If you're keen to incorporate adventurous activities into your gap year travels, it is certainly worth thinking about booking a Nepal tour. The landlocked Asian nation is regarded as one of the best places in the world for hiking and climbing, but - as is the case with any overseas destination - it's important to do your homework before embarking on a trek.
Indeed, it is worth giving some consideration to where exactly in the country you would like to go and what particular sights you want to see. One popular Nepal trekking destination is the Everest Base Camp and - just as its name suggests - this is the departure point for those climbing the world's tallest peak.
The camp is 5,364 m above sea level, but while the journey here will be a notable achievement in itself, don't make the mistake of thinking that Everest is all the country has to offer. In fact, Nepal is home to seven of the other 14 biggest mountains in the world and, with eight national parks to also be explored, there is the opportunity to enjoy a diverse array of adventures all across the nation.
Whether you want to devote your entire time in the country to trekking and exploring on foot or wish to have a go at other exciting activities like cycling and rafting, you will be able to find Nepal tours that are suitable for you. Don't worry if you don't have a great deal of experience in hiking as it is possible to pick routes that consist largely of gentle and easy-to-navigate trails. Of course, you'll be in the countryside for the vast majority of your trip, so a passion for the outdoors and a reasonable standard of health is vital.
As is the case with any overseas expedition, you should also ensure that you have a comprehensive level of insurance in place before leaving the UK, especially as you may be travelling through some very remote areas.
In addition to sorting out travel cover, it is also imperative that you take the right trekking equipment with you in order to get the most out of your holiday. Warm clothes and a good pair of hiking boots are among the essentials you'll require, although the latter ought to be already broken in before you arrive in Nepal so that they are comfortable to walk in. With the country's varied terrain and the high altitudes you're trekking at, you should be ready to experience a range of weather conditions, so make sure you take waterproofs too.
Many tours of Nepal involve at least one night of camping, so having a good-quality sleeping bag is also a must. Although it may be possible to rent one when you arrive in the country, you might feel more comfortable having your own personal one. Your tour operator, meanwhile, will provide communal items such as chairs and tents.
As you make your way through the country, porters will carry your main items of luggage towards your next hotel or camping location; however, you will want to keep a small rucksack with you while walking. In this bag, you should keep essentials like a water bottle, camera and items of clothing that you can easily take off or put on in the event that the weather changes unexpectedly.
In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their treks, many operators impose weight restrictions on your baggage, so make sure you check exactly how much you will be able to take well in advance to avoid running into problems when you arrive in Nepal.