So there you are, covered in sweat, legs aching, gasping for breath and wondering to yourself: If this is just the beginning of this trek, how much longer do I have to live? And what does “breathable Gore Tex” mean? Feeling like you are wrapped in a plastic bag as you drip into your boots, you don’t think you or your jacket is truly breathing anymore.
As you reach the top of a small hill, (a “Sherpa flat,” or a mountain, in your terms) you see a building ahead, along with rock walls and curious painted stones called mani stones lining the trail. The building is the museum for the Sagmartha National Park, complete with bathrooms out back, just in time to relieve the cramping pain that is threatening a major accident at any moment. You stagger to a sign you notice ahead of you, a girl dressed for the trail that says,”The Model Trekker.” Huh, and what would that be?
Welcome to a new series of posts for Musa Masala, where we will talk about becoming that model trekker. The point is to help you get there before you go to Nepal, or wherever you may travel, and get on the trail. We hope to make your adventure much more enjoyable by helping to keep you healthy, happy and fit for the time of your life. We have experts in climbing, hiking, travel and medicine here to sort all this out for you.
We are going to break this series up into several posts, on such topics as what to wear, what to bring and what not to wear or bring! You’ll learn how to trek comfortably and how to stay healthy and keep from getting gastrointestinal illnesses. A primer in basic altitude illnesses and how to keep from experiencing that misery. How to keep well hydrated and how some medications can interfere with acclimatization and hydration.
We will talk about trail etiquette and how knowledge of local customs can make you and your fellows more welcome due to your actions—an important part of that being helping the local economy by spending on the trail and staying in the local establishments.
All of us here at Musa Masala are wishing you the best time. You have an opportunity to see one of the most beautiful places on Earth and meet some of the most special people, from the local population to your porters and guides, to the other trekkers around you. By staying healthy and being properly prepared, you will be able to enjoy your journey to the fullest.