5 Trekking Hacks for the Monsoon!

13 July  |  Listicles

The rains are here and the outdoors of the sub-continent beckon. Monsoon trekking is a thrill in itself and much tougher than regular dry treks. However, the difficulty is part of a larger reward as this is the season when India’s forests bloom with life and offer sights and experiences that will remain with you for a lifetime.

  1. The Right Shoes

Think of monsoon trekking shoes as off-road tires for your feet. Mud and slippery rocks will ensure that you will need to have a lot of grip to avoid sliding around and hurting yourself. Look for larger lugs and thick soles for grip, and breathing friendly designs. Remember that shoes which claim to be water-proof do not offer ventilation, so a better option would be a sturdy, grip-giving and well-ventilated shoe that dries really fast.

  1. Waterproof Backpack

Trekking in the rain is fun as long as all your stuff is dry, especially important for those who are carrying gadgets. A waterproof backpack is an essential. Make sure you check the material of your backpack before you purchase one. Sturdy and light is the combo you are going for. Zipped pockets provide better protection, so the more hardware, the better. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive outdoorsy brand; a lot of regular good quality backpacks provide weather protection, ideal for short treks.

  1. Sunglasses and Sunscreen

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Monsoon trekking in tropical belts like the Western Ghats still means pretty high temperatures. The rains tend to subside sporadically, and suddenly you may have burning sunlight to contend with. Sunscreen is very useful in this regard. It protects you from harmful UV rays which are still there even with cloud cover. Sunglasses help reduce glare and protect your face from errant brambles and thorny leaves and bushes.

  1. Keep the Salt Ready

Take away the blood-sucking part and leeches aren’t really that harmful. Of course, most of us city slickers can’t handle a spider in the bedroom so a leech enjoying happy hours on your arms or thighs may not be a welcome development. Don’t pull leeches off, they leave your wound open, and the bleeding continues for a long time. Throw some salt on the leech, and it will fall off.

  1. Flip Flops

Flip flops are a surprising addition to the list, but when you think about it, they are the best way to cross rivers and streams. Your trekking shoes may be able to take the hit but the drying time also needs to be considered. Flip flops or slippers do not have that problem. Keep a pair ready.

There are still a few more pointers that help. Your clothing is another important aspect of a good trekking set up. Avoid cotton or similar fabrics that soak in water and become heavy. Fabrics that breathe and dry fast are the best for monsoon jaunts. Experts will tell you to opt for a poncho over a rain suit. The humidity can be unbearable if you choose the latter.

Monsoon treks are fun, and that is exactly why we love them. But we also need to respect the terrain and the weather, unforgiving to those who go unprepared. Be ready and make the most of this amazing outdoors activity.

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