Pre-Departure Annapurna Base Camp

Our trek to Annapurna Base Camp follows a spectacular route. The route traverses diverse terrain. From lowland villages and rice terraces to alpine white glaciers, the trek offers momentous hiking and lavish scenery. Surround yourself with the awesome panorama of the Himalayas! Lodging is in rustic tea houses.

Participants must be in good trekking condition for this high energy trek.

Physical Conditioning and Health Requirements

Each day involves up to 6 hours of walking, with lots of steep ups and downs (very little flat areas). Participants should have no fear of heights.

There are no required immunizations for travel to Nepal, but you are encouraged to check with your physician or travel immunization center.

You must be very fit and in extremely good health, as medical facilities are generally unavailable in trekking areas. The altitude in Kathmandu is 4620 ft, and we trek to 13,629 ft at Annapurna Base Camp. At that altitude, altitude sickness could possibly be a problem. However, almost everyone suffers some shortness of breath on uphill sections. Anyone with breathing problems should consult a physician to determine her fitness for this trek. In addition, the ups (and especially the "downs") are difficult on anyone who may have knee problems. Paths are often rocky and "terraced", with rock steps (and uneven ones at that).

Training for this trip is a MUST. To condition yourself, we recommend a program of exercise well in advance ... at least three months or more, prior to your arrival in Nepal. Physical fitness training, hiking, step class, stair steppers, stairs...jogging, a treadmill, a trainer.... prepare one best for the hills, as well as walking/jogging on an incline; these exercises should be done in conjunction with proper stretching.

You will be challenged on this trek, but with proper physical conditioning, and the encouragement of an enthusiastic guide, you will be greatly rewarded for your efforts!

Travel Documents and Insurance

Citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia must possess a valid passport valid for at least 6 months from date of entry into Nepal and Nepalese visa. If you do not have a passport, GET IT SOON! Do not wait till the last minute. You can get your visa upon arrival in Kathmandu or in advance at your nearest Nepalese Embassy or Consulate.

If for any reason someone has to be evacuated, a helicopter would have to be summoned and the injured person taken to Kathmandu. If necessary, an onward international medical flight would be arranged. Make sure that your insurance policy will cover you for such unlikely situations.

Medical evacuation by helicopter must be paid for by guests prior to departure from Kathmandu, so everyone should consider obtaining medical evacuation insurance, as the cost of a helicopter could top $3,000.


We stay in rustic tea houses. In the tea houses, the rooms are very simple. There are plywood wall partitions (not sound proof), no flush toilets (pit toilets), and limited water for washing (limited hot water). The beds have thin foam mattresses.


The Himalaya makes its own weather, which varies significantly over a few kilometres. There are usually clouds in the afternoon, and be prepared for occasional snow. There can be sudden storms and high winds. Highs are around 25 C or 82 F, lows just above freezing. The higher we go, however, there is always the chance of very cold weather/snow.

There is always the risk of avalanches at high altitude. While we are trekking, if it snows or if there is heavy rain at the high altitudes, the guide will make all decisions as to whether to cancel the trek to Annapurna Base Camp, due to safety considerations. Alternate trek plans would be made in that case.


Unboiled water is NOT safe to drink anywhere in Nepal. Most hotels provide a jug of purified drinking water in each room; when in doubt, stick with bottled drinks. Boiled water and local mineral water are perfectly safe to drink, or treat your own water with purification tablets. Ice should be avoided. While on trek, our porters will carry plenty of boiled water for each of us. And remember, don't brush your teeth with untreated water!

Uncooked vegetables are also not safe to consume, unless properly treated by soaking in a solution of iodine. Always peel your fruit.

All of our food on trek is fresh and tasty. At the teahouses, there is little or no meat.

Food in Kathmandu and Pokhara is downright wonderful!


We suggest that you bring a carry-on bag (or better yet, use your day pack for your carry-on bag) that you can use for carrying the items you need daily on our trek and generally while touring. You should be able to carry about 4 kilos or 9 pounds in your day pack which should include: a sweat shirt (or fleece jacket), rain jacket and pants, camera, water bottle, snack, sun block, sun glasses, hat, gloves, optional binoculars.

Your clothing, sleeping bags, spare water, and all other items needed on trek will be carried by a porter (a special duffel bag for our trek will be supplied to you in Kathmandu. This duffel is the easiest for the porters to carry).

Task, Clothing and Equipment Checklist

About town: Unless you are attending a special party dress is informal. Conservative dress is always appropriate. In middle to higher priced restaurants, women wear skirts or slacks outfits. Outside of Kathmandu, while trekking, shorts are acceptable (but not short shorts).

While trekking: Comfortable, loose fitting clothes of fabrics that breathe are essential. Shorts and a loose shirt of lightweight cotton/blend are ideal during the day since it is warm. Many women find trekking in skirts more comfortable than shorts. Comfortable, thin pants are also appropriate.

The most important item required on trek is suitable hiking boots. Lightweight hiking boots with ankle support (not walking shoes) and rubber lug soles with thick tread are a necessity. It is essential that your hiking boots be comfortable and BROKEN IN; uncomfortable boots can ruin your trek. Boots should be worn with thick, natural fibre socks.

Pre-Departure Tasks:

  • Obtain or renew passport.
  • Obtain necessary visa(s) or bring photos and exchange change in order to have the visa issured on arrival in Ktm. 1 photo required for the visa. 2 photos required for the trek permits.
  • Evaluate and obtain trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance (evacuation also)
  • Consult with physician for physical examination, immunization, and prescription medicine recommendations.
  • Break-in primary footwear.

Personal Items:

  • Passport.
  • Wrist watch/travel alarm clock
  • Sunglasses, case (90% - 100% ultraviolet and some infrared protection)and with prescription, if you need it
  • Contact lenses, cleaner, saline solution
  • Extra eyeglasses with safety band
  • Money Belt
  • Mag Light or head lamp with extra batteries and spare bulb (1 or 2 spare sets should do)
  • A lighter (for burning toilet paper on the trail), and for lighting candles at night
  • Candles for when you do not wish to use your flashlight
  • Traveller's checks, cash, credit cards
  • Address book, writing paper, or journal, pen/pencil
  • Lightweight paperback book
  • Day pack, of 25 litre size (can also serve as your airline carry-on bag)
  • Camera, spare batteries, spare memory stick
  • Small, lightweight binoculars (optional)
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Half dozen Jumbo Ziploc bags (for sorting your things when packing) or try Eagle Creak who make small bags for this purpose
  • Washcloth
  • Quick dry, absorbant towel (shower size). Towels provided in Nepal are not extra absorbant or quick dry
  • Pillow case
  • Erosional toiletries in small leak-proof,travel-size
  • Plastic bottles
  • Biodegradable bar soap (can double as laundry soap)
  • Tampon or sanitary napkin supply for women
  • Thread, needles, safety pins for minor repairs
  • Wash and dries, Baby Wipes (or other antiseptic wipes) - 1-2 flat packages would be enough
  • Your favorite snacks for a "pick me up" during each day of trekking (optional)
  • Your own favorite herbal teas (optional)
  • Games or books to occupant afternoon "down time"

Clothing for the Trek:

  • Hiking boots, well broken-in (lightweight with good ankle support and tread)
  • Spare pair of shoes (slip-ons such as "crocs" work best)
  • Flip flops for wearing in common shower rooms
  • 2-3 pairs of trekking socks ( laundry can be done on the way)
  • 3-4 pairs cotton or cotton blend underwear
  • 2 pairs comfortable, lightweight pants or shorts for hiking
  • 4-5 t-shirts
  • Fleece jacket (to wear at night)
  • Fleece pants (to wear at night)
  • Waterproof rain gear (jacket and pants). Jacket may double as an outer shell or windbreaker jacket for cold weather at higher elevations.
  • Sleep wear

Clothing for Kathmandu and Pokhara:

  • Warm weather, comfortable clothing (loose cotton or new travel fabrics)
  • Clean underwear, sleepwear
  • Few t-shirts, shirts, etc.
  • Two pair long (hiking type) shorts
  • Two pair nicer pants and/or a skirt
  • Swim suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Warm weather, comfortable clothing (loose cotton or new travel fabrics)
  • moleskin (to prevent blisters). Duct tape is the good for preventing blisters (and it's not a bad idea to bring some along anyway, just in case you need to fix a ripped suitcase or a broken walking stick!) Spenco "Second Skin" is excellent once the blister has formed. aspirin/ibuprofen, etc.
  • cold-symptom relief tablets, antihistamine, cough drops
  • sun screen and lip balm with sunscreen
  • Band-Aids
  • Ace bandage
  • antibiotica
  • Prescription for cyprofloxin: This is the antibiotic for bacterial diorreah. It can be bought in Nepal over the counter. Zpak is another all purpose antibiotic.
  • Prescription for diamox for altitude sickness: Although this should not be needed, since we are trekking slowly into high altitude, it is always a good thing to have anyway. It can be bought in Nepal over the counter. Discuss this with your doctor, and make sure you are not allergic to sulfa drugs.
  • prescription medicines in their original bottles
  • Immodium, Lomotil, or similar anti-diarrhoea medicine

Things You Can Purchase in Nepal

  • Maps
  • Language or guide books
  • Local snack foods
  • Wool/fleece hats and sweaters/jackets
  • Trek clothes, including Gortex
  • Local-style clothing in all sizes
  • Western-style, usually all-cotton clothing
  • Extra batteries
  • Film (quality unreliable)
  • Post cards, stamps and books in English
  • Beautiful rugs and crafts

Optional Items

  • Walking stick (although walking sticks are provided on the trek, if you have a favorite "telescoping" walking stick that packs into your suitcase easily, by all means bring it)
  • Camel Back or similar drinking system
  • Short Wave Radio
  • Pictures of your house and family (Nepalese love to see this!)

Last Minute Reminders

  • Make sure serial numbers of traveller's checks and air ticket are recorded and packed separately. Better yet, make photocopies of your airline tickets and the first two pages of your passport and put them in different locations (suitcase, carry-on bag, etc.)
  • Your valuables should be insured for the duration of the trip, better yet, leave them at home (don't wear expensive gold and diamond jewelry)!
  • Remove local credit cards, driver's license, mementos from wallet or purse
  • Make sure passport, tickets, and visas are valid and in the correct name
  • Check with airline to reconfirm reservations and departure time (most airlines want to hear directly from the passenger for confirmations)
  • Bring enough cash to buy drinks and souvenirs along the way and tip staff at the end (please email directly about this to ask the appropriate amount for your trip)
  • Your troubles and worries are all left at home!

About Adventure Travel Today!

Please Read Carefully:

We would like to ensure that all participants understand that our excursions are adventure travel vacations, and not "tours." We define "adventure travel" as travel in which one actively participates, as opposed to a "tour," in which one is more or less a passive observer. The trip is for people who want to experience an active, out of the ordinary vacation, and meet new friends. Most of all, however, we want our trips to be fun!

In this spirit, the successful adventure traveller should be a good-natured realist and have a sense of humour! Adventure vacations, by nature, require that participants be self-sufficient, flexible, and able to accept situations as they exist, and not just as they would have preferred or expected them to exist.

We look forward to seeing you in Nepal. Namaste.

Ker & Downey Nepal

P.O. Box:20764 Bhattachan Complex

2nd Floor, Thirbam Street, Bhatbhateni

Kathmandu -03, Nepal

Telephone: +977 1 4435686 / 4435645

Fax: 977-1-437-7302


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