“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.”Greg Child
If you have landed here on this page, the chances are that you are soon planning your very first trek. Great!
The forces we interact with during the week normally tend to dump a lot of unwanted chaos inside our minds by the time we reach Friday. In such a scenario, it becomes very essential for us to declutter the mind during the weekend. Being a fervent traveller, I keep a travel bag almost ready most of the time that comes handy during all my last minute, weekend trekking plans. Thanks to the close vicinity of Himalayas from Delhi NCR that such plans easily see the light of the day.
Although this low-impact workout experience is liberating, many treks can be arduous and strenuous. As a beginner, one definitely needs to take a few tips into consideration before setting foot on a mountain. Let’s explore a few basic tips and guidelines that beginners need to remember before starting their first trek.
1. Start with an Easy Trek
As a beginner, it is important that you start with an easy trek. Many first timers make this deadly mistake of choosing a difficult trek as their first treks and come back with the horrifying stories and experiences. After 3-4 easy treks, it is advised to make a shift to a moderate level trek and gradually start planning for a difficult one.
2. Go with a Trek Group
You might have Googled-up a lot of details about how to manage a trek independently, but it is not advisable for at least 3 of the initial first treks, as you never know what could unexpectedly go wrong in the mountains in an instant. Book your treks from the official and certified trek-organizers. Such organizations provide the group with a qualified trek-leader, who could guide you during the excursion.
3. Fitness Check
Get a medical check-up done before opting to climb a hill. Make sure you maintain a good diet from at least 1 week before, depending on the requirement of your trek. Some workout to build stamina also helps a lot. If you have slightest of doubts about your health, opt-out immediately. Even the slightest of ignorance can be dangerous later on, when it comes to health.
4. Stress on Dress
Weather is often treacherous in mountains. One moment you might be sweating excessively due to heat, next moment you might find yourself exposed to cold and harsh winds. It is necessary that you check the weather beforehand and wear/carry the clothes accordingly. It is also advisable to contact your trek-organizer beforehand and discuss the clothing necessities. Wear comfortable clothes for ease. I always make sure that I carry a rain-poncho during all my treks before it does not take much time for cloud-formations to change and bring rainfall.
5. Tag a Friend Along
Make sure you have a fit friend or a healthy family member with you while you trek. Even better if experienced. Not only does it make the journey interesting, it gives an additional sense of security during the climb. Also, with two or more people in your own group, responsibilities, resources can be shared equally.
6. Mark your Whereabouts
As you keep climbing a mountain, the availability of cellular network and internet diminishes. It is important that you keep informing your friends or your family members of your whereabouts as much as possible. Also, inform them that you might face a drop in the cellular network at the peak and after how many days/hours will the networks restore. This would prevent your loved-ones from freaking out when they try to reach out to you through call.
7. Pack the Essentials
Although, a call to your trek-organizer is necessary to know what all you need to carry along the trek, there are some of the basic things that one needs to carry, irrespective of which mountain you are trekking at.
- A torch or a head-light
- A fully-charged power-bank
- Mobile phone charger
- Water-proof trekking boots
- Extra pair of clothes and socks
- Basic First-aid supplies with any personal medicines
- Water bottle
- A cap to protect you from the sun
- Energy food items like energy bars, chocolates, fruits etc.
8. Don’t Race. Keep the Right Pace
One of the very common mistakes that amateur trekkers do is to think of reaching the destination before everyone else. Trust me, it does not help. Trekking is not a race. Make sure that you tread in a rhythm and at your own pace. If you reach ahead of the rest of the group, make sure you wait as it is advisable to trek along with the group. Take regular stops in between to relax, rejuvenate, energize and hydrate.
9. Follow the Lord Commander
Always follow the words of the Lord Commander, your trek-guide or the trek leader. During the time of need, trek-guide would turn out to the most helpful person to get you out of the trouble. Make sure you obey the instructions strictly and give respect to his/her words of wisdom.
10. Care for Environment
One of the most important things is that you care for the environment. Do not litter around. Make sure you carry a bunch of jute/cloth bags to put all your waste in. If possible, keep collecting the waste that you see along the way. That helps keep the mountains be in their natural, clean and pristine form. Do not carry prohibited substances. Do not use loud-speakers in the mountains as it disturbs the lifestyle of the fauna of the place.
Read about my first trekking experience here.
Dream, Explore and Discover with Spiffy Hipster. Happy Trekking. 🙂