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Himalayandiaries

Thinking about starting your first trek?

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What is trekking all about
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Thinking about starting your first trek?

What is trekking all about.

Mountaineering has its many forms like expeditions, alpine style and trekking. Expeditions and alpine climbing require some technical and physical abilities, which can be achieved though some training and experience over the years. Trekking is the most basic to moderate activity in mountaineering. There is a saying ”its magic when human and mountains meet, a feeling which cannot be understood by a man jostling down the street

”.

Why trekking is important.

Walking is simple, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It’s underrated as a form of exercise but walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active.

Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. If this walking is done in the mountains far away from the hush of the cities, it can be magical. Now how does walking convert into trekking. In trekking you have a more challenging goal. A destination and journey that can mersmerize you. A itinerary comes into play, which gives it a level of disipline. The air is pure, and all you get is oxygen. Your stress levels decrease as there is no pressure of city life. In a camp you get to stay in a group, and meet like minded people. Its about teamwork and working togather. I have many stories about people meeting on treks and being lifetime friends.

Altitude

Altitude is defined on the following scale
High (8,000 – 12,000 feet [2,438 – 3,658 meters]),
Very High (12,000 – 18,000 feet [3,658 – 5,487 meters])
Extremely High (18,000+ feet [5,500+ meters])

There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don’t, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 9,000 feet (2,750 meters) with minimal effect. If you haven’t been to high altitude before, there is no reason to worry, provided you dont have any serious health related issues. You have to start brisk walking a month earlier. You can do away with lifts and escalators , and use the stairs. Try deep breathing exercises , so that your lungs expand. Try to increase your intensity and duration of exercises , so that you know your stamina is building up.Keep hydrated by having lots of fluids. Live healthy and the rest happens.
If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatized.

At what age ,one should start.

It is better if one starts early , thats at the age of 10 to 12. Children make friends easily and like it better outdoors. Small weekend treks, and day hikes are a good way of starting. It is better when children trek with their own age group , like classmates etc. Early introduction to camplife gives them a sense of discipline. They learn how to stay and manage in groups. They learn about the trees, mountains, rivers, and valleys. They get a break away from gadgets and T.V. There is no age limit, as to when one can start trekking. Its just anytime of your life. There is just a trek type for all ages.

Treks for beginners in the Himalayas.

There are many basic beautiful trek and walks in the himalayas. A basic trek is a walk in which the destination does not go much high in elevation, the gradient is not too tough and the duration of daily walk is normal. My list of some popular easy to moderate treks is

Beas kund trek, Manali, Himachal.
Har ki Doon, Uttrakhand.
Bhrighu lake trek, Manali, Himachal.
Hampta pass trek, Manali, Himachal
kauri pass trek, Uttrakhand.
Chandrakhani pass trek, Himachal
Roopkund, Uttrakhand
Bashleo pass trek, Himachal.

So plan your adventure , and experience the thrill. See your spirits uplift. Meet people, see amazing landscapes, and come back with wonderful stories. Hope to meet you someday in some valley, mountain, pass or summit.

cheers and regards,
Rajat