Nepal is famous for its many treks that can last for weeks or even months. Naturally, this means that trekkers will spend many nights on the trail and need to prepare ahead for accommodation. On popular trekking routes, teahouses are common and make food and accommodation logistics easy. In the less touristy areas, trekkers will need to rely on other sleeping arrangements, which can include camping, staying in villages, or even staying with shepherds during the grazing season.
All popular trekking routes, and even many of the less-traveled ones, will have teahouses. These are places where you can sleep and have freshly-made hot food. Teahouses are generally similar in style and quality, and the menus are almost identical. Most places will have a set of double rooms (and sometimes triple or even quadruple) with basic beds and blankets. Sheets and blankets are not always regularly washed, so it’s a good idea to have at least a sleeping bag liner, and you might appreciate having your own sleeping bag, especially in colder areas where the teahouse blankets might not be warm enough. Rooms typically cost 100-500 rupees, and the owners expect that you will eat both dinner and breakfast there (at extra cost).
Teahouses have a surprisingly wide variety of food options, considering the limited kitchen equipment. In addition to dal bhat and other rice dishes, you can almost always find a variety of dishes with potatoes, pastas, pizzas, soups, momos, chowmein, eggs, breakfast foods, and hot drinks. Teahouses also typically sell packets of biscuits and candy bars, though usually at several times the price of Kathmandu. If you eat three meals per day at tea houses, expect to pay about 1,500 rupees per day, and a bit more if you have hot drinks or alcohol as well.
More adventurous trekkers might find themselves in areas that do not have teahouses. In these places, you will need to plan ahead a little more and carry extra gear, including a sleeping bag. Some routes higher in the mountains have very few villages and may require camping and carrying your own food. On these routes, make sure that you have all of the equipment and food that you need and are prepared for variable weather conditions. Some trekking companies organize trips that involve camping, and they will prepare all logistics and gear for you.
In areas where there are villages, it is often possible to stay with a local family. Many villages may have local guesthouses where Nepali people would stay on their way to or from their own village. These accommodations are very basic, and food options are quite limited, but affordable.
Even further from the beaten path, you might end up in villages that don’t have even local guesthouses. You can almost always find a family that will give you food and a place to sleep for the night, though it is much easier to arrange if you can speak some Nepali. Usually, there is no set price for food and accommodation in this situation, but it’s nice to offer a few hundred rupees.
Stay with shepherds
In some of the pastures and grazing areas above villages, you may find shepherds staying in seasonal shelters with their animals during the warmer summer months. Shepherds are often happy to make some space in their shelter for a guest and provide some food. Again, it’s a good idea to offer a few hundred rupees in exchange. If you pass through a village on your way up to the higher pastures, the locals may be able to give you information about where the shepherds are staying.