The Himalayan mountain range is one of the best places to go on a trek with your friends or family. Surrounded by beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking valleys, a trek to the Garhwal Mountains of the Himalayas is certainly going to be an adventure of a lifetime. Every year hundreds of hikers and trekkers from all over the world visit the Himalayas to fulfil their heart’s desire of climbing the tallest mountain range in the world. However, with the breathtaking beauty of the peaks, there are innumerable dangers as well. You also need to understand that unless you are well trained and have the proper gear and accessories, a trek can turn into a disaster in no time, especially in the Himalayas. So before you start to follow the trekking trail to the mountains, here are five tips you must consider.
#Note: If you are climbing from any states in northern India inform the local trekking associations and police station about your plans and details of the team members. Generally, climbing in Garhwal Himalayan range doesn’t need any special permission and fees.
Image: Way to Vasuki Tal (A hidden gem of trekking in Garhwal Himalayas)
- Route Maps and Weather Forecasts
Before you venture out to the mountains, make sure you do a proper research about the trail you are going to follow and also the alternate routes available in case you have to change your original route. It is best to have a proper route map of the Himalayas. It should have all the routes clearly mentioned on it to avoid any confusion in the middle of the trekking journey. A proper route map not only helps to complete the trekking expedition quicker but also makes sure that you do not get stranded or lost anywhere. Another important thing you must consider is the local weather as things can change really quickly in the Himalayas. Mountain weather is usually very erratic with frequent rainfall and snow. To make sure the trek goes on as planned, having local weather information is vital
- Packing Your Bag with Proper Trekking Outfits
This is the second most important thing to consider. Having proper outfits is a must when you go on a trek to the Himalayas. Also you need to pack your bags with the necessary items smartly, to make sure you carry everything that is needed on the trekking expedition. Avoid making your backpack too heavy with unnecessary items as it is only going to make the expedition difficult for you. You should carry some woolens along with hollow filled down jackets, a pair of waterproof gloves, woolen socks, sunglasses, boots and sandals and a sun cap. You may add more items depending on what time of the year you are going on the trek.
- Carrying Proper Trekking Gears and Camping Equipment
Apart from trekking outfits, you also need to carry proper trekking gears and equipment to make your journey smooth and entertaining. Some of the basic trekking gears in Himalayan treks include a sleeping bag, tent, trekking poles, a water bottle; GPS enabled hiking watch, and a flashlight. A sleeping bag and a tent will be handy when you decide to set up camp somewhere for the night. A GPS enabled watch will make sure you do not get lost anywhere and even if you lose your way, you can find it again. A bright flashlight is a must have as it finds a number of uses in the mountains especially at night. Apart from these, you need to carry at least two wireless phones to stay in touch with everyone at all times as mobile phones may not work in high altitudes due to non-availability of the network.
- Choose a Local Guide and Porter
You need to especially consider this option since you are going on a trek to the Himalayas. The local guides not only have ample knowledge about the landscape but can also help you out in crisis or emergency situations.
Staring day of trek to Rupin Pass (dense forest and fog can easily make you lost)
This being said, I recommend that you hire guides from the local government authorized agency only as non-authorized guides may not have proper training to deal with emergency situations. Also consider taking a porter with you to carry the heavy backpacks and camping equipment. Now, if you have a large group and can manage the backpacks on your own, you can ignore this option. However, if you intend to take a porter, hire it from the same government authorized agency.
- Emergency Kit
Last, but the most important of all is the Emergency kit bag. The bag should include prescribed drugs for high altitude illnesses. You can consult with your doctor before the trek to make a list of all the medicines you may need in high altitudes. Apart from drugs, the bag should also contain first aids to treat wounds and injuries sustained while trekking. It would be an added advantage if at least one person in your group has basic medical knowledge to treat emergencies. The bag should include a Satellite phone, and a backup flashlight.
I am sure that your trekking adventure to the Garhwal Himalayas is going to be an experience of a lifetime if you consider these points before venturing out. Each and every trek whether in the Himalayas or anywhere else comes with a lot of hazards so safety should always be given outmost priority for a safe and adventurous trek.