How Do You Prepare for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp trek is a very popular trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. This trek offers the perfect balance of adventure, cultural heritage, breathtaking mountain views, tranquility, and incredible encounters with the locals. Whether you are a beginner trekker or have previous trekking experience, this blog will help you prepare for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in 2024.
We have also included bonus tips to make your Annapurna Base Camp journey smooth towards the end of the blog, so do not miss out on that!
Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the fantastic adventures if you are looking to explore the Himalayas for the first time. This trek offers the perfect introduction to the Himalayan trail and teaches you a lot about trekking. You can build your expertise and move on to much-demanding and long trails like EBC, Annapurna Circuit, etc.
This blog will provide you with all the information that you need to know to have a perfect Annapurna Base Camp trek. You will learn about all the basic things regarding the trek, as well as how to prepare for the trek in just five simple steps. So, keep reading.
Things you should know about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek:
Below are some of the must-know things about the ABC trek. This information will help you during the Annapurna Base Camp trek preparation and allow you to make smart decisions.
1) Annapurna Base Camp trek difficulty:
During the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will traverse diverse terrain and landscapes. The trail goes through lush forests, terraced fields, and traditional villages, following the rugged mountain terrain. Likewise, there are a handful of steep ascents and descents. Overall, the Annapurna Base Camp trek difficulty is considered moderate.
During the trek, you will cover around 115 kilometers (71 miles). Some days may involve longer and more challenging hikes, while others might be shorter and less strenuous. In 10 days, you will reach the Annapurna Base Camp and return to Kathmandu. Similarly, the changing altitude is also a significant challenge on the ABC trek.
2) Annapurna Base Camp trek altitude sickness:
The highest altitude reached during the Annapurna Base Camp trek is 4,130 meters (13,549 ft). It is the base camp of Mount Annapurna. The trek starts from Syauli Bazar at 1,100 meters and ascends to the base camp in 3 days of walking, and takes another 3 days of walking to return to Pokhara.
Because you will gain high elevation during Annapurna Base Camp trekking, there is a risk of altitude sickness. To mitigate it, we have made sure to make the itinerary in such a way it provides you ample time to acclimatize. For additional preventive measures, follow our below guideline.
Before that, let's see the symptoms of altitude sickness. Do note that not everyone suffers from altitude sickness during the ABC trek, and the severity of the symptoms can vary from one person to another.
Symptoms of altitude sickness:
✔ Shortness of Breath
✔ Loss of Appetite
✔ Nausea and Vomiting
Preventive measures for altitude sickness:
✔ Stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids during trekking.
✔ No alcoholic drinks or smoking during trekking.
✔ Maintain your pace, have a balanced diet, and take plenty of rest.
✔ Listen to your body and share any discomfort with your guide.
3) Annapurna Base Camp trek fitness level:
You have to be healthy and physically fit to enjoy the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Trekkers do not have to be super strong, but a reasonable level of fitness is required. You should be able to walk at least 6 hours a day and carry a backpack weighing 5 kg. As the blog progresses, you will learn how to prepare physically and mentally for the trek.
4) Annapurna Base Camp trek best season:
One of the most asked questions regarding the Annapurna Base Camp trek is what is the best time to do this trek, and the answer is spring and autumn. It is a year-round trekking destination, but summer/monsoon and winter have additional weather-related challenges.
✔ Autumn (September to November):
Autumn is the most loved time for Annapurna Base Camp trekking because of the clear sky and moderate climate. The temperature ranges from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) in the lower elevation. Whereas the upper part of the trail sees 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).
✔ Spring (March to May):
Spring is the second best time of the year to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. It is the season of rhododendron. The trekking route is just so beautiful, blooming with vibrant colors of rhododendrons. The weather and climate are also favorable for trekking. The daytime temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) in lower elevations. Whereas the nighttime temperature varies from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F).
✔ Winter (December to February):
Winter trekking to ABC is also possible, but the weather is quite unpredictable in this season, and the trail is covered with thick layers of snow. It is one of the offseasons for trekking in the Himalayas. However, the less crowd and the heavenly view of the mountains make the journey phenomenal. The temperature goes below freezing point and ranges from 10°C to -10°C (50°F to 14°F).
✔ Summer/Monsoon (June to August):
Monsoon is the worst time to do this trek. The trail condition is poor, with a high risk of landslides throughout the region. Likewise, leeches infest most parts of the trail, and the visibility is bad, too. Unless bugs, leeches, and muddy trails don't bother you, it is very tough to do the Annapurna Base Camp trek in summer/monsoon.
5) Annapurna Base Camp trek accommodation and meals:
The accommodation during the Annapurna Base Camp trek is basic lodges. The rooms are shared between the trekkers, along with the common washroom. There are not many services available in the lodges. WiFi, hot showers, charging, etc, will cost you additional money and are not covered in the Annapurna Base Camp trek cost.
In meals, you will get a wide variety of food. Dal bhat, the typical Nepali meal, is one of the main dishes you will have during trekking. Apart from that, there are options like momo, thukpa, pasta, chapati, curries, burgers, porridge, soups, bread, muesli, pancakes, pies, etc.
*Note: As you ascend to higher altitudes, prices for meals and accommodations may also increase due to the logistical challenges of transporting supplies to these remote areas.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Preparation: Step-by-Step Guide
Annapurna Base Camp trek preparation includes simple things like booking the trip with the right trekking company, getting your travel insurance, passport, and visa, physical training, packing, and departing from your country at the right time.
Trekking in the Himalayas does sound complicated, risky, and a huge thing, but it is not if you do adequate research about the trek. Below, we have mentioned five steps that you can follow to prepare for the Annapurna Base Camp trekking.
Step 1: Booking
Once you fix your trekking time, contact us to book the trip. You can book the Annapurna Base Camp trek 2024 departure through our website. It takes a few minutes to fill out the form with your basic details and make the partial or full payment for trek confirmation.
Our team will get in touch with you after receiving your booking request. They will send you trip confirmation mail and help you with further process and trek preparation. You can make any additional request during that time.
*Note: If you have made the partial payment for trek confirmation, you have to clear the remaining balance before the trek starts.
Likewise, you can also tailor the Annapurna Base Camp trek itinerary as per your requirements and budget. To do so, talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +977 9851229400.
Step 2: Documentation
After you book the trek, it is time to buy travel insurance and research the Nepali travel visa. For the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you have to get travel insurance that covers medical bills and emergency air evacuation. You can cover additional losses and liabilities in the insurance as well. Once you buy the travel insurance, send us a copy.
Likewise, make sure your passport validity is at least six months from the day you enter Nepal. You also have to get a Nepali travel visa to enter the country. You can receive it from Nepal's Embassy or Consulate Office in your country. There is also an option to obtain a travel visa upon landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal.
*Note: On-arrival visa is available for travelers from selected countries only, so make sure to check the Nepalese travel visa status for your country.
Make a few copies of your travel insurance, passport, and photo, and keep them in a safe place with yourself while traveling to Nepal. Talking about the Annapurna Base Camp trek permits, our team will take care of it on your behalf. All the permits will be ready and acquired from the Nepal Tourism Board Office before the trek starts by our team.
Step 3: Physical and mental training
The main reason we ask our guests to at least have 4 weeks on hand before the Annapurna Base Camp trek begins is to train physically and mentally for the journey. ABC trek is not strenuous, but for a normal individual who is not that active physically, it can get a bit challenging.
Imagine not doing anything that involves movement for a long time and suddenly walking 6 hours a day on mountainous terrain. Anyone's body and mind will take a toll. So, physical and mental preparation is necessary. Annapurna Base Camp trek does not require any rigid training. You just have to make sure you can walk.
Before the trek starts, spend time walking regularly and exercising. Work on your stamina and endurance. Involve in cardio activities like running, cycling, swimming, day hikes, etc. Likewise, you can also do strength training to build your leg muscle and core strength.
To get mentally ready for the trek, the best thing you can do is to get aware of the region you are trekking to and practice mindfulness. Setting proper expectations for the trek is crucial. Understand what it is like trekking in the Himalayas and accept the limitations.
Step 4: Meet with your doctor and packing
One thing that you should do without overlooking is consult with your doctor. Trekking in the Himalayas includes high altitude and drastic environmental change. Make sure these changes will not affect your well-being severely. Get general medicine prescribed for altitude sickness and common illnesses like fever, cold, etc, for backup.
If you have any allergies or medical history that we should know as your travel partner, let us know. This will help us be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Now, let's come to packing. Once the Annapurna Base Camp trek is confirmed, our team will send you a packing checklist.
Follow the checklist and collect the necessary clothing and gear for the trek. If you do not wish to invest a lot of money in them, you can rent most of the expensive trekking clothes and gear upon reaching Kathmandu.
Step 5: Departure
International flight to/from Kathmandu is not covered in the Annapurna Base Camp trek cost. So, you have to book the flights by yourself. As per the trek departure date, book the flight. You have to be in Kathmandu at least one day before the trek begins.
Our team will help you with airport transfers. We recommend getting the fight tickets early to secure the seat and the best deal. If you need any assistance from us for your international flight booking, feel free to let us know.
Bonus: Annapurna Base Camp Trek Tips:
Below, we have mentioned some (bonus) useful tips that will make your Annapurna Base Camp trekking experience quite smooth. Read them carefully :)
✔ If you are going to buy a new pair of trekking shoes, then get them early. Get used to them before the trek starts. This will help you avoid blisters during trekking.
✔ Group treks usually come at a discount. So, we highly recommend trekking in a group of 4 to 6 or more trekkers to enjoy the best deal.
✔ If you are planning to take lots of photos and videos, we highly recommend carrying additional batteries and power banks with you. Charging costs extra money along the Annapurna Base Camp trek route, so you can also buy a solar charger for the journey.
✔ Get a Nepali sim in Kathmandu with ample data to stay connected to the internet during trekking. The network will not be stable all the time, but you will get to use it occasionally.
✔ On the way, you may come across mules. Be on the cliff side always while passing by them.
✔ Treat the water with a water purification tablet before drinking. Avoid drinking water directly from streams and taps.
✔ We recommend sticking to a vegetarian diet while trekking, as meat products may not be fresh.
✔ Pack energy bars, nuts, and other snacks to munch during trekking.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How do you train for the Annapurna Base Camp trek?
✔ Annapurna Base Camp trek training involves building stamina and strength along with mental fortitude. Regular long walks, exercise, and strength training will help you prepare physically for the trek. Similarly, awareness of the trail, climate, and trek difficulties will help you prepare mentally for the trip. Practice meditation and long breathing.
2) Can beginners do the Annapurna Base Camp trek?
✔ Yes, beginners can do the Annapurna Base Camp trek, however with the right preparation and a realistic mindset. Even though the ABC trek is considered more like a moderate adventure, you will be traversing various terrains and high altitudes. Get aware of your physical limitations and prepare for the trek accordingly.
3) What is the toughest part of the Annapurna Base Camp trekking?
✔ In terms of the trail, the hardest part of the Annapurna Base Camp trek may differ as per your itinerary. Nevertheless, walking daily for 6 hours at varying altitudes is one of the hardest parts of Annapurna Base Camp trekking.
4) Where do you sleep in Annapurna Base Camp?
✔ At Annapurna Base Camp, there are a few lodges off the glacier where trekkers spend the night. You will get shared rooms mostly, with limited single rooms and common washrooms.
5) What age is appropriate for the Annapurna Base Camp trek?
✔ First of all, any age group can do the Annapurna Base Camp trek. We have done this trek with both toddlers and senior citizens. If you are fit and can walk for 5 to 6 hours, you can do this trek. Under-age trekkers have to join the trek with an identified guardian.
6) Is the Annapurna Base Camp trail crowded?
✔ In peak trekking seasons- spring and autumn, the Annapurna Base Camp trail is crowded. If you wish to avoid the crowd, you can do this trek right at the beginning of the peak trekking season. Likewise, winter trekking is also possible with proper preparation to avoid the crowd.
7) How long is the Annapurna Base Camp trek, and what is the daily trekking distance?
✔ You can do the Annapurna Base Camp trek in 10 to 16 days. If you remove any side treks, you can do the ABC trek in 10 days. The total distance covered during this trek is approximately 115 kilometers (71 miles). Each day, you will walk 10 to 15 kilometers (6 to 9 miles).
8) What safety precautions should I take while trekking?
✔ During the Annapurna Base Camp trek, maintain your pace and be careful while walking. Stay hydrated and avoid smoking or alcoholic drinks. Stay with your group, and do not wander alone. And most importantly, inform your guide if you feel any discomfort during trekking, including headaches.
9) Is it necessary to hire a guide and porter for the Annapurna Base Camp trek?
✔ Yes, it is necessary to hire a guide for the Annapurna Base Camp trek because you cannot do this trek alone. Booking the Annapurna Base Camp trek with a local company like ours assures you a reliable trekking guide and a porter to assist you during the trek.
10) What should I do to minimize my environmental impact during the trek?
✔ To minimize your environmental impact during the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you can follow the 'Leave No Trace' principles. It means you should pack out all your trash and dispose of it properly, leaving nature and wildlife undisturbed. Likewise, carry eco-friendly products during the trek.
11) How much does the Annapurna Base Camp trek typically cost?
✔ The Annapurna Base Camp trek cost starts at USD 600 per person for a 10-day trip. As per your itinerary, the price may vary and can go up to USD 2,500 or more per person.
Our Special Trips
- Everest Base Camp Trekking (Private Trek) - 15 Days
- Annapurna Base Camp Trekking - 10 Days
- Everest View Trek - 8 Days
- Everest Base Camp Kala Pattar Trek - 15 Days
- Annapurna Base Camp Trekking - 15 Days
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek – 13 Days
- Kathmandu Nagarkot Private Day Tour - 1 Day
- Kathmandu Valley View & Cultural Trekking - 6 Days
- Similar Tibet Culture and Langtang Valley Trekking - 12 Days
9 Nov, 2023
10 Best Waterfalls Near Kathmandu
Adventurous destination if you are looking to explore the Himalayas.
8 Nov, 2023
How Do You Prepare for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Adventurous destination if you are looking to explore the Himalayas.