Independent Trekking Guide to Annapurna Base Camp

Nepal is almost always the answer when it comes to choosing a trekking destination. Of the 14 mountains above 8000m, eight of them are here in this beautiful, naturally gifted country. Trekking in Nepal is also great for solo and group trekkers alike. Trekking is much more affordable here than other trekking countries.

Nepal has numerous trekking routes, along with abundant, affordable lodging areas along the route. Nepal is considerably safer as it has a lower rate of crime and violence. It is also a haven for trekkers, so you might meet likeminded people on the way to the routes if you ever do feel alone.

Of all the treks in Nepal, the Everest Base Camp trek along with the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the most famous. And yes, you can do the Annapurna Base Camp trek alone.

Like all other treks and trekkers, there are a few basic things that you must know. To make a more informed decision, be sure to read how to trek solo in Nepal.

Now that you have made sure that you do want to trek alone in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, here are some of the important things to keep in mind and take care of, if you want to make a successful, comfortable and enjoyable trek.

Contents

Planning Required for Solo ABC Trek

Trekking solo means all the planning for the trek needs to be done by you. Here is a list to make this easier for you.

Time:

The Annapurna Base Camp trek takes anywhere around 10 to 21 days to successfully complete. So, if you do not have enough time than you can either choose some other recommended routes below or extend your stay in Nepal. Only then you can successfully and comfortably complete the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Season:

There are four seasons, namely spring, monsoon, autumn and winter in Nepal. Autumn (September-December) and spring (March-May) is considered the best season to do trekking in Nepal. This is when the views are visible at their best and the routes are all open.

However trekking in off seasons are possible too but not suggested for solo trekkers.

Budget:

Expenses is inevitable when you trek. Do research on the numerous hotels and lodges available along the road and choose ones that are suitable for your budget. If you go during the best season, do pre-book them.

Also there are numerous options with tea houses to choose from.

Packing:

The essential things to pack while trekking is usually the same. However, do check our recommended list to make sure you have everything you need to be safe and comfortable.

Do check your luggage when you get to Pokhara or Kathmandu, you will still manage to get the essentials in these places if you do miss anything. Kathmandu and Pokhara are major cities of Nepal and you will be able to get almost anything that you might need for the trek.

Accommodations and food:

Choose the best, available tea houses for lodging and eating. Some cheaper ones have pest problems (rats, bugs). You don’t want to ruin your trek by getting sick or bitten by being frugal on these things.

For best choices, pre-book your trip to get the best booking options.

Porter:

It is strongly recommended you at least hire a porter who can speak your language. Carrying that heavy backpack at first might not be a problem but as you reach higher altitudes, even your own body weight will feel like a burden.

Make a budget list and take some amount out for a porter so that you can explore the new places without the hassle of carrying a heavy burden.

Trekking with or without a Guide

There are several benefits when trekking with a guide. A guide knows the trekking route and can describe in detail about the monuments or the places you cross along the trekking route.

Guides are usually also familiar with the natural wildlife you may encounter along the way. They can answer any questions you might have in regards to these along the way.

A guide can recommend you the best tea houses and places to rest, eat at. A guide will also add to your overall interactions with the locals of the area making you feel more welcome.

There is also very less chance of you getting lost and feeling alone in the long duration trek.

Though hiring a guide adds some extra cost on your budget, it ensures your safety which can be an added bonus for a solo trekker.

Regardless of the choice you make, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is very safe and doable alone. The routes are nice and wide, there are plenty of tea houses and friendly locals along the way. So, you should not have any problem related to food or accommodation.

It is also one of the more crowded trails, so you will meet other fellow trekkers to make conversations with if the need does arise.

If you do decide on a guide, than do hire a guide who has all the required and valid legal license and permits. You can contact us or any other agency in the country just to be sure that you are hiring the right person for the job.

If you are a female solo trekker and are uncomfortable hiring a male guide than you can opt for a female guide.

Daily Estimated Cost

Nepal is well suited for trekking, from being home to many of the highest mountains; it has some of the most beautiful hills as well. Another popular reason for choosing Nepal is its affordability.

The trekking in Nepal costs significantly lower than the other popular trekking destinations.

Trekking solo in Nepal is definitely cheaper than booking a trekking package with any of the trekking companies out there. Having said that, there are other benefits to packages that add to its value.

Trekking packages do only cost around an average of $90 per day in Nepal. That will include all the fees of food and accommodation along with the guide and a porter.

So, Nepal is considered a cheap place for travelling and trekking. Hence, the package may be something to seriously consider if budget is not that strong an issue for you.

Best time to trek Annapurna Base Camp

The best time to trek Annapurna Base Camp or any other trekking destination in Nepal would be in autumn and spring season.

Each season has its own distinctive features. The most recommended month for trekking in this area is April which is during Spring in Nepal. It has favorable weather, climate and the flowers on the trails are in full bloom which just adds to the beauty of the trails and your trekking experience.

The best seasons also have some drawbacks for the solo or independent trekkers. The routes have the maximum amount of traffic and you won’t get lost but you might have trouble finding a place to stay for the night.

Most of the tea houses are pre-booked and the place gets filled up pretty quick. You have to start your trek earlier than the rest of the groups in order to find a place to stay. The food is available but you might have to order early as there will be a queue for the food too.

You can also contact a trekking agency similar to ours and try to book your seats early to these places but you need to be precise in your trekking distance per day and reach the destinations in time.

Entry Permits

Nepal Tourism Board has TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) for every trekker. It is mandatory to have TIMS issued for both solo trek and group treks.

Since you are trekking alone, the Nepal Tourism Board will charge you some extra fees. The agencies usually get a bulk discount. You will have to take these permits from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Another entry permit has to be purchased at Annapurna region as Annapurna Conservation Area Project covers most of the trekking route in this area. The permits can be purchased in Kathmandu or Pokhara. The funds generated from these fees are largely used for the local community development in the project area.

It is recommended you get these permits in Kathmandu or Pokhara as the price for the permits are slightly higher on the trek itself.

Other Best Trekking Route in Annapurna Region for Solo Trekkers

  1. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
  2. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
  3. Jomsom Muktinath Trek
  4. Mardi Himal Trek
  5. Annapurna Circuit Trek

Other things to remember for solo trekkers

There are some other things you need to remind yourself on a solo trek.

  • Always keep yourself hydrated. While walking on the beautiful trails, this is something that you can overlook if you don’t have other members sipping their bottles.
  • To relax and remember that this trek is doable. If not, there is always a next time, the trail will be there.
  • High Altitude Sickness: Research about it so that you can notice the symptoms in yourself if it ever does occur. In the event that it does, don’t hesitate to ask for help and to climb down as soon as possible.
  • Safety is a huge concern for solo trekkers. Keep your contacts updated regularly on your whereabouts. Although Annapurna base camp trek is a safe one, there is always chances of trouble or getting lost.
  • Physical fitness: This trek is suitable for people of all ages. As a solo trekker, it is just a safer option to be physically fit so that there is less risk of injury. You can start by running on treadmills, going up and down the stairs and so on.
  • Another thing that is just a tip is not to ask the villagers how long the trek to the next destination takes. Being locals, the time it takes for them may be very short or challenging to meet up to. It is just very disappointing when after 6 hours of trekking you don’t reach your destination when the locals said it would take 4.

However challenging this trek may be, it will also be one of the most beautiful ones as well. It will give you a unique experience into the lives of the locals of different ethnic background and lifestyles.

Have fun and be safe.