Well, you’ve been working for a while now, and you think you need a break, and want to go for a trek. But which trekking location should you head for? Take the following factors into account, and we’re sure you’ll have your answer by the end!
How fit are you? Ideally, you should be fit for any trek. Work out a month in advance in order to make sure you’re prepared.
If you’re in good shape, then most treks can be undertaken by you. Even Kuari Pass can be done by trekkers who don’t have that much experience, yet are fit.
3. Weather and Season
Most Himalayan treks like Hampta Pass and Kashmir’s Great Lakes are doable in May and June, but there are some treks that are known for the particular seasons they thrive in. If you’re going in April, think of Chopta-Chandrashila. The rhododendrons are in full bloom at Chopta and the route to Tungnath, and you might even encounter some ice and snow near Chandrashila top!
The pink rhododendrons aka Buransh, at Chopta.
Come July and August, and the famous Valley of Flowers beckons you. The flowers are in full bloom, and monsoon treks hold a charm of their own.
September, October, and November, though cold, are the best months for catching a view of the snow capped peaks. The skies are at their clearest, so I’d recommend Nag Tibba or Kuari Pass.
Come December and January, and we have the classic winter treks, namely Kedarkantha, and the Chadar trek.
4. Number Of Days At Hand
How many days do you have? If it’s a long weekend trip, then something like Kheerganga and Bhrigu Lake may be more up your alley.
But if you have a good week to 10 days, go for a trek like Roopkund in Uttarakhand, or the Great Lakes in Kashmir.
For something in between, try Chandrakhani Pass near Manali!
If you’ve got a humble amount saved up, then Piang Neru or Khar Myundari may be just what you’re looking for!
Layering is the tried and tested method used by Mountaineers for a long time. The beauty of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather.
We can divide our clothing into broadly three layers for your upcoming treks.
1. Base Layer – near the skin, manages moisture
2. Insulation Layer – protects you from the cold on upcoming treks.
3 Shell or Outer Layer – protects you from Wind or Rain.
This Layer is next to your skin and helps in regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration away from your body. Keeping dry is important for maintaining a cool body temperature in the summer and avoiding hypothermia in the winter. If you have ever used a cotton T under your rain cover while hiking or trekking, you will get wet not from outside but from inside.
Cotton is not a good material for this clothing layer instead synthetic fabrics like MTS, Capilene, PowerDry and CoolMax polyester or Silk are better alternatives for upcoming treks.
Insulation Layer – protects from cold
The insulating layer helps you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Fleece vests, jackets and tights are classic examples of insulation ideal for outdoor activities and for more extreme conditions feather jackets are most appropriate. Down has a very good warmth:weight ratio, and can be packed down (squeezed) to take very little room but are very costly.
They not only trap air but are also made with moisture transferring fibers to help keep you dry.
Shell or Outer Layer – protects from Wind or Rain
The outermost clothes are called the shell layer, they block wind or water and have good mechanical strength. Ideally the shell layer clothes are breathable i.e they lets moisture through to the outside while not letting wind and water pass through from the outside to the inside. This layer is a must is your upcoming treks are in the monsoon like the Valley Of Flowers Trek.
Gore Tex is extensively used for outer layer and it is Waterproof and breathable made of the very strong fabrics. It is founded by W. L. Gore & Associates and they are best known for their this product which is used in various world leading brands.
Your first Himalayan Trek is one of the most exciting adventures you can take. There is so much to discover. Probably the biggest mysteries you unlock will come from within yourself. Indeed, many who embark on Roopkund, Dodital or the Kuari Pass trek return with a completely different view of their place on this planet.From narrow paths traversing deep gorges, to ice bridges, to the altitude adjustments in your body, there are real mental and physical feats you will have to face. When you return home after your first Himalayan trek, you will be a new person and want to celebrate and reflect.
Things You Need To Know (or need ) Before Your First Himalayan Trek:
Good Trekking Shoes- An old proverb says, “Your feet carry you forward in life, take good care of them.” Get a pair of trekking shoes. If you need help read our blog finding the best trekking shoes.
A Light Backpack- Every gram of weight you carry will feel like ten times more than you think after 2-3 days of trekking in the Indian Himalayas. It’s not just the climb, it’s also the lessening of oxygen as you get higher each day. So, start with a backpack that does not weigh much itself, and then pack as light as you can. We can take a look at this nice info graphic to guide you getting the correct backpack
Multi-Function Clothing- Wear your pants, shirts and socks as many days in a row as you can. Nobody really cares what you look like. Showers are or non-existent, but there are streams and small water bodies on most Himalayan treks, so use them and just keep your body as clean as possible. This will keep your clothes a little fresher. Avoid jeans or denim jackets. They are heavy, dry slowly, and not very flexible. Take neoprene or nylon clothes and be sure to have a fleece and some warm layers for underneath. Himalayan passes are freezing. You can go from extremely hot to extremely cold in the same day.Try to wear clothes in layers. To know how you can read our blog dressing in layers.
A Few Electric/Electronics-You need a flashlight (small), a camera, spare batteries, and that’s about it. Electricity is sparse on the rooftop of the world. Some villages do not have any electricity at all, and the ones that do are subjected to load shedding.Make you have charged back-up batteries for everything.
Never Trek Alone. As great as it seems to be out there experiencing nature in a meditative,quiet way too many people have gone missing in the last few years.If you don’t have a trekking partner go with a trekking company or reliable guide.
Get some cultural information before you leave. The various people of the Himalayas represent beautiful ancient cultures. Read up a bit on them so that your experience is more enriching.