Expectation vs Reality from your first time trekking in the Indian Himalayas
This blog is a part of our Trekking 101 series, powered by ULTIMATE TREKKER – the Outdoor Leadership Programme for pro trekkers.
Trekking is a long arduous activity and daunting as it may sound, it works like magic for most. People are picking up trekking in India just to get away from their mundane routine.
Have you also been wanting to go trekking in the Indian Himalayas for long?
If yes, let your first experience of trekking in the mountains be a lasting one. But there is a high possibility of disappointment with respect to what you might be expecting to experience on the trek. It is best to take note of the following list of reality checks before you embark upon your never-ending, life-changing and soul-searching odyssey.
1-Do not pack an entire household in your backpack. You aren’t going forever!
It is important to recognize stuff you will surely need on a trekking trip in the Himalayas. Things you ‘might need won’t fit into just one bag. Hence, being prudent in choosing the right stuff is of utmost importance. Again, stressing on the need for keeping only limited stuff doesn’t mean that you leave out on something that might be a lifesaver and you ‘might actually need it’, like a preventive medicine.
2-There are no free lunches. Self-sufficiency is the norm while trekking.
Relying on strangers for essentials can prove to be disastrous on long treks. Carrying one’s own sleeping bag while trekking in the mountains goes without saying. It is not necessary that you will find a cave, rock shed or the most altruistic trekkers on your trek that would be carrying an extra sleeping bag to provide it to someone in need. Doing it would obviously be in contrast to the first basic tenet of traveling light.
3-Your top doesn’t match with your shoes? Should be least of your worries when on a trek.
Dressing up in the right apparel is much more important than worrying about matching shoes. Choosing the right fabric (not cotton), hiking shoes, trousers etc., is part of the major beginner backpacking tips. Wearing the wrong fabric or shoes might cause chafing or blisters that could ruin your experience, that you imagined would be closer to achieving divinity on your spiritual pilgrimage.
4-Guides do not operate in ‘God- Mode’.
If you are on a guided trek, it is beneficial to keep in mind that you choose the right organization after careful considerations. It is quite possible that you might end up with a service provider that cheats consumers as most providers are following unscrupulous activities. It is always better to be prepared for wilderness while trekking in Indian Himalayas. Learning about safety measures can come in handy in such cases. Due diligence is the best companion on such excursions.
5-Trekking is food for the soul but are you using the right sole?
Usually 5-6 are the average hours of trekking in a day. If you are continually walking for so long on stony trails and steep slopes then, shoes can play a pivotal role in letting you do the trek in an undulating motion. Wearing hiking shoes instead of boots could drastically affect your walking ability. Choosing the right gear can help you avoid common trekking injuries which you might not have thought about initially.
6-Your Backpack is so big that it can even fit a car! Every big looking bag is not ergonomically designed.
It is quite banal to be fooled by fancy looking backpacks serving no purpose in the outdoors. Not only they should have space to easily carry your tent and sleeping bag but also, exert minimum stress on your shoulders and back. Himalayan trekking for beginners can be a risky ballgame, as they can easily injure their back by walking for several hours, with the load in an uncomfortable position. Hence, it becomes, absolutely necessary to buy a bag that has a good backrest and is scientifically designed for equal distribution of weight.
7-You’ve been pitching tents in your bedroom ever since you were a little kid? It is not so ‘no frills’ in the outdoors.
Most of the tents available in the market are now easy to open, assemble and pitch. Even a kid can do it in 3-4 easy steps. It becomes extremely crucial as to how it is being pitched. Tent etiquettes are essential for dreamy nights and also can be a life saver. Pitching tent on a flat ground, away from the river bed, beside a windbreaker, with water conduits on all 4 sides are some of the rules of tent etiquettes.
These are some of the many pointers to keep in mind, while trekking or camping in the outdoors. It is better to be prepared than to make mistakes when you are out in the wild, and especially when you are alone. As difficult it may sound, living in the outdoors is the most basic and primal activity/routine of human beings. It’s just that it takes a little time to get acquainted with the wild where we historically belonged.
If this listicle succeeded in meeting your ‘expectation’ then feel free to let us know more about the ones we are unaware of, in the comments section below.
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Author: Kshitij Gupta
Kshitij at 4play designs content and partners with athletes. He is an outdoor aficionado who likes to pick up different adventure sports and has already been pursuing alternate sports for a long time now. He has just begun to climb and pursues skateboarding alongside.