Health is wealth. Hygiene is a key factor, which you have to watch out during Upper Mustang Trek.Indeed, it is a key factor for any sorts of trekking and hiking. Because of poor hygiene, trekkers can be prone to illness easily. High altitude sickness can’t be cured, there is no medicine for it. Following the preventive measure is the only way. To know more about high altitude sickness and its preventive measure, read our other post. In this post we will discuss about ideas of staying healthy during the trek.
Your hand is source of any kind of sickness. Yes, your personal pair of hand is responsible for your health. Want to know how?
Well before talking about hand as a major contamination source, I would like to discuss something about teahouses. You won’t get to drive through the kitchen like McDonalds in the mountain.Remember, you will be at an elevation higher than 2500 m, most of the time during your trek. Many trekkers after developing the symptoms of abdominal pain, start blaming poor hygiene of the kitchen. That is totally wrong. Definitely it is not an ISO 9001:2000 certified kitchen, but still they are trying to make it as clean as possible all the time. If the hygiene factors of the kitchen are poor, then why don’t entire people on lodge get sick? Why it is just you?
Your hand is mainly responsible for your sickness. How frequently you use hand sanitizer to clean your hand? Just before eating? Well, that is not enough. Common toilet, especially Asian squat toilet is the major source of contamination in Nepal Himalayas. People share one or two toilets in each teahouses. Toilets are used more than couple hundred times each day. Sometimes by guides, sometimes by porter, sometimes by locals and sometimes by travelers like you. Each time you use the toilet, you will use handle and lock to open and close the door. Everybody does exactly the same way like you. Grip on the toilet’s door, no doubt, is highly contaminated. Now your hand is highly contaminated, no matter even if you wash it inside the toilet basin. Also, improperly tied shoelaces can cause contamination. The high alpine trail connecting dinning hall, your room and toilets in teahouses is also contaminated. People use the same shoes to use toilets and walk past dinning hall and everywhere. You will remove your shoes with your hand. Later may be you will end either on reading books, drinking tea or having dinner. Your hand is still contaminated.
Also, at the morning normally after breakfast you will check out from teahouses and your journey will begins. You need to pay in counter before you checkout. Chances are high, that you will put your backpack on the floor. Remember the floor is contaminated. You will pay the money and checkout. If you are using camel pouch water pack don’t ever put your backpack in the open floor. Water pipe will come in contact with contaminated environments.
Nepali rupees had seen everything and can be contaminated. Unlike dollar and euro, it works well even after being randomly squeezed, wet or any other physical changes. All it needs is the control number issued by the central bank of Nepal. Don’t trust contaminated money. After counting money, clean your hand. Also, never hold money in your mouth while counting.
If is normal and often people get suffered from running nose in the cold and inhospitable environment of the Himalayas. While sneezing doesn’t block your nose with palms. Instead, use elbow posture.
Drinking water also can cause illness if not treated properly. Bottled mineral waters are expensive. You can purify tap water. Buy any sorts of water purifier, either tablets or drops orSteripen.
According to the researches, more than 60 % illness arises with contaminated hands. It is not feasible to wash your hand with water and soaps all the time in mountains. Hand sanitizer is the most suitable alternatives of soap. Normally there are two different types of hand sanitizer. One alcohol based and other non alcoholic. Alcohol based sanitizer are more effective. While buying a sanitizer note down two important factors.
- Make sure alcohol percent is more than sixty
- Make sure bactericides is present, so that even after the alcohol evaporate it is safe