Few believe trekking isn’t for everyone, though the statement holds good at times but not necessarily at all times. With the right preparations, right trek gears and more importantly right attitude anyone can enjoy the bliss a high altitude trek has to offer. Here are few trek essentials that could help you enjoy your time in the mountains.
There are wide range of trekking gears available in the market, for different terrains and different weathers. Here is a short look in to the most common trek gears.
Backpack:50-60 liter well built backpack of good quality(Quencha, Wildcraft,etc) should be sufficient for a 8 day trek.
Raincover:If your backpack is not waterproof, get suitable size rain cover for backpack to protect your belongings from getting wet, in case of rain or snow.
High Ankle Shoes:What really seperates a trekking shoe from regular ones is the high ankle support it offers along with excellent grip to prevent ankle twist and slips. Get water resistant shoes, as many of the treks may involve crossing water streams. Trekking shoe is of paramount importancein your trek, make sure you invest wisely in your shoes. Any damage to the shoe may put an end to your trek altogether.
Socks:Carry sufficient pairs of cotton socks for the day and woolen socks for cold nights.
Woolen Cap:Make sure your woolen cap can cover your ears completely to protect from cold winds
Sun Cap:It’s usually sunny in the daytime and its advised to suncap, preferably with neck cover, to protect your head and neck from sunlight.
Neck Gaiters:Neck gaiters helps you to keep warm and also could be used to cover your nose in case of heavy winds.
UV shades/Coolers:It is highly recommended you carry good quality shades to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays of sun. Snow tends to reflect sunlight and may cause snow blindness if no proper protection is provided
Wind Jacket: It helps you protect your upper body from strong cold winds and keeps your body warm
Downfeather jacket:They are light weight jackets that keeps you warm and easy to pack. Since they are lighter you can replace them in place of heavy sweaters and decrease your backpack weight.
Fleece jacket:You can wear fleece jackets through out your trek. They are superlight and durable and keeps you warm.
T-shirts:Carry 3-4 T-shirts. Make the size of t-shirt is slightly larger, so that you can wear one over the another. In the mountains, it is not necessary to pad up all your warm clothes, especially when you are climbing instead wear your clothes in layers. During climb or descent your metabolism will be high, and you will be sweating, hence quick dry type t-shirts are preferable over regular cotton t-shirts.
Thermal inners:They are usually made of wool and are tight fits. They are required for getting through the nights, especially at the high camps, where the temperature may drop drastically.
Gloves:Carry a pair of woolen gloves and another pair of water proof gloves to keep your hands warm
Trek Pants:Carry atleast a pair of trek pants, usually of synthetic material of good quality that can withstand wear and tear during the treks.
Sunscreen:Carry a good sunscreen(min 40 spf) to prevent sunburn
Moisturizers:It may be necessary to carry moisturizers especially for people with dry skin.
Poncho:Poncho is essentially a rain cover for you that encloses your backpack too.
Walking stick:Though not mandatory, walking stick transfers the load partly from legs to hands and hence decreasing the strain on your legs.
Head torch: Although a hand torch would be sufficient, from my personal experience, a head torch is more suitable for the treks, as they offer freedom to both your hands.
Daypack: Many treks are planned such that you may have to reach the summit and be back to the basecamp the same day. In such cases it’s handy to carry a daypack of 10 L capacity, so that you can carry only few essentials instead of the whole backpack on your summit day.
Tiffin box:carry a light weight Tiffin box to carry packed lunch.
Water bottle:Water is a scarce commodity in trek. Carry atleast 2 bottles of 1 litre capacity each
Probably this should be first on the list. Even after all the above said preparation, what really matters the most is the mental toughness to finish the trek. Be confident and don’t hesitate to take guidelines from your trek leader on your doubts. The first thing to load in your bag and last thing to unload should be “Self Confidence”
Written by: Niranjan R
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