Are you planning to go on a trekking trip? Check out these 9 trekking tips for beginners to prepare you for your next adventure in the outdoors.
It is that time of the year when the monsoon is at its peak in Maharashtra. It is also the best season for trekking for beginners especially for trekkers living in Mumbai and Pune due to the proximity of the Sahyadris and availability of transport. The Sahyadris are full of amazing trekking spots which can be covered in a single day. We at Small Steps Adventures, being deeply involved in planning and guiding trekking enthusiasts, have provided a checklist below that would help trekkers plan their upcoming trek like a pro!
1. Know it All
Literally! One cannot just amble into forested mountains without any planning. One needs to dig out as much information about the trek as possible. The internet is full of facts and figures and is also a host to a variety of travel and adventure blogs. Start by weighing the time factor – how much time would you be able to put in for a trek? Once you have fixed your time availability, deciding where to go for a weekend getaway trek from Mumbai becomes easy.
2. Selecting your Companions
So you have now decided where you wish to go for a trek. The next step is selecting the right company. The mountains are misty and heavily vegetated during the rains and may play tricks on the amateur and make him lose his path. It is therefore essential that you travel with a trek organizer like Small Steps Adventures as they were experts on the subject would provide you with a list of places to visit near Mumbai in the monsoons.
3. Trekking Aids
In order to make your trek a pleasant and memorable experience (in a good way!) you would need to carry a sturdy rucksack, a good pair of shoes and appropriate clothing. Remember that you would be scaling a hill and hence it becomes very important to invest in a good pair of shoes which would provide the much-needed grip and padding. Do not hesitate to carry a walking stick with you as it would help lessen the pressure on your weight-bearing joints.
Wear a full-sleeved T-shirt and a comfortable pair of full-length track pants. Do carry an extra pair of clothes and a windcheater to protect you from the rains. Umbrellas do not stand a chance in the gusty winds of the mountains and hence it is not advisable to carry them.
4. Food for the Stomach!
It would be wise to carry your own food as nothing may be available in the wilderness. Plan your meals and carry plenty of fruits. You can also carry foodstuffs like chapatti and cooked vegetables, bread and butter, cakes, sandwiches and sugary biscuits. At times, one can arrange for a meal at the base village after talking to the villagers. The food served here is simple but hot and fresh and can be bought by paying a small amount.
5. Stay Hydrated
It is very easy to get dehydrated on treks because the attention of a trekker is diverted in exploring the route and interacting with other like-minded people. In such a case, one must ensure to keep drinking water at regular intervals. Carry at least 3 litres of drinking water as you may not get access to clean drinking water on the mountains. Sometimes, water though available is not entirely clean. One can carry and iodine-based water-purifying tablets to eliminate the risk of drinking impure water. Mix Electral or glucose powder in your drinking water and keep sipping along the way!
6. Health is Wealth
You must ideally carry a first aid kit with you while on a trek. The kit should contain basic items like Band-Aids, antiseptic cream, gauze wire and tape along with tablets for minor ailments like a headache, vomiting, and fever.
7. Experience Nature and its Beauty
Remember, trekking is not about racing to the top. It is about experiencing divinity in the lap of nature. A lot of trekkers are in a hurry to reach the peak and when they reach the top they are in a hurry to get back down! Such an attitude defeats the whole purpose of going on a trek. Go slow, relax and enjoy the peace that envelops nature.
Additionally, it is our duty to conserve nature and its bounty. Refrain from littering in your natural surroundings. Carry extra waste paper bags with you. Collect all the refuse in them and dump them in the nearest dustbin.
8. Respect the Locals
Trekking happens to be a humbling experience as you are at the mercy of nature. A trek normally starts from a ‘base village’ which is generally the last place where human habitation is found before you move towards the top. The locals, used to the presence of outsiders, are quite friendly and always ready to help.
Their lifestyle may be very different but one has to have an attitude of gratitude towards them. Do not forget that those would be the very people you would run to in case of any trouble during the trek.
9. Other Miscellaneous Tips
- Avoid swimming in lakes and ponds
- Do not bathe in a waterfall if the flow is too strong or if it is near the edge of a cliff
- Walk carefully on slippery terrain
- Ask for help if you need it without feeling ashamed
- Help those who are in need
Book your seats immediately with ‘Small Steps Adventures’ for the upcoming trekking events.
Harish Kapadia, the famous mountaineer and author once said, ‘Mountains will always be there, just make sure you are there!’