Pakistan Trekking Guide

Pakistan trekking guide page describes all the valleys of the mountain regions of Pakistan and invites you to discover the little visited remoter parts of this rugged and wonderful part of the world. These mountains have been explored comparatively recently, that is why detailed maps of the mountains are still unavailable to the general tourists. The world’s greatest mountain chains the Karakoram, the Himalaya, the Hindukush and the Pamir radiate out from northern Pakistan like spokes on a wheel. I may claim that in no other part of the world is there such a large number of high peaks in such a confined space – five peaks over 8000m and more than 100 higher than 7000m. And nowhere else outside the polar regions of the world has longer or more spectacular glaciers – seven over 40km long. Hidden amid this network of lofty snow-capped peaks, splendid glaciers,andnarrow mountain valleys which were cut off that, until recently and they each formed a separate little kingdom which were ruled by Rajas or Mirs, each speaking its own native language. Soon after independence, these kingdoms have been absorbed into Pakistan, and jeep tracks are creeping up the remote mountain valleys. The opening of the Karakoram Highway in 1978 gave northern areas of Pakistan access to the rest of the world.

Pakistan Trekking Guide section of this website is an endeavor to pass on optimum information to the visitors to Pakistan, but nevertheless you may require some additional information which is not mentioned in this guide, please do not hesitate to write us so that we can send you the specific information to suit your adventure needs.

Trekking in Pakistan

Trekking in Pakistan is dream of many adventure lovers across the globe. Pakistan is a well-known paradise for trekkers. Most of the trekking routes lie in the northern mountains of the Hindukush, the Karakorams and the Himalayas. For most of the treks, trekking season is between May to October. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, has defined trekking as walking below 6000 m.

Trekking in Pakistan is designated into three zones for trekkers; open, restricted and closed. Foreigners may trek anywhere in open zone without a permit or services of a licensed mountain guide whereas trekking in restricted zone, foreigners must pay different fees for waste management and environment department CKNP (fees are subject to change) per trek to obtain a trekking permit from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of Pakistan Islamabad.

Trekking in Pakistan also requires to hire a licensed mountain guide (Pakistan trekking guide); buy a personal accident insurance policy for the Pakistan trekking guide and the porters and to attend mandatory briefing and de-briefing at the Ministry of Tourism, on the beginning and end of the trekking in Pakistan. No trekking is allowed in closed zones which are the areas near Pak-Afghan, Pak-China, Pak-Iran, Pak-India border and near the line of control (LOC) with Indian-held Kashmir.

Trekking Categories

Unlike Alps of Switzerland or other western countries, trekking in Northern Pakistan is adventurous as there are no marked trails, sign posts or tea shops, and almost no possibilities of buying equipment or food stuff along the way. So you should be well prepared that you are camping in the wild for your whole trek and cooking food you have carried with you.

There are four basic categories of trekking:

  1. Backpacking is obviously cheap if you are well experienced and want to trek more economical but for most people is not feasible for long treks, particularly it is not recommendable when trekking in Asian countries.
  2. Self-organized treks can be difficult and time consuming to negotiate without a fair command of Urdu and most of the times it is more expensive as well.
  3. Using services of a local tour operator is more reliable, removes the need for some equipment and give you more flexible options. It also give you sense of security and comfort.
  4. Going through an international adventure-travel company is even more expensive, catering for those who have little experience or time.

Whatever category of trek you choose, remember George Schaller’s warning that each trekking or mountaineering party ‘represents another wedge of destruction onto a fragile environment and culture’- and step lightly. “Keep the mountains clean”.

Trekking Permits

The official definition of trekking in Pakistan is walking below 6000 meters. Trekking areas are divided into three zones; open, restricted and closed. There is no permit requirement for the open zone which covers most of Pakistan. The restricted zone is comprised on the border areas with India, Afghanistan, Iran and China and it also covers some of popular treks in Baltistan. Border areas are generally defined as being within 48 kilometers of the frontier, with some exceptions in Azad Kashmir, for example the restricted zone is 16 km of the border. Due to territorial dispute with India, Siachen Glacier area is now closed zone.

Permits are required for restricted zone and fee is levied. Most of the restricted treks are around the area of Baltoro Glacier, including the Vigne, Gondogoro and Masherbrum pass (all of which lead onto Baltoro Glacier from the south) and the Panmah Glacier and Sim Pass (north of the Baltoro Glacier towards the Chinese border). Other restricted treks are in northern Chitral along the Turikho and upper Yarkhun valleys and in upper Hunza close to Chinese border in Shimshal valley.

Permits may be obtained from the Pakistan Alpine Club, Islamabad, within 24 hours of application which must be submitted through licensed tour operator, accompanied by two passport size photos and passport details of all participants. All porters and guide must be insured for the sum specified by the government. All restricted zone trekkers must be briefed on arrival and debriefed at the end in Islamabad.

Using Services of local Tour Operator

There are quite number of trekking agencies who can arrange a trek by email before you leave home, or in person after you arrive Islamabad or Rawalpindi. It is advisable to finalize a deal much advance before you set off which will save your time and will give you peace of mind. Local tour operator will take the responsibility of providing tents, mattresses, food stuff, hiring porters and guides. No doubt, going through tour operator is more expensive than self-organizing but on the other hand it gives you much comfort and a sense of security which is essential in travelling in south-east Asian countries. In some cases it is economical to go through tour operator because you don’t have to purchase tents, mattresses, cooking utensils etc.

With an international Tour Operator

Pakistan is one of the major adventure destinations in the world and this is why there are several international adventure companies that arrange trekking in northern Pakistan. They provide the whole package in one price like air ticket, hotel booking, guides, porters, food and most of the equipment you need. This is comparatively expensive way of doing trek, but for those who can afford and have little

time, going with an international adventure company can remove all the worries and you can spend the maximum time on the trails instead of spending more time in hotels. One of the top advantages of going through international company is that you travel with the companions who speak your language during the tour.

It is advisable to make first trip with an international company and in second group you may choose the local agent whom you know very well. There are many good names in adventure tourism in Pakistan whom you can rely even as first time traveller to Pakistan – depends on how strong and big organization you have selected for your trip to Pakistan.

Self-organized Trekking (without Pakistan Trekking Guide)

Self-organized trekking entails getting you to the village closest to the start of the trek and arrange porters on the spot. Speaking local language is essential as the porters speak no English. One should have good knowledge about the current wages of porters, the recognized daily stages and regulations of load size. This is usual practice, unless our trek takes us onto a difficult glacier for which we need an expert guide who have mountaineering experience.

For beginners it is advisable to hire a guide as well, the local young boys are always keen to be hired as a guide which is the best way to do otherwise there is no such office in those areas, there is no guides association in Pakistan, there is no training or courses for guides. It is more practical if you hire a freelance guide through trekking agencies or other good option is to ask around in hotels in Skardu, Hunza, Gilgit, Chitral etc. You need someone who can tell you what equipment and food to take and may be even fill you on the customs and folklore of the area; even he will be very useful in hiring porters and in settling porter disputes.

Trekkers with high confidence can trek without a guide as the local porters know the trail better than any guide. The porters and guides do not like to eat tin-packed food and rather prefer local food like fresh bread (Chapati/ roti), therefore a cook is also essential for a long trek. Please note that restricted treks that fall in restricted zone can’t be self-organized and one has to go through a registered tour operator.

Regulations for hiring Pakistan Trekking Guide, Porters and Liaison Officer

The exact terms and conditions on Liaison Officer, Guide, high and low altitude porters, about their equipment, ration and even about photography, is all specified in government rules and regulations and also find below the concise details on the subject.

Pakistan Trekking Guide:

A guide makes the things easier and also save your time and money. For open zone one may take a local guide who knows the terrain very well and is also less expensive than a guide taken from a trekking company but in case of restricted zone you have to take a guide from an authorized trekking company. There is no such institute for guide’s training and no exams, so it is better to take an experienced guide either from a recognized company or as last option hire a guide from the local area. Generally Ministry of Tourism issues licenses to approved guides who are recommended by their respective companies.

Guide is a kind of manager, who will buy food, arranging porters, cook, equipment etc, and he will not cook himself, neither he will carry any load with him except his personal gear and excepts you to equip him completely for the trek. If you are less than 4 trekkers for open zone then guide is not compulsory but not unnecessary burden either. Guide will be paid on daily basis as per your negotiated wages.

Cook:

According to government rules and regulations one must hire a cook and if you are more than 5 also hire an assistant. Normally, guide and porters don’t eat western food and it is very practical if you have a local cook with you who can cook according to the wish of local team. Cook and his assistant are paid on daily basis and not stage basis.

Hiring Porters:

In case of self-organized trekking in an open zone always take a local with you and more according to your group size but at least one local is essential who knows the trail. Always try to hire porters from the valley in which you will be trekking because there are territorial issues between the porters and sometimes they become serious and need to be resolved amicably – like if you are taking trek around Nanga Parbat you will be moving into the areas of different tribal belts where they may stop the porters from other valleys. Porters are charged per stage and normally the porters wish to make two stages and that will benefit them double. A porter will carry load of 25 kg. If you have more than 25 porters, government rules say that you must hire a sardar (head porter) to be in charge of them.

Stages:

The treks are divided into stages and irrespective your physical condition porters will insist on doing one stage and you can only talk to them to go further on double wages but one can’t force them. An official stage can be as little as 2 to 3 hours walk. It is better to understand the number of stages you have in this trek and also make the porters understand that you know about the wages per stage system and their other customs. Pakistan trekking guide know exactly about stages.

Pakistan Visa

To ask Pakistan visa, one has to contact an authorized Pakistani tour operator to facilitate documentation to obtain tourist visa. Tourist visa is valid for six months from the date of issue but only valid for 3 months stay. You may ask three month’s extension while in Pakistan, local passport and immigration office may process it (they are mostly in big cities). Always ask double entry visa if you intend to visit the neighboring countries and require re-entry into Pakistan. It is always good to ask visa validity and processing time at your home country because it varies country to country. The rules for tourist visa application say that you have to go through the local travel agent for visa assistance that will sponsor your visa.

Modern Mountaineering and Trekking

The human being has been always keen to explore more and more and the same is with mountaineering. The hunters stalking the snow leopard, ibex, markhor and Marco Polo sheep were the first to explore the mountains purely for leisure and pleasure purposes. Officers and some wealthy people spent their holidays in the hills. Others took leave from the Indian hill stations of Simla, Darjeeling and Murree for their hunting sprees. Other major source of mountain exploration was through the local shepherds who had herds at high altitude in search of grassy fields during summer time.

First Mountain Expedition:

One of the first real mountain expeditions was in 1892. Sir W Martin Conway with the painter A D McCormick and others took a Swiss guide from Saas and set off from Hunza, crossed the Hispar Pass and gave the name Snow Lake to the great white expanse below the Hispar Pass. They descended the Biafo glacier to Askole and then explored the Baltoro glacier and after inspiring gave the confluence of glaciers at its head the name of Concordia, after the Place de la Concorde in Paris. They also made an attempt on Baltoro Kangri, reaching the top of a spur on the north side which they called Pioneer Peak.

In 1895, A F Mummery, the veteran of the Alps, made the first attempt on Nanga Parbat. He approached from the Rupal valley, climbed Trashing Peak and crossed the Mazeno Pass, only to be killed on the Diamer face. Afterwards, Nanga Parbat was left to the Germans who made five attempts on it in the 1930s, losing 30 climbers and porters and giving it the nick-name Killer Mountain (also named as German Peak as third name).

Fanny Bulloch Workman, the indomitable American who ostensibly for her health, pioneered trekking for pleasure with her husband William Hunter Workman between 1898 and 1912. The Workmans made eight expeditions to the Karakoram and Kashmir and explored the Biafo, Hispar and Chogo Lungma glaciers. They wrote several books, speculating that Snow Lake which they guessed to measure 777 square kilometers might be an icecap like those in Polar Regions from which glaciers flowed out in all directions (in fact Snow Lake is only tenth as large and is not an icecap). Fanny held the world altitude record for women for 28 years, having in 1906 climbed to 6932 meters on Spantik in Nagar which the Workmans named Pinnacle Peak. Workman Peak, overlooking the Hispar Pass which the Workman team climbed in 1899s is named after them.

Other Expeditions Followed:

Oscar Echenstein’s expedition to K-2 in 1902, A C F Ferber’s to the Mustagh Pass in 1903, and the 1909 push to Concordia by the famous Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, the duke of Abruzzi. Abruzzi gave his name to the southeast ridge of K-2 and his expedition almost climbed (Broad Peak) reaching the altitude of 7488 meters which stood as record for 13 years. The most lasting results of the Abruzzi expedition are perhaps Vittorio Sella’s magnificent photos, considered some of the best of the area.

Then Tom Longstaff’s exploration came in 1909, during which he and Arthur Neve discovered the Siachin Glacier, crossed the Saltoro Pass from Saltoro to Siachin and crossed Ghangche Pass from Kharmang to Khaplu. Flippo de Filippi explored the Rimo Glacier and the sources of the Shyok and Yarkhun rivers in 1914. In 1929, the Duke of Spoleto led an Italian party that included Ardito Desio to the Baltoro Glacier. Desio crossed the Mustagh Pass, explored the Shaksgam Valley and scouted the easier Sarpo Lago Pass (later crossed by Eric Shipton and H W Tilman in 1937). Desio returned to Baltoro in 1954, leading the Italian expedition that made the first ascent of K-2, and was back again by helicopter in 1988, aged almost 90 to take another measurement of the height of K-2.

The exploration of Hunza and Nagar Valley Mountains began after World War 1. In 1925 Dr. Philip Christian Visser trekked the Batura and Shimshal valleys and added to the myth about Snow Lake by suggesting that the Virjerab Glacier flowed out of it. Colonel R C F Schomberg lent the myth even more credibility when he visited Shimshal in 1934 and gave the Braldo Glacier its name, thinking it flowed out of Snow Lake and was of the same drainage system as the Braldu River. Not until Shipton and Tillman’s expedition in 1937 was the knot of mountains and glaciers around Snow Lake finally sorted out.

Modern Mountaineering and Pakistan Trekking Guide:

The human being has been always keen to explore more and more and the same is with mountaineering. The hunters stalking the snow leopard, ibex, markhor and Marco Polo sheep were the first to explore the mountains purely for leisure and pleasure purposes. Officers and some wealthy people spent their holidays in the hills. Others took leave from the Indian hill stations of Simla, Darjeeling and Murree for their hunting sprees. Other major source of mountain exploration was through the local shepherds who had herds at high altitude in search of grassy fields during summer time.

First Mountain Expedition:

One of the first real mountain expeditions was in 1892. Sir W Martin Conway with the painter A D McCormick and others took a Swiss guide from Saas and set off from Hunza, crossed the Hispar Pass and gave the name Snow Lake to the great white expanse below the Hispar Pass. They descended the Biafo glacier to Askole and then explored the Baltoro glacier and after inspiring gave the confluence of glaciers at its head the name of Concordia, after the Place de la Concorde in Paris. They also made an attempt on Baltoro Kangri, reaching the top of a spur on the north side which they called Pioneer Peak.

In 1895, A F Mummery, the veteran of the Alps, made the first attempt on Nanga Parbat. He approached from the Rupal valley, climbed Trashing Peak and crossed the Mazeno Pass, only to be killed on the Diamer face. Afterwards, Nanga Parbat was left to the Germans who made five attempts on it in the 1930s, losing 30 climbers and porters and giving it the nick-name Killer Mountain (also named as German Peak as third name).

Fanny Bulloch Workman, the indomitable American who ostensibly for her health, pioneered trekking for pleasure with her husband William Hunter Workman between 1898 and 1912. The Workmans made eight expeditions to the Karakoram and Kashmir and explored the Biafo, Hispar and Chogo Lungma glaciers. They wrote several books, speculating that Snow Lake which they guessed to measure 777 square kilometers might be an icecap like those in Polar Regions from which glaciers flowed out in all directions (in fact Snow Lake is only tenth as large and is not an icecap). Fanny held the world altitude record for women for 28 years, having in 1906 climbed to 6932 meters on Spantik in Nagar which the Workmans named Pinnacle Peak. Workman Peak, overlooking the Hispar Pass which the Workman team climbed in 1899s is named after them.

Other Expeditions Followed:

Oscar Echenstein’s expedition to K-2 in 1902, A C F Ferber’s to the Mustagh Pass in 1903, and the 1909 push to Concordia by the famous Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, the duke of Abruzzi. Abruzzi gave his name to the southeast ridge of K-2 and his expedition almost climbed (Broad Peak) reaching the altitude of 7488 meters which stood as record for 13 years. The most lasting results of the Abruzzi expedition are perhaps Vittorio Sella’s magnificent photos, considered some of the best of the area.

Then Tom Longstaff’s exploration came in 1909, during which he and Arthur Neve discovered the Siachin Glacier, crossed the Saltoro Pass from Saltoro to Siachin and crossed Ghangche Pass from Kharmang to Khaplu. Flippo de Filippi explored the Rimo Glacier and the sources of the Shyok and Yarkhun rivers in 1914. In 1929, the Duke of Spoleto led an Italian party that included Ardito Desio to the Baltoro Glacier. Desio crossed the Mustagh Pass, explored the Shaksgam Valley and scouted the easier Sarpo Lago Pass (later crossed by Eric Shipton and H W Tilman in 1937). Desio returned to Baltoro in 1954, leading the Italian expedition that made the first ascent of K-2, and was back again by helicopter in 1988, aged almost 90 to take another measurement of the height of K-2.

The exploration of Hunza and Nagar Valley Mountains began after World War 1. In 1925 Dr. Philip Christian Visser trekked the Batura and Shimshal valleys and added to the myth about Snow Lake by suggesting that the Virjerab Glacier flowed out of it. Colonel R C F Schomberg lent the myth even more credibility when he visited Shimshal in 1934 and gave the Braldo Glacier its name, thinking it flowed out of Snow Lake and was of the same drainage system as the Braldu River. Not until Shipton and Tillman’s expedition in 1937 was the knot of mountains and glaciers around Snow Lake finally sorted out.

Kitchen Equipment:

Stoves:

Selection of stove depends on nature of your trekking or other adventure plan, for instance if you intend to go at higher altitude then kerosene oil stoves are good or second option have the both gas and kerosene – kerosene advantage is that you may find it even in villages whereas liquid gas is only available in Skardu, Gilgit, Skardu and other major places in the mountains but gas stoves are neat and clean. For a small size of group (4-5 persons) for 5 days trekking a 10kg liquid gas cooker with a single burner is sufficient but for big size of group and for longer time it is better to take 25kg gas cylinder (one porter load) with 2 burners along with a kerosene substitute.

Jerry Cans:

Fuel containers for large expeditions 25kg Jerry Cans are available in all major towns of northern area but to be on safe side it is advisable to get it arranged at Rawalpindi/ Islamabad.

Pressure Cooker:

A good pressure cooker is essential for cooking at high altitudes where water boils at lower temperatures, it also saves fuel.

At 3000m water boils at 90 degree c

At 4000m water boils at 86.6 degree c

At 5000m water boils at 83.3 degree c

At 6000m water boils at 79.9 degree c

A good pressure cooker should boil water at 100 degree at 5000m. You need a pressure cooker to cook dehydrated packet foods that require water at 100 degree c to rehydrate them.

Cooking Pots, Plates, Spoon, Fork and Mugs:

Stainless steel cooking pots are good for mountain adventures and similarly plates, spoon, fork and mugs are also good to use which are not breakable. To save loader’s load one can use the same mug for taking tea and for drinking water as well. These pots are available everywhere but better to buy them at wholesale market in Rawalpindi.

Swiss Knife and Tin Opener

Water Container:

There are varieties of plastic water containers available throughout in Pakistan. Water containers are very useful for camping and it is better to take a medium size like 10kg plastic containers and take more if required.

Cooking Oil:

It is advisable to buy plastic oil bottles which can be tightened up properly after use instead of a tin packed oil.

Spring Balance:

Hiring Pakistan Trekking Guide and Porters

Every year the daily wages for guides and porters are fixed by the local committees of porters and guides and the rates differ from valley to valley and year to year. Keep in mind that there are always high expectations to get more and more, especially when you try to deal directly with them. If you are happy with your work force then it is common practice to reward them with a tip at the end of services.

Helicopter Rescue:

Askari Aviation may organize a helicopter for rescue only if you guaranteed full payment of 6000$ in advance which is normally recommended for Baltoro Glacier trekking which is the line of supply for the Pak army for continuing struggle with India over Siachen Glacier or one can also hire their services for climbing expeditions. Askari pilots are ex-army heli-pilots who know the region well.

Clothing Check List

Trekking Shoes:

Good shoes are very essential, as uncomfortable feet are a real misery. The shoes must have plenty of ankle support and sole strong enough to take the sharp edges of rocks with ease. It is advisable use enough the new shoes before going in remote areas for trekking where it would be difficult to replace them. In case of high altitude climbing, one needs to buy specialized shoes to fit for crampon use. Pakistan trekking guide knows where these shops are

Camp Shoes:

A light weigh joggers or tennis shoes are more practical wearing during relaxed time in camp and also can be used for light trekking trails without snow and streams.

Hiking Socks:

Sports socks which are mostly cotton liners are recommended for trekking purpose whereas woolen socks are not good for moisture.

Trousers:

Specialized trekking trousers are made of tough breathable fabric that does not snag on thorns and is comfortable and cool to wear. Army style trousers having more pockets are also good but are too heavy and hot. Local trousers (Shalwar) worn by men and women are comfortable and light – can be even practical if made on order with more pockets. Use of shorts for men at high pastures is not anything serious but for women it is advisable to wear shorts.

Sweaters:

Sweaters or pullovers should be warm but not bulky. A large, thin, woolen polo-neck is best.

Warm Leggings:

Pure woolen made leggings or long thermal underwear is essential not only because nights can be very cold at high altitudes but and also because if you get caught in a storm like situation.

Jackets:

Keeping two jackets are always practical, one light weight water and wind proof outer shell, other one should be warm either polar fleece or a synthetic ski jacket that is comfortable but not bulky.

Warm Vest:

A fine quality of warm vest is the best thing to avoid cold wave during trekking in the mountains.

Rain Cape:

Though, there is little rain in Pakistan but it rains heavy while in monsoon time, keeping a plastic poncho takes up little space and can also cover your back pack.

Waterproof Over-Trousers:

Waterproof over-trousers are useful in the cold and wind, as well as in rain and are easy to put on without taking your shoes off.

Gloves:

Cotton gloves are recommended for light kind of trekking in mountains whereas waterproof ski gloves are necessary if you want to spend considerable time in the snow. Gortex over-mits are a good idea at high altitude in the snow.

Sun Hat:

A broad-brimmed sun hat that covers the face and back of the neck is essential, especially when blisters become infected. The hat should have an elastic strap or string to keep it on, as the winds can get very strong in the mountains.

Glacier Glasses:

Glacier glasses with side flaps to keep out the glare on snow. Snow-blindness is not only painful but can be permanent. Take extra pairs for porters as well if not highly expensive.

Lavatory Paper:

Lavatory paper, towels, washing soap, shampoo is available in Pakistan with huge variety. We recommend doing without lavatory paper – prefer to use water as Pakistanis do.

Camping Equipment:

Tent:

If you are going with a local tour operator then you don’t have to be worried about your tent as it is already taken care of but if is self-organized then you will be needed a tent. A good camping shop should be able to advise you that what kind of tent you require but make sure that is double walled and able to resist strong winds. There are different types of tents like double sleep, mess, kitchen etc. Normally domed tents are ideal, as they are light, sturdy, easy to erect and can stand alone without being pegged.

Self-Inflating Mattress:

A Therm-a-Rest mat is worth as it is compact and offers good insulation even when sleeping on snow or ice. Always lay it on a groundsheet to prevent punctures if outside tent. Hard mattresses are also commonly used for trekking.

Sleeping Bags:

Sleeping bags should be of good quality, light in weight and warm. A four –season sleeping bag rated to 10 degree centigrade, with a hood and drawstring is more practical. A bag with a full length zipper is useful so you can open it out and throw it half over you on warm nights at lower altitudes.

Backpack:

If you are going with an organized tour then you don’t have to carry a big pack with you and if you are a backpacker then you need a pack large enough to carry all equipment and clothing. Always think over moisture absorbing sections to avoid prickly heat when buying a backpack. One also need to follow Pakistan trekking guide and trekking rules.

Plastic Stuff Bags:

As all rucksacks are not waterproof, so in case of rain you can cover rucksack with a plastic bag. Include a few strong 35-60 kg garbage bags for lining your rucksack and can also be used for multiple purposes.

Space Blanket:

Space blanket is good for providing extra insulation or driving out a deep chill, so it can also be used as first aid treatment.

Water Bottle:

A one-litre aluminium or plastic water bottle per person is usually enough. Be sure that your water bottle is distinguishable from your fuel containers.

Head Torch:

Head torch is much practical to use than a hand-held torch when you need two hands for cooking, arranging your tent, writing diary or for other personal needs outside camp. Torch is also part of Pakistan trekking guide.

Money and Passport Pouch:

A waist-belt type pouch is good where you can also keep your travel documents and money as well.

Batteries:

There are not many options in the mountains to buy batteries but you can buy easily in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. It is advisable to keep fully charged batteries with you before setting off or even take extras to use when required.

Altimeter and Compass:

It is good to have an altimeter and compass when in mountains, as it gives you exact direction and what altitude you have gained every day which is also a fun for many trekkers.

Whistle:

A whistle is good for attracting the attention of others when they get far ahead.

Medical Kit:

The size of your medical kit will depend on the size of your party and the length of time you want to plan. There are almost all medical stores in all major cities of Pakistan sell the ready-made medical kits containing all basic needs for first-aid help.

Backpacking

More economical way to trek is to do everything yourself, take cheapest flight to Pakistan; travel by public transport to the point where it ends – obviously it will take longer than organized travel. Then put your kit in a bag and set off without guides or porters. This way of trekking is very popular in Nepal, where it is possible to live off the land, sleeping and eating in the local villages and doing so reduce to a minimum load in the backpack. Pakistan trekking guide page is helpful in this regard

Unlike Nepal or the Alps in the west does not work in Pakistan. Most of the trekking here is higher than the permanent villages, so there are no shops, tea houses or lodging facilities along the trails, therefore you need to carry everything with you, food stove, fuel, tent, mattresses. Backpacking provide maximum flexibility, you can go wherever you like as quickly or slowly as you wish but can only be practical if you are experienced trekker and opt for short treks.

The local of most valleys insist that all trekkers take a local man with them, as backpacker we recommend you to take a local farmer or shepherd who will be happy to do so in competitive price. They know the trails and know where to find water and can tell the other shepherds to smooth out any problem that where you can or can’t camp but make sure that the people living in mountains can’t communicate in English at all except little English terminology. They don’t speak Urdu (National Language) but speak local dialects but would invite you to their huts for tea with local bread through the language of signs.

If you insist on trekking without a local guide we would recommend you going in pairs and groups as there are some dangers to think even for experienced explorer. Many of the trails you follow are merely goat paths which are not marked and are often unclear, especially across glaciers. Some of the trails are not frequently used and if you became lost or injured you might never be found. The valleys are so remote and large in Pakistan that it is difficult to give anyone precise details of your intended itinerary and even if you have a satellite phone or GPS it is not easy for anyone to organize a search party and find you.

As in most Asian countries, Pakistan where woman out alone is a provocative figure – local women never leave their home without their family members. Long day walks around villages and long afternoon walks away from camp can be considered in some places but even local women who can speak Urdu and know their way would be very unwise to camp alone in mountains. End of Pakistan trekking guide page