If you’re a beginner to trekking, here are 10 trekking tips that should help you prepare for your first trek! And even if you’re experienced, it’s never too late to brush up on some information.
Trekking Tip 1: Double check everything.
Equipment matters. You don’t want to be out on a hike, and when you need something important, you don’t have it. It can be the difference between life and death. Trekking usually takes place in remote locations, where facilities are scarce, so there’s a good chance you won’t find what you’re looking for.
Even if it is available, why would you want to waste money and buy something you already have?
Trekking Tip 2: If hit by AMS, descend.
Mountains can be your best friend, but also your worst enemy. Acute Mountain Sickness hits when you don’t acclimatise properly. Presuming you’re past the point of acclimatising and are already facing symptoms of altitude sickness, the best solution is to descend. While Diamox etc. can help curb the symptoms and effects, removing the cause(high altitude) is the most logical solution.
Trekking Tip 3: Prepare adequately.
Make sure you’re physically and mentally fit to go for a trek. Fitness can make the difference between making a trek really easy to complete, or really difficult to manage. You don’t want to be left lagging behind!
Trekking Tip 4: Climb high, sleep low.
Once over 3000 meters above sea level, climb slowly, sleeping no more than 300 m higher at the end of each day. Going higher during the day is fine as long as you go down to sleep. It’s a good idea to reach your destination for the day and then go for an acclimatisation walk somewhere high around, thereafter returning to camp.
Trekking Tip 5: Start early, reach early.
It’s a rule I follow religiously. Early morning usually makes for glorious weather, with astounding views. Plus, if you start by around 5 or 6 AM, there’s a good chance you’ll be at your intended destination by 12 PM or max, 2, just in time for lunch. Plus, the weather usually gets cloudy and rainy post noon, and it’s never fun to trek in that.
Trekking Tip 6: Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos. Kill nothing but time. Keep nothing but memories.
Global warming is consuming our planet at a rapid pace, and the Himalayas have one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. Add to all this, the throngs of tourists visiting them each year, and you have at hand a disaster waiting to happen.
In light of all these, it is our prerogative that we keep our ecological footprint to a minimum. We leave them as we would like to find them. We do not harm the flora and fauna. We take away nothing but experiences.
Trekking Tip 7: It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.
This one applies to both trekking and mountaineering. If we keep wasting time thinking about how much further the destination is, we make it mentally tiring for ourselves. So it’s best to concentrate on the next step, on the immediate present, and where to put our foot next.
Trekking Tip 8: Take care of your feet.
Your legs and feet are your most valuable companion on any trek, and that’s why it’s really important to pay attention to them. Make sure to wear the right socks, and the right number of layers. Break in new shoes before taking them for their first trek. Get comfortable in them. Lace them up to the top to reduce chances twisting your ankle.
Trekking Tip 9: When you reach a destination, set up camp first before anything else.
Before doing anything else, it’s necessary that you pitch your tents first. When you do that, you have a base to function out of, out of which you can organise all other activities like cooking. In the event of unforeseen weather, you have a place to take shelter.
Trekking Tip 10: “Aur kitni aage hai?/How much further?” is always a bad question to ask, and one we hate answering 😛
We all know “Bas thoda aur/just 10 minutes more” is a blatant lie we tell just to keep you satisfied, so why make us say it 😛 ?