A third style of trekking is to gather sherpas, porters, food and equipment and take off on a trek with all the comforts and facilities of an organised trek. On such a trek you camp in tents, porters carry your gear, sherpas set up camp and cook and serve meals. You carry a backpack with only a water bottle, camera and jacket.
Trekkers who opt for this approach, particularly with a small group of friends, often have a rewarding, enriching and enjoyable trip. You can use a trekking company in Nepal to make some or all of the arrangements, though you may have to shop for an agency that suits you. Some Nepalese trekking companies offer equipment for hire, some will arrange a single sherpa or porter and some will undertake only the entire arrangements for a trek.
If you want to have everything organised in advance, you can contact a Nepalese trekking company by mail or fax and ask them to make arrangements for your trek. There are more than 300 trekking companies in Kathmandu that will organise treks for a fee and provide all sherpas, porters and, if necessary, equipment. Unless you have a good idea of what you want, it will require a huge volume of correspondence to provide you with the information you require, to determine your specific needs, to define your precise route and itinerary and to negotiate a price that both parties understand. Mail takes up to three weeks each way to and from Australia, the Americas or Europe, so it’s better to use fax or e-mail. Be specific in your communications and be sure that the trekking company understands exactly who will provide what equipment. It is most embarrassing to discover on the first night that someone forgot the sleeping bags.
One solution is to go to Nepal and simply sort out the details in an hour or two of face to face negotiations with a trekking company. You should be prepared to spend a week or so (less, if you are lucky) in Kathmandu settling these details. An alternative to endless correspondence with Nepal is to use a trek operator in your own country.
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