Lodging for Treks and Hikes
Lodging along the trail varies greatly depending upon the trek and your budget. Typically lodging on a trek falls into two basic categories: tent-based or lodge-based.
Tent-based trekking, as shown below, is fairly consistent from trek to trek. While the quality of tent varies, typically you stay two people to a tent and can either bring your own sleeping bag and pad or they can be provided for you by a trekking company. Personally I like to bring my own bag and pad, but if traveling light I might opt for a company provided pad. It is important to make sure that your tents are of reasonable quality and the zippers all work. Once on the trek, you are pretty much stuck with what you have, so its best to be prepared.
Depending upon the company, size of the group, and nature of the trek, you also have a communal tent for eating.
"Lodge"-based trekking varies greatly from trek to trek and from group to group. Lodges can be very fancy, like the Everest View Hotel or as simple as a local villager's hut.
In a case like the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, there are many choices of accommodation, at least at lower altitudes. In Namche-Bazaar lodges range from the Spartan, to nicely paneled, may include a shower or even a hot tub! However once you get higher in attitude, accommodations become more utilitarian.
Depending on the country and altitude, warmth at night for lodge-based trekking is incredibly variable. While trekking in Burma, they burned firewood at the center of the hut, at least providing reasonable warmth until the fire died. However, in Nepal where there is no firewood at high elevations, yak dung is used to keep the main room warm for a few hours, but it turns bitterly cold once the poop runs out. Who would think that you would be upset that there was no more yak dung!