Trekking is a wonderful experience and is also one of the most popular activities to indulge in. Nepal has the most beautiful and diverse trekking destinations with surreal exotic trails.
Both solo and group trekking is possible in Nepal.
While trekking in a group can be an exciting adventure, Solo trekking in Nepal can be an experience on its own.
Solo trekking in Nepal comes with its own set of advantages, disadvantages, and doubts. However, this doesn’t stop people from solo trekkers.
Solo trekking is quite popular in Nepal. After all, seeing the world on your own without having to worry or adjust with a group allows you the freedom and has its own perks.
Also, Nepal is one of the safest trekking destinations in the world. And with the right preparations and precautions, you can definitely trek solo in Nepal.
Table of Contents
- Best Time for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Best Solo Treks in Nepal
- Clothing and Equipment for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Permits for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Trekking With or Without Guide and Porter?
- Cost and Budget for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Physical Fitness for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Safety of Solo Trekkers in Nepal
- Pros and Cons of Solo Trekking
- Some Useful Tips for Solo Trekking
Best Time for Solo Trekking in Nepal
Traveling to Nepal in every season has its unique feature. Nepal experiences tourists all year round.
Yet, the best season to visit and trek in Nepal is Spring and Autumn. And the best months are May and October.
There are many reasons why these are the best time to visit Nepal. During this time the weather is pleasant providing you clear view of mountains. Also, you will see the rhododendron flowers in bloom.
There will be a high number of trekkers during these seasons and months. Hence you are most likely to meet similar minded people to talk to and gather information.
And most importantly, in case you get into any trouble, during this time you can find help around you more easily.
The accommodation, food and travel cost is higher during this time due to peak season. Hence pre-booking is important.
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Best Solo Treks in Nepal
And if you plan on trekking during the summer monsoon season in Nepal, you can take the Jomsom-Muktinath trek and Annapurna Circuit trek. These treks lie in the trans-Himalayan region and rain-shadow areas of Nepal. Hence solo trekking in monsoon in still possible here.
So, once you decide what trek you want to take you should start gathering detailed information on the trekking routes. You should know the trekking route, tea houses, food, local weather, the culture of the local, etc.
This way it will prepare you for the trek. And as for the duration, Nepal has treks that will last from a week to a month.
We recommend solo trekkers to try shorter treks before you opt for longer ones.
Clothing and Equipment for Solo Trekking in Nepal
The right packing of necessary clothing and equipment can make or break your trekking experience. Hence once when you know when you are trekking know the weather condition and pack accordingly.
Make sure to carry all the necessary clothing requirements. Also, avoid overpacking or even underpacking.
As for the equipment you can find all the list and the supplies of equipment for a trek in Nepal. You can purchase or rent both in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Be careful not to pack any unnecessary clothing or equipment. Because as a solo trekker, you will be carrying your own baggage. Hence anything extra will just add as a burden to you. So the most important thing to remember is to pack smart.
Permits for Solo Trekking in Nepal
TIMS card ( Trekkers Information Management System) is compulsory for every trekker wishing to trek in Nepal. If you are trekking solo, you will get a green TIMS Card. And for group trekkers, they issue blue TIMS card.
Also, you need a conservation area permit if you choose to do treks that go through the conservation area. You can get both these permits easily from Kathmandu.
Yet for solo trekkers, these permits cost slightly more. Moreover, there are also permit for trekking in the restricted regions of Nepal. But these are not issued for solo treks.
Trekking With or Without Guide and Porter?
Having a guide and porter has various advantages. Both of these ensure in making your trekking experience smooth and safe.
While trekking solo in Nepal, it is important to have at least one of the two. You also have the option of having a porter-guide who does the work of the two.
Yet, he or she will have less experience than a guide and will carry less than a porter.
Hiring a guide can make your trek a lot more comfortable and safe. They will have good information on the trekking trails. And will know what to do in case of emergency and danger ahead.
They can even recommend the best tea houses to rest and eat at. Moreover they will help you communicate with the locals. This will allow you to connect with the locals and know about their lifestyle and culture.
And with a porter, he will carry your 12 to 15 kg baggage. This will allow you to walk free to explore the trails in your own comfort. You can also opt for female guides in Nepal.
So if you choose to have a guide or porter, make sure to confirm their legal work status. And go with the only one you feel yourself in safe hands.
To trek in popular regions like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp, a guide or porter is not compulsory. But to trek in some restricted areas of Nepal, trekking without a guide is not allowed for safety reasons.
Cost and Budget for Solo Trekking in Nepal
Traveling in Nepal is quite affordable. Nepal is one of the most affordable trekking destinations in the world.
There are a variety of accommodations to choose from and you can choose the one that best suits your preference and budget.
However, avoid choosing the cheapest accommodations as the facilities in these can be very low and personal hygiene very poor.
Hence do check your rooms before confirming to have a comfortable sleeping area. A porter can cost you from USD 10 to 15 per days. And a guide can cost you around USD 20 to 25.
The choice is yours if you want to have both or either one from the two. And do keep some Nepali currency for tipping to the guide or porter who helps you with the accommodation. This little amount can light up their day.
Physical Fitness for Solo Trekking in Nepal
The type of treks you choose determines the physical fitness for a Solo trekker. If you are someone who can comfortably walk on rough terrains for 6 to 7 hours on a daily, then you can do any treks in Nepal.
Yet it is important for Solo trekkers to take more preparations and training. You can start preparing for your treks at least 2 months before the trek. You can do so by taking short to long hikes in nearby places.
Also, it is important to consult with your physician before you start preparing for your trek. He or she can examine you and see if you have any underlying condition. Or if you are fit to take the trek.
Hence do not undertake any solo trek unless recommended by your physician.
Safety of Solo Trekkers in Nepal
Nepal is one of the safest places to trek in. Female trekkers who want to take solo treks can also go for it.
However, it is best to take safety measures. And for those who are going on their first treks to Nepal, it is important to trek with a guide, porter or a trekking partner.
The trekking trails in Nepal are very rocky and rough. In the remote area, phone and internet coverage can be poor. You have a high chance of forgetting your way to the top or either back to the city.
There would rarely be any kind of sign in your way. Hence for the first time trekkers, the trails are going to be harsh and confusing. However, if you have already trekked before in the same trail, you may be able to trek it next time.
Due to poor signs, there are high chances of forgetting your trekking trail as they all look similar.
So for safety reasons, it is best to have a reliable and professional trekking guide with you.
Pros and Cons of Solo Trekking
There are pros and cons to everything. And Solo trekking is no exception. Down below let us discuss some advantages and disadvantages of solo trekking.
- You can set your own pace: This is one of the main advantages of trekking alone. When you trek with a group there are people who often want to go fast and you end up breaking yourself trying to keep up. And on the other side, there are slower and less confident trekkers for whom you have to slow down. Hence trekking solo allows you to walk on your own pace.
- More flexible: Similarly when you are on your own, you don’t have to worry about what other people want. If you decide you want to take a detour or break, you can. Or if you want to push on to the next campsite you can without having to think for others.
- More Peaceful: Trekking solo and being on your own gives you more time to think about things and admire the beauty that surrounds you. It gives you solitude and more peaceful time with nature.
- Easier logistics: If all your friends are busy or you have no friends, you can either hike on your own or not at all.
- Less support in case of injury: This is a major disadvantage while trekking alone. If you fall or trip, you have no one else to help you. The seriousness of the issue will depend on your situation. For injuries that you can walk out, it is not a problem as long as you have a decent first aid kit.
- The greater risk from wildlife/humans: Depending on where you are hiking, there may be dangerous wildlife or risks from other people. In general, these risks will be greater while traveling alone. A single person as easier prey than a group.
- Can be lonely: Being on your own all day can be very lonely especially while eating when you can normally chat with the rest of the group. Hence this can leave you with little to do particularly when it gets dark. However, this may or may not be an issue depending on your personality.
Some Useful Tips for Solo Trekking
- Choose a safe season with a good weather condition and pack all the necessary items you will need for the trek.
- Altitude sickness is possible despite being physically fit and prior trekking experience. Hence it is important to knowledge yourself about ailments related to high altitude. And in case of any symptoms related to altitude sickness, reach out for help immediately.
- It is always wise to inform someone trustworthy near you about your plans and places that you are staying. This is a great safety precaution.
- Choose a trekking destination within the trails that you can reach comfortably in time. For solo trekkers, it is not recommended to trek once it gets dark.
- Have travel insurance that covers treks to foreign countries including Nepal. Also, make sure your insurance covers emergency evacuation and rescue as well.
- Carry enough Nepali cash to cover your expenses for the entire trip. There are no ATM’s in the remote trails. The few that are there in some region are not always reliable.
- Do not take unnecessary risks. Stick with the trekking route and destination you have chosen while trekking solo.
- Walk slow and take necessary breaks. It is also very important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This even reduces the risk of AMS( Acute mountain sickness).
- Keep extra days in case of any unplanned situation like delays or injuries.
Solo treks in Nepal opened to the foreigners in the 1970s. Hence it is not something new in Nepal.
But, while trekking solo one should be careful on the trails and with the strangers, you meet on the trails during your solo trek.
If you choose to trek in the popular trekking trails during the peak season, Solo treks are great and safe. Hence choose a safe time.
For further question or queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.
Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.
Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.
Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.
He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.