- Fitness : Both physical and mental. Even the most easy treks and hikes demand certain level of fitness. You should be able to walk for a certain distance, if not climb steep slopes. You should be able to withstand some amount of change in temperatures, sudden rains and other factors that are common in the hilly regions. Along with physical fitness, one should also be mentally strong. When you trek in the mountains, you don’t get the comforts of a luxury hotel room. You will sleep in a sleeping bag, use a makeshift bathroom inside a zip-up tent and your plans might get changed due to rains or other weather conditions. Don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to dissuade you from experiencing the great outdoors, we are simply telling it like it is. And trekking is so much fun and such a big thrill that all this will be totally worth it. Take it from us!
- Safety : Whether it is an easy trek or a strenuous one, safety is of the utmost importance. Make sure that you ensure the trek, the trails and the other backup details are well planned by your trek firm. AT GIO Adventures, we ensure that safety is the first priority. Before you plan and book the trek, call your agent/firm and ask all questions you might have in mind about safety because precaution is always better than cure. Inquire about the number of trek guides/instructors per group, because an experienced guide can lead you safely through a critical situation. Ask about the number of people in your trek group, and please know that big groups are a big vulnerability when you are in the mountains. Small group sizes make it easy for the guides to give personal attention to each member. Also, another critical factor is food. You should make sure the food you get is freshly prepared in a healthy manner, because there’s nothing worse than an upset stomach when you are in the hills. So, call and ask all the questions, discuss and book only when you are fully satisfied.
- Trek choice : Picking a trek that suits you is extremely critical. If you think you can walk for long distances on plains, but cannot climb steep slopes through rocky trails – pick up something like the Nag Tibba Trek. If you feel you are not comfortable with camping out in the open, go for a lodge based trek where after trekking and hiking up the hills, you get back to your comfortable rooms each night. Go for the Chandrakhani pass in kullu valley which is a great beginners trek. It’s easy and well marked trails with beautiful landscape and unique culture make it a memorable trek. Research, ask and call before you decide on any trek because this is going to the first of many, and you wouldn’t want the first time to be anything less than magical, right?
- Weather : Most treks are recommended only for a particular season and / or duration and you should strictly follow it. If you want a summer trek, pick something like the magnificent Har-Ki-Dun trek. If you want to witness the snow, go for an easy trek around Auli. As a beginner, do not attempt a strenuous snow trek just to experience snow.
- Be a responsible traveller : This is a very important factor. If we want to leave a better planet for the next generations, we must make e aware of nature, keep the trails clean and practice ecological methods. Pick a firm that ensures ecological practices. Stay away from large groups because it always leads to large amount of waste and damage to nature. Make sure whatever waste you cause, you dispose it off in the ways that are ecologically acceptable. Do not be a litterbug. Show a little care for the nature and it will wow you with its unmatched beauty.
So there you go, your first time trekking check list. If you want to know more about any particular trek or practice, don’t hesitate to write to us or call us, and we will be glad to guide you. GIO Adventures is a team of passionate people who have been trekking the various trails for years. We boast of a team that is familiar with the Himalayas like our backyard, and we are known for our ecological practices. So it doesn’t matter if you plan to trek now or later, with us or not, easy or tough – you can consult us because we are always happy to share our love for the Himalayas.
So be aware, be responsible and explore the great outdoors.
Have a great first trek!