TREKKING Before you make a date with nature and head to the wild outdoors, it’s important to be well prepared. KASHIF ALI
Time for the rucksacks to replace the briefcase, tents in place of houses and the mountains swallowing the concrete jungle; the call of the wild is nigh. Bear Grylls you are not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your slice of the adventure and thrills, provided you are well equipped to meet whatever comes your way. Let’s take a walk through the basics of trekking, high altitude trekking and traversing to be precise.
What to do
Two variables need to be kept in mind before embarking on a high altitude trekking trip, namely, physical fitness and problems associated with high altitude, i.e. AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Physical fitness calls for everyday fitness, which can be achieved through jogging, walking or basic weight training; taking the stairs at work and giving the elevator a skip helps too. Get into decent walking shape at least a month in advance, easing the toll that high altitude trekking takes on the body.High altitude acclimatisation requires good planning and common sense, things which come in handy when gaining height during a trek.
Rapid, unchecked, climbs can result in fluid build-up in the lungs and brain, leading to breathless, coughing and ultimately drowning in the fluids; a condition called High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). When this fluid collects in the brain (High Altitude Cerebral Edema – HACE), it can lead to headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting. As this condition worsens, you lose coordination (ataxia), and eventually slip in to a coma, with death being inevitable unless you descend. It is advisable to ensure that your ascents are gradual, giving your body time to adjust to the change in oxygen levels, while remaining well hydrated at all times.
Get the gear
Although this is not a comprehensive list, it does cover the basics of essential clothing and equipment. It can be customised according to the exact nature of the trek, and any personal preferences that one might have. However, do remember that while it’s important and almost cathartic to experience what Nature has to offer, it can be unforgiving. So, be careful, be smart and make the most of it.
- Waterproof walking boots, well broken broken the trek, with suitable ankle support.
- Warm socks
- Thermal leggings
- Waterproof trousers
- Non-cotton T-shirts
- Fleece jacket or warm woollen jumper
- Wind-proof jacket/Rain-proof jacket Head/HandsWool or fleece hat
- Full brim hat
- Sunscreen lotion and lip balm
- Warm, water-resistant gloves
- Sturdy rucksack
- Plastic bags or stuff sacks to store/separate trekking gear inside your main bag
- One litre water bottle
- Personal first aid kit
- Durable sleeping bag
- Toilet items and towel
Delhi: Trekkers Point, PVR Plaza, Connaught Place, New Delhi - 110001 Ph: 23325475/ 23323362/ 9313709326 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Mumbai: Adventure 18, 9/10 Wallace Appt, 4 Roushir Bharuch Marg, Grant Road, Mumbai - 400007 Ph: +(91)-(22)-23803102/ +(91)-9892626812 Email: email@example.com
Bangalore: Wildcraft, Jayanagar, #81/B Lakshmi Mansion, 22nd Cross , 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore - 560011 Ph: 41425605
Kolkata: Alpine, 18/6, Ballygunge Place (E), Ballygunge, Kolkata – 700019 Ph: 9830194296/ +(91)-(33)-26434319/ +(91)-9830194296
Hyderabad: Wildcraft, Banjara Hills, GVK One, Shop no. 10, Lower Ground, Road No.1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034 Ph: 44767890
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