Tips for Successful Annapurna Circuit Trek

By Glorious Himalaya on March 25, 2023 in Travel Tips, Trekking

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the best trekking destinations in Nepal if you like scenic treks from the first day to the last. It is a moderate to challenging trek, but if you know some important tips during the ACT, it can make your trek a bit more fun and less challenging.

Like Everest and Annapurna Base Camp, it has been attracting many tourists from all over the world. It is one of the major attractions for the Annapurna region. The Annapurna Circuit Trek finishes at an elevation of 5416m. The height elevation of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is in Lo-Manthang.

So, if you are considering trekking in the mountains at over 5000m, you must be prepared. Here are certain tips for a successful Annapurna Trek that will help you during your trek.

Tips for Successful Annapurna Circuit Trek

Plan your itinerary

Plan your Annapurna circuit trek

Planning your itinerary is very important for your trek. Sometimes, foreseen and unforeseen difficulties can hinder your trek. Preparing for them will eliminate any familiar challenges and also prepare you for unforeseen events.

Planning for the trek includes getting prior information on permits, routes, accommodations, weather conditions, and local transportation. So let’s get into it.

Routes

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is long and is not very easy to trek. In some parts, there are roads with pitch pavement, but in others, you must climb stairs or make a steep ascent. It covers almost 200m, depending on which route you take, which means you have to spend at least 14-15 days in the routes.

Hence, it is important to research the route and its various sections, the distance covered daily, and the elevation gain. This will help you prepare mentally and physically for the trek and help you plan your itinerary. Here is a standard outline itinerary. Glorious Himalayan can provide a customized itinerary for your Annapurna Circuit Trek.

  • Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Syange (1100m/3608ft) via Besisahar: 9 hours drive
  • Day 02: Trek to Dharapani – (1960m / 6430ft) 7-8 hrs
  • Day 03: Trek to Chame (2710m/8891ft) 7-8 hours
  • Day 04: Trek to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft): 5 – 6 hours
  • Day 05: Trek to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 – 7 hours
  • Day 06: Acclimatization Day
  • Day 07: Trek to Yak Kharka (4,110m/13,484ft): 3 – 4 hours
  • Day 08: Trek to Thorang Phedi: (4420m/14501ft): 3-4 hours)
  • Day 09: Trek to Muktinath (3,800/12,467ft) via Thorong La (5,416m/17764ft): 7 – 8 hours trek
  • Day 10: Trek to Jomsom (2800m / 9186ft) via Kagbeni – 6-7 hrs trek
  • Day 11: Fly to Pokhara: 25 minutes
  • Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu: 6-7 hours

You can also add the Tilicho Lake Trek to this, which will require 3 extra days from Manang.

Permits

Annapurna conservation area trek permit
Tims card for trekkers

Every foreign trekker must obtain the necessary permits to enter the Annapurna region. Hence, you must constantly research and get your permits before trekking. You must have two important permits in the TIMS card for the Annapurna region: the Trekkers Information Management System and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). These permits can be obtained from Kathmandu’s tourist trek permit center or Pokhara. They will cost NRS 3,000 for ACAP and NRS 2,000 for TIMS card fees.

Start training early

Annapurna circuit trek training

Another vital tip for trekking to Annapurna Base Camp is to get physically strong and raise your stamina levels. You must start training for the trek early to be physically fit and raise your stamina levels. Generally, starting your physical fitness training 2-3 months early will increase your physical endurance level. The training for the trek also strengthens your joints, muscles, and even your heartbeat, making it easier to climb high altitudes.

The trek involves walking for several hours daily, often at high altitudes with thin air and rugged terrain. Therefore, without proper prior preparation, you may be unable to complete this trek. By starting your training several months ago, you’ll have time to gradually build your endurance, strengthen your muscles and joints, and adapt to the high altitude.

You must prepare well to enjoy a safe and comfortable trek and minimize the risk of injury. One of the best ways to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is through regular hiking, cardio, and strength training exercises. Always seek advice from a doctor or fitness expert before starting any new workout routine. During your training period, make sure to keep yourself hydrated and well-fed.

Get a guide

Get a guide

Guides are important for the Annapurna Circuit Trek and any trekking spot in Nepal. Some treks are easier, but others are extremely hard. Hiring a guide is important for hard trekking spots like the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Furthermore, starting in April 2023, hiring a guide has become compulsory. Hiring a guide is better for smooth trekking and the security of the trekkers. With a guide, the navigation also won’t be any problem.

They are familiar with the terrain, weather conditions, and potential hazards. This can be especially helpful if you’re trekking in Nepal during the monsoon season or winter when weather conditions can be unpredictable.

In addition to providing navigation support, guides can offer valuable insights into local culture and history. They can share stories about the local communities, their customs, and their way of life. This can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the region, making your trekking experience more meaningful and memorable.

Furthermore, hiring a guide can also help support the local economy. Many guides are from the local communities and rely on trekking tourism for their livelihood. By hiring a guide, you’re not only supporting them financially, but you’re also contributing to the sustainability of the local economy.

When hiring a guide, it’s essential to choose someone knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy. Look for someone licensed, speaks your language, and has good reviews from previous clients.

Pack light and smart

Light packlist for Annapurna circuit trek

Packing light and smart for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, you’ll be carrying your belongings for several days on the trek, so you’ll want to ensure your backpack isn’t too heavy. A heavy backpack can cause discomfort, fatigue, and even injury, making the trek more challenging and less enjoyable.

Secondly, the trek involves walking long distances daily, often at high altitudes, which can be physically demanding. Packing light can help reduce the strain on your body, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably on the trek. Packing only the essentials and leaving any unnecessary items that will add weight to your backpack is important.

Finally, packing smart means bringing the right gear and clothing for the trek. This includes warm layers, waterproof gear, sturdy hiking boots, and a good-quality backpack. It’s essential to research the weather and terrain conditions along the trek and pack accordingly. This can help keep you comfortable and safe on the trek.

Be prepared for weather changes

Ready to tackle with the situations

When embarking on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, it’s important to remember that the weather in the mountains can be highly unpredictable. The temperature fluctuates rapidly, and conditions change instantly, so it’s essential to pack appropriately.

The weather is one of the most important things to consider when packing for the trek. The region experiences distinct seasons, each with its climatic conditions. The spring and autumn are generally considered the best times to trek, as the weather is mild and stable.

If you’re trekking in the winter, the weather can be more extreme, with snow and icy conditions making the trek more challenging. Packing warm layers, including a down jacket, gloves, a hat, and thermal underwear, is essential. You should also bring waterproof and windproof gear, including a good-quality rain jacket and pants, to protect you from the elements.

In addition to clothing, it’s also important to consider your equipment and gear. You’ll need a sturdy pair of hiking boots with an excellent grip to navigate the rugged terrain. It’s also essential to bring a high-quality backpack that fits well and is comfortable, as you’ll be carrying it for several days.

Acclimatize properly

Acclimatize well at Manang

Acclimatization is a crucial part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and it’s important to take the time to acclimatize properly to the high altitudes to avoid altitude sickness. On this trek, we suggest taking a rest day at Manang for better acclimatization before attempting Throng La Cross. Altitude sickness is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur when you ascend too quickly to high altitudes without allowing your body to adjust. To avoid altitude sickness, it’s important to acclimatize properly by ascending gradually and allowing your body time to adjust to the high altitude. This means taking rest days and staying hydrated, as well as avoiding alcohol and smoking, which can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Respect the Environment and Culture

Rest their culture

When trekking through the Annapurna Circuit, it’s important to remember that you are a guest in someone else’s home. The route passes through many villages inhabited by diverse ethnic groups, each with customs and traditions. To show respect for the local culture, take the time to learn about their customs and beliefs. Dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing, which can be disrespectful in some cultures. Be polite When interacting with locals and ask permission before taking photographs.

Another important way to show respect for the environment is by minimizing your impact on the natural surroundings. Refrain from littering and dispose of all waste properly. Bring reusable water bottles and water purification tablets to avoid contributing to the plastic pollution problem in the region.

Bring cash

Bring cash

It’s important to remember that there are no ATMs along the Annapurna Circuit Trail, so it’s essential to bring enough to cover your expenses. This includes food, accommodation, and any unexpected expenses that may arise. On the first day at Besisahar, you can withdraw cash from ATMs, but it would be better if you brought it from Kathmandu.

There will also be an ATM service in Jomsom at the end of this trek, but they might be out of service frequently.  It’s also wise to carry small denominations, as larger bills can be difficult to change in some places. Normally, you will need 20-30 dollars each day for your food and accommodation. However, if you are an alcoholic lover and like to have bakery items, you may need some extra amount. Be sure to calculate how much money you’ll need for the trek and bring a bit extra as a contingency.

Bring Portable Power Banks & Solar Lights

Portable power bank

The Annapurna Circuit trek is remote, and electricity is not always available along the route. Bringing power banks ensures that you can keep your electronic devices, such as your phone or camera, charged, which is essential for communicating and capturing memories.

Solar lights can provide a reliable light source in the event of a power outage or if you need to navigate in the dark. They are particularly useful at higher altitudes, where darkness falls early and temperatures can drop significantly. Also, bringing a solar light is a sustainable and eco-friendly option that reduces the need for disposable batteries or non-renewable energy sources. It also helps to reduce waste and pollution along the trekking route.

Walk Slowly & Stay Hydrated

Walk slowly

The Annapurna Circuit trek involves long hours of walking and ascending steep inclines, which can be physically demanding. Walking slowly helps conserve energy and reduces the risk of exhaustion, allowing you to enjoy the trek without getting too tired or burnt out. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining your physical performance and avoiding dehydration, which can lead to headaches, dizziness, and other health issues. Drinking enough water also helps prevent altitude sickness by keeping your body hydrated and allowing it to function properly at higher altitudes.

Be prepared for unexpected events

The Annapurna Circuit Trek can be unpredictable, and it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality. One of the best ways to do this is by carrying a well-stocked first aid kit. This should include essentials like bandages, painkillers, and anti-diarrhea medication. It’s also important to bring a portable phone charger, as power outlets can be limited along the trek. In an emergency, purchasing travel insurance covering trekking at high altitudes is wise. This will provide peace of mind and ensure you’re covered in an accident or illness.

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