Trekking has become the flavour of the season and with the winter setting in, everyone wants to head out to the mountains and go trekking. The monsoons are also a great time to head out and explore the beautiful nature. The landscapes are luscious and green, and the weather too is a welcome change from the oppressive summer heat.
Who doesn’t love spending some quality time in the luscious green covers, especially people like us who live in concrete jungles for most part of our lives. But let’s be honest – trekking is not your typical ‘tourist’ experience involving visiting grand monuments, experiencing culinary delights, shopping for souvenirs to bring back. It is much more sacrosanct than that. It is a bold challenge that you give to yourself to be more fitter, patient and calmer.
It is a great way to explore the outdoors no matter how old you are.
Awareness of the world outside
There exists a whole other world apart from our work desks and smartphones, and a trek is the best way to discover it. Going on a trek makes us appreciate Mother Nature for the picturesque hills and the fresh air away from the pollution of the big cities. It helps us appreciate the smaller things in life such as a walk in the starry sky, seeing the sunrises and sunsets, and walking with the grass beneath our feet.
Trekking makes us understand a place more better than simply visiting it as a tourist – be it the history, geography or culture, trekking gives us insights of a place like no other travel guide can.
Team building skills and confidence:
On a trek, you are supposed to follow a set of rules and regulations and abide by the safety instructions given to you by your group leader. One such rule is always keeping your eyes and ears open, and looking out for the safety of the person walking in front of you. This gives us valuable lessons in team building and also increase our confidence levels as we are supposed to be alert at all times and take important decisions.
Improved health and strength:
Fitness is commonly understood as having a body that is skinny and muscular. Well, let us break it to you. A fit body doesn’t necessarily have to be slim and muscular. Trekking and fitness both follow the same mantras of a combination of stamina, patience, health, and body strength. One may look stunning in their everyday life, but you will be able to test your real fitness only if you trek. Trekking is a long and a tiring process. It requires you to carry your own food and supplies while you are walking. This requires you to push yourself physically and mentally till you reach the top.
5 essential things one must carry on a trek
On a trek, it is very important to carry certain things with you to ensure safety and comfort when you are away from home and in the wild. This way, you can complete your expedition with a lot of ease.
Trekking shoes: Any trek is incomplete without a pair of sturdy and durable pair of trekking shoes, especially in uneven terrains. Make sure you get to use the shoes before you set on the trek as the risk of having shoe bites increases.
Water bottle (minimum 2 liters): It is important to stay hydrated on a trek, or else you run the risk of headaches, dehydration, fainting spells and fatigue. So keep sipping water on regular intervals during a trek.
Medication: This is one of the most important things to be carried during treks. Carry personal medicines (with written instructions), assorted Antiseptic Plaster / Blister Kit/friction free Tapes. You never know what could go wrong when you are trekking in dangerous terrains.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: Sun protection is imperative if you are going on a trek. Keep yourselves protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun. So carry a bottle of sunscreen with you.
Rain protective gear: In case of rainy weather, carry rain protective gear like windcheaters, ponchos, and shoes which have a good grip. Avoid long raincoats and umbrellas.
Safety tips to keep in mind while going for a trek
Trekking in the nature is wonderful and beautiful and you get to discover the different facets of nature. However, it is not without its fair share of risks. Nature is very unpredictable and can become deadly, if you are unprepared or don’t take enough precautions. Hence it is advised that one prepares a checklist of all things to carry and to do while on a trek.
Always do a proper recce and research of the place you intend to trek. It always helps if you do research and read up on the place you are intending to trek or hike! It’s always helpful, and necessary to know what exactly you’re getting into, and the physical challenges if any. Keep important contact numbers handy as well.
Dress appropriately and wear shoes meant for trekking only. It is best to wear t-shirts and quick drying shorts so that you are comfortable and protected against the elements and can make quick and easy movements. A good sturdy pair of trekking shoes is a must for the long walks. Avoid wearing sandals, floaters or heels.
Stay hydrated. This is very important – keep sipping water to cut down the risks of headaches, dizziness and fatigue. This is a must-follow tip when you are away from civilization and out in the nature. Carry water-bottles that have filter, so you can always have access to clean water while on a trek.
Follow instructions of the trek guide or leader. In the outdoors, it is very unpredictable and dangerous situations can arise at any time.Listen to the instructions of your trek leaders, especially since they have ample expertise of being in the wild.
Don’t litter. This is one thing you should never do while on a hike or a trek. A lot of places have stopped their nature trails and hikes are the participants are found to be littering. So maintain the sanctity of Mother Nature.