Sultry jungles, with roaring waterfalls, diverse terrains, abandoned huts reclaimed by nature, ancient civilizations, elusive wildlife and Mountain landscapes…there’s so much on our Earth to discover once you decide to get out and go for a walk! And since trekking in 2018 was the most popular adventure, we thought to share some basic etiquette of hiking a mountain. Try to abide by the rules of trekking eco-friendly as it will help to keep our environs clean and green.

Do give uphill trekkers the right of way

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Give way to uphill trekkers if you are descending. An uphill trekker is climbing against the gravity, hence he has a narrow field of vision as compared to a downhill trekker who has a broader perspective on their side that allows them to easily see what’s ahead. Hence, if you are descending please give way to the upward hikers.

Leave No Trace

Follow a ‘LEAVE NO TRACE’ policy for taking a dump on the mountains. Whenever you feel like pooping, find a spot that is far away from the campsite. The smell of faeces attracts wild animals to the campsite. Also, the spot must be far from water streams, as the bacteria in it will pollute the water. Lastly, carry a small shovel to dig a 6 cm hole and cover it after you are done. Place a heavy stone, so that no other trekker can dig it.

Use wet wipes to clean and take them along with you via a zip-lock bag. Do not throw the tissue papers or wet wipes, as it takes longer to decompose due to low temperatures. Pro Tip: Find a spot that has direct sun rays on it, this is because the sunbeams quicken the decomposition process of the poop.

No Littering At Any Cost

The primary rule is no littering on the mountain terrains because it gets really difficult to clean at such an altitude. So make sure you do not detriment it in the first place. Please carry portable dustbin along with you when you go on a hike. Wrappers of your quick snacks, plastic water bottles, wet-wipes and etc., please dump it all in a dustbin.

Smokers must not litter the beautiful terrains of mountains with cigarettes buds everywhere. And for women on periods, please use biodegradable pads/menstrual cups on a trek, as you might not get dustbin to throw sanitary pads/tampons if you can’t carry it along.

Respect The Other Trekkers

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Whether you are an experienced trekker or a rookie, it is important to respect and take care of your teammates. Respect them, if they walk slowly, if they get tired easily, if they get scared, if they don’t have knowledge about gears or if they get sick. Don’t be a jerk, because you might have done trekking a couple of times, but the other person might be experiencing it for the first time. Just follow HYOH (Hike your own hike). If you want to help them, try to make their hike a prosperous journey so that they come back for more.

Walk and Talk

By this phrase, ‘walk and talk’ I don’t mean you must talk to the trekkers while hiking.  What I meant is that, you must introduce yourself at least once because at times of emergency the trekkers will be your immediate saviour. Be friendly, talk about the beauty of mountains, share your travel stories or if you can’t do that be courteous, friendly and polite to each other. Who knows you might find a trekking buddy!

Abide by the tent rules

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Sharing tents with another person have their own sets of rules. Keep your shoes and socks outside the tent, as they make the entire tent stink. If it is moist outside, keep your shoes in a plastic bag and keep outside. Do not dry clothes over the tent, it looks awful. Carry a thin rope, tie it with poles and then dry your clothes. Keep your belongings in an organized mess, do not just keep taking out the entire stuff every time you need something from your bag, so pack accordingly (keep stuff required for the following day at the top).

Change your socks every two days if it is a long trek. At night when you sleep, the bacteria on your socks attaches itself to the sleeping bags, making it stinky for the other trekkers who might use it after you go. Keep yourself and the tent clean and hygienic at all times.

Do Not Eat Food of Other Trekkers

Please! Please! Please! DO NOT eat food snacks of other trekkers without asking them. It is really immoral because hikers are generally hungry all the time. The snacks like chocolates, protein bars, chips etc might be their drive force to trek upwards. Eat only when the person offers you, or ask can I have a bite? It’s that simple!

Wherever you are in whichever part of the world, make sure you follow these etiquette if you are planning to trek on the mountains. Following these basic rules will not only keep the environment safe, but it will also set an example for the other trekkers who might not follow it. Lastly, keep climbing and may you reach the summit of every mountain you hike!

Often, the famous places across the globe are known for certain things. But, most of the times, there is more to such places than meets the eye. A classic example of this would be Ladakh. Yes, I know that pictures of Ladakh, the lake shown in movie 3 Idiots and Khardung La, would have popped up in your mind. This is precisely where the problem lies. In our search for diamonds, we disregard the rubies, emeralds and sapphires. What I mean by this metaphor is that many go to Ladakh for the three places, known most to them, but miss out on exploring those places that are not so famous. And, it is in these small and slightly remote places that the true charm of Ladakh lies. Explore more about Treks in Ladakh. With this blog, I hope to tell you about the unexplored places in the region that you must make a point to visit. Let’s discover the alluring offbeat places in Ladakh.

The Himalayas is one wonder of nature that has intrigued us since time immemorial. Its high snow-clad mountains, rich flora and fauna, and scenic beauty have enchanted one and all. But in all this, we have somehow missed another wonderful aspect of it – its people. So, read on and find out more about the people living in the Himalayas, their history, faith, occupations and living conditions.

Know more about Trekking in the Himalayas

The Great Himalayan Story
The mighty Himalayas rise beyond the Indo-Gangetic plain of Northern India, extending through the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to Northeast India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. This entire range of the Himalayan Mountains serves as home to more than 50 million people, with another 450 million settled at the base of it. And this entire population flourishes on the resources that flow from the Himalayas.

Today, the Himalayan population can be classified into three ethnic types, namely Aryans, Mongoloids and Negroids. But the truth about its original inhabitants is still a point of debate. There is a belief that the first settlement in the Himalayas began in 1500 BC when a warrior tribe called Khasa migrated to its western range. This was followed by the migration of Tibeto-Burman people from Southeast Asia to the eastern and central Himalayas in the early part of the millennia. These people were called the Kiratas. However, if one takes into account the Hindu epics and Puranas, then it is deduced that the native inhabitants of the Himalayan region were the Kinnars, Kiratas, Kulinds and Kilinds, with later migration of the Darads and Khasas.

If you ever happened to bump into me at my house, you would probably find me watching TLC, NDTV Good Times or any other travel-related channel or programme on the TV. The reason being, I just love to travel. I utilise the smallest little break I get from work, and head out. I was lucky enough to go to a school, which organised trips and outings regularly, and I took many of these opportunities to go places I had never been to. And believe me; it was worth it every time. I haven’t been to any international destination yet, but who needs such places when your own country has so much. Mountains, forests, sea, lakes, rivers, desert…what can you not find here?

And I don’t really need to dwell on the fact that the diversity of people you see here is mind boggling. New places, new scenes, new people and new experiences make me want to go out again, the moment I return from a trip. So, “Don’t wait for the grass to grow”, plan a trip and “Just do it.” When you come back, be sure to share your stories and of course, pictures! Now, enjoying your tour is obviously the most important thing, but so is to stay fit while travelling. Many people, who travel a lot, either fall sick often or gain weight, due to change in climate and place, and different eating habits and patterns.

“The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.” – William Saroyan

Bicycle tours are fast coming up as an exciting activity for both fitness and adventure enthusiasts. You can go on a bicycle tour in the hilliest of the cities, in the remotest of villages, in the densest of jungles, and in the most developed metros. Say no to over-crowded buses and pocket-burning cabs with any of these ultimate cycling trips in India that you just cannot miss!

Bicycle Tour in Leh
Cycling all the way from the picturesque Manali to the heavenly Leh is one of the most physically challenging, yet the most satisfying experiences. It takes you through some of the world’s highest passes, scenic trails and the mightiest of mountains. You will touch altitudes almost as high as 16000 feet on passes like Rohtang La, Tanglang La, Lachulung La and Baralacha La. Also, on this cycling tour, you get to witness the beauty and changing landscape of 2 mountain ranges, including the Zanskar Range and the Pir Panjal Range. And before you begin to worry about loneliness, it is wise to point out that plummeting valley, gushing rivers and herds of sheep are constantly going to keep you company.

The Great Himalayan beauty is not just limited to mountains! The Himalayan Lakes are breathtaking too! I am sure once you get to know about these stunning lakes in Himalayas, you will feel that any trip to the Himalayas is incomplete without paying a visit to this awe-inspiring water bodies!

Many of these high altitude lakes are freshwater lakes formed by glacial activity. Some of these stunning lakes are only accessible through difficult treks to these regions and that’s one of the reason they have managed to retain their beauty and charm! These high altitudes will take your breath away by not only their beauty but by their unique features! Some have ever-changing colors and some are the best birding spots.

People might not know about these mesmerising lakes but some determined trekkers trek for days all the way just to see the beauty of these great Himalayan Lakes!

I have picked up some of the most beautiful ones. When I look at them, I imagine myself sitting on the shore, gazing at them and peacefully taking in all the beauty.

Blue, green and brown were my most used pastel colours all through my childhood not knowing that these colours will forever leave firm imprints on my life. I am a total hill person. I love anything and everything about mountains, clear blue skies, vast green meadows and dense forests. I don’t remember what kick started this love but it’s there now for a while and one thing that I am sure of is that it will last till my legs give away. I often venture out to high altitude terrains to move away from the dust and pollution of city life, sometimes to take a break from repetitive and boring life and mostly to have some private exclusive time with the mountains. Mountains have given more than have taken from me. Here are my five life lessons or the 5 things I learned from my trekking experiences – 

1. You can’t succeed if you don’t try. You could only fail if you didn’t try
I have been a reader and traveler since childhood and was automatically drawn towards mountains and their beauty. Often times reading several adventure series and travel books made me wonder if I could also embark on such journeys! What would it be like treading difficult paths like these amazing men did? I used to underestimate myself thinking I can never scale such heights till I made up my mind one day to give it a shot and there hasn’t been any stopping since then.

At Tumling - From my first trek to Sandakphu and Phalut
At Tumling – From my first trek to Sandakphu and Phalut

If you’ve got itchy feet and are raring to go in the New Year, head to the picturesque hill city of Lavasa (near Pune, Maharashtra), set amid the verdant expanses of the Sahyadri range, and test yourself to the fullest in the Lavasa Hill Run. There will be no more invigorating way to get 2014 under way!

Mountain running
Mountain running