Welcome to the second post in the Good Trekker series! We are using the words considerate and thoughtful because we believe these are key approaches to make your trek more, fun, safe and memorable. Thinking about and being considerate of your surroundings and the people you interact with is essential for a successful experience.
So here they are, in no particular order, each carrying its own weight:
1. Never litter. Carry a bag for your trash and others,’ then dispose of it all properly.
2. Always walk to the left of stupas, gompas and mani stones. This shows respect for the Buddhist religion.
3. Bring your water bottles and fill them with treated or boiled water. Do not buy plastic bottles. There is no recycling and they pile up everywhere. (But otherwise, spend locally!)
4. Take some time before your trek to learn some local history, and bring a phrase book to practice what you learn with your guides and people you meet. They will appreciate the effort, and it will help connect you to them.
5. Share your trail snacks with others. You’ll make some friends!
6. Always accept an invite to tea. It’s good manners.
7. Allow pack animals the right of way. Never get on a swinging bridge with anything bigger than a dog on it. (Trust us on this one!)
8. Ask before taking someone’s photo. How would you like a stranger coming up and taking your picture???
9. Take your shoes off before going into a monastery, or someone’s home. This is another sign of respect.
10. Come with a great attitude and an open mind. You will leave with an even better one.
Extra credit tip: Don’t poke the guy behind you with your trekking poles when you stop suddenly, bend over and put your poles under your arms. Caution, you all will do this! And it hurts!