Camping in the lap of the Himalaya holds a big space in one of the bucket lists for many adventurers. The trekking to the mountains at high altitude is already a challenge to which staying at tents act as the icing on the cake. Where the guesthouses are made up of concrete walls, the tented camps are totally different and provides a new experience to all the trekkers. The accommodation at tents is wild, fun, adventurous and a lifetime experience all in all. So before you head on to the trails to the Himalayas, there are few things you must know about the tented camps.
Room and Bed in tented camps
Well there are no rooms separated by walls as in the teahouses and no beds in the rooms. However, the tents are provided with a comfortable and thick mattress and a pillow. The tents are waterproof and comfortable accommodating 2 individuals in one tent. They are usually quite spacious for two individuals to fit in. There are no blankets to keep oneself warm thus carrying a warm sleeping bag is mandatory.
The interiors of the tented camp (Image Source: Kathrin & Stefan Marks)
Sleeping in tents can be quite a bonus especially to enjoy a starry night and a great morning view the next morning.
Dining Hall (Tent) and Food
For the preparation of food, camping cooks with helpers go along in the trek. They are the ones hitting the trails earlier than the trekkers in order to setup the kitchen tents, camping tents, dining tents etc. before the arrival of the trekkers. Not only that, they are able to prepare the food items on time as well. The number of camping cooks, helpers and porters depend upon the size of the group.
The food items which cannot be found in the mountain trails are carried from Kathmandu itself whereas the local vegetables are bought on the trail then and there. The food items are fresh, rightly cooked and healthy. The breakfast menu includes toast, omelets, boiled egg, muesli, oat, porridge, cornflakes, tea, milk, French toasts etc. The lunch menu includes sandwich, chips, canned fish, tuna, ham, hot dog, sausage, salad, Tibetan bread, parathas, cinnamon roll, spaghetti, macaroni etc. The dinner menu includes momo, macaroni, vegetarian spring roll, fry potato, soup, Nepali thali (rice, lentil, curry) etc. The food items is prepared as per the routine and the items are not repeated quite often.
Ready to eat
Talking about the dining hall, a dining tent is setup, the size depending upon the number of individuals in the group. The tents also facilitate a portable and folding chairs and tables for a comfortable meal. There are no charcoal heaters as in the communal halls in teahouses however if allowed a bonfire can be set up outside to warm up your body.
Electricity, Charging Points and Wi-Fi
To no surprise, there are no electricity supply while residing in a tented camp. The camping cooks carry portable battery charging emergency lights and enough candles for the trek. Thus, the best idea is to carry a torch for proper visibility, safety and especially during night hours.
Charging mobile phones, camera batteries etc. is not possible since there is no electricity. Carrying a power bank or a portable solar panel can be of good help throughout the stay. However, if the stay will be near to some village, the villagers might help charge the mobile phones and cameras if certain amount of money is paid. There are no Wi-Fi facilities as well. If there is proper network, using the cellular data is recommended.
In case of no mobile phones, our guides will be equipped with a satellite phone or a local mobile phone from which calls can be made. The trekkers can be in regular contact with the office at Kathmandu with their phone. If international calls are to be made, you may do so by paying certain amount of money to the guide.
Toilets and Shower
A toilet and a shower tent during the camping treks are setup separately. The toilet tents are quite basic as a hole is dug in the ground to make squat toilets. The toilets are accessed with tent pockets where toilet papers can be stored. In all cases the toilet papers may not be provided which is why carrying the toiletries like toilet paper, hand sanitizer by the trekkers themselves is recommended.
The Shower tents also consist of tent pockets where soap, shampoo, towel can be stored during the shower. For a hot shower, the camping cooks can help prepare a warm bucket of water for which extra charges like in guesthouses will not be applicable. The helper will provide a bucket of warm water for a hot shower in the shower tent.
The toilet and shower tents
The toilet and shower tents are carried and shifted to the next destination every day. Carrying a torch light for the night time is mandatory during the tented accommodation.
These are few of the things that a traveler must be aware about before heading on the trails of the mountains and opting for a tented accommodation.