Nepal Facts: Sherpas

Nepal is about the same size as Iowa. There are 92 different languages spoken and 102 different caste and ethnic groups.  This includes the ethnic group called “Sherpas”.

Many of you may recognize the word “Sherpa” as most Americans now use this word to describe the guides or porters that carry extra equipment or luggage for trekkers.  Sherpas are actually an ethnic group from Tibet who have lived in Nepal for more than 300 years.  I’ll share more about how we came to use the word Sherpa in this context in a later post.

On my trip, there will be porters, who could be Sherpas, that will carry a bag for each person in the group. The bag can weigh no more than 16.5 lbs.  Below is a photo of 4 of the porters from my hike of the Inka Trail.  They were amazingly fast and many only wore a flip flop type shoe.


And here is what 16.5 lbs looks like. My bag includes:

1 sleeping bag, 1 sleep cocoon, 1 pair of shoes (Tom’s of course), 1 pair of hiking pants, 2 pairs of long underwear, 2 long sleeved undershirts, 1 long sleeved shirt, 2 short sleeved shirts, 1 sarong, 1 swim suit, 1 bra, 3 pairs of underwear,  2 pairs wool socks, 1 pair liner socks, 1 pair fingerless gloves, toiletries and first aid stuff (forget 3oz, I aimed for 1.5 or less),  supplements (probably an indulgence), nutrition bars, electrolyte packets, 1 book, paper mandalas and some colored pencils.



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