Nepal has several trekking trails that are suitable for all kinds of trekking activities. On these trails, you get the option of both groups as well as solo trekking in Nepal.
The country accommodates both solo and group trekkers from around the world. And for so many years, Solo trekkers are enjoying their trekking adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal.
Once in 2012/2013, there was a talk about prohibiting solo trekkers in Nepal by the Nepal government because of security issues. But, now there are no issues of that sort and you can trek any route of your choice legally.
Though trekking in a group can be relatively safe and interesting, Trekking alone can be a completely unique experience on its own.
And especially for those nature lovers who enjoy solitude and adventure, Solo trekking is the best way to go.
How to Start Solo Trekking in Nepal?
Begin with the plan
Planning is one of the most crucial steps in order to make your Solo trek an organized one. You must plan an itinerary, type of trekking you want to do along with the budget and see how much you can afford to spend on the trip.
Proper planning for treks, food, accommodation, and several activities to do on the trek is very essential to make the trek smooth and comfortable.
But whatever may be your objective, be it spiritual or adventure, your decision of choosing Nepal for Solo trek will never disappoint you. So, begin with a plan!
Trek with a Guide
While trekking in Nepal, it is completely your choice to hire a guide. And when you choose to take Solo Trek, though the expense is less, having a guide is very important for safety reasons.
The trails in the mountains can be very rocky and rough. It can be very confusing too with rarely any kind of signs. Moreover, you would not have internet there. Hence the chance of forgetting your way to the top and back is high.
The guides in Nepal have a lot of experience. They can guide you through easier routes and alert you if there’s any danger ahead. So for the first time trekkers, it is always good to have a guide.
However, for someone who has already trekked before in the same trail, trekking Solo is totally possible.
And for your information, some restricted areas do not allow trekking without a guide for safety reasons. So having a guide becomes a must here.
In the case of female trekkers, you can opt for a female guide for your own comfort.
Know about the Cost for Solo Trekkers
Traveling in Nepal is budget-friendly as it is not much expensive. There are a variety of accommodations to choose that ranges from the low, medium and high rate.
For standard rooms during Solo treks, the cost of the accommodation will range from USD 3 to 5.
And for USD 15 you can assure yourself of 3 hot meals. For a guide, it will cost you around USD 20 to 25 per day and for porter USD 10 to 15.
Remember to carry enough Nepali cash to tip to the porter and those who help you with accommodation and all. In some monasteries and gompas that you may come across, there is often a donation box where you can leave a little amount. But that’s only if you wish to.
Get Legal Permission
Nepal Tourism Board issues TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) for trekkers.
Both trekkers, going through an agency or a free individual trekker must have TIMs card issued before starting the trek.
You can get your TIMS card from Kathmandu. The TIMS card for Free Individual Trekker is green in color and others are blue. Nepal Tourism Board charges a higher amount for the TIMS card of free individual trekker.
For those that choose a trek that goes through conservation areas, you will need Conservation area Permit. You can obtain these permits easily from Kathmandu as well. And like for the TIMS, these permits cost slightly more for Solo Trekkers too.
And lastly, there is also a permit for trekking in restricted regions of Nepal. However, these are not issued for Solo treks. The rule for trekking to restricted areas is, there should be at least two trekkers including a guide.
Best Treks in Nepal for Solo Trekking
There are various trekking trails in Nepal that are safe and doable for the solo trekkers.
In Nepal, there are some other trekking routes of around 3000m. These are generally easier to trek and hence more suitable for free individual trekkers.
Nepal also has treks that last anywhere from a week to a month. But for Solo trekkers, it is wise to first try the shorter treks of Nepal. And when comfortable with the short treks, you can opt for the longer treks.
Some of the best treks in Nepal for Solo trekking are as follows,
- Ghorepani Poon Hill trek
- Annapurna Base Camp trek
- Sarangkot Hiking
- Langtang Valley trek
- Everest Panorama Trek
- Dhampus trek etc.
Best Season for Solo Trekking in Nepal
The best seasons to visit and trek in Nepal are Autumn (September, October, November) and Spring (March, April, May) season. And the best months for Solo treks are October and April.
These months are ideal for Solo treks in Nepal because the weather is clear and dry with a suitable temperature.
During this time, there will be a high number of trekkers and as such you will find like-minded people to talk to and share information with. Moreover, in case you run into any trouble, you can always find help around you.
While if you trek in December or January, the temperature will be cold and freezing in the mountains. And in June and July, since it is the monsoon months, there will be rain. So there are high chances of trail becoming muddy and slippery which may not be the ideal time to trek.
Physical Fitness for Solo Trekking in Nepal
For Solo trekkers, physical fitness is a determining factor on the type of treks you choose to take. If you are comfortable walking on rough terrain for 6 to 7 hours on a daily basis, you can take any trek in Nepal.
However, you need more preparation and training prior to the trek. One should at least start preparing and training prior to 2 months before the trek. To practice, take short to long hikes near your area.
Also, one of the most important things is to consult your physician before taking the trek. Unless approved by your physician, do not take any Solo treks.
Clothing and Equipment for Solo Trekking in Nepal
If you are a free individual trekker, you should be very careful about your clothing and equipment. Don’t forget that you will have nobody with you to ask for help when you need.
Hence make sure to carry all the important gears and equipment you need without making your backpack heavy.
You can always rent gears and equipment in Kathmandu or Pokhara. And you can even buy them at a reasonable price. Hence it is not necessary for you to carry them all the way from your home country.
As for clothing, you need to pack according to the season that you are planning to trek. Make sure to carry a comfortable and sturdy pair of boots.
Do not miss out on essentials. Some of these are trekking pole, water bottle, water purification tablet, sunscreen, toiletries, first aid kit, etc.
Solo Trekking in Nepal for Females
Solo trekking for a female is totally possible. And you will hardly hear that Nepal is not safe for Solo female trekkers. In fact every year, there are various Solo trekkers and many of them are female.
Just because you are a female, your trekking would not be unfair. However, the recommendation will be to have a guide. If you want, you can even opt for a female guide for your own comfort.
Since you will be trekking in the rough trails of high altitude and you can never predict what can go wrong. Having a friend with you can be fun. You can enjoy your walks while talking.
Hence, Trekking Solo as a female is safe but trekking with a partner is much better.
Tips for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Know properly about Altitude Sickness. Altitude sickness is possible despite being physically fit and having prior trekking experience. If you notice any symptoms, do not avoid and take the necessary precautions immediately.
- Choose trekking destinations within the trails that you can comfortably reach in time. And always try to reach your destination before it is too dark.
- Always update someone trustworthy on your whereabouts to avoid the chances of getting lost.
- Walk slow and drink plenty of water to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
- Keep some snacks like chocolates, granola bars and necessary medicines to deal with the situation.
- In case of any trouble, do not hesitate to ask for help from the person nearest you.
- Trekking solo anywhere in the world including Nepal is not highly recommended for safety and security reasons. However, taking the right preparations and necessary precautions one can improve the situation.
- Having travel insurance is a must. And make sure it covers altitude up to 5000 m including emergency evacuation.
- Do not take unnecessary risks and stick to the trekking route and destination.
- Carry enough Nepali cash as there are no ATM’s in the remote areas.
- Generally speaking, trekking in Nepal will not make you uncomfortable as the people here are very friendly with humble nature.
- For safety reasons, hire a guide.
Solo treks in Nepal opened to the foreigners in the 1970s. And Nepal is a safe trekking destination for Solo treks.
However, it is important for a trekker to be cautious with the strangers you meet on the trails during Solo trek.
Also, it is important for one to prepare well and train yourself prior to the trek. If budget is not a huge factor, it is always wise to trek with a guide or someone reliable.
But if you are totally into the idea of trekking alone, then solo treks in the popular trekking trails during peak seasons are great and safe.
For further questions or queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.