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9 Cardinal Rules to Responsible Trekking

Trekking has gained immense popularity as an adventure sport in recent years. Trekking is a rewarding as well as punishing adventurous activity that tests your physical endurance and guts. Certainly, there will be some challenges such as fatigue and dehydration (especially, if you are trekking in summers) that you may encounter on your trekking tour. But these problems are expected and manageable; the situation gets tricky when you encounter some unexpected difficulties. Heavy downpours, a lurking wildlife, a surprise whiteout, or a wobbly rock at the edge of a cliff may pose some serious trouble in front of you. 

Follow these safety tips to escape any kind of danger on your next trekking tour:

1. Good shoes are a must!

As basic as this might sound, it is very important to invest in a pair of comfortable shoes with a good grip. This will prevent slipping and falling. Certain brands offer shoes especially meant for trekking and rainwear that can withstand the monsoon. Invest in these as you can wear them on more than one treks.

2. Follow instructions when trekking with a group

There’s a reason why the leaders read out instructions at the base or before beginning the journey to the base camp. It’s for your own safety. So, it’s not only necessary to listen to everything they say but to follow it too. One slip can cause a domino effect and you can cause injury to the person in front of or behind you.

3. Follow existing trails

Through changing times, there are some trekking trails that become permanent. Follow them. It’s better than losing your way. Else, leave behind a trail, you could make markings on a tree, but this isn’t always reliable, as the rains could wash away chalk. Choose your equipment and trail wisely!

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4. Blend in, in every possible way

Remember that you are the visitor and not the wild animals who call that forest their home. So, make sure you don’t stand out too much or even cause trouble to the flora and fauna there. Most importantly, you shouldn’t mark your territory with waste such as plastic bottles and empty food wrappers! Wear appropriate clothing and be a responsible trekker.

5. Be a memory collector

You will definitely be tempted to collect feathers, shells, flowers, stones etc during the Himalayan trails. Resist it and leave the things where you find them. Understand that these things contribute in making up that trail and when you come back, you would be delighted to find those things again. Come back with memories not stolen souvenirs.  

6. Get Updated About the Weather Forecast of the Area:

Checking the weather forecast before you head out is very important. It will help you make preparations according to the weather. If you are travelling in winters, be sure that winds will be cooler at higher elevations. Also, check if there are forecasts of thunderstorms, snowfall, heavy rains etc in coming days. Avoid trekking in these days if there is any such update. Otherwise, make necessary preparations according to the forecast.

7. Don’t Trek Alone:

Buddy system always works. When you are trekking in a group, make sure that you don’t walk so fast that the slowest members of the group are left behind. Also, take care of everyone in the group. Make sure that everyone in your group has enough physical ability to successfully complete the trek. Another benefit of trekking in a group is that you have someone with you who can help in case of an emergency. Inform someone about your trekking schedule when you are leaving.

8. Don’t Rely Heavily on Mobile-Phones:

Mobile phones may not work in the wilderness. Depending too much on them may leave you disappointed. But if you are lucky enough to get network signal on the mountains, inform someone with all the details of the location.

9. Pack Light:

Make sure that you don’t carry unnecessary stuff. Keep your backpack as light as possible. Carrying a light backpack will help you preserve energy for the activities ahead. But don’t overlook the essential stuff.

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