As natural the course of nature is, it is same with women and the menstrual cycle. There is no need to be embarrassed about it, instead embrace it and be prepared for it. Your period can be particularly an uncomfortable experience to deal with while hiking but that shouldn’t be the reason why you don’t have the best time of your life while trekking.
How to deal with periods an uncommon topic that is not properly advised about and we are going to break the myth. With the right tips and tricks, you should be able to glide through the entire time.
- Know your dates – You need to be sure of when you are going to get your period whether before, during or a just few days in the trek. You need to keep track of your period calendar and prepare well in advance what exactly you will need.
- Period sanitary partner – You will need to choose the right partner for your period during the trek. Based on your usage and past you will need to choose what you are best comfortable with.
- Sanitary Napkins/Pads – the regular ones used primarily by all. They are most comfortable when there is less physical activity based on users’ comfort level with them. They tend to restrict the movement a lot during hiking
- Tampons – When hiking opt for tampons. Tampons are more comfortable and less messy, ensuring you have a great day on the trek. Look for a tampon that is unscented
- Menstrual Cups – Probably the eco-friendliest option during the treks. These are reusable cups that is used to absorb the flow
Advise to perform adequate research to find the right suit for you before you choose the right fit during the trek.
- Taking care of hygiene and health – Keeping yourself heathy and hygienic during the entire trek is very important, especially when you are on your periods.
- Keeping the stock of medicines that will help you
- Carry enough sanitizers and tissues
- Carry a lot of unscented wipes
- Carry a lot of sanitary pads/tampons.
- KEEP hydrating yourself at all intervals to avoid fatigue or cramps
- Disposal of your sanitary items – If you are using Menstrual Cups, you will only to properly wash them and clean during disposal and reuse. If you opt for Tampons or Pads, we recommend that you keep them in a doubled ziplocked pouch and dispose of them in the city. Since they contain plastic and are not bio-degradable we would not want you to dispose them in the mountains or bury them because there is no proper garbage disposal or treatment in the mountains and will remain the way it is disposed or flushed into the river. Instead, carry them to the city and dispose of them.
- DIY Period Kit – The Do-It-Yourself Period Kit for the travel. This is probably the life-saver in the mountains. The more prepared you are, the less you will worry when you have got the solution to it all. Following the instructions will keep you well prepared to get the best and waste the least when it comes to taking care of yourself in the trek
Here is our must carry items that comprise of the Period Kit: –
- Ziploc bags – To keep your unused and used sanitary options separately and to keep them air tight in a bag
- Toilet paper – You will always need toilet paper to clean and keep yourself clean and clean up whenever needed
- Spare undies – Always carry spare undies during period to change if any stain takes place
- Hand Sanitizer – Carry a lot of sanitizer wash whenever you are changing or cleaning up and for general hygiene
- Wet Wipes – Carry unscented wet wipes to cleanse and to keep yourself feeling refreshed when you sweat a lot
- Soaps – To wash your hands
- Aluminum foil – To wrap the Ziploc bags in and place them in the outer bag
- Outer bag – A small carry-around bag to keep all of the above essential items in it and stored away so that you can keep it all in place for less confusion, chaos and for more convenience
For more information on the DIY Period Kit, visit this website for details – Wiki How
Happy Trails! 😊
- Discovery Hike
Selecting the right backpack is an important pre-trek task. You can easily go wrong with selecting the right backpack and so many things can just go downhill from there – if the backpack is too big, it will be overstuffed with unnecessary things. If it’s too small, then it won’t be able to fit the important things into it.
There is a lot of research that goes into choosing the right backpack. Instead of going through all the hours of searching for the right qualities, we will provide you insight into the 3 most important factors we feel are the absolute necessary ones to consider before purchasing the right backpack.
- Length of the trek
- Backpack features
- Backpack fit
- Length of the trek:
The duration of your trek is the most fundamental aspect to determining one’s backpack size. Here is our suggestion of choosing the correct backpack.
- Short treks/One-day treks (15 – 30L) – A daypack would sufficent. These are compact and made for occasions that only require a few to a couple of days. They come handy when you have the carry the essentials and a couple of other things too.
- Overnight treks (30 – 50L) – This would normally be around 2 – 3 days of the trek, we suggest you look for a bag that has a little more to offer in terms of space for the extra days
- Multi-day treks (50 – 70L) – Treks that usually take up to 5 days of journey are recommended to take the higher capacity bags to ensure you are adequately stocked with the essentials.
- Expeditions/Extended treks (70+ L) – These typically are treks that go up and beyond 7 days. Larger packs can accommodate more space to carry what you would require to get through the trek.
Now that you have found out what are the ideal backpacks to carry according to the trek you are about to undertake. Please review and have a look at yourself.
‘Litres’ are the unit of measurement for backpack capacity. Backpacks can range from 5 litre daypacks to 85 litre backpacks!
- Backpack features
The backpack is not just chosen based on the length of the trip. It majorly depends on the features the backpack is designed to offer. Discussing a few important ones: –
Main Compartment – This is the largest space in the pack. It’s where your clothes, gear and other essentials are stored. Most large backpacks allow access from the top. So, check the main compartment to see if that’s exactly how you would like it.
Multiple compartments – A good backpack must to have multiple compartments. This is to ensure that you are compartmentalize your belongings into smaller sections so it’s easier to access and find the stuff you need.
Water-resistant material – You will need a complete water-proof bag if you are trekking a very rainy terrain. For others your pack does not need to be 100% waterproof, so make sure your bag is made from a semi-waterproof material, so everything doesn’t get wet in a drizzle.
Backpack Frame Type
Internal-frame backpacks: the support rods and frame are built into the backpack and hidden from view. These are extremely useful in holding the backpack right and providing that support to your back.
Padded hip belt: The padded belt will make supporting the weight more comfortable, it will distribute the load more evenly on your back, causing less strain. The hip belt should also be adjustable, so you can tighten it for extra support.
Shoulder Straps and Padded back: Shoulder straps again reduce the cramp and the extra weight on your shoulders by reducing the pressure in the cushion effect. The padded back gives you that comfort when the backpack falls on your back and also gives the ventilation for your back because of the gap.
- Backpack fit:
If a pack doesn’t fit correctly, nothing else really matters. If you are not comfortable in it, it’s like you are burdening yourself throughout the entire trek. That’s why we recommend that you always check, re-check and test the backpack with weights, even if you must, to ensure that the right backpack is your right companion.
The height of the backpack should be within the torso length of your body. Please check with experts on the showroom as to how the fit is and what the perfect fit is.
Get Trekking Now! – Discovery Hike
At high altitudes, the humidity levels are low because of which your sweat evaporates very quickly and the lower oxygen levels at those heights will lead you to breathe much faster and harder than normal. You will lose out on body fluids twice the rate as normal. You will feel the need to urinate more often than the rate at which you are losing out on fluids needs to be compensated with equal intake of water.
Electrolytes to the body are provided by water and its composites. These electrolytes are very crucial in carrying the requirement nutrients and hydration to all parts of your body. Let’s see the impacts and how we can keep ourselves hydrated.
Risks of not hydrating your body:
- Acute Mountain Sickness – All side effects of AMS you will face like dizziness, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, etc. Since oxygen levels are low, you need to take care of yourself better.
- Fatigue – The essential vitamins to your body and body fluids required to regulate your body are stopped. This will cause fatigue and body tiredness.
- Severe health issues – You will need to be rushed to immediate medical care since any of the above problems can be fatal if not administered properly
How to keep yourself hydrated:
- Hydration packs – Growing popular very rapidly, carrying a hydration packs comes very handy during high altitudes. Easily accessible, convenient and energy saving due to less strain required to access it.
- Carry the right amount – Keeping the right amount of water with you always is very important. Carry water according to the duration, your intake requirements and the next stop where you’ll get water.
- Liquid Food – Having liquid food also helps in restoring the essential body fluids back. Having tea, soups, hot chocolate, and other watery/liquid food helps in keeping that balance.
- Frequency – The amount of water you have at regular intervals is probably the most important way to beat dehydration. Having a glass of water (50 – 80ml) of water every half hour will keep you in the perfect shape.
Benefits of Hydration:
- You won’t be prone to AMS or fatigue
- Your lungs will be more efficient in collecting the oxygen from the red blood cells
- Body will be cleansed and will release unwanted toxins
- Hydrating will help in regulating your joints and keep body from cramping
- Hydrating will help in keep the body cool and regulate body temperature
1-Bandage wounds with duct tape. Yes, duct tape might hurt
a little with hairy arms or legs, but it sure beats bleeding to
death if you don’t have bandages around!
2-Devise butterfly bandage from duct tape for deep cuts.
3-Improvise moleskin. The clever prepper can prevent
callouses and blistering of hands or heels with duct tape by
placing duct tape at the point of friction. The duct tape can
acts like an extra layer of skin to prevent rubbing.
3-Pull off LEECHES. Short on tweezers in your first
aid kit? If you’ve got duct tape, you’ve got the means with
which to pull out LEECHES with a quick pat, and
yank on the duct tape.
4-Make a splint or a sling. INJURED YOUR HAND OR FEET? You might
craft a sling or splint with the help of duct tape. For a finger
splint, you can use the adjoining finger to immobilize the
injured one. With duct tape you can wrap a sprained or
broken ankle so you can get to your next destination.
5-patch up torn raincoats or Poncho – Got a torn raincoat? Well, just use the duct tape to patch it up. Works just fine, and better than nothing. Tents with similar problems can also be dealt with.
6-Restrict blood flow with a tourniquet. Often confused with
a sling or splint, a tourniquet actually is a device that
forcefully constricts blood flow through compression to
prevent profuse bleeding. It requires use of a stick or baton
and cordage you can make with duct tape.
7-Remove splinters. There is more than one way to remove a
splinter and sticky tape is one of them!
8-Make up equipment that you probably forgot or could not carry. Similarly, a lot of broken things could be mended using it.
9- Make fire with duct tape and char cloth. Make a
firestarter with duct tape and char cloth. In this way the fire
starter can last seven minutes.
10-Sling gear to your backpack. Clips may break, gear may
become loose, and you’ll have an instant and stealth solution
if your bugout bag includes duct tape.
11-Tie food bags in the trees camping. Tie food up in the trees
to secure it from raccoons, bears and other critters.
12-Tape a lantern to a tree. Light the way with a flashlight or lantern by securing it with duct tape cordage to a tree at your
13-Hang clothes out to dry. If your clothes get soaked while
camping by the river or lake, you can create just enough
cordage to line-hang your clothes.
14-Mark a trail.Colorful duct tape can come in handy to mark your trail as you
move through terrain to trek .
15-Cuff a pant leg. Trekkers can also cuff pant legs with duct
tape to protect from the elements – either to keep out the
leeches, ticks and chiggers or to prevent the cool air from rising the
pants and stealing body warmth.
16-Patch hole in your hip boots or rain boots. Fishing around
for ideas, we found this practical tip if your hip boots should
run a leak while fishing, you can temporarily repair it with
when we talk about trekking the first thing that comes to mind is a person carrying a heavy
backpack and climbing on the horizon of a mountain leading up to its summit. A common view in everyone’s mind is the walk through the snow that gets thicker as and when the man reaches the peak. It’s probably because it has been long presumed that treks and hikes lead to the high points of our planet and rightly so.
While we take upon each of the peaks we move to colder places on earth and this is absolutely thrilling. The improbable temperatures that you have beat to complete your journey is what makes trekking that much fun and exciting.
And it’s all even more thrilling when you go out to trek in the winters of North India. Here are the five best places that you could trek during the winters.
Har Ki Dun Winter Trek
Har Ki Dun is a valley situated among the northern forests of Uttarakhand. The campsite is a large opening that leads to two other valleys.
The entire trek is a modest one that takes you through hamlets, landslide prone sections and includes a lot of moderate climbing and descends. The trek is one of the few that has a constant view of the Himalayas present and unlike other popular treks this one is completed upon reaching the base of a mountain rather than trying to conquer the summit.
Best known for its river side campsite and beautiful path leading to it, this trek is recommended for beginners trying to move up the slate.
Deorital Chandrashila peak
As a beginner, what would you expect from trekking in North India during the winter? A walk through the jungle, the view of mountain ranges, lake side camp sites, snow covered peaks and climbing on one.
If you are looking for one single trek where you could do all of this, Deorital Chandrashilla trek is just the answer. A highly recommended by all the industry greats, this trek promises to demand your love for it, be it for the jungle walks among few of the highest trees you’ve seen or the camp sites including lakes and mountain tops that are to die for.
Deorital lake is a campsite where the water is still picture like motionless, covered by trees on the edges and shadowed by a line of mountains. To top it off, literally, you’d be climbing on the snow-capped Chandrashila quite easily to reach a peak that has a front row seat to view a range of prominent mountains including India’s highest peak, Mt. Nanda Devi
Kuari Pass Winter trek
Up, Close and Personal! One phrase that can describe Kuari pass quite justifiably. Ranging from the beautiful forests that this trek has to offer, it also is known for providing great views of Mt. Dronagiri, the Haathi and Ghoda parvaths and Mt. Nanda Devi from very near.
The pass is climb to Chitrakantha, a snow filled peak that gives you the most beautiful view of the mountains. This trek ranks high also due to its level of easiness so much so that even children will be able to attempt this trek
Brahmatal Winter Trek
Rated as one of the best treks in India, Brahmatal trek is a classic winter trek and one of the very few hikes that we offer during peak winters of North India.
The trek takes you through two frozen lakes, Bekaltal and Brahmatal and ends in a glorious view of Mt. Trishul from up the mountain. What makes this trek also great, is the fact that this hike is not very known and hence you will have very few people on the trails.
The jungles are much denser even during winters which provides a sense of isolated calm. Camping next to the Brahmatal Lake while surrounded by the most magnificent mountains makes this a very unique experience especially during the cold winter seasons.
Kedarkantha winter Trek
Topping the list of winter treks to go through is no surprise provided by the Kedarkantha trek. So what is it about Kedarkantha that makes it everyone’s favorite? The trek to this notorious summit is through snow covered pine forests that open into clearings.
All of these clearings are better than the last. The clearings are flatlands covered in sheets of snow and bordered by the winter forests. Due to its continuous snowfall, the Kedarkantha’s snow-capped surface is untouched and beautiful. What more, is the climb to the summit which provides the best view across all the hikes that have been designed.
The view comprises of a self-affirming landscape of rows and fields of mountains. This picture will leave you in the awe of it and ensure that you always take back the memory made on top of this peak.
So, these are our top five treks. Let us know what you think of each of these treks.
Good Food does Great Things. It is very important that you always eat the right kind of food especially when you are trekking high-altitudes. Plan your meals and snacks in a such a way that you are never too hungry, or you are never too over-fed.
Here are our 5 Food Tips during Trekking and Camping:
- Make a Meal Plan
Ensure that you well ahead of your diet plan and timings. Check with the trek leader and the cooks when the food will be made and what kind of food will be served way ahead of the day. Its best to plan ahead with your dietician or chalk out your calorie intake with regard to what your comfort levels in terms of eating & trekking would be.
General factors you need to keep in mind:
- Duration of the Trek
- The planned stops for consumption of food
- Time of the year you are Trekking
- Your food preferences
Breakfast – A healthy and a Wholesome Breakfast needs to be had to get the day off to a flying start. Ideally the time should be before 9am.
Lunch – Lunch needs to be more on the Complex Carbohydrate side where, we need to restore the energy back into you without creating Fatigue. Ideally need to be had by 1pm.
Snack – Snacks can be had based on the diet plan that you will be following and considering what is best to eat during those times. Ideally the time should be 2 – 3 hours before your main meals.
Dinner – Dinner should be had light towards the end of the day. Again, eating Complex Carbohydrates to ensure that there is no Fatigue or headaches
- Kind of Food to Eat
For the most part of any Trek. You will be subjected to some grueling physical task for taking on a Mountain. This can be exhaustive and lead to immense hunger – which doesn’t mean you are completely hungry. Only means, your body needs the right kind of food intake with all the right supplements to keep you alright.
Type of Food ingredients:
- Foods that contain a lot of Low Protein for the High-Altitudes
- Daily Nutrient to keep the body refreshed
- A certain level of Fiber, Complex Carbohydrates to refuel the body of electrolytes
- High Carb food that are easily digestible
- High energy and calorie products to counteract fatigue and headaches
- The Munchies to Keep-going
If there 3 Whole meals a day to keep you recharged, there needs to be smaller subset of mini-meals or munchies that need to be had in the interval of the whole meals to keep the body constantly refreshed with the required essentials and to keep moving forward.
Our Top Pick snacks you need to have are:
- Dried Fruits
- Nutritious/Energy Bars (Sugarless)
- Crackers/Rice Cakes
- Wheat Biscuits and Granola Bars
- Home-made Food 😊
Stay Away from
There are certain kind of food that’s a complete No-No when it comes to consuming them while Trekking. These kinds of food will lead to symptoms or sings of problems as we move further into the Trek.
They are as follows:
- High-sugar Candies/Cream Biscuit
- Chocolate especially
- Alcohol/Alcohol-based food
- High-Protein Food at High-Altitudes
- Keep yourself HYDRATED!
There is nothing more important than keeping yourself HYDRATED. Drinking on an Avg. of 4 – 5litres a day during Treks. Your body via sweating loses its electrolytes, and water is the biggest natural source where we can get it.
Tip: Remember to hydrate yourself every 45 mins to 1 hour.
Now that you know 5 Food Tips, let’s begin our journey!
– Discovery Hike
If you are on this page, it noticeably means that you are an avid trekker or are going to be one. Few prominent factors about trekking is that it is healthy, it is meticulous, it always ends in a sense of exhilaration and most importantly it’s one of the very few activities that doesn’t need too much of equipment but mostly relies on human stamina and energy.
Since most of the time on a trek goes into walking, climbing, crossing water bodies, descending on rough terrains, we are bound to exert a lot of energy into hiking and trekking. The kind of terrain that we transverse can range from flat grasslands to rough rocky climbs.
Considering this, it happens to be of great importance that we have the right pair of trekking shoes that are durable, flexible and protects your feet from injuries, wetness and dirt.
So, what exactly makes a pair of trekking shoes the right choice?
Firstly, it’s very important for the shoes to be the right kind. By right kind, I mean, the shoes need to have the right properties which are suitable for trekking.
The sole of the shoes should be thick by at least three quarters of an inch to an inch but not be flat surfaced. The soles should be deeply grooved and gripping onto any kind of surface. It is also very important that the finishing is not very smooth to ensure the shoes don’t make you slip on icy surfaces. The soles should also be quite soft and flexible in a way that you are able to grip on to uneven surfaces with the least amount of rigidness.
The next thing to note about having the right trekking shoes is that they should be able to resist any form of dirt or liquids. This ensures that your feet are always dry and hygienic thus avoiding any form of infection that may occur. To ensure that this is part of the shoes you acquire, make sure the shoes are water resistant. In essence, the shoes should be able to avoid any form of water or slush to enter the inner part of the shoe. If a shoe has a leather or a resin lining on top of the finishing material, it is ensured to keep water and other particles from entering your shoe.
While picking the shoes for trekking, also keep in mind that the shoes shouldn’t be waterproof as this can lead to your feet profusely sweating. This can either lead to infection over a long exposure, irritation and loss of grip within the shoe or even worse can cause you to have stinky feet which may not go well with your fellow trekkers.
Lastly, your shoes are your primary support for ascending, walking, climbing and descending during treks. Which means that your ankles are in constant use for the entire duration of the trip. They may move up, down and sideways to hold on to the volatile terrain that lays ahead of you.
So quite obviously it will be imperative that whatever shoes you do end up owning, should have very good ankle grip. An ankle grip ensures that your feet are within the shoe thus preventing them from bending in odd angles relatively to your sole. The last thing you will need on a trek is a sprain or a catch in the ankle, which is why investing is a good pair of quality shoes with ankle support is absolute necessity.
Ideally there are multiple kinds of shoes that can either cater to flat hiking, trekking on moderate climbs and expedition shoes that are used by pro trekkers, we would rather like to keep it simple. The shoes are a heavy investment and having multiple pairs may not always be economic. So, a simple pair of hiking shoes for flat surfaces should be enough to get you started. Once you gain enough experience and confidence to go on moderate level treks, do invest in a good pair of expedition shoes. Not only will these withstand most expert level treks, but are so durable that you can use them for your entire journey through moderate and pro trekking.
However, in order to have the best experience it is always recommended that you start using the shoes well before your trek so you don’t have any surprises like fitting issues, shoe bites or general discomfort.
What are you waiting for? Go grab a pair now.
When it comes to any form of physical activity that we partake, it is important to note that they are designed to make sure we burn energy and utilize the complete functioning of our muscular system. What we don’t notice at times is how much energy is exactly necessary for a given physical activity and how exactly does energy get burnt. Burning energy can simply be attributed to the breaking down of our consumptions in order to distribute nutrition and blood into our system. Blood delivery also depends on the amount of oxygen being consumed on a given periodical length.
The actuality of a trekking lies in the basics of it which points to it being a physical activity relying heavily on walking. This could include, climbing, crossing, descending on the mountains. But considering the height that we gain during these few days, it should be noted as we rise above the sea level, the pressure increases. So much so that the increase in pressure will cause a depletion of oxygen. Hence, due to the lack of oxygen, it is very common for people to contract AMS.
What is ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS ( AMS )?
AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is nothing but the symptoms thrown by your body to signal that you do not have enough supply of oxygen due to being in a high altitude. AMS is caused simply by exertion of the body due to the physical activity and needing more oxygen while there is a lack of it. While we walk and climb mountains our body is burning more energy thus needing more oxygen.
What are the symptoms of AMS?
Due to AMS, you will feel a headache, nausea and queasiness in the stomach but not essentially in that order. Sometimes people tend to ignore the symptoms or chalk up one of the symptoms as something else rather than attributing it to AMS. These symptoms are due to reducing height, it may sometimes not suffice your body’s need for oxygen.
are always pointing to lack of blood either in your brain, your stomach or both. This can lead to a wrong diagnosis and end up in a larger version of Altitude sickness like HACE and HAPE which in a few cases can be fatal. Hence it is very important to be verbal and open about the symptoms and uneasiness that you may feel while trekking.
Can AMS be experienced by Veteran Trekkers?
AMS has no correlation to the amount of experience you have had hiking. It is simply your body reaching an unbalanced limit of oxygen demand against its supply. Most times, experienced trekkers tend to ignore these symptoms due to embarrassment or peer pressure, but this should never be the case.
How do I overcome AMS?
The most important thing about AMS is to always address the symptoms the moment you start feeling them rather than marking it as some common ailment. Even if you feel weirded out during the trek and a physical discomfort, it is always important to alert someone about what you are feeling so that proactive measures can be implemented which is ideally rest and let your body adjust to the altitude before you add more exertion to it.
It is often noted by most trekkers that if they have reached the summit or the highest point of a trek, AMS will not impact you considering you have now been adjusted to the minimum level of oxygen available. However, AMS is not a single fold problem. Even during a descent or a journey back to the base camp, AMS is very susceptible bearing in mind you will be climbing down faster thus pushing your body to do more work. Although the oxygen levels do incre
Be aware of the symptoms of AMS and ensure that you use the right precautionary methods to tackle this blockade in your hiking journey.
The importance of the Trekking Pole has been much debated back & forth in the past and really, there are equal Pros & Cons to this debate that we at Discovery Hike feel that it is more subject to individual preference than anything. We would like to show you that this is one of the most important things on a trek.
The Pros of Trekking Poles during Treks:
- Establishes a good walking rhythm when synchronized with your arms
- Reduces strain on the knees during descents
- Increase hill climbing power when used right
- Aids in balance in rough terrain and while crossing streams & reduces swelling
- Can be used while for other purposes too in Trek (Creativity Required)
The Cons of Trekking Poles during Treks:
- Lot of energy is required in using it
- Improper handling can lead to wrist sprains
- Trekking Poles can get caught on Trees, branches while trekking
- Care must be taken when walking across the fields to prevent poles from snapping
Trekking Poles, are most of the times a tricky contraption to completely get a hang of. When used right they are a Man’s Best Friend on the Mountains. Once you have truly learnt how to use them in condition, you will effortlessly switch to it in times where you know that they will be of more help than any other tool.
One usually takes time to learn how to use trekking poles and adapt to them. While they are very useful, they can be very difficult while climbing because you will need to be more focused on where you are landing the pole to balance support. The same advantage you might get from it is becoming the disadvantage.
How to use the Trekking Poles
At first it might seem like it’s something very simple to accomplish. But practice, a lot of it will get you in fine tune eventually to be a pro. Here are some simple know-hows to get you started on using the Trekking Poles.
- Test the Trekking Pole and adjust according to the height you are standing check for the comfort it provides.
- When climbing, shorten the Trekking Poles height a little, and when you are going down, extend the length a little more.
- Use the strap of the pole to grip the handle so that you feel like the Trekking Pole is part of you.
Tip: Use the Trekking Pole a little in and around your surrounding and especially for stairs and rocky roads to get the feel of using it before you begin your Trek.
In conclusion, Trekking poles are very advantageous for Experienced Hikers, particularly because they reduce the strain on your Knees while descent and provide that extra power while climbing with better balance. If you are still learning or getting the feel of the Mountains Then Trekking Pole may not be the right option for you, though it may provide a good learning.
What do you think? Pole or No Pole?
It is often said that choices define us all. It is in the very nature of humans to choose what inhibits a sense of positivity in us. Whether that is joy, happiness or even the sense of achievement. You could categorize that people are adventurous and non-adventurous. But within them there are ones who love to go exploring and adventuring not because they want to feel the thrill of the moment, but to be so relaxed that they are one and none at the same time with the universe. Therein, within the difference of feeling accomplished or alleviated is the key to visit these two places.
Brahmatal Winter Trek
Best time: December – March
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Highest Altitude: 12000ft
Duration: 6 days
Average Temperature: 0 to 15 c
Total distance: 24 km
Physically speaking they aren’t much different. Both situated in Uttarakhand at a modest height of 12,000 feet are one of the most visited trekking camps in the country. They are serenely gorgeous that is not very hard to describe once you get over the awesomeness of the beauty.
Snow covered during winters, both treks form a charming walk from the start point till your goal which takes all of 6 days of exhilarating experience. They don’t demand much of a pioneering to visit their respective sites, but will not be shy of ensuring that you are covered from head to toe with the thickest clothing that you could fetch. Having said that, these couldn’t be far apart.
Brahmatal prides itself as being one of the very few lakes that remains well frozen even after winter has said farewell for a while. Kedarkantha on the other hand is a summit that is not only frozen during most of the year but also gives you an amazing view of the Himalayas that is very difficult to find in this part of the great mountain range.
What I absolutely loved about Brahmatal was that I could reach my goal, set up camp and go through a wonderful evening right next to the lake while topped off by the millions of stars that scrolled through the night sky. If I were to pin point the exact moment I fell in love with Kedarkantha, was when I stood on top of the summit, on a rock that covered by frozen flakes of tons of snow and just wondered how far I could see into the void of the universe. Never had I witnessed such a landscape of grandeur formed just by rocks and snow that could only be reckoned in tons.
And although all of this sounds terribly conflicting the choice between the two is actually, quite very simple. If you have started trekking recently in the last few years, it is always recommended by the more experienced that you must visit these two mounts. But the approach you use to conquer these hikes has to be quite straightforward. If you are experienced in trekking for more than 4 days at a stretch and are equipped to take the plunge, you always start with Brahmatal.
The icy glacier is nothing short of a wonderful glass sheet placed ironically on top of a hill. Getting there has its own journey through forests, snow and sometimes a good amount of both. The lake is obviously surrounded by nothing but mountains and specks of trees that make the end result of this journey quite serene and relaxing as you will be camping right next to the frozen lake
Kedarkentha Winter Trek
Best time: December – March
Difficulty Level: Easy – Moderate
Highest Altitude: 12300ft
Duration: 6 days
Average Temperature: -5 to 15 c
Total distance: 22 km
Whereas on the other hand Kedarkantha, in my personal opinion should be travelled only once you have visited Brahmatal if you are planning to order them. The opinion albeit quite simple is effective considering your stay on the summit is not only short-lived but should be consumed in short doses.
The journey remains pretty much the same through forests and snow but ends not with a relaxed evening next to a lake and below stars but in a small hamlet while you contemplate on the view that you just witnessed standing on top of a 12,000-high terrace with no disruption in your line of sight. That really gets you thinking even though your body is all but exhausted due to the climbing and descending you would have encountered. Kedarkantha is your reward and also stage to be promoted to be the next level trekker and hiking enthusiast.
For the folks who have been on the hiking and trekking scene, if you have had experience already travelling by foot in the snow and are not hindered by weaving and wandering for 6 days straight, then Brahmatal should be considered a point of break for you to realize why you started trekking in the first place whereas Kedarkantha is the next badge that you have been waiting to portrait on your lapel.