Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a beginner, you should not go unprepared into the Himalayas. In India, the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand are the foremost choice of hikers. Though awe-striking and majestic, the mountains can be rough and ruthless. In turn, we offer some reflections about how to prepare.
Each year, we hear about hikers going missing in the Himalayan ranges, falling prey to the wilderness. So, yes, your experience can turn bitter if a proper approach is not employed while trekking the Himalayas.
Here are a few points that you should keep in mind before your trip:
- Choosing the Right Weather
Weather conditions can make or break your experience in the Himalayas. It is always recommended to avoid visiting the mountains during the monsoons. Torrential downpours, landslides, and cloud bursts are common in these regions during the months of late-June to September. Similarly, harsh winters, especially during December and January, are not good times to go trekking. The mountains are often at risk of avalanches and snow storms. If you do not pay attention to the weather conditions and plan your trek recklessly, you put yourself in serious risk of injury.
- Do-it-Yourself is Not Always the Best Approach
An experienced guide is generally a great resource, knowing more about the area and what to do in case of emergency. Navigating through the mountainous trails can be confusing and sometimes even fatal, if you get lost. Even the easiest of the treks carry with them risk, which is why we recommend not to do a DIY trek in the Himalayas unless you are well versed with the area.
- Invest in the Right Trekking Gear
Your gear will be your best friend while you trek. It is important to choose the right trekking poles, footwear, sunglasses, waterproof outerwear, sleeping bags, lightweight boots, and other accessories. Don’t buy cheap knock-offs. Always invest in high-quality gear that will make your trekking experience safer and more enjoyable.
- Physical Fitness
Irrespective of how determined you are to reach the summit, it is important to be physically fit before heading off on a trek. Make sure you plan your route well ahead of time so you have time to train your body. If possible, it is a good idea to spend some time at high altitudes beforehand to allow your body time to acclimate.
- Be Responsible
The Himalayas are young mountains that are slowly witnessing the negative effects of global warming. In turn, it is important to preserve the environment and keep the mountains clean so that future generations can also enjoy them. Whenever possible, carry out your trash and dispose of it properly.
While these are some important tips that you should keep in mind before trekking, there are some other basics that you shouldn’t forget. For example, keep someone informed about your whereabouts at all times. You will most likely lose phone connection in remote areas and this increases your risk. If you are a foreign tourist, informing the embassy may be a good idea.
The Himalayas are beautiful and trekking can be transformative. . These points are just a few suggestions to make your time in the Himalayas safe and enjoyable. In brief, plan wisely and enjoy the adventure.