Trekking is a fun, adventurous, adrenaline pumping, heart thumping trip. But trekking is not just about stamina and good grip. Apart from all this, you need to do proper packing in order to make it fun. Otherwise, it can become the most inconvenient trip for you. There are so many unexplored and non-commercialized places in Himalayas which are a must visit to explore the real natural beauty.
Of course, when we think about visiting mountains, most often we imagine Mussourie, Nainital, Kullu, Manali, Shimla etc. But nowadays, all you see is busy streets in these cities and not that bliss and relaxing environment which helps you feel calm from your fast paced world. In order to do that, you need to go an extra mile by breaking a sweat to find that serene, peaceful and close to nature surrounding where you can take a deep breath and achieve your kind of Nirvana.
Mostly, these places are non-commercialized, so you wouldn’t find fancy hotels or even hotels or rest houses in such places. You gotta setup a tent to fetch some resting time during night. You need to find like minded travelers who has already discovered such places and marked it safe for travel. Triund trek above Mcleodganj is one such place that you can explore for a good trekking experience. Kasol itself has become commercialized now but you can take a trek to Malana, Tosh and Kheerganga to find those spots. You will find a lot of hippie spots as this place is famous for easy availability of very potent Marijuana(Hashish). Kasol and Tosh has some very famous cafes which are on a must visit list for many.
All this is fine, but what to backpack for your trip to make it all the more less problematic for you to survive and at the same time get the best out of your adventurous experience. Let me give you a list of must have items without which it will create a lot of trouble for you once you are uphill.
Paper soaps/Sanitizers: Planned trips via buses usually starts its travel at night. Once it reaches the location, they start trekking. It is in most of the cases a very tightly packed trip. Of which the main aim is trekking and reaching the destination. In such planned trips, you wouldn’t get to stay in a hotel or anything. The bus will stop at cafes for you to freshen up, take dump, brush your teeth etc. So, you need to pack your things and keep them handy with you. You need to sleep in the bus if you get to(if your fellow travelers are boring). Having said that, it is good to catch few hours of sleep before your reach the trekking destination. And not get too lost in breaking the ice with your newly found friends. It is good to keep face wash, paper soaps and sanitizers with you because of unavailability of proper hygiene.
Toilet paper/Tissue papers: Also, once you reach the destination, don’t expect to have a place where you can take a relaxing dump, it will be a hole dug which you can use as a latrine, once you do that, you are supposed to cover it with mud to make the place available for another person. It will be covered with a tent structure. It is not healthy(for others) to find a solitary spot for you to take a dump as it ruins the surroundings. But at some trekking destinations, this is what you will have to do and thus you will be advised accordingly. So, wake up at 5/6 AM, so you don’t have to hustle too much. Let me also tell you that water is not available at such spots. You will have to purchase mineral water bottles at ultra premium prices for everything that you do. EVERYTHING!
Quality shoes/Flip flops: Shoes are very important to reach the destination in one piece. Most of the novice travelers’ first choice is sports shoes. They are very comfortable shoes but not sturdy enough to prove its durability on hilly areas. Mountain or trekking shoes are the best as they are built for that purpose only. Since, you wouldn’t be having too many plans to go on frequent trekking trips, it is OK to carry sports shoes if you don’t want to spend money on buying a new pair. But make sure that they are in good condition to provide right grip and comfort. On the other hand, Flip flops will ease out things a bit for you if you carry.
Sunglasses: Sunglasses are not just a luxury when you are going for trekking. It provides clear vision by obstructing unnecessary sunlight, wind, snow, sand etc. Thus helping you trek better. Also, in a really cold weather, it provides warmth to your eyes. Not to mention, it beautifies your photos naturally!
Power bank: Make sure that your trekking begins and finishes in proper daylight. Because there is no availability of light anywhere. Only your phone comes to your rescue. Make sure your phone is fully charged and you are carrying a good power bank which can at least charge your phone twice. You will need your phone for light, music etc. Even when you are eating dinner which in most of the cases will be Maggi, you will need your phone’s light to make sure you don’t eat a bug with it.
All these are definitely essentials, but make sure you travel light. Don’t full your bag with unnecessary things as you will be the one carrying it and walking uphill and downhill. Make sure you carry one really warm jacket. During the nights, temperature changes drastically and you wouldn’t have any protection apart from that polyester tent. You will be provided with a sleeping bag in which you will have to sleep in an attention position. Keep yourself hydrated with Gatorade, lemon water etc.
But having said all this and going through so much of inconvenience, what you will experience over there is unspeakable. I will not tell you what all you might experience, because when you will see them as surprises, is when you will get the most amazement.
And yeah, don’t forget to capture pictures and videos. Most people forget to do that as they are so drowned in the breath taking view! Happy trekking!!