Annapurna is one of the most trekked mountain destinations. Hence here are few important information which will help you prepare for your Annapurna trek.
Acute mountain sickness or worse (HACE and HAPE)
Once you cross 3000 meter mark you will feel the thin air kick in. It is important to know the signs of acute mountain sickness if you are heading to the mountains in Nepal. You will feel headache often with loss in appetite, nausea, vomiting.
What to do in case of AIMS?
Acclimatize properly before you ascend up, descend down if it is difficult and take diamox (250 mg) tablets every 12 hours.
When you suffer from HACE you will face severe headache, loss of balance/coordination, staggering, irrational behavior, confusion, drowsiness, coma and resulted by death (sometimes in few hours).
What do you do if you have HACE?
Check with straight line heel to toe walking (if you have HACE you cannot do it). Head to lower elevation immediately and by 1000 meters. It is recommended to descend with someone and use diamox, gamow bag and keep yourself very warm.
Breathlessness (even while resting) followed by dry lips, rusty cough, blue nails and lips. You feel drowsy, low fever, hallucinations, coma and death. In case of HAPE please follow the HACE instructions and add nifedipine to it.
Sprains and strains
This is the most common thing you will face in the mountains of Nepal, so it is advised to take precautions. Often people report sprains in knee and ankle due to walking in rough terrain and steep up and downhill. Do not hit the trail at night and warm up before and after you trek. It is better to have joint support bandages, some painkillers and heat spray or ointment.
There is at least 1 health post in every village in the Annapurna conservation area (ACA) and Everest region. Depending upon the size of the village you may find 2 as well but these health posts are usually open only in the day time. These health posts help trekkers who are in need of minor health assistance. In off the beaten treks there are few chances of seeing a health post and you are mostly on your own.Take necessary medications and travel with a travel partner.
Things to remember
Stay on the walls of the hill at anytime when donkeys, mules and yaks crossing.
Use salt to get rid of leeches in monsoon season
Always arrive early to your final destination or rather stay at a stop early. Do not arrive at a place with 2-3 lodges just before dusk in main season.
Look for causes and symptoms of hypothermia. Take precautions to avoid hypothermia at high altitude.
Avalanches and landslides
The mountains of Nepal are notorious for the avalanches that hits the trails in winter and spring. The several places which are avalanche and landslide prone areas in all trekking destinations in Nepal. We collect as much information in case of bad weather before heading any further. It is advised to walk slowly and quietly in the avlanche prone area. The most dangerous time is 24 hours after the storm or rain.
Culturally accepted behavior in the mountains
You are a guest in Nepal and it is well appreciated by people if you adapt to the culture and respect in return.
Dress decently (no revealing clothes)
Do not show affection in public (no kissing or smooching specially)
Do not point your feet at people
Do not buy antiques from the trails
Do not step over a person
Do not be reluctant with red powder (Tika) or traditional way of welcoming
Do not use left hand for eating or shaking or waving off
Receive and give with 2 hands
Ask before you take people's pictures
Do not offer chocolates, pen or gifts to local people and kids (promotes negative information)
Take off your shoes before entering monasteries, temples or even people’s houses
Go clockwise round stupas
Do not eat, smoke or be loud at religious site and also do not litter
Women are advised not to touch or hug Lamas/monks and men are advised the same in case of nuns
Do not toss what you use, like papers, wrappers, batteries and bottles.
Try finding accommodation which use solar to heat water and kerosene and LPG to cook rather than accommodation which use timber.
If in group order food at once, as it saves time and fuel
Wear warm clothes rather than heating the room
Do not defecate near water sources
Do not throw even biodegradable waste after 4000 meters
Do not disturb wildlife by being loud or by doing act which disturbs their natural habitat
Do not promote wildlife trafficking ( you will face legal actions)
Do not promote plastic bags, even if it is free
Things to take along
Copy of your passport and insurance
Some emergency cash
Iodine tablets, water bottle, sunscreen, long sleeve shirt, hat, sunglasses, lip balm, insect repellent