trekking in Nepal

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<p>We are planning to trek in Nepal March or April 2011. Has anyone used Mountain Monarch for there trek in Nepal. Any suggestions about travel to Nepal welcomed, what to pack etc... Plan on flying into Lukla and trekking from there for 8 days or so, not to Base Camp. </p>

Re: some Nepal suggestions.
I copied and kept this post submitted by a member named "Jack" in September 2009 on one of the earlier boards (messages no longer available) This info. was very useful when I did my own trip to Nepal and I hope it will be to you too. This info.might have come from the company he was traveling with:
Cameras: We ask that you bring only one camera. Any camera may be bashed about on an alpine trip of this nature. Although all care is taken, we cannot be responsible for damage to cameras.
Glasses: People wearing glasses or sunglasses should tie them on with some elastic. This is something you can prepare before you go. Take a spare pair of glasses if you depend on them for survival or comfort. Contacts can be used if you close your eyes at the right times!
Jewelry: Please do not bring any jewelry that you do not wish to lose; necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc during the trip.
Style of Dress: Nepal is more conservative regarding clothes than the west is, and your reception by locals can vary greatly depending on the way you dress. Men should always wear a shirt (don't go around bare chested) and long pants in town.
In view of local customs, men should try not to wear shorts, and women should avoid them altogether. For women, a skirt of mid-calf length is preferable to slacks or pants when in town. Slacks with sarong or skirt over them, and a (at least short-sleeved) blouse or shirt are probably most appropriate. Capris are fine for women while on the trail.
Electricity: Only about 10% of Nepal has electricity. Where available this will be 220V/50 cycles, so U.S. appliances will need a transformer.
Gear Checklist:
* Large Day Pack or Small Back Pack - You should be able to fit everything you are not wearing and want to take with you on the trail into this pack.
* Leather Boots or Approach Shoes - (No sneakers) Should be broken in and comfortable before leaving for this trip.
* Sleeping Bag - Down or synthetics are both appropriate, bags should have a minimum rating of 20 degrees F, but may be as warm as you desire. (This item may be rented for an additional fee.)
On Trail:
* Several pairs of wool hiking socks
* One pair of shorts
* One pair of long pants
* A good waterproof/windproof nylon or Gore-Tex™ jacket* (Gore-Tex™ is better).
* Several T-shirts
* Long sleeve shirt or thermal layer
* Fleece or wool sweater
* Wool hat
* Sunglasses
* Sunscreen
* Lip protectant or zinc cream
* Aspirin or other headache remedy
* Moleskin or other blister protection
* Insect repellent (optional, insects are not usually a problem)
* Toiletry Kit: Keep it Simple
* Underwear
* Pocket Knife (remember to place this in Checked Luggage)
* Two liter size water bottles
* Small flash light or head lamp extra batteries
* Camp towel
* Small amount of laundry soap for washing any items along the way that you might need too. (This would be by hand although there are laundry services available in both Kathmandu and Pokhara.
In Town:
* Casual clothes for two days (may be left at hotel while on the trail).
* Money for lunch on Days Two and Sixteen alcohol and souvenirs. (Major credit cards are widely accepted in Kathmandu and Pokhara hotels restaurants and shops. Cash is necessary in all of the smaller villages and at the Tea Houses. REMEMBER to change money in Kathmandu before we leave!)

My trek information is from a week long trek in the Annapurna foothills near Pokara with Mountain Sobek. Joe's information is very complete. This proved one of the better travel experiences of my life. Our small group lived in tents, used a basin of water morning and night to bathe, had a 'little brown tent' with trench toilet, and mostly a vegetarian diet since meat was scarce. We trekked about 8 hours per day over rough terrain in what was billed as a moderately difficult trek. We did not go where we needed ropes and our highest elevation was around 8000.
The most important preparation was with my body. I worked with a track coach for six months prior to my trip with focus on stamina building, cardiovascular strengthening, diet lessons meaning carbohydrate loading, and pulse monitoring.
As for gear, I used gortex hiking boots with appropriate socks, pile jacket and pants, trowel for daytime toilet..., day pack big enough for everything you might want during the day on the trail, water bottle, flashlight, duffle, camera gear, and such. While on the trail, we had no access to electricity so all camera gear had to be self contained. I once got separated from the group and temporarily lost so, consequently, urge you to carry a space blanket and enough gear in your daypack to survive overnight if necessary. We forded streams so a small towel or something to dry feet before putting shoes back on is helpful. We had to carry out much of our trash so ample ziplock bags in the big duffel are useful. I provided my own down sleeping bag, but Mountain Sobek provided tents and pads. Clothingwise, layers worked. I'd start out with my fleece jacket over teeshirt and long pants. As the day went along, I rolled up my pants and stuffed the jacket into the daypack. Zip pants/shorts might be useful.
My medical kit also was 'self contained' since in many places a helicopter or human carried stretcher, paid cash in advance, could have gotten me out. I had shots for diptheria, typhoid, tetanus, and meningitis. I carried a variety of bandaids, moleskin, antiseptic, tylenol, and such.
I found most people along the trail friendly and curious. I wish I would have brought pictures of family, pets, home to share.
Have a great adventure. The Nepal trek I remember was a glorious experience both as a traveler in a beautiful land and from a personal growth experience, almost like Outward Bound. Enjoy!