Treks vary from short three-day walks across low altitudes to the three-week Snowman Trek that covers 356 kilometers and climbs three of the Kingdom’s highest passes. Not only the overall duration but also the daily walking distances vary substantially according to the different trek routes.
Guiding, Food and Camping
In Bhutan, all trekking supplies – camping equipment, kitchen implements, food – are all carried by pack animals. Porters are rather unusual in Bhutan with loads usually carted by horses or, in higher regions, yaks. All trekkers are accompanied by a guide, a cook and usually at least one horseman or yak herder. With the surest footing; they lead trekking groups across the passes. The horseman and cook will usually run ahead during a trekking day. They will have prepared a packed lunch for hikers and will go on to the night’s resting place to set up camp.
They set up tents, cook dinner and ready the area for arriving trekkers. When trekkers reach the campsite they are greeted with a hot cup of tea and biscuits in the dining tent. After six hours on the mountains, no drink will ever taste sweeter. For dinner the cook will usually prepare a buffet of dishes that are as welcome as they are delicious.
Although trekking gear is available in Bhutan you are advised to bring your own gear.
What to Bring
FOR ALL TREKS
Trekking or running shoes
Camp shoes or thongs
Down or fibre-filled jacket
Jumper or piled jacket
Waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella
T-shirts or blouses
Self Inflating Sleeping Mattress (optional, “normal” mats provided by Bhutanese tour operators)
Torch, batteries and bulbs.
FOR TREKS ABOVE 4000 m
Mountain trekking boots
Socks or wool to wear with boots
Socks, light cotton for under wool socks
Nylon Wind pants
Sun block / Sun block for lips
Medical and first aid kit
While on trek your Bhutanese tour operator will be providing you the following items:
Other camping equipment such as dining tent, toilet tent
Trained cook and other helpers
What you are supplied
Health & Safety
Trekkers are warned that altitude sickness can be a serious problem at the altitudes hiked to in Bhutan. If you feel sick, dizzy or have a worsening headache, stop and drink as much water as possible. If the symptoms persist, go back down the mountain.
Bhutanese guides are trained to look out for altitude sickness and other ailments that can affect trekkers. They are expert walkers who have been trained as trekking guides and follow routes that have been walked for centuries. All trekkers are required to strictly follow trekking rules to protect the fragile environment at high altitudes.