As much as we would love to boast about how fulfilling the mountain scenery is while trekking. No scene will give you energy for the next best scene if your tummy is not filled and your body is not hydrated. Besides, foods and drink basically are the two most essential aspects regarding trekking. Without these, no preparation and training would be helpful if you are not eating correctly and healthy. Wherever you choose to trek, be it Nepal Himalayas or Swiss Alps, after a day trek, good food is essential.
However, unlike the Swiss Alps, Nepal’s trekking trails are not well marked nor well facilitated with expensive hotels. Also, it cannot be undergone in a day or handful of days because of its remote terrain. Additionally, most treks in Nepal are high altitudes treks near the world’s highest mountains. Likewise, to get to these mountains, our body needs enough nutrition to fuel body.
Nevertheless, the growing trekking industry in Nepal has boomed few tourist infrastructures in Nepal. Thus, trekkers won’t have to worry about accommodation nor food after a tiring trek. The hiking trails are well decorated with teahouses to cater to the needs of trekkers. But some trails do not offer teahouse facilities but are a fantastic destination for camping treks. Therefore in this article, we highlight the food and drink during the trek in Nepal. This will give you a basic idea of what sorts of food are available while on the teahouse lodge trek and camping treks in Nepal.
Food and Drink in Teahouse Lodge Trek in Nepal
The trekking trails of Nepal have changed drastically because of the booming trekking industry. About a decade ago, the current scene was not anywhere near to what it is currently. Then, there were very few teahouses, and food options were limited as well. But now the scene is different. Because of the increasing popularity, the number of teahouses in the Everest region, Annapurna region, Langtang region, Manaslu region, among many others, has double if not tripled. With the increase in the number, the services have also expanded. For example, most teahouses offer menu books with an extensive collection of food items and prices. As you go higher, the menu book might contain fewer varieties. Similarly, the food cost will slightly increase.
For Breakfast at teahouses, trekkers can expect oatmeal, corn flakes, French toast, butter, jam, potatoes (any way you like- hash brown, boiled, mashed), varieties of eggs, pancakes, soup, tea, coffee, bread, and few other items. If there is anything you want specifically, it will also be made for you.
Likewise, for lunch and dinner, food items are almost the same. There are various options available. The most popular lunch meal while on a trek is Dhal Bhat. It is a rich nutritious, healthy food choice which most Nepalese love to consume. Besides the national dish, one can find various options such as noodles, spaghetti, dumplings, soups, salad, pizza, pasta, fries, and many more. Along with that, roti’s and varieties of curries are available for lunch. Overall, most Nepalese cuisines are potato dishes, noodle dishes, soup dishes, rice dishes, bread dishes, Dhal Bhat meals, and egg/porridge dishes.
Similarly, mealtimes are a busy time. Trekkers ascending and descending gather at the same place, so the teahouse takes on a vibrant ambiance. Therefore, eating at the teahouse makes up for a memorable experience. Furthermore, if trekkers are not pleased with the contents on the food menu, they can make a special request at the teahouse as well. People at the teahouse are attentive and work hard to fulfill the demands of each client.
As per dessert, trails are dotted with bakery cafes. If not bakery café, few bakery items are available at the teahouse. Teahouses always freshly bake their bakeries items, although the option may not be varied. Along with bakery goods, one can also buy seasonal fruits at the teahouse.
In addition to meals, teahouses do offer varieties of drinks option as well. At the teahouse, one can find different types of fruit drinks, beers, and few types of alcoholic beverages. However, no matter how diverse the options are, it is always advisable to stick with water. In fact, it is highly recommended to refrain from drinking any alcoholic beverage while on the trek. It is not suitable for health nor beneficial while trekking. Therefore, drink water frequently but not at once.
Food and Drink in Camping treks in Nepal
With the recent boom in the trekking industry, there are not many active camping treks in Nepal besides Ganesh Himal Trek and Upper Dolpo Trek. Also, it is not as diverse as the teahouse lodge treks regarding food and drinks during camping treks. Besides, camping treks are mostly organized by a trekking agency. Thus, they pre-plan the meals and only bring the essentials ingredients on the trail.
Nevertheless, the organizer will prepare varieties of dishes on the trek. Most dishes may be vegetarian, but canned fish or meat is also brought on the hike to fill the protein quota. Likewise, wherever possible, the trek organizer will buy fresh meat and prepare a tasty meal. Similarly, they will also bring seasonal fruits for dessert and make easy bakery goods possible in the camping kitchen.
Vegan, veg, and gluten-free meals on the trek
Most Nepalese dishes are vegetarian dishes. However, on the other hand, vegan and gluten meals are complex terms on the hiking trail. Most are not aware of these things; however, they will prepare the dish you wanted if informed. Therefore, it is imperative on the trekker’s side to rightly tell the cooks their requirements. Cooks are friendly and nice to understand your needs and prepare the appropriate meal for you.
Things not to eat or drink on the trek
Alcoholic beverages and non-veg meals are strongly opposed to food habits on the trekking trail of Nepal. Firstly, alcoholic beverages do no good to the body while trekking. It only increases the chance of getting altitude sickness. On the other hand, veg meals are suitable for the body and for walking as they provide energy, but they are not good for high altitude trek. It takes a long time to digest, which only strains our digestive system, causing various stomach problems. Thus, to avoid such an awful situation, it is better to prevent such meals and drinks.
Food waste management
Regrettably, there is no effective policy in place to encourage waste management on the route. The hiking trail has been damaged as a result of this, which is pretty unfortunate. Nonetheless, be a responsible hiker and carry your trash with you. Bring your trash with you and dispose of it when you find a suitable disposal spot.
There is good management of food and drink during the trek in Nepal. Therefore, trekkers won’t have to worry about getting good meals while on the hike. Apart from different meals provided at the teahouse, trekkers may bring chocolate or energy bars and flavorful energy drinks they prefer. It is always good to eat something brought from home although it comes in small wrappers.