, Annapurna Circuit trek, Mustang trek, Ghorepani/Poonhill trek etc. Lapha Holidays ensure that the tea house we stay in has a clean room, hot showers and a menu of good local and foreign dishes.
The camping trek is the classic style of trekking where the trekking is fully supported by a team of guide, kitchen team with a well-trained cook, camping staffs and porters. The porters and Sherpa carry all the necessary trekking supplies including your food, fuel, toiletries, tents, sleeping mats, camping gear and clothes etc. during the trek. This camping lets you freely enjoy the journey as you will be carrying just a small bag as required for the day.
The land transportation, local permits, port dues, entrance fees sites are arranged prior for you. The cook prepares all your meals during camping. The guide obviously with escort you around places of interest while trekking. At the end of the day trek, the staffs set up tents for dining, sleeping and ablution with tables, seating’s, sleeping mattress and sleeping bag provided by the company at best possible places. At camping spot, you can enjoy yourself by singing and dancing with trekking colleagues and staffs. At some places, the local community can come to perform their local cultural show. You can give them some donation which will be used for social work in their community. In the morning after breakfast, the campsite is set off and you continue onward hiking.
The camping trek can be organized at any trekking destination in Nepal. The trekking in Nepal started with camping. But now due to road facilities and availability of tea house in most of the trekking destination, only least tourist goes for camping trek. It is costly than tea house trek as you will need more staff on a camping trek to come along with you. But there are still some remote areas or least trodden destination where camping trekking is only the option for tourist to reach. Such as Kanchenjunga circuit trek, Ruby valley trek, Manaslu trek, Upper Dolpo etc
Besides, package treks, guide only trekking, guide-porter trekking, independent trekking are some of the trekking terminologies you might hear in Nepal.
Package trek is also a popular form of the trek. You can find various trek and tour packages online in the company websites. You can book online or in-person any short or long package that interest you. You can also choose accommodation type with meals included along with a guide and or porter. You can join a group or go solo depending upon the trek type. You can customize these package treks at your convenience.
The main advantage of booking this trek is that it’s fast, convenient and you do not have to worry about the accommodation, guide or porter and transport. Everything will be managed prior to your arrival by your agent.
Guide-only trekking is the most popular types of treks in Nepal which basically includes just you and your guide throughout the trekking. Your guide will lead the way and you will explore the beautiful landscapes, culture and people of Nepal all alone. You will be spending days or weeks with the guide so it is very important to choose the right guide. The wrong inexperience guide can be a disaster for this trek.
During the trek, you pay the guide a daily rate (arranged before head) and you will be responsible for carrying your own backpack and equipment and arranging the accommodation and food in person along with your meals. Your good guide might be little help though. If you are good at talking to people about the price and bargaining, you might save some money on accommodation and food (no commissions included).
Guide-porter trekking is the most favourite trekking option among the budget traveller. The guide-porter is cheaper than a full guide. The guide-porter is a fully qualified guide who knows the trekking route very well but might lack in proper language skills or customer service skills. The guide-porter can carry up to 5 kg of your equipment for you. You will be responsible for your own accommodation and food during the trek.
Porter trekking is one of the cheapest treks. Porter is not a qualified guide and may not be good at communicating with you. You will be on your own if you get into trouble. A porter simply will be responsible to carry your gear up to 20 kg max. Some trekkers try to use a porter as a guide to saving some cost for guide payment and usually have a very low success rate. Some porters may not be insured and you may be liable for their well-being on the trek.
Many trekkers with the trekking experience opt to trek alone without a guide or a porter. It can mean trekking solo, as a couple or as a group. While you may have experience trekking it is very important to note that Nepal and mountains of Nepal are not the same. It is always advisable to not to choose independent trekking in Nepal just for some economic reasons.
The trekking permits, accommodation, medical emergencies etc are arranged by you. You will need to be able to read a map and be good at traversing some unmarked trails.