Trekking in Nepal is incredibly rewarding on many levels. However, your ongoing health and well-being during our retreats is our primary concern. Outlined below are areas that you will need to take special care with. And please feel free to contact us if you have any special concerns or queries.
Essential - medical certificate: Upon your confirmation to attend a retreat with Sahasi Mahila Treks, we will need you to provide proof of fitness to participate in the form of a doctor’s certificate. This must be submitted to us PRIOR TO RETREAT DEPARTURE. You can read more about this requirement in our Terms and Conditions.
The retreat leader and Yoga instructor will both have updated Senior First Aid certificates and we’ll be carrying a first aid kit. The yoga instructor on our Yoga & Trekking Retreat is also a Registered Nurse. However, this doesn’t guarantee your health on the trekking trail. As we progress on the trek and extend into more remote areas, we’ll be increasingly further away from medical assistance. So, while we don’t wish to alarm you, there are a few points to consider while trekking in order to stay healthy so you can enjoy your retreat!
Altitude sickness is a very real and serious risk when trekking to altitudes above 3,000m. At the least, it can make your trekking experience memorable for all the wrong reasons; at worst, it can be fatal. Therefore, there is a dedicated Altitude Sickness page which discusses this topic in more detail.
Trekking involves consecutive days of walking, sometimes up to 20 km per day. Therefore, it is vital to ensure proper foot care, in order to make your trekking experience pleasant, and to avoid unnecessary (and potentially very painful) foot or toe injuries. Note the following:
Wear good quality, well-fitted, broken-in shoes. While you can easily and cheaply find most of the gear you need for your trek in Kathmandu, if there is one thing you invest that little bit extra on, it should be a pair of good quality, comfortable trekking shoes, which are waterproof, have a good sole, fit correctly and support your feet and ankles. Running shoes are not suitable for trekking. Buying your shoes a couple of months before your trek will also mean you can start to break them in and deal with any issues before you set foot on the trekking trail.
Lace your boots properly, in order to fully support your feet and ankles for long days of trekking.
Clip your toenails properly.
Care for your feet with powders, creams and tapes that work for you personally, to keep your feet in tip-top shape and prevent the formation of blisters. You need to experiment with this one a bit, but you’ll be glad you did!
Wear the right socks, generally a two layer combination. A thin, skin-tight moisture wicking pair, and a wool or wool mix outer pair. Wear them both inside-out to prevent the stitching in the toes of the sock from rubbing against your toenails.
Take care of sensitive hot-spots and blisters. You can buy specially designed blister plasters, however our personal experience is that on long treks these can actually cause more harm. These plasters are generally designed to stay on the blister and act as a second skin until they fall off. However, with constant rubbing from trekking boots they sometimes can get pulled off before the blister is properly healed.
The above points are summarised extracts. Read this article for all the information you need to know about effective foot care while trekking.
As we’ll be trekking for up to 20 km a day in physically demanding conditions, it is absolutely vital to ensure you maintain hydration. Even though we’ll be trekking during autumn, and you might not feel hot or sweaty, adequate hydration is crucial to maintaining your health at high altitudes. We recommend drinking anywhere from 2-5 litres of water per day. Please see our Life on the Trekking Trail page for more information on how to obtain safe drinking water.
Sun and skin care
This area of care probably seems obvious, but we need to draw your attention to it, as your skin needs to be cared for during the trek. No one likes sunburn, and if you’ve ever been skiing, you’ll know how badly the sun can burn, reflecting from the snow. Ensure you look after your skin by applying a good sunblock to your face, neck and hands (and any other areas of exposed skin), as well as wearing a hat and sunglasses. Sun exposure to your eyes can cause snow blindness, and it isn’t usually until later in the evening that the discomfort of snow blindness becomes apparent. From experience, we can tell you that this isn’t comfortable, and is certainly not something you want to experience while trekking!
Although we encourage you to pack light, having a small tube of body moisturiser or hand cream is also recommended for taking care of skin that has become dry or flakey by the cold and windy weather.
You CAN trek while menstruating! However, the sanitary products available in Nepal are not the most comfortable, and are generally limited to napkins and liners. Tampons are definitely harder to come by, and you won’t have the same range of choice that is available in Western countries. If you think you’ll be menstruating during the time of our retreat, we recommend that you bring your own sanitary supplies from home. We’ll discuss disposal options at our group meeting prior to trekking. If you prefer to use reusable options, like a menstrual cup, then that is perfectly fine too but please consider how you will empty and clean your cup!
If you are someone who experiences pain or discomfort during menstruation, and find it is easily alleviated with common over-the-counter medications (like paracetamol or ibuprofen), we recommend that you carry these with you, as we cannot administer medications to our retreat participants. We do not recommend taking pain-relieving medication at altitudes above 3000m, as it is important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, which can include headache.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any special concerns or queries about your health.