Independent Trekking works without an agency. This means that guide and client interact directly, resulting in custom-made itineraries that suit every budget and interest.
Nepal offers an infinite variety of choices for your trekking adventure far beyond the fixed itineraries that most agencies offer. Your guide will consider your personal interests, whether they are focused on mountain scenery, rafting, nature exploration, cultural experiences, or all of the above.
Is independent trekking more expensive?
Definitely not. Your guide will work with you throughout the planning process and will consider your budget carefully. He will offer choices ranging from small to large groups, from low-budget accommodations to all-inclusive camping trips that offer any imaginable creature comfort.
Because there is no agency overhead, your budget will be only used for your travel expenses, and it guarantees that guide and porters will be paid fairly. The stiff competition between agencies often makes this difficult.
Are the services of an independent guide more limited?
On the contrary. If you are coming to Nepal for the first time, your guide will arrange for accommodations in Kathmandu, pick you up at the airport, escort you to your hotel, and even show you the sights in this remarkable ancient city and its surroundings. He can show you good places to eat, to shop, or where to enjoy the local culture outside the tourist bustle. And since he is not bound by agency preferences, he can help you avoid the “tourist markup” at every step of the way.
Throughout the trekking journey he can make his own decisions regarding ad-hoc itinerary changes or emergencies. Sometimes agencies send out their guides with a bare-bones cash allowance, which can result in an unfortunate budget crisis. An independent guide has more freedom to allocate his resources to ensure that such problems never arise.
His extensive experience enables him to choose top-quality staff for your journey, should your group itinerary require it. He will provide porters, kitchen and security staff for camping expeditions, and climbing sherpas for higher peak adventures. And of course he will ensure that all staff is paid fairly and provided with proper equipment, clothing, and insurance.
Jagat Lama has had a lifetime of experience walking the mountains in Nepal. He is a native Gurung from a small village in a remote area where everything, including schools, is only accessible by walking long distances. He is college-educated and speaks excellent English.
He has been a licensed trekking guide since 1996, covering all areas of Nepal. He is intimately familiar with all local casts and customs along the trails and will share with you many cultural insights that are not covered in any guidebook. You may even learn some Nepali from him, so that when you return from your adventure you will have gained an understanding of this fascinating country and her lovely people.
Jagat cares deeply about his country and people. He has dedicated a lot of his time over many years as a volunteer for an organization that provides a quality education, books, food, shelter and clothing for the street children in Kathmandu.
In his spare time he is a singer of Nepali folk songs, has published four albums, and is currently working on his second music video. Please see “An Interview with Jagat Lama” for more information on him and his personal philosophy on responsible trekking.
What do I need to bring on a trek?
Depending on the area and season, your guide will provide you with a comprehensive list of necessities. He will also help you purchase or rent gear from any of the vast trekking gear stores in Kathmandu. Almost everything is available here at much lower prices you may pay in your home country, and he will be able to help you decide what to bring from home and what to acquire in Nepal.
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