Are you one Tenzing Norway kinds who yearns to touch snow peaked mountains and have the time of your life but not sure how to go about it? These expert tips from a seasoned trekker will help you dodge the common mistakes and enable you to have the best trek of your life!
Plan your trip well
Ensure that you do thorough planning and save your trip from breaking down. Therefore, take time to master your budget and consume ample time in making your day wise itinerary.
Design a day wise itinerary
Check where your interest lies. In centuries-old culture or, more remote mountain passes? What attracts and appeals you more? If you are into ancient historic places then your pick should be monasteries in Ladakh or Little Tibet. If you want to trek through luxuriant forests then consider exploring Sikkim that is full of deciduous forests. For spectacular mountain views, the not so often trekked trails of the Garhwal are at par with the best available in the Himalayas.
Don’t be too ambitious with your itinerary. Allow plenty of contingency days for acclimatization, weather, porters that vanish without telling you for half a day, village festivities, or taking an extra day to savour a stunning campsite and the treat to the eye views. Don’t expect to master the mountains on a single trip as, Understanding the Himalaya would take lifetimes to achieve.
Decide your budget
If you are the only one trekking then list down all expenses from transportation to food and accommodation and double all the expenses. That should take care of all other unforeseen costs that always seem to creep into a tight budget. Plan to keep more money in hand if your trek is being arranged by a trekking agency (likely to come to 10% of your total budget).
How long will your trek be?
March until June is often considered peak trekking season, but make sure you are aware about all the weather type about whatever place you go. The Himalaya have discreet weather patterns, so complex that even experienced travelers can find themselves caught out. The areas of Himachal, Uttaranchal, Darjeeling and Sikkim are subject to heavy monsoon rains that do not stop for days together, so avoid July and August if you can. The Indian Himalaya also experience a long and cold winter from mid November until March – during this period, it’s best to head to Nepal. You will praise yourself forever for having made that plan, for it is so beautiful!
Keep safety first
You cannot complete your trek just relying on the GPS since signals are poor sometimes in the interiors, which can be utterly dangerous. Only travel and government advisories do not help. Even the most detailed contour maps tend to be unreliable in some remote areas, so your best investment by far would be hiring an experienced local guide.
Check your gear properly
There’s no one to impress in a remote and mostly secluded mountain pass, so forget fashion and make sure your gear is sturdy enough to withstand the harsh mountain weather. There is no reason to invest in all the latest outdoor gear, provided your trekking gear is in good shape. Good gear still comes at a premium rate in India unlike places like Nepal. If your arrangements are being made by an agent, double-check what is included and exclude and check the costs by tallying it with others to prevent wastage. If you still carry any doubts then it’s best to at least use your own sleeping bag and sleeping mat and even your favourite (lightweight) tent.