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I know hiring a guide/porter is not required for the Everest Case Camp hike, but I think it is a good way to add something to the local economy. I am considering getting hiring a porter for this hike. Wikitravel says you can expect to pay Rs 1200-1600 a day.

Does anyone have any actual experience hiring a porter in this situation? What did you actually pay? Where did you find them?

I am trying to budget out a trip ahead of time and Rs 1200 is a big expense at the end of the day for a backpacker.

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Do realise prices for everything will be higher there. As the Wikitravel entry says, a bottle of Coke could be Rs 150 or more...that's 10 times retail price in cities. Now would be a good time to enroll in haggling lessons. –  Ankur Banerjee Oct 17 '11 at 9:32
    
I do know that. We have a bit a plan to save money which includes picking up supplies before reaching Lukla. Our group packs very very light, so we should have plenty of room to fit good travel foods like rice. –  Ginamin Oct 17 '11 at 9:43
    
I don't know what the current wages are (I was there about a decade ago, and we paid $300-500/month) but one important thing to remember is that the expected tip was one day's pay for every week of the trek. –  Eyal Apr 22 '13 at 15:21
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

It really depends on where you hire the porter, your bargain skills and what kind of porter you want. A price between $10-20 is probably ok, but remember that if you do this using an agency the porter will get very little himself (maybe $4-8 a day) because all the profit goes to the middlemen.

Therefore, please bargain hard with the agency and rather give the porter the extra $ directly to him. It's a shame that porters can walk with your luggage for weeks in the mountains only getting paid a few dollars.

I also recommend reading this story: My Nightmare As A Machu Picchu Porter

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Is there a way to bypass the agency and bargain with porters directly? –  dbkk Oct 7 '12 at 2:58
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Sure, you can do it directly with a porter. You will be approached by kids and porters in Kathmandu or you can ask around. BIG WARNING: when you do it directly you are responsible for the porter by Nepal law. Therefore you must ensure that they are strong enough for the job, have proper cloths (preferable the same as you) and that they get proper accommodations and care in the mountains. Also, if you are going high they must be insured for helicopter rescue and you need to find out how to get them this. It's also easy to get porters at hotels or even at some guest houses in the mountains. –  grm Oct 14 '12 at 10:42
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Do your research and/or contact a porter organization. You can find much info on the net. E.g. here: ippg.net and here himalayanrescue.org –  grm Oct 14 '12 at 10:44
    
@grm this means that if they get ~half of what you pay, the other half is used by the agency to pay for all these insurances and stuff. –  Lohoris Jun 2 at 12:54
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I didn't hire a porter by myself, but did some research for you. As you already mentioned, Wikitravel says Rs 1200 - 1600 a day, this is 24 to 32 USD. Another site that I found says that it can be anywhere between USD 7 and 15. I couldn't find other useful resources. So I would say calculate USD 20 per day and you're on the save side. If you want to negotiate it can be half the price.

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And trust me - $30/day for a Westerner is worth it. These guys will make a fortune off of you, yes, but they don't do it every week. Plus, at the end of the day, you are going to be so glad you aren't carrying your own pack... –  Affable Geek Oct 14 '12 at 22:05
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protected by Ankur Banerjee Aug 15 '13 at 8:47

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