Tips for your First Trek to the Himalaya

13 November  |  Listicles

Most of us romanticize treks, until of course; we finally step on to the trail. Trekking in the Himalayas rewards you with postcard-perfect vistas, snow-capped peaks, white rushing waters and clear streams – but it also involves you stepping off the grid, for a few hours maybe, a few days or weeks too. Therefore it is important that you do not take this activity lightly, for nature can be a capricious guardian and a small mistake or oversight can make things go a little awry. Here are a few trekking tips.

  1. Design an Itinerary

You cannot trek the Himalayas without a proper itinerary. There are myriad trekking routes, some that crisscross each other and some that are part of a larger trail. Find a route that will fit into your timeline and underline the stops where you will camp/stay and take meal breaks.

  1. Set your budget

With Himalaya trekking, you have to be prepared to pay more for certain items and services, especially in places that are far from urban centres. You may also need to rent camping gear or hire porters – and this will cost a certain fixed price, which is usually non-negotiable. There are lots of internet forums which will give you granular details on expenditures. Research well, determine your budget and design a trip around it – keeping extra aside for emergencies.

  1. Time your trek

It is important that you ease yourself into the trek and maintain periodical targets on your progress. If you start off too intensely, you will get exhausted sooner. If you have a slow phase, you will have to speed up and that too will lead to exhaustion. When choosing an itinerary, give yourself some buffer time, so you can be flexible with your pace and also enjoy some scenic breaks. It is, after all, the Himalayas.

  1. Safety First – Check your Gear

High-altitude treks require specific gear because of the low temperatures. Wear your trekking shoes a few times before you set off for your trek and if you are carrying your own tents and bedding, give them a few trials. Check for loose parts and holes and get them fix.

  1. Respect Your Environment

When you trek the Himalayas, you are entering a fragile eco-system. Make sure you are not disposing of your waste and garbage recklessly. Part of the trekking experience is to immerse oneself into the environment. Be aware of cultural sensitivities too.

  1. Bring your Essential Medication

You will be exposed to stressful conditions during a trek so there is bound to be a sniffle or two. Carry medicines for fever, allergies and acidity. Also keep in mind the different symptoms of altitude sickness and keep medicines handy as a last resort. Motion sickness medicines and antibiotics are also part of the list. Keep some extra nutrition handy. Water purification tablets or portable filters like Lifestraw are a great addition to the list.

  1. The Essentials

Cold weather and windproof clothing, appropriate camping and sleeping gear, sunscreen and shades, insect repellent, Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a multi-purpose knife, a sturdy backpack, a navigation tool and a good flashlight or headlamp are just some of the essentials for a trek.

Not just for the Himalayas, but you can keep these trekking tips in mind even for your weekend escapades closer to home. There are many adventurous resorts in Bangalore which allow you some outdoors time. Book a Nandi Hills resort and enjoy some cool air or find adventure in the jungle resorts in Kabini. While you step out for even the shortest of hikes, be prudent about where you step, what you wear and make sure your backpack has all the essentials.