10 Things To Know Before Hiking Annapurna Circuit

10 Things To Know Before Hiking Annapurna Circuit

“Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers,” George Carlin once said.

Makes sense?

Well, Nepal is 12,755 kilometers (7,926 Miles) away from New York, that’s roughly 16 hours of flight to the capital, Kathmandu.

Turning up at the airport is exhilarating itself. And, dreaming of enjoying amidst pleasing natural beauty, free from the monotonous lifestyle can be translated into an adventure.

And if you want this sort of adventure, lucky for you, we’ve got your back!

Annapurna Circuit Trekking in the Himalayas will steal the show of your life like a celebrity does on a stage! You may not believe us, but 28,534 tourists who visited the region in 2018 alone can’t be wrong. So we have come up with 10 Things To Know Before Hiking Annapurna Circuit.

To start your adventure to Annapurna, Visit Nepal Tourism Board at Exhibition Road, Kathmandu and ask for TIMS and ACAP.

What’s that?

TIMS stands for the Trekker’s Information Management System, and ACAP is short for the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. You need the two permits to start your journey in the magnificent land of Annapurna.

Also, you don’t have to be an athlete to complete the trek, but it’s worthwhile putting in some hard yards at a gym before you begin.

But easy there, friend!

The following is a list of the 10 things you should know before you take the long walk in Annapurna Circuit Trekking.

1. Go at Your Own Pace

10 Things To Know Before Hiking Annapurna Circuit

One of the most significant things about trekking in the Annapurna Circuit?

It’s not a race!

Embrace this fact and walk at your speed. It will not only guarantee a far more enjoyable experience but also prevent you from becoming over-exhausted.

Walking at a slow steady pace may feel a little unnatural, but you will be grateful for conserving your energy when you reach the upper stretches of the Trail!

2. Do Not Underestimate the Altitude

Above 2,500 meters, altitude sickness can affect anyone regardless of your fitness.

Does that mean you should put off the plan?

Of course not! There are several ways to dodge this. Try the following to avoid altitude sickness. :
  • Know about the symptoms beforehand.
  • Take it slow, the tracks are not going anywhere.
  • Drink a lot of water and keep alcohol for the final celebrations.
  • Don’t smoke at high altitudes.
  • Talk to the guides if you’re not feeling well. They will help you with whatever you need.
  • Do not worry about light headaches and difficulty sleeping, but be aware if they keep on elevating,
  • Finally, carry Diamox, the best medication against altitude sickness.

3. Money in the Bank Won’t Help

Before you start your journey from Kathmandu, make sure you’re loaded with cash.

Wondering why?

Well, because there are no ATMs available along the circuit. Also, the cash machines in Besisahar, where you start your trek are often out of cash or out-of-service.

Also, we highly recommend you carry extra cash apart from your usual allocated budget.

4. Know How to Make Friends and not Offend People

First and foremost, you want to know how to greet the locals. The traditional manner of greeting in Nepal involves placing your palms together in a prayer style and saying ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar.’

This ice-breaker will help you find a common topic to share a convo with the locals. Also, they love adding ‘highest’, ‘deepest’, ‘the most’ or other superlatives in front of their natural landmarks. Ask them once and they will happily suggest a trip you should take.

Also, you can engage in art or wood carving workshops. Most of them are either free or require a minimal amount.

There are a few restaurants that offer painting sessions, a chance to crack a beer open and paint your mind. A creative way to make friends, Eh?

5. Make Sure Someone Knows Your Itinerary

Even if you’re not hiking alone, letting someone know where you’re going is a wise thing to do.

Take time to talk to a trusted friend or family member who will not be on the hike with you. Ensure they know the details of your itinerary, starting time, and call for help if you are worried or you need it.

Carrying an emergency device, such as a SPOT tracker or GPS phone, is another way to stay safe. However, these devices should only be treated as a backup.

They should not be used as an excuse to cut corners on your safety.

6. It’s Long, Hard and Tough

10 Things To Know Before Hiking Annapurna Circuit

‘It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.’ These are the three rules of mountaineering.

No kidding, Annapurna circuit is long, tiring and unforgiving. You will be walking for 13 days straight through some of the stark landscapes, living off carbs, crashing in rock hard beds, and drinking tablet-infused water.

Did I mention that you won’t be able to upload the pics on your Instagram while on the track? There are very few tea-houses with an internet connection.

Inauspicious, Eh?

Well, you will be compensated with the mesmerizing view of two of the world’s highest mountains along with the high-altitude lake Tilicho and the deepest gorge Kali Gandaki. As a bonus, you will witness the panorama of ten famous mountains as well.

Don’t forget to pack your cameras; you will take a lot of pictures! And chances are, you might even start a vlog as soon as you get there.

7. Know your Emergency Numbers

You can encounter natural calamities, as well as man-made disasters while traveling to any place. We suggest tourists be fully acquainted with the kinds of crises/ emergencies they may face before traveling.

In case of emergency (fire, search, and rescue), call 1144. To report safety hazards or conservation emergencies phone the Tourism Crisis Unit hotline at +977-9751044088.

And if you see a group of sick, injured or dead animals, phone the Tourist Police, Thamel hotline at +977-1-4700750. More information on animal encounters can be found on the internet.

8. Be Prepared for Accidents

Pack specialized first aid kits readily available for hikers.

You may have some allergies or other health issues, carry medicines for all possibilities.

It is best not to experiment, especially when in remote places.

Carry medicines for any physical condition you have as you may not find it in Nepal.

Try to avoid unprotected sex or have preventive measures packed in your bag. Remember, no glove, no love!

9. Dal Bhat and Water

REMINDER: Along with the backpack, pack a big appetite!

When trekking in Nepal for weeks, carbs become your ally. You may get tired of eating carbs at every meal, but it is the best time you can get away with it. So my best advice is – enjoy the hell out of it.

And there is no better carb-rich food to have than the ultimate Nepali staple Dal Bhaat.

Also, adequate hydration works wonders for Altitude Sickness.

However, water in taps and streams in the Annapurna Circuit route is not safe to drink. So you need to learn some ways to purify water, like:
  • Water Filters
  • Purifying Tablets
  • Boiling
  • Solar Disinfection

10. Leave No Trace Behind

Nepal is a developing nation, still struggling to keep up with the influx of tourists.

Nepal treasures many areas of natural beauty, and it’s a trekker’s duty to make sure they stay naturally beautiful!

Trekkers should always follow the Leave No Trace Behind Seven Principles:
  • Plan early and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Reuse and Recycle plastic bottles
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others


So there you have it! These are the top 10 things to know before hiking in the Annapurna Circuit.

These 10 tips will give you the inside scoop of what to expect from your visit to Annapurna Circuit and help you get the most out of your thrilling journey.

Prepare to check another box off your bucket list.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy traveling!

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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