Hiking in Tibet is a fantastic experience – all adventure lovers should plan to do it at least once in their life!
Meet Agness and Cez – travel duo of eTramping.com who have been traveling the world and blogging about it since 2011. They managed to visit Tibet back in 2013 and today they are sharing their top 10 tips and advice for getting the most out of a Tibetan adventure. I am keen to visit Tibet, as it’s meant to be one of the most beautiful and remote places on earth, so I’ll need to be armed with some top tips for trekking in Tibet – so here they are!
Top 10 Tips For Hiking In Tibet
Tibet. Just saying the name aloud conjures up images and feelings of remote beauty, spectacular vistas, snowcapped mountains, friendly, smiling faces, and cold temperatures! It’s a plateau of mystic spiritualism and dramatic landscapes, and a visit here will live long in the memory.
For us, it is simply the most beautiful place we have ever seen, but it took careful preparation and planning to get there. However, leaving aside for a moment the visa logistics, we put together a bite-sized tip list for hiking in Tibet, an incredible part of the world. Don’t forget your mittens!
Cardio, cardio, cardio
Now don’t get us wrong, we’re sure that even a two-packs-a-day smoker can still have an awesome time, but it’s just that we wouldn’t advise it. If one struggles to climb a set of stairs, this is off limits! Our number one piece of advice for hiking in Tibet is to ensure to be physically able to, so as not to risk life and limb in the roof of the world!
Get a guide
Having a good guide book is a great idea, but having an actual guide (or going on a guided tour) is even better! You really don’t want to hike this alone (in fact, I never recommend hiking alone and you can ready why here). Utilize local knowledge and get all the vital information such as when to go, where to go, how to go and even what to wear! Tibet Vista is a good tour operator specialized on adventure tours of Tibet and can help making hiking in Tibet an unforgettable experience.
For more tips on how to pack efficiently, check out this post.
They’ll be able to show the best sights to see and what routes to take while keeping safe at the same time. We highly recommend it, especially when going on a more challenging hike.
Having the right equipment is essential when hiking in Tibet. We don’t advise to be even thinking about climbing that mountain wearing only flip-flops and board shorts – just because one has just flown in from India doesn’t mean that s/he can keep the same clothes! Invest in some decent trekking gear, including solid, waterproof boots, pants, and jacket, and walking poles are an extremely good idea.
It’s impossible to boast the world’s highest mountain unless one is pretty high up! One of the biggest dangers in hiking in Tibet is the altitude, and altitude sickness is a very real and life-threatening danger. Whenever trekking at any height (which will happen in Tibet) it is necessary to ascend gradually and acclimatize to the pressure, and watch out for any kind of nausea or feeling unwell.
Take things easy, rest often and don’t push yourself too hard. It’s far too risky, so stay at a comfortable pace!
Pack the right kind of food
Going with a tour guide (which we highly recommended) means having all the necessary food arrangements taken care of. However it doesn’t hurt to have some prior knowledge of what should be packed when hiking in Tibet. Although one might not get what they are used to, dried fruits, chocolate and noodles can be perfect for snacking. And don’t forget the water, which will be needed to ensure it is safe to drink.
Sunblock and sunglasses
It’s incredible how often this one gets overlooked! Sunlight at these high altitudes can be devastating to the skin, so make sure to put sunblock on exposed areas when hiking in Tibet. And don’t forget the sunglasses – the glare of bright sunlight off the white snow is painfully blinding!
Get a decent tent
It is necessary to have somewhere to bed down for the night when hiking in Tibet, so it is better to get a good tent and sleeping bag, and make sure the tent is fit for extreme conditions, so that one used to go to Glastonbury isn’t going to cut it. Sleeping bags should be all-weather too. Remember it gets cold up there!
Yaks are cool. These gentle beasts will help transport gear through rocky mountain passes like nobody’s business. When planning a lengthy trek, consider investing in a friendly, hairy companion – it definitely helps when hiking in Tibet!
Be prepared for anything
It’s virtually impossible to predict what’s going to happen when setting foot outside the front door, and this is certainly the case when one is hiking in Tibet, much of an alien land! It is better to make sure to be packing a good first aid kit and a flashlight. Consider purchasing a GPS locator too, in case of getting into real difficulty – as emergency services can find you easily.
Don’t forget that camera because it’s simply unthinkable not to take some amazing pictures to remember that trip of a lifetime: we surely made some friends for life when we went hiking in Tibet – so open up to an amazing experience and soak it all in!
With a little bit of careful preparation and planning, hiking in Tibet is one of the most memorable travel experiences one could ever hope to have, but remember to stay safe and comfortable at all times. Believe us – it’s an unforgettable journey to this wild land, an essential destination one shouldn’t miss. Once one has trekked Tibet – he’ll never be the same again!