So you’re thinking of trekking the Annapurna Circuit? Well, we’re here to help you prepare for your adventure ahead. The below post has everything you need. From what gear to pack to the permits you need for the Annapurna Circuit, we’re here to get you prepared so you’ll rock the trek!
Oh, and if you want to know Where To Stop And Stay On The Annapurna Circuit, no worries, we have you covered there too.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
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Is the Annapurna Circuit Right For Me?
The APC is tackled by thousands of visitors each year and they come from every background and age range.
If you are somewhat in decent shape, you can do the Annapurna Circuit (APC). However, by no means is this trek a leisurely stroll.
The first few days you’ll go through a series of steady ascents and descents through rice fields and lush forests. The Annapurna, Manaslu and other various mountains tease you by coming in and out of view.
Eventually you reach pine forests and walk along cliffs that show you rushing rivers and snowy capped peaks.
At about this time, you start going up and up and up until you reach the goal of crossing the biggest pass in the world, Thorong La Pass at 5,416m.
Is The Annapurna Circuit Dangerous?
With everything there are risks and the number one reason people don’t finish the APC is because of “rushing.”
People flock to Nepal and push themselves in order to meet flight deadlines or other obligations.
These things can lead to injury, altitude sickness and even death. So please, only do this trek if you have the time.
Also, PLEASE stay on the path! There are instances where trekkers wandered away from the trail and seriously injured themselves or have even died.
How Long Does The Annapurna Circuit Take?
Don’t come to Nepal with 2 weeks and try to do this circuit.
We understand time constraints are a real issue for some travelers, but please consider doing another trek if you can’t allocate at least 18 days to this region.
And this means 18 days for the trek, not 18 days total in Nepal.
If you rush it, you will absolutely miss some breathtaking views and humbling experiences – aren’t those two reasons why you are coming here in the first place?
Why rush it? There are some many wonderful side treks to do, villages to meander through and hidden gems you find along the way.
Rushing through the circuit takes the enjoyment of trekking out of it. Be flexible and have fun!
TIP: Keep in mind, things move a little slower here so plan accordingly. However, there are ways to shorten the circuit (jeeping) if you so wish but in our opinion, if you wanna do the APC, trek the APC and don’t shorten it by taking a jeep.
When’s The Best Time To Trek The Annapurna Circuit?
There are two seasons that are good for the APC:
- Spring (March – April)
- Fall (September – October) PEAK SEASON
We started our trek on March 2, 2017 and knowing what we know now, we suggest to start the circuit not at the beginning of March but wait until mid-end of March to set off.
Why? Weather, specifically snow prohibiting circuit completion.
Permits & Gear For The Annapurna Circuit
Before you set off, you’ll need to check a few things off your ol’ “to-do list.” First things first. To enter the Annapurna region you’ll need two things:
- Entry Permit
- TIMS Card
Both can be obtained in Pokhara for $20.00 USD each (price as of March 2017).
Make sure you have your passport, 4 passport sized pictures and your travel insurance with you when apply for both documents.
To Hire A Porter Or Not Hire A Porter?
We are firm believers in carrying our own shit and not making someone else carry it for us.
Now, we understand that using porter’s supports the Nepalese people, but we just did not feel right walking with no weight while some poor guy is trudging behind us carrying all our gear.
Personal preference but we went without and were comfortable carrying our own packs.
To Hire A Guide Or Not Hire A Guide?
Again, personal preference and again the money goes into supporting the Nepalese but you do not need a guide to do this trek. We repeat, YOU DO NOT NEED A GUIDE TO DO THIS TREK.
The paths are so clearly marked that Stevie Wonder could find them.
Okay, that’s everything. Feeling good?! Well you should be! Enjoy the trip and say hello to the Himalaya’s for us. We miss them dearly.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)