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The Difference between Teahouse Trekking and Camping

When I first went trekking (1992 I believe) Teahouses were rare, we went Camping. We had 6 porters for 3 campers. It took lots of help carrying food and tents and cookware etc. Camping, in the true sense, added to the cost of the trek. Bottom line.

One night Arjun asked me if I wanted to stay in a teahouse; we were in the Annapurna range. My answer was “why? Arjun assured me it would be a nice change of pace. It was nice to not have to crawl in an out of our tent; and to sit at a table and eat (albeit outdoors). Honestly, I still like tenting. Realistically it will cost you twice the price to go tenting; otherwise known as Camping or Organized Trekking.

Teahouse Trekking has brought the price down by involving less human labor; not to mention the time setting up and breaking down a camp. The costs are approximate depending on the difficulty of the trek, but on average we charge around $85 pp. per day on a Teahouse Trek and $150 pp. per day on a Camping Trek.

Here is a clipping from Wiki Travel for you to read:

Types of Trekking

Tea House (Lodge Trek): Also known as lodge trekking is a relatively cheap way of trekking in where meals and accommodation are provided in a teahouse. In Nepal, it is quite popular to trek the trails, stopping each night to eat and sleep at a local Tea House. Meals depend on the menu at the tea house, usually the simple basic meals of the local people. Most tea houses and hotels in the hills and mountains are reasonably comfortable.

It's a great way to connect with some of the local culture and definitely suits trekkers not wanting to carry back-crushing rucksacks. The standard of lodgings can vary from very similar to a hotel, to something far more rustic.

Camping (Organized Trek): The classic style of trekking in Nepal and can be conducted almost anywhere in the country. Camping trekking is fully organized and supported with a team of guides, cooks, sherpas and porters to accompany you.

All the necessary trekking gears; food, fuel and other goods are carried by the porters. The cook will prepare all the meals during the camping trek. Trekkers need to carry only a small bag as required for the day. At night, tents for dining and sleeping are provided and set up. Mattresses, sleeping bags, tables and seating are arranged by staff. A Sirdar (chief guide) is employed to pre-arrange and then to oversee the entire program. [--- I edited some poor grammar, Jack]

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I think it’s safe to say “ask” the company you choose to be specific. I do my own hiking when I’m in the mood, but on a Trekking Holiday I don’t want to carry anything except my ‘stick’ even if I’m Teahouse Trekking.

I hope this answers your question. Please use the CONTACT page if you have a question and either Arjun or I will make every effort to answer promptly.

Ps Some teahouses are actually quite a bit of fun especially if you can involve the porters in singing or card playing. I try to involve them in dinner but they usually prefer to eat amongst themselves. I forget sometimes that they are ‘working’ and I’m on holiday.