BlogIdeal Group size for Trekking in Nepal
29 Aug 2019 snowpath
So what is the ideal group size for trekking in Nepal? It highly depends on the preference of individual trekker. There are no conclusive numbers of how many trekkers should be in a group. As long as trekker want and like, they can trek in group size of 20 people or can book a private trek as a single trekker.However, both are not ideal group size for trekking in Nepal. There are few things trekker needs to consider about ideal group size for trekking in Nepal.
While trekking in restricted trekking areas of Nepal, there should be minimum 2 trekkers in a group. Department of Immigration does not issue trekking permit for single trekker to region like Upper Mustang, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, Nar Phu. For peak climbing in Nepal, it is also better to make/ join a group. Besides, there are no any other government rules and regulations to monitor or dictate what should be considered as ideal group size for trekking in Nepal. But is it really necessary for a trekker to know ideal group size for trekking in Nepal? The answer would be yes.
Generally, trekking in Nepal with a group of friend and family is the popular trend. Again, there is no definitive numbers in such a group. Most of the trekking organizer in Nepal prefer friend and family group. Since, members of such a group know each other already, as a trek organizer you need to work little for settlement and adjustment of each member in a group. Easy to operate from perspective of trek organizer.
Larger the group, larger the profit a trek organizer can make. So, there is always high chances that trekking in larger group can make your trek significantly cheap in Nepal. There would be definitely, different price for a group of 2 people and 20 persons while trekking in Nepal. Learn here how to make trekking cheap in Nepal. But also here we don’t recommend a group size larger than 15 people for maximum benefit of trekker. Above 15 people, it is not really ideal group size for trekking in Nepal. Also, making a group within 5 -10 members among family and friends is far ideal group size for trekking in Nepal rather than joining larger group as an individual trekker. There are definetely some pros and cons trekking alone or joining group.
Pros of making/ joining group while trekking in Nepal
The most significant part of trekking in-group is, it makes the trekking price cheap. This necessarily does not reduce the permit fee, airfare. But sharing price of road transportation vehicle, guide, porters, accommodation in large group is definitely cheap. Interesting, even numbers (2,4,6..) of trekkers in a group is better than odd numbers (1,3,5…). For example, in odd number group, a trekker might need single porter, single room.
Trekking in a group is definitely a safe idea. There will be more hands to help in case of need. Especially, when trekker gets sick, injured. Also, more eyes to watch on your condition if you are doing well or is disoriented in mountains. It highly reduces the psychological stress, that you are not trekking alone.
This is usually doesn’t happen in general case. As well, most of the time it remains unbiased, but everybody puts large effort for a bigger group. During peak season, while booking rooms in tea houses, a bigger group gets slight advantage. This can make huge difference in high altitude trekking. Also, if flights get canceled, a bigger group might again get slight advantage. Of course, business motivated. More people, more business, more money.
Trekking in a group, you will always make some new friends. You might encounter various person with different cultural, religious, political and ideological background. Talking about new things is always fun. Not only, within trekking members, but with Nepalese trekking crews as well. Large trekking groups have trekking porters and staffs accordingly.
High rate of successful trekking
To simplify this, for example, a trekking member in a group gets sick or injured. S/he needs to either descend to safe place or change the itinerary accordingly. In such scenario of group division, if there are only 2/3 members in group, it is almost impossible to divide Nepali crew accordingly. But if there is descent number of trekkers, a guide can continue the trekking with rest of the group, while s/he assigns a porter to take care of victim member. Also, in large group somebody will always motivate to complete the trekking.
Cons of making/ joining group while trekking in Nepal
Not only while trekking in Nepal, larger the group there will be certainly some conflicts. Not necessarily on the subject matter of trekking or Nepal. As earlier said, different people from different religious, political and cultural background in single place can sometimes create a heated argument. And sometimes can get personal.
Less private moments
More people, more eyes. This can be awkward for some trekker depending upon their personal nature. in a group trekking, you will somehow need to participate in group activity like dining together, visiting certain place together, listening to a guide together. Which some trekker might feel lack of private moments in group trekking.
Strict and rigid itinerary
Most of the time trekking itinerary is fixed and rigid for either a group or a single person. But, for a single person, or a group of 2/3 trekkers it is easy to change the itinerary slightly. For example, if a person decides to trek to Thame instead of Namche ridges and Khumjung village, it is easy to make fast and prompt decision. For a group trekking, this doesn’t apply unless every group member agrees in finalized itinerary.
Feeling of abandon
You are equally treated in Nepal, despite of any background. But if you are reserve, shy and less spoken person, you might feel abandoned. A trekking guide will always motivate to you participate in a group. But if your personal nature is according, s/he might not push too far and you may fall behind compared to rest of group during trekking. Not intentional, yet can happen.
Time-consuming to make a group
Every trekking members to trek in a group should have same schedule. 10 trekking members coming together to agree with same schedule and timeline is definitely time-consuming and hard. As, we said in our earlier post, planning six months beforehand is the best idea to trek in Nepal. This can give sufficient time to everybody to re-arrange their timetable.
Pros of trekking in Nepal alone
Your vacation approved. Googled few trekking agencies in Nepal, finalized, arrived in Nepal and started a trip. No need to re-arrange and match schedule with anybody. Fast, easy and efficient.
As an individual trekker, you decide the most what you want, what it exactly it should be like. You are a boss. Changing an itinerary can be highly easy and fast. If you decided to hike to Manaslu Base camp, instead of Pungyen Gopma in Manaslu trekking, you can. Decided to stay in Tengboche instead of Namche after completing Everest base camp trek, you share few words and intention with your trekking guide, there you are.
Deep personal bond
Either with human or nature, you will always share deep personal bond while trekking as a solo trekker or in a small group. There will be always quality and sufficient moments during trekking to share your personal things and experiences with your trekking guide. As well you can have opportunity to hear his personal experiences and preferences. More interaction, deep bond. You may want to trek to remote fifth lake in Gokyo, only visited by few trekkers. Or, can day hike some remote places covered within your itinerary.
More personal time
After long tiring day, you may have personal time to talk with your guide on some interesting things you saw during trekking. Plan detailly for next day adventure. Or, grab your favorite book and spend some time in dining hall. Or, after dinner head straight to your room and have sufficient and good sleep.
Cons of trekking in Nepal alone
Trekking alone, most of the cost falls in your shoulder. You need to pay for trekking crews, road transportation and accommodation alone.
In case, the personal nature of you and your trekking guide not tuning then, the trekking really becomes boring and lonesome. Cultural differences can make the conversation difficult. So, you might just end up your precious trekking as simply as walking in Himalayas. Not having fun in trekking is a crime.
Lack of motivation for success of trekking
Of course, to make a trekking successful one needs strong motivation. Especially in high altitude trekking. Trekking alone can sometimes make disoriented and might discourage to complete the trekking alone.
Stress of feeling less -secured
Trekking alone means, psychologically one can overstress and focus on safety. This is absolutely baseless. Either you are alone or in a group, you are always safe in organized trek. But spending a lot of time overthinking on safety issues and unnecessary stress can ruin beautiful aspect of trekking.
So, there is not any landmark, what is the ideal group size for trekking in Nepal. It depends what trekker wants. Cheap price, privacy, aggregate safety, efficiency, more freedom. But as a trek organizer, we stress to make a own small trekking group of friends and family for maximum benefits. Anywhere between 5-10 person yields better.
Note : The perspective is only for an organized trek through a trekking agency. It doesn’t share the ideas and views of self-organized trek. Here, the group of trekkers means in between 5-15 persons.