Note: This is easy to moderate trek
A guide to first timers on trek…
Normally I never get distracted from work, but I noticed a notification on my mobile, which was from my friend that said, “Interested in trek?”
I was frenzied. It was my first Himalayan trek. I was so agitated that I never gave a thought about reading complete information about trek because I thought it was a piece of cake…. But it was far from truth! And later, I learned these things in really hard way.
Following are things to consider before trek…
Looking back I never put much of a thought on it until my first day of trek, also longest trek among all. Just on little breakfast, I went to trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria which was 9 km trek. Experienced trekkers may already have an idea what might happened next but for fresher’s out there, here is the deal…
I faced one of the symptom of altitude sickness; Shortness of Breath. Honestly your body will fight to breathe normally. And on top of that having no habit of exercise and heading straight into trek my legs gave up. So, in order to avoid that do little stretching exercises before and after trek.
Tip: start exercising at least a month before trek, normal exercises like running, climbing the hills or stairs will work. Breathing exercises will go long road ahead.
We come to 2nd most important point Intake. There is no point to trek on just little breakfast or snacks as mountain life puts lots of work on your body. So more the energy longer the distance you can cover. Simply, more the intake = more energy during trek. Also drink 4-5 liters of water in order to be hydrated. After morning snacks make sure carry energy foods with lunch such as dry fruits, candies, glucose candies but avoid packed food and junk food also do not forget to carry a packet electrol powder with you as when you will feel deprived of energy, a bottle of electrol water will be your savior… Energy restored!!
Before we head to next point I would like to add timely intake of food is necessary.
This trek had steep stone paths with few landslides, sometimes alternate ascends and descend other times continuous ascend. In City if you can cover 1 km in 10 min, same distance will require 45min – 1hr in mountains; so be prepared. Walking 250 m on plain plateau< Walking 250m in mountains.
Pic was taken in Valley of Flowers
Your brain will fail to do simple math about speed, distance and time.
Source: Archie Comics/giphy.com
Experienced trekkers can complete 5 km trek in an hour but for same fresher will take 2 hours or more. On my part I was always proved wrong when claimed I reached the destination as it was only small part of the trek, say 1 km of 9 km trek. Not even near it.
4. Things to carry:
Always carry things according to weather. We went during rains, there were landslides as well as slippery paths.
We wore 4 layers of clothes :
- Normal clothes
- Rain wear
We were melting like an ice yet we had worn it during trek. Even though we wore layers upon layers; our clothes got wet so we had to give for drying, so keep some cash with you.
Carry lots of dry clothes:
- Prefer dry fits
- Disposable clothes
- Few warm clothes are must (Thermals, cap, jackets). These should be extra.
There are many flora and fauna that you may not know, you are entering in their territory so full clothes recommended.
Make sure your shoes are as per the terrain and in Good condition, let me elaborate During my trek to Valley of flowers I had a friend whose shoes got completely torn during trek. Our leader did quick fix with shoe lace but she had to complete trek with that condition. So it is important to check the condition as well as grip of shoes.Carry anti fungal powder and make sure you have extra pair socks as you can use them as double padding while wearing shoes. Before that sprinkle some anti-fungal powder in socks before wearing them, after that say bye-bye to blisters!!
6. Traffic jams:
Be ready to be stuck in traffic for hours. After our last trek while returning to Rishikesh, Due to landslide we were stuck in traffic jam just few km from Govindghat. It took 5 hours to clear the road but that also for one way traffic. You can spend time by having local cuisines, playing card games, initiating a conversation with locals or just click photos.
This was clicked while going to Joshimath.
Tea and Maggi are most easily available in food stalls. You can also play group games with your group in the bus.
7. Go solo:
There are some places which can be explored Solo. I personally went solo for Badrinath.
This pic was taken while I was visiting Badrinath Temple.
It’s a small sacred power packed place. You have Temples, Hot spring, River, Roads, Narrow lanes, Suspended bridges and you shall meet sweetest locals.
Note: You can click a picture with them if asked politely, especially kids!
This pic was taken while returning from Badrinath Temple.
Best part of Badrinath is its hot spring. Don’t- skip- it. And other than that visit the temple, if you are lucky enough you can witness aarti at evening.
There’s a saying that the one who bows the mountains while trekking is welcomed with open arms by the mountains. It is said as a respect and as a method to trek in the mountains. Travel light, you can hire mule for your luggage which will directly transport your luggage to your accommodation point but make sure all your important things are with you. People there are welcoming and generous, while trekking pay attention to advice from locals as they have thorough knowledge about the place. If there is any chance that you are a bit alone for a distance, make sure you have at least 2 members of your group trekking in front and back of you. Altitude sickness such as migraine, loss of appetite, and feeling like vomiting is common so carry medicines and update your camp leader accordingly.
9. Camera protection:
What’s a trek without few pictures?!! But during season like this its little tricky to carry your camera during trek. Either carry rain protection gear or opt for on the spot JUGAAD like me. One of the layer that I wore during trek was poncho. It’s the best hack that you can have!! How?
Now what i am going to share with you is profound wisdom for the people who don’t have waterproof camera or don’t have waterproof camera gear. Mine was basic camera, Nikon D3200; not waterproof. While climbing keep your camera bag in plastic bag and keep that bag in your backpack which you will carry with you during trek. Now after reaching the destination, deciding the spot to shoot and checking the weather; if clear weather get your cam out and start shooting BUT… if there are rains; Put the camera belt behind the neck and keep the camera inside the poncho you are wearing; It will protect both you and your camera during rains, so Double Protection.
So there is my camera with me inside poncho.
If the idea sounds stupid but works it ain’t stupid.
So peeps these are the things that will help you to rock that trek without any regrets. Which of these you loved the most?? Please share your views in the comments below as I would love to hear from you. Au revoir…. .