Before trekking Nepal we need to all ask ourselves “How can I hike responsibly?” Here’s some advice from our good friends at KEEP – the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project in Nepal, on how to be a responsible trekker in their beautiful mountainous land:
* Pack adequate warm clothes so as not to depend on fires for warmth.
* For women a mid-calf length skirt or loose trousers, and for men trousers or knee-length shorts (long trousers in monasteries) are respectful of local customs.
* Carry a plastic bag for litter and carry out all non-biodegradable items. Paper should be burnt discretely and not in the cooking fire.
* Cooking dahl bhaat takes less fuel. Order the same meals at the same time as other trekkers.
* Please don’t give to begging children.
* Pay fair prices for food, lodging and services. Buying local products benefits hill economies, but buying antiques and artifacts robs Nepal of its culture.
* Be respectful when photographing people. Always establish a friendly rapport and ask first and please don’t pay any money.
* No nudity when bathing. Women should wear a sarong covering them from chest to knees. Don’t use soaps in the streams and throw any soapy water well away from the high water mark.
* Take hot showers only when the water is heated by non-wood or fuel-efficient stoves.
* Carry a water bottle and purify water using iodine. 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, is used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes. Longer in very cold weather.
* Stick to the main trails to prevent erosion.
* Respect and thank your host for their welcome.
The Intrepid Foundation is proud to support the valuable work of KEEP – please click here for more information on how you can help make a difference.
* photo by Chetan Patec – Intrepid Photography Competition