Nepal is a captivating paradise for thrill-seekers, teeming with abundant biodiversity and cultural heritage. From the dense forests to towering mountain peaks, Nepal offers exciting opportunities for hikers, trekkers and climbers alike. The number of adventurous tourists who flock there each year continues to grow as its rugged trails become increasingly accessible – creating a vibrant culture around exploring this untamed land!
However, Trekking is not only about the thrill of exploring new places – but also understanding our social and environmental responsibility. By appreciating local customs, and being aware of how your actions affect others, you will gain a deeper insight into unfamiliar cultures while preserving these environments for future adventurers to experience in all their glory.
For those looking to explore the wonders of nature, being a responsible trekker is essential for enhancing social and environmental connections. Here are a few tips to make your journey more sustainable:
1. Greet the porters with kindness
Trekking has its highs and lows. While the majestic landscapes take you away from the everyday hustles and bustles, we cannot ignore the physical hardship involved in the journey.
Imagine carrying all the weight on your shoulders while you walk miles and miles on a rugged path. At times, you may want to walk freely without any extra burden to carry. That’s when local porters become heroic!
The local porters will be by your side like guardian angels to help you carry all the heavy bags and luggage along the way. Furthermore, they will also have good knowledge about the local culture and exciting stories to keep you engaged.
A good bond with the porters will surely enrich your trekking experience. Hence, ensure you greet the porters with kindness and a good smile. It requires zero practice to stay modest and kind. However, be mindful of their endurance level and express humility while you give weights; after all, they are also a fellow traveler making your journey easier. Lastly, paying them fair wages and appreciating their hard work are some sweetest gestures to demonstrate humbleness.
2. Pay fair prices
Tourism helps the trekkers and travelers experience serenity and uplifts the lives of many locals who work as porters, vendors, and business people in such trekking areas. Our adventure is a way of making income for them. Therefore, we must make sure that no one is ever underpaid. Thus, one of the prime focuses of responsible trekking has to be elevating the life of the locals as well.
3. Control of Porter’s Weight
Porters are a valuable part of any trekking experience, ensuring visitors see the full beauty of nature. It’s crucial to ensure they’re not straining themselves with heavy loads – according to standards, no more than 28 kg should be given to carry safely and without risk. If you witness an organizer providing your porter too much weight during your adventure, take action and speak up!
4. Be respectful while capturing those picturesque photos
Trekking allows travelers to store memories from all the places they visit. From rolling hills of natural beauty and tales of cultural attractions to architectural wonders and locals’ daily lives – it’s a journey one won’t soon forget. Despite the joy that photography can bring, it is essential to recognize when capturing moments should not be done. It’s vital to respect areas where taking pictures is off-limits and seek permission before snapping any shots of individuals who may not enjoy being photographed.
5. Stick to the main trails
For curious explorers, seeking new things to experience and walking the unknown path is exciting and enthralling. However, it is always advised to stick to the main trail to ensure one’s safety in a place with scarce habitat. We wouldn’t urge you if you are an expert and an experienced trekker, but you can always try multiple trails.
As a responsible trekker, one needs to constantly remember that they are traveling in untouched and isolated places, which are the habitat of wild animals. Hence, it’s always wise to exercise caution alongside the thrill. It is preferable to stick to main trails rather than off-the-beaten paths.
6. Use Eco-friendly products
The health of the mountains and trails depends on trekkers’ and travelers’ activities. Unfortunately, the Mountains and the trekking areas face a major environmental issue due to the mismanagement of waste, especially plastics. This has adversely impacted the ecosystem of the mountains.
Since these regions are less accessible to people and organizations regularly, littering carelessly can become a significant problem contributing to global warming. So, it is advisable to carry eco-friendly products such as reusable bottles, toxin-free wipes, etc.
You will have access to taps and plenty of water sources while trekking. So, carrying your water bottle that can be refilled and reused solves half of the problems.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to carry a separate trash bag for all your garbage so that you can collect all non-degradable materials like cans and plastic bottles and discard them at the right place. The best would be to carry them back.
7. Respect the local culture and traditions
Having different cultures, traditions, and languages residing in different corners of this mountainous landlocked country, one needs to be mindful not to disrespect the feelings of anyone. Hence, as responsible trekkers, you should be aware of shared customs and cultural practices. Like, you are greeting the passersby with a simple smile and joining your hands to say “Namaste.” Similarly, religious places like temples, gumbas, monasteries, etc., prohibit shoes on their premises showing respect to the deities that reside there.
Likewise, proper utensils like spoons and forks might not be available in rural areas. Although it might seem unusual, eating local dishes like Daal- bhat, tarkari, dhido, etc., tastes even better when eaten with your bare hands, embracing and assimilating the local culture. Following these customs may seem like a small gesture, but it would matter much to the locals.
One is not expected to know everything about Nepal’s diverse cultures. However, it is essential to understand basic courtesy to ensure you don’t disrespect the locals. If possible, you can learn the basics of their language and culture, such as salutations like greeting namaste, good morning, and thank you. It shows your humility and gratitude towards them, which they will appreciate for a lifetime.
It’s not just about you while trekking. It’s about nature, the landscapes, the flora, the fauna, the beautiful trails, and the lovely locals. So, to ensure the sustainability of such rich landscapes, we need to take responsibility and adopt sustainable practices. Don’t forget to have fun while becoming a responsible trekker!
Wild Yak Expeditions, the best trekking company in Nepal, emphasizes the importance of being a responsible trekker. We firmly believe by being an accountable and responsible traveler, each individual contributes to the protection of local communities, natural habitats, and unrivaled biodiversity. It’s easy to be socially conscious while having fun.
Take in the breathtaking views of Nepal while embarking on one of the best treks in Nepal! Discover fantastic routes, insider tips, and preparedness information inside.