Many parents wish to bring their kids for trekking in Nepal. But worried, if it’s possible?
They are constantly in fears like, ‘Will the kids be able to walk? Who will carry them if they can’t walk? What if they fall sick? What if the weather is bad? Will they face altitude sickness? Is it even safe?’
All these parental concerns aside, trekking in Nepal with kids is possible, YES.
At the same time, trekking with kids may be one of the best experiences you will ever have in a foreign land among foreign people. The mountains, waterfalls, rice fields, monasteries, flags, temples, rhododendrons, donkeys, chickens, goats, dragonflies are all waiting to amaze your kids.
Nepal is slowly emerging as a very sought after family destination in the tourism sector. The treks inside the country used to be high-altitude and challenging before. But, now it is accommodating both easy and short level treks as well.
Such treks are mostly for the trekkers who are just beginners or traveling with families and kids.
Many trekking areas, such as the Annapurna region offers various family-friendly trekking routes.
You will also find standard tea house facilities along the trekking routes that will be convenient for your family.
But as a parent, you should understand that no matter how good a teahouse is, the facilities will not be comparable to a deluxe hotel or apartment.
Thus, it is important to make your kids aware of this arrangement before bringing them for trekking. You should mentally prepare them to become ready to adjust in any situations.
As long as your little ones are active, bubbly and open to new things, you will have a good time during your journey. It is always helpful if your kids are used to going for weekend hikes or walks with adults before.
Some kids even tend to like the taste of local Nepali food and delicacies.
Nepal has great potential for learning and discovery alongside family bonding. There are plenty of shorter treks in lower elevation which families can explore together. The curious eyes of your little ones will be able to watch over the world completely different to theirs and appreciate the differences.
You can also opt for other options such as walking tours or walking holidays based in a single center. This is usually suitable when you have children less than age 4.
If you want to hike along a route in a mountainous region, you need to hire a guide or a porter to help carry your child as well as guide you through the way.
Listed below are some useful tips for a safe trekking adventure with your kids in Nepal.
Table of Contents
- Useful Tips for Trekking in Nepal with kids
- Age Ranges
- Family Walking Equipment
- Health and Safety
- Food and drinks
- Hire a Porter
- Clothing and Accessories
- Exploring the Nature and Culture
- Best Routes for Trekking in Nepal with Kids
Useful Tips for Trekking in Nepal with kids
- First, you should plan where you will be trekking in Nepal with kids and work out the distance. If you plan to take your family up a mountain, you need to hire or book a guide and a reliable porter.
- Carry proper equipment and gears for the kids. If the children get blistered feet from poor fitting boots, then it will cause a problem throughout the journey.
- You need to carry plenty of water and water bottles. Young children will get dehydrated very quickly in warm weather.
- Do not forget to carry a sunhat and sunscreen lotion for the kids as well. Also, do carry layers of clothing with the wind resistant top layer.
- You should carry extra snacks such as biscuits, candies, chips, chewing gum, chocolate bars. It will be a nice treat for your kids during the journey.
- Take regular breaks. Let the children enjoy the nature, surroundings, and play with the people and animals in the villages.
- Always carry your kids’ favorite toys. Also, bring playing cards, colorful pens, and papers for the children to play with at the lodges in the afternoons or evenings.
- Don’t forget to make regular stops since you have kids who will need a break. Remember that your progress will be a lot slower than walking without children. You can also be more flexible and customize the length of your trek to suit your child more easily.
- High altitude sickness is the problem but can be controlled by doing proper acclimatization. A large fluid intake is a major factor that helps in acclimatization.
- It is not a good idea to take very young children on a high-altitude trek. Children are fragile and as a result may not be able to acclimatize well.
- You should stick to easy routes up to an altitude of 3000m. You shouldn’t take your young kids above 3500m as there is a high risk of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
- Children aged 7 years or more who are in a fit condition and have had a chance to acclimatize are the perfect trekking partners. Sometimes, they will surprise you by walking faster than you.
- 4-7 years aged children are the most difficult to take on trekking. It is because kids of those age range are too old to be carried and too young to walk for long distances. Thus, trekking for this age will depend on the child and the parents entirely.
- It is possible to go for trekking in Nepal with kids who are very young (1 year plus) on a short hiking or trekking holiday. You can use transport services such as dokos (Nepali basket), porters or child carriers to carry your kids to places.
- Young children can also join you on low altitude treks. Plus, short walking tours or day walks are also another option with young children in child carriers.
Family Walking Equipment
Child carriers: 6 months–4 years
1/2 horses: 5 – 7 years or above
Babies who can support their own heads (around 6 months) can travel in a back carrier.
There are many child carriers available with features such as stands to support the rucksack when loading and unloading. The accessories also include sunshades and rain covers.
You should set your own leisure pace while trekking. Make sure that your child does not get bored or lags behind. The pace of your trek depends on the age and sportiness of your kids.
The standard treks usually offer more comforts and facilities. You will have easy access to emergency services as well.
Start early with your kids so that you can stop by mid-afternoon. In fact, many children are up for much longer walks than they might be willing to try at home.
Health and Safety
Health and safety of the kids are the first priority during the trek. Since trekking is longer than a weekend camping trip, you need to watch out for tummy bugs.
You should teach your kids to drink only boiled or purified water. You should warn them to keep their hands and foreign objects out of mouths, and also wash hands frequently.
You can pack in a few sanitary wipes for kids which can come in handy when no water is available. The children might find the sanitary arrangement i.e the bathrooms a bit uncomfortable. You need to convince them to make use of those facilities as well.
When trekking in Nepal with kids, you should establish ground rules for kids about not wandering off or running ahead on their own. You should also warn them of staying away from edges, cliffs and not getting too close to animals.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
There is always a chance of some risk when one is traveling. But, traveling with children especially comes at an even greater risk when the length of the visit is long. The issue with children starts when your altitude for the trek or journey increases.
Acclimatizing as you go up is extremely important to the success of your trek.
If your kid starts showing any symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) – tiredness, tears, loss of appetite, sleeping difficulty, headaches, vomiting, you should trust them and react accordingly.
The primary response to altitude sickness is always to descend. If the symptoms persist, you should halt your trek and seek medical attention immediately.
However, if you descend quickly and it turns out to be a just a tummy ache or tiredness, you can get a good rest and recovery. After that, you can turn back around and continue your trek with the consent of your kids.
Food and drinks
Along the trekking routes, both traditional and western food is available. Some kids absolutely love the Daal Bhaat Thakali combination. In fact, some eat it using their own hands, just like the Nepalis do! Dal Bhaat Power 24 Hour!
You can also feed your kids fresh fruits and local snacks that have been organically prepared. They are highly nutritious and beneficial to the health.
You should bring along a water-purifying travel cup with purifying tablets. Or, you can simply bring neutralizing powder to remove the taste of iodine from purified water.
Spending hours and hours on the road that snakes past mountains and hills can cause motion-sickness and nausea. So, if possible, you can spend a few bucks to rent a more comfortable vehicle, or fly to your destination.
Hire a Porter
You should consider hiring a porter for your kid. A porter can take on the role of a friendly babysitter and play-friend for your kids. He will also carry the child during all or part of the of the trek in a child carrier/doko.
A porter will be a close companion to your kids despite the language difference. You should make sure that the porter you hire is strong, knowledgeable and experienced. Make sure to treat him well as they are very hard-working people.
Clothing and Accessories
For clothing and equipment, you need to choose the same range of clothes for your child as for yourself. The clothes need to be more comfortable and relevant to the season when you will be trekking in. You can choose to bring clothing from your hometown or rent locally in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
You can also bring along a few lightweight games or toys when trekking in Nepal with kids. These toys will keep your kids occupied in the evenings at the teahouses. You can bring some crayons for drawing as well.
Exploring the Nature and Culture
Your children will witness unique cultures that few people experience or understand along. You kids will also get a chance to interact with abundant local animals and plants.
They will have a better sense of understanding of life as they will see the way of life and the remote villages. They will also witness porters carrying heavy loads at high altitudes for many days. This journey can be a newfound appreciation of a different world for the kids.
They will develop a new idea of what they are physically and mentally capable of.
Best Routes for Trekking in Nepal with Kids
Listed below are a few short treks that are well suited to most families traveling with small kids in Nepal. The itinerary of each individual treks can be thoroughly planned and customized as per your and the kids’ preference.
Poon Hill trek
If you are looking for a friendly and easy trek with your kids, Poon Hill Trek is the best option. The Poon Hill Trek is a four-day route in the Annapurnas with a maximum elevation of 3,210m. Thus, there is very less chance of altitude sickness for you and the kids.
Although there may be some steep paths, the trails are not too difficult to cross. The trek is very pleasant. It leads through various local villages and rhododendron forests.
Poon Hill Trek can be a good beginners trek to introduce the kids to a new environment and a different country. You will be staying with your family in standard teahouses during the duration of the trek. The kids can enjoy both the mountains as well as dense forests.
The Royal Trek
The Royal Trek is another option for trekking in Nepal with kids. This trek is very easy at an altitude of around 1700m. You can do this trek with your kids in just 4 days.
This trek starts towards the north of the Pokhara Valley and passes through Gurung villages. The kids will get a good view of the Annapurnas en route. The trek ends at Begnas Lake, which is very calm and peaceful.
This trek will familiarize the children to the pretty sight of the mountains. This is not a teahouse trekking, so your family will have to choose local food. But, there may be a few teahouses that provide snacks and treats suitable for the kids.
Annapurna Community Homestay Trek
The Annapurna Community Homestay trek is a lesser-known touristic area. It peaks at Mohare Danda which lies at an altitude of 3320 meters. The view is incredible but the best part of this trek is that is less crowded.
This trek can be completed in about five days. This trek is especially suitable for kids and families alike. You will also find numerous homestays and community lodges along the trekking routes.
Just the thought of deciding to bring a kid to trek alongside you is a brave choice. And, Nepal is a destination worth exploring with your little ones at an early age. From remote village tours to animal spotting and small hikes, the kids will experience extensive outdoor learning.
Trekking in Nepal with kids comes with its own set of fears and uncertainty. However, journeying with kids can be both surprising and amazing beyond your own expectations. The possibility of seeing remote villages and diverse plants/animals will be fascinating for the growing kids.
The preparation of the trip should be detailed as kids can be sensitive to exposure to a new environment. Nevertheless, with a careful selection of the trekking routes and weather friendly choice of the month, the trek can be a remarkable one.
At the end of the trip, Nepal and the local Nepalese are sure to put a wide smile on the lips on you and your kids.
So, when are you booking us for a family trekking vacation? When are you bringing your kids to our land? Let us know about your plans and preferences. So, that we can plan a kid-friendly trip for your best time.