Trekking in Himalayas was altogether a different experience. While most of the treks we did before this were one day and very few were two days’ trek, trekking in Himalayas was a 4-day trek. As a first timer, we did lot of mistakes which cost us more than we thought. Here are the top 5 mistakes I did and I suggest the reader to take extra care
- Packing The Bag For the Worst case:
Pangarchulla peak trekking was a 4-day trek. And for this, we took 4 pairs of dresses including inner wears. At the end of the day 4, most of us were in the same attire (yes, including the inner wears) and very few had changed once. We realized that nearly 50% of the luggage we carried were useless to say the least. We repented innumerable times as we had to carry extra load every step. My suggestion is to take one extra pair of dress. This is needed only in case of emergency such as rain. Do not pack your bag for the worst case scenario. Just in the anticipation of the worst case scenario, you would have to carry extra luggage all the way.
In my Pangarchulla trek, one of the biggest mistake I did was carrying the DSLR camera. Adding to it, I carried an extra lens. I was fully enthusiastic to enjoy my first Himalayan trekking and capture every moment. But destiny had different plan altogether. The trekking was so tiresome that reaching the base camp was an achievement. Everything took the last priority including the photography. Camera weight was around one Kg and an additional lens which I took alleviated the problem. My suggestion would be to strictly avoid the DSLR camera unless you aren’t first time trekker. Instead, if you have a phone with good camera quality, you will thank your mobile innumerable number of times. At the end of our trekking, my friends with a good camera phone had more pictures than I had in my DSLR.
Trekking in Himalayas needs eparation. It is not as easy as a one-day trek you can do near your place. While in any ordinary trek, you don’t carry your luggage, here you will carry at least 6 to 7 Kgs of load. If you commit the mistake I did in the points 1 and 2, be prepared to carry around 10Kgs. Take a 2-day trek, if you have any such places near you. It helps you gain experience carrying your luggage and in turn helps you to reduce your bag pack weight. In case, you do not have the opportunity to trek for a 2-day, make sure you do multiple one-day treks and add some luggage on your shoulder. This might sound stupid but it helps you prepare well. In addition to this, regular exercise in your gym and yoga are must. Only time will tell how much these can help.
- Forgetting the Sunscreen and Sunglasses:
I had sunscreen cream of SPF 50 in my bag. On the day of peak, our trek leader advised us to apply sunscreen before the sunrise. However, the level of tiredness made us lazy enough to apply the sunscreen. As a result, my entire face was sunburn after my trekking. This happened not just with me but with 8 out of 10 of us. Another common mistake that others did was not getting the sunglasses. On the summit day, the sunlight is sharp and contains high UV rays due to the high altitude. Forgetting the sunscreen or sunglasses or not using them is the last mistake you would want to do on the trek.
- Not Carrying Warm clothes:
While in my first point I mentioned to carry less clothes, here I might sound contradicting myself. In my first point, I mentioned to carry less regular clothes. This doesn’t mean that you should carry less clothes. Since the temperature in the mountains can vary drastically on both the sides, make sure you have warm clothes. The temperature in the night goes in negative so enough warm clothes is a must for your next day trek. Make sure you carry thermals, jacket, gloves, fleece jacket and Poncho or rain coat. These clothes cover all the climate and make sure you are safe and fit.