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How to Trek in the Himalayas: Tips and Guidance for Beginners

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So, you have decided to embark on your first Himalayan trek. But do you know how go about? For starters, let us tell you that to trek the Himalayas is not an easy task. If you think that taking the stairs instead of the alleviator makes you capable enough to a trek in the Himalayas then my friend you are foolish!

Find out what to expect when trekking for the first time.

The first step to preparing yourself for a Himalayan Trek is to understand that it demands a good amount of stamina and a resolute determination. Your mental strength takes care of half of the task and the other half is made up by physical training and a bag of practicalities needed.

Having said that let us get down to business now. If you are wondering how to choose the first trek in the Himalayas then get ready for it because we bring the ultimate guidebook for you!

Keep reading to know all the useful tips and guidelines on how to trek the Himalayas.

Know more here:

How to choose your first Himalayan trek

Treks in Himalayas
1 km of Walk in the Mountains Feels Like 3 kms of Walk on the Plains (source)

The Himalayas are a gorgeous set of mountains that stand tall and strong at 8848m. With a collection of highest mountain peaks in the world, the Himalayas are a trekker’s dream challenge.

From trek spots that are moderately difficult to advanced level, trekking in the Himalayas is quite fun. As you scale the gradient, you are welcomed by vistas that completely blow your mind away. At times you are daunted by the grandeur of it, making you feel puny and humble.

The pine trees and the plethora of wild yellow and pink flora make you appreciate the rawness in nature. The modest local settlements and the silence of the surroundings introduce you to a whole new lifestyle that is unaffected by the city glamour (they don’t seem to mind!)

If we have set the scene for a Himalayan Trek, then here’s how you can choose your first trek in the Himalayas, check out!

When do you want to go?

First, pick the time of the year you want to do the trek. There are six seasons that are favourable to trek in India. Of these, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter are the most popular. However, according to experts, trekking in early winter phase (October and November) can be very rewarding. The air is crisp, the views are razor sharp, the colours of the sky, mountains, and earth are totally enthralling.

What do you want to see?

Next, check for the variety that you want out of a trek. Some love to see big mountains while others are fascinated with grasslands and some look forward to a thrilling adventure. So, decided whether you want to see snow or alpine lakes. Choose a trek that offer you with as much variety as possible.

How many days do you have?

And finally, the duration of the trek- how many days of stay do you want. Most Himalayan treks are a week long. If you plan to go on longer treks then that would require more preparation.

Check out tips to prepare for trekking.

For Beginners: Perfect Spots to Trek in the Himalayas

Himalayas
A Gorgeous View of the Himalayas (source)

Scaling the Himalayas can be challenging as the ascents suddenly shift from graduate to steep and one wouldn’t come to know at what height they are if not checked. The walks to a spot could be quite long and tiring. Hence, if you are a beginner, choose a trek wherein the ascent is gradual and you will not have to walk long hours. A trek which takes you to a maximum altitude of 13, 500 to 14, 000 feet should be your trek of choice the first time. The trek you choose should not involve walking more than 7-8 km a day.

Being on your first trek implies that you are unaware of how your body is going to behave at an altitude much higher. Again, walking one kilometre in the mountains is more than three in the plains. So, it’s better not to try conquering the Everest or do a Sandakphu hike, or something as difficult as the Pin-Parvati Trek.

Let’s begin with the easy to moderately difficult trek and get the hang of long distance walking.

Check out these apps to discover new trekking trails.

Here are three easy treks in the Himalayas for beginners

Deorital-Chandrashila Trek

Deorital Trek
Deorital-Chandrashila Trek (source)

This is one of the best treks to start off with, even for children. The distance covered is less than 25 km over four days, and the highest campsite is at a height of a little above 9000 ft.

Here’s a breakdown on how to do Deorital-Chandrashila trek

Kedarkantha

Kedarkantha Trek
Kedarkantha Trek (source)

For this trek, you need to be better prepared. Th days are short in this region where you can only cover 4 to 6 km. The walk involves steep climbs.

Do you want to try Kedarkantha trek?

Har-ki-dun

Har-ki-dun trek
Har-ki-Dun Trek (source)

Not many beginners look in the direction of Har Ki Dun. This trek definitely ranks in the top three Himalayan treks for beginners. Long stretches are covered every day, but the ascents are gradual, which makes it a great trek for starters.

If this one is your choice then learn how to trek Har-ki-dun.

Check out and pick from the 7 best destinations for trekking in the Himalayas. If you have picked a destination then let’s quickly learn the training tips

How to Train for Your First Himalayan Trek

Even though you can have made up your mind to do a hike in the Himalayas, it is critical to have good physical strength too. A fit body can be a victim of hiker’s knee condition as well. Hence, you need a minimum of a month’s rigorous physical training to trek in the Himalayas.

Build Your Stamina

Make your legs strong. Start with brisk morning walks followed by jogging. If you are gym person, indulge more in cardio exercises. Also, practice walking with a back-pack weighing similar to the weight you plan to carry on your trek. This will give a real life understanding of the trek.

Learn how to stay hydrated on a trek

Quit Smoking

Smoking and high-altitude do not go hand in hand. When in the high mountains, you would want your lungs to be performing at top condition. As you go up, the oxygen in the air drops down so the more air you can suck-in, the better your body will perform. So, if you are a smoker, STOP now. Your trek is much more worth than smoking.

Dodge mountain sickness with these clever tricks.

Regular Training

To be fit enough to go on a trek at a short notice, make the following part of your daily routine:

  • Walk for 5-6 kilometers regularly to improve cardiovascular endurance
  • Gradually increase the distance, try covering 10 km in 60
  • Post-walk, go for a jog at a moderate pace.
  • Do squats for strength build and stretching exercises for flexibility.
  • Stand on one leg at a time & try to be straight for half a minute on each
  • Do breathing exercises.
  • Do basic shoulder and back exercises to make them strong.

Trekking Essentials: What to Pack

Trekking essentials
Trekking Essentials (source)

When you are in the wild, you ought to be well-prepared for any mishap or accidents. Avoid loading up too much stuff. Just pack the basic amenities, an extra pair of clothes and enough snack food for a week.

Check out the list of trekking essentials for a quick reference.

Clothing

  • Thermals and warmer clothes for the night
  • An extra pair of trekking pants
  • Raincoat or waterproof covers for your rucksacks
  • Waterproof and windproof gloves
  • An extra pair of dry clothes
  • Two pairs of socks
  • A dry towel

Accessories

  • Sturdy and durable trekking shoes and a pair of slippers
  • LED torches, headlamps, and matchsticks
  • Sleeping bags
  • A pillow/travel pillow for the night
  • An emergency supply of cutlery, i., spoons, bowls, etc.
  • Light yet sturdy tents

Medical Kit

  • Paracetamol and Cetrizine
  • Avil for allergies
  • Combiflam as a general painkiller
  • Digene for acidity
  • Antiseptic liquid and ointment
  • Crepe bandage and ointment in the case of any injuries
  • A small roll of cotton and gauze
  • Band-aids
  • Moov or Relispray for muscular pulls, aches, and sprains

Toiletries

  • Dry towels
  • Tissue paper
  • Bug repellent sprays and creams
  • Two 1 litre bottles
  • Plastic covers
  • Cold cream and Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer and antiseptic soap

Food

  • Chocolates (preferably with wafers-filling), energy bars, plum cakes or similar
  • Candies and dry fruits for munching on the way
  • Glucon-D/Tang , Milk tetra pack, juices
  • Bread, cheese spread, Jam
  • Biscuits
  • Paper dishes and cups

Summing Up

Camping site on the Himalayas
Stop, Admire, and Move On! (source)

Trekking is not an exercise. It is an experience that unfolds immaculate sights- sights that are in contrast with the usual hustle-bustle of the cosmo life. Untouched, unmarred beauty that opens your mind to a whole life truth. The satisfaction that one receives at the end of the trail is an accomplishment of a lifetime. There are so many things that we are unaware of, that escape our comprehension- The allure of the Himalayas is one such entity.

So, never mind if it’s your first trek in the Himalayas, forge ahead fearless and determined, you shall be rewarded!

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