We had a lot of trouble finding information on the Net about taking kids trekking in Nepal, so hopefully this will help other families thinking of booking with you.
We did the Everest View trek with our three children – 11 year old girl and twin 7 year old boys. We were very apprehensive before going because we didn’t know how the kids would cope with altitude and the rigours of trekking in a developing country – and no parent wants to put their child in danger – but we had one of the best holidays ever.
We chose this trek because it gave us more days to view Everest than similar treks offered by other companies seemed to, and we wanted to make sure we could see Everest even if we had a couple of days of bad weather. As it turned out, we were very lucky to have perfect blue sky weather pretty much the whole time, but we still found the length of the trip and duration of hiking each day spot on.
The accommodation was comfortable, although becomes more basic the further from Lukla you go – as you would expect in a place where every single thing has to be carried in (ironically the accommodation at Lukla was one of the worse places, although we were too tired by then to worry much about it). Food was tasty, plentiful and clean, although a bit repetitive after a while for the kids who stuck to pasta, pizza, eggs, and fried rice/noodles. Our guide Homnath was fantastic, he has children of his own so was able to bond and manage ours easily. The trekking time for us each day was as outlined in the schedule. The trek gave us great views of Everest and surrounding mountains.
Based on our experience, my advice to parents considering trekking with kids would be to:
- Know you kids’ ability. We really wanted to go a year ago, but our boys were then 6 and we felt they were too young. Now however, we were confident they could do this trek, and they did. We didn’t do any hiking or training beforehand, we just relied on natural kid fitness and they were fine. Everyone is different though.
- Get a horse. We had a horse for 4 of the 8 days – the hardest days with the most uphill bits – and they took turns riding (being led by a local) and walking. Our kids could have done it all walking, but it would have been really hard and they would have had no fun and ended up hating trekking. The horse gave them something to look forward to, made it easier for them, and I think helped them avoid altitude problems because they didn’t have to work quite as hard.
- Buy stuff in Kathmandu. We had a lot of trouble finding kids’ trekking clothes (mainly the outer shell) and when we did it was really expensive – we didn’t want to pay a lot of money for clothes they will wear once before growing out of, but didn’t want to put them in danger by not having the right clothes. We ended up buying everything at home, but wish we had bought it in Kathmandu on the day before our trek – there are hundreds of shops in Thamel selling this stuff, and it looked like they had plenty of kids’ sizes.
- Leave the gadgets at home. We banned iphones, ipads, ipods, and spent the time playing cards, writing, reading and talking. Magic.
Thanks again to Homnath for his help.
Chris and Jenny and family.