THE ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT had been on my — and my two travel companions’ — to-do list for a while. But the only time that worked for all of us was in January. This just made it more exciting and even more appealing.
Trekking the circuit at this time of year meant we’d experience Nepal in a quieter time, where lodging would be more available and the hiking wouldn’t be over-crowded. We also liked the idea of not knowing if we’d even be successful getting over the pass; we thought it added an element of adventure.
Watching for cheap ticket prices to get to Nepal was the biggest element of preparation for the trek that we did. We all work as outdoor educators and backpack and mountaineer for our jobs, so if you don’t have much experience, testing out all your gear and doing some winter trips would be very worthwhile before doing the Annapurna Circuit in January.
Quick tips and must-haves:
- Make sure to get all the cash you will need for the entire trek in Kathmandu, as there aren’t AMTs until Jomsom.
- Food and lodging is about $10/day.
- $30/day for each of us was more than enough for everything.
- Good hiking boots are key.
- Pack gaiters, a warm down jacket, warm hat, and warm mitts (unnecessary at lower elevations but necessary higher up).
If I were to do the trek again, I would try to learn more Nepali beforehand, as well as have a better grasp on the conversion from meters to feet. Otherwise, it was the adventure of a lifetime!