Old-School Essentials for the Modern-Day-Trek
Trekking is becoming increasingly popular and many adventurous souls love to take off on hikes during weekends or holidays
Planning to go trekking? Here are some guidelines
Location and Permits – Trekking destinations in protected forest areas require special permissions. Get info beforehand of the nature of the chosen location. Forest Departments commonly manage eco-lodges or inspection bungalows for the use of travelers. They can be booked in advance, through the district Forest Office.
Local Guide – Local eyes are a sure shot way to uncover unseen treasures. The wisest way to find a guide is to enquire with surrounding villages. Shepherds have a long-standing reputation for being invaluable trek guides, and what’s more authentic than that?
Shoes – These are non-negotiable. Good shoes are plain commonsense for protecting your ankles, and as a safeguard against snakebite.
Water and Food – One can never over estimate water reserves, but monitor your intake while trekking. Carry sufficient, high-energy foods, prioritizing fruits and nutritious snacks. When packing rations, be logical and keep the load light.
Light and Fire Starter – Carrying light is essential. Do not ever blindly ‘feel’ your way through the dark. Light (a proper torch, not the flashlight on your phone!) is a life-saver, helping you avoid many kinds of accidents. Further, carry a matchbox or lighter as a fire starter to be used only in emergencies. Never joke around or be casual about it (any idea of how flammable grass is?).
Daylight – Set out early; you get more out of your day and see more this way. While trekking, it is crucial to be aware of diminishing daylight hours. It is tempting to go further, or take long, leisurely rest stops…but don’t forget that you have to factor in at least double the time (of the onward hike) for the return trek. Be careful not to put yourself in compromising situations.
Attitude – It goes without saying that a positive attitude will not only take you further but also make the journey more enjoyable. A fellow trekker who is cribbing and whining is unpleasant. When the trail gets too hot or difficult, remember that finishing the trek is one-tenth physical stamina, determined mainly by your mental stamina and will power. Do not give up.
Risk Management and Strong Group Mentality – Apply calculated risk assessment as a basis for all your decisions. Look out for yourself and one another equally; do your bit to keep the group energy in high spirits.
Group Size – It should not be too big, but not too small as there is certainly strength in numbers and it helps to have more eyes and ears.
Leave No Trace – This is a widespread code of outdoor ethics and safety. Remember to clean up after you and to never litter
Ethical Wildlife Observation – When you encounter any animal, bird or insect, be respectful by maintaining a fair distance. Do not be intrusive, disturb them during natural behaviors, tamper with nests or scare them unnecessarily. Avoid wearing artificial scents like perfume, body lotion, or mosquito repellant. Do not be loud, play music or burst crackers, it is best to maintain silence – it increases the sheer quality of wildlife experienced.