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Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

London, United...
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Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

I just wondered if everyone tends to get a porter. We have a guide booked through the company we're using so will he have his own trusted porters? Has there been cases of porters doing a runner with your stuff? This is all new to me and feels like im hiring a slave or butler. The trip im doing is 18days long so will I have the same porter for that time. Where will he sleep? and eat? Can you get female porters? Do you pay them per day? at the end of the day? or up front for the amount of time you'd need them? What to look for in choosing a porter? Is it best to find an english speaking one so they double up as a guide also? But as I said if I already have a guide would I just go for the cheapest porter and if so how much is the current rate per day.

Sorry for all the questions

adelaide
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1. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

a porter is to carry your possessions up the hill at altitude

how much stuff are you taking and can you carry it

leave anything not needed in kathmandu

if you take lots of stuff then you will probably need a porter

I can't imagine he would run away with your things

your company and or guide can arrange a porter

how many in your group - it is possible 1 porter can carry luggage for 2

Settle, United...
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2. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

A porter is not essential, but adds greatly to the comfort of your trek. Personally I'd rather not carry a 12 kilo rucksack, and I can 'rejoice in the suffering of others' knowing that at least I'm offering a source of income to one more Nepali (and a better job than casual portering for a local businessman who would in all probability pay less for the porter to carry a heavier load for greater distances).

It's quite possible that the guide may 'collect' a porter at Lukla (which saves you the cost of transporting the porter from Kathmandu), and basically you would have nothing to do in the way of hiring or paying him (the agency you are using will supply the porter, either one of their own staff, or a local porter selected by your guide. The agency should charge you something around $15 per day.

How many of you are there in your party ? Normally one porter load = 2 trekkers' gear. Yes, there are female porters (though they tend to be in the minority). Porters normally sleep and eat in the lodges. It's quite possible that he won't walk with you during the day, merely show up at the appointed place at the end of the day's trek: some days he may have been sent on ahead whilst you are having breakfast, to reserve a room for that evening.

I've not met any cases of porters 'doing a runner'

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

Honestly any young (or even not so young) person should be able to carry his backpack. As there are lodges all the way you don't need to carry that much.

Espoo
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4. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

It is also a cultural thing to have a porter in Nepal. All locals who can afford a porter will have one, as physical labor is a low caste thing to do. Actually many Nepalese have difficulty understanding why a rich westerner (we all are rich) would carry his/her own stuff. Hiring a guide and then carrying a big load by yourself looks funny to me, too. I have never carried my gear when I have been trekking in Nepal, why should I?

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

#4: That's not really true. In the 70's and 80's most of the young backpackers trekked without any agency, guide or porter (believe me, I was there). It is only more recently that it has become such a huge and organized industry.

Surrey.
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6. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

I don't worry in the least what others think about things like me carrying my own backpack. I trek with a guide as I mainly trek in mid winter, ie Dec and Jan when the trails are usually very quiet. I get on really well with my guide (we have done 4 quite long treks together, and 1 long trek with his brother), but I always carry my own pack which is 14-17 kilos. I tend to do longer treks and carry more than others will. This is for doing things like the 3 High Passes, the full Annapurna Circuit and so on. I am 51 and still quite OK doing this.

Each to their own.

Edited: 06 February 2014, 19:27
Espoo
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7. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

Re#5: When I say a "cultural thing" I refer to the local culture of not carrying loads if one can afford to hire someone else to do it. Not the backpacker culture where suffering is the goal. Local people did not understand also in the seventies and eighties why a rich tourist would do manual labor during his holidays.

Denmark
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8. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

Hi nuzuki

You don't HAVE to hire a porter, but if you NEED to you won't know untill you realize how heavy 15-20 kg of luggage is in high altitude (less oxygen in the air) and continuosly walking uphill and downhill day in day dey out.

This is your first time, so you have naturally nothing to compare´with. I suggest you hire a porter too; it is a much better experience to realize the burden is too little than realizing that it is too heavy and you might not be able to complete your trek.

Are you using a local agency? They will provide you with what you ask them to, so if you decide to hire a porter too, they will hire him for you. You will have the same one all through the trek.

You pay for the staff and what ever you have booked through the agency (food and accomodation through the trek) up front and tips (not mandatory but very common) last day of the trek.

If you pay a decent salary (+15 USD) for the porter per day, you shouldn't feel bad in any way...you are making some one very happy to have a job even it it is for only 18 days.

Enjoy...

Cumbria
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9. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

Lots of good info already provided.

I agree with what most posters are saying and that although you don’t Need (Require by law) to take a porter; if you choose to then it will certainly make your trek a lot more enjoyable.

What I don’t really understand is why the agency that you are dealing with hasn’t offered to supply you one, or pointed out your different options – As you have already decided that you want to take along trekking staff these options are

Hire a Guide and Cary your own gear

Hire a Guide and a Porter

Hire a Porter/Guide who will both guide you and carry 15kg (But accept that his knowledge and language skills won’t be in the same category as a fully licensed guide)

There is no need to feel guilty about hiring a porter – Apart from providing employment; in Nepal it is culturally acceptable for people who can afford to employ someone to carry their load.

Personally, I used to do all my trekking entirely independently, but as the years have passed, I now employ either a porter/guide or a Guide (So as to get the most out of my treks by learning about the differing cultures of the areas I am trekking in) and a porter

Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking

Rob

My Nepal Blog members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/6ec/

10. Re: Do I NEED to get a porter? EBC trek in April

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