It’s never too late to start something new. Trekking is one of those few activities that can be started at any point in time. All you need is courage and determination to venture out on a new adventure. An adventure that broadens your horizon to enjoy a more immersive outdoor experience. There are fewer crowds, dreamy abodes and hamlets, mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets where you feel at peace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I started my journey with a group of experienced backpackers.

Before the commencement of my journey, I attended a proper orientation program where they taught us the basics of trekking and all the minute details that one needs to keep in mind while backpacking. The journey took me amidst the mountains where I climbed some of the best trails surrounding meadows and dogs accompanied us to the hilltop. Whether you are hiking in the mountains or camping in the fields, the trekking experience leaves you with thousands of memories and unending experiences from which you learn and grow as an explorer. 

These ultimate trekking for beginner tips will help you to kick start your journey as a backpacker and experience this amazing outdoor adventure. Enjoy!

CHOOSING THE TREK

The first and the most important step in your first trekking journey is to choose an easy destination. Start exploring the easier and smaller trails first before heading to the difficult ones. Treks that are able to be completed in a day or a couple of hours are the best ones to go for. You wouldn’t have to pack too much and you will not get easily tired on these trails. Also make sure you don’t venture out as a novice during the monsoons. These mountain paths can get really slippery.

Some ideal first trek choices are:

  1. Kheerganga
  2. Triund Top
  3. Grahan
  4. Rashol
  5. Malana

CHOOSING THE TREK

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CURATE ESSENTIAL GEAR

After you have decided the destination, the next step is to start collecting the essential gear and clothing. My first trekking gear was very heavy as I wasn’t too aware of what all things would go into my backpack so I ended up putting the heavy items. Make sure to make your backpack as light as possible and at the same time you don’t miss out on any essentials. Remember that the essential items in your backpack are your sleeping bags, tent, food, water, clothes, emergency kit, navigation equipment, few snacks and your pack. You can cut out the rest. 

There is no need to buy special hiking clothes for your first backpacking trip. Simply go through your fitness wear and pick the clothes that are made of fabrics like nylon and polyester because they quickly absorb moisture and keep your skin dry. Learn the art of layering that will help you to quickly adapt to changing weather conditions and will act as a robust defence against the sudden environmental changes.

PACKING

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CHECK THE WEATHER

Always check the weather before your trip. Without fail. Even if the weather forecast predicts that it will be hot and sunny every day, carry layers, an insulated jacket and a rain jacket. Weather changes drastically especially if you are hiking in the mountain. Let me give you an example of the time we day hiked in the Himalayan valley. That particular was supposed to be sunny. But midway, it started raining heavily and within minutes I was completely drenched in the rain because I forgot to carry the rain jacket and umbrella. There was only one umbrella in the group. And we three friends were literally walking under that umbrella. Crazy isn’t it?

A good poncho, suncap, some thermal layers and thick socks will go a long way in saving you if the weather goes awry. Always make sure to keep checking the weather forecasts of the region.

KEEP TABS ON THE WEATHER

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CHECK YOUR SCENT

Now this one is for overnight camping or multiple trekking days. Doesn’t really apply if your trek is only a couple of hours. But it is very important to note. Avoid wearing scented products like perfumes, fragrant wipes, strong-smelling lotion or perfume oil.

The smell of these products attract animals, insects and tiny bugs. They can easily trace you and attack you if you wear these scented products. It is advisable to carry fragrance-free toiletries for trekking.

STAYING AWAY FROM SMELLS

40%

 

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NAVIGATION

A little navigational skill never hurt anyone. Learn how to use basic navigation skills in case you get lost on the trip. Your phone also has a compass which can be used as the navigation tool but it may run out of the battery. So it’s advisable to always carry a physical map and the compass and learn how to use them. 

I have learnt the importance of navigation skills during one of my camping trips when two of my friends lost their way and we lost all the connectivity with them. Thankfully our group leader was a smart guy who knew all about navigation. He whipped out the map and compass and ended up finding my lost friends quite easily.

So next time you are bored, open up Youtube and check out some videos about simple navigation techniques. It will really be useful.

LEARNING NAVIGATION SKILLS

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DO MEAL PREP

Most trekking companies take care of your food but if you are alone or going with friends, this is going to be your call. Avoid canned food items that are heavy and take a lot of space in your travel backpack.

Carry high protein bars, biscuits, few snacks, instant tea/coffee, Maggi, instant food (like pre-cooked MTR) etc. This will be easy to make and taste good as well. I always carry chocolates with me as it boosts my energy and keeps me going throughout the trip.

THE RIGHT SNACKS

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BRING LOTS OF WATER

Make sure that you carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated when you are on the trip. Most of the travel backpacks have compartments for keeping water bottles so that you need not carry it by yourself. All the trips have taught me that you can miss on some clothes but never miss carrying an extra bottle or two of water.

You can live a little without food but if there are no freshwater streams nearby and you are out of water, you will be seriously dehydrated on your trek. Even cold trekking destinations get really sunny in the morning so be wary of this.

KEEPING YOURSELF HYDRATED

70%

EXTRA TLC FOR YOUR FEET

You have to take extra care of your feet. Blister prevention is the key to a comfortable trekking expedition. If your shoes are new, it is recommended to walk in your shoes for days before your trip. This is to acclimatize your feet to the insoles and act as blister prevention on your actual trek.

Make sure to wear the most comfortable shoes for your trip. I always carry an extra pair of socks or two while going on any trekking trip. If you have to cross streams or waterfalls, your socks will definitely get wet and trekking without socks is a big no no. When you reach your destination or the campsite, take off your shoes and make sure they get dry as walking too much makes your feet wet which dampens the socks and soles.

KEEPING YOUR FEET WARM

80%

 

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SAFETY FIRST

This is of utmost importance. Never randomly leave for any trip or destination without informing your close ones and family of all the itinerary details. Include details like where are you going, who is accompanying you, when you are expected to be back, your accommodation details and the transportation details. You never know when a situation of emergency can arrive, so it is best to be prepared.

Also make sure you carry a portable charger (fully charged) so that even if you don’t get network on the high altitude areas, you can always make a call when you reach to a more network-able height. A dead phone will be of no help.

BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY

90%

PREPARE YOURSELF

The final step is to be physically as well as mentally ready for the trip. Work on your physical fitness by indulging yourself in exercises to increase your strength. You do not have to become a full-on gym beast but regular exercises like running, jogging, jumping jacks, push-ups, skipping and at home callisthenics can really help.

Here are some things you should definitely keep in mind as you trek:

  1. Do not litter. Pick up and clean after yourself.
  2. Do not waste food. 
  3. Do not feed animals any manufactured goods like chips etc.
  4. Respect the locals and do not be rude to them.
  5. Try not to make much noise.
  6. Listen to the instructions of your guide very carefully and follow them.

BODY PREPARATION

100%

 

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Now that you know what points have to be kept in mind for your first trekking trip, what are you waiting for? Look for the destinations and set out your foot on the journey of becoming one of the trekkers of India.

What Should I Do Now?
  1. To join our 100k fam, click here.
  2. To book a trek with us, click here.
  3. To book a hostel stay with us, click here.

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