Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Trekking, camping or backpacking have a lot in common: You have no room for vanities, in its truest sense!
At the busy day marches and altitude you can feel each extra gram of weight and therefore you only carry the essentials. As a woman a difficult task... so all the evening outfits, the high heels, make-up, various cream tubes, perfumes, styling products, jewelry and the handbag stay back home.
Instead, there are exclusively "stylish" trekking functional clothes in mud and neon colors, massive boots, UV protection cream, cap, gloves, unsexy thermo-underwear, headlamp, wet wipes, disinfectants, medicines against diarrhea and fever and a small tube of washing liquid.
But not only the luggage is different than on other trips, even the type of travel leaves no room for vanities: You share the bedrooms with other hikers and sleep in sleeping bags, despite bed frame. There is no private bathroom. Instead, you usually share an Asian outhouse (hole in the ground, legs left and right apart) on the floor. There are usually no flushes, so you have to use the water trowel with the water. And if you don't, the next toilet visitor is still enjoying your leftovers. Best, you always bring toilet paper with you.
There is no heating in the rooms either. The only heated room is the common room. The walls are mostly made of thin wood and not isolated, so that along with the cold, all sounds of the neighbors are entering your room. Hot showers are not everywhere, and if you don't want to wash with ice-cold water with a trowel every day, this means that you can take a lot of deodorant or dry shampoo or get used to sweat smells. One or other passengers also gets the altitude sickness, diarrhea or vomiting, so that these delicate fragrances blend interestingly with the already omnipresent countryside odors.
Nothing for delicate, sensitive stomachs. And you get more insights than you might want. Embarrassments are luxury here. Everyone realizes everything, sees everything or smells everything. Normal here. And it still works. I don't have to have this experience every day, and yet I'm glad to have made it. It shows me that I can live with no-frills and very basic, and that everyone experiences the same. After all, we're all just normal humans and all kind of the same... no matter where we come from, old or young, poor or rich!
And how much we can be happy again about a simple hot shower.... Lovely!!! ;D