How to Select Your First Trek

Hello, my friend! It gives me immense happiness that you have decided to go for a trek and explore the beauty of nature. This blog intends to help you decide your first trek if you are a beginner. So let us quickly dive into it because the mountains are calling you 🙂

If you are new to the concept of trekking I suggest you read “5 Tips to Help you Start Trekking” and then come back to this article.

Generally one can trek in two ways either with a tour operator or self. This is a vital decision on which selection of the trek depends and I shall elaborate both of them in this article. Under both these heading there are two subheadings which are basically why people trek, that is – (a) enjoy the view/wanting a getaway (b) seeking challenge and adventure.

Please note that all the points are complimentary to each other and should be taken into consideration as a whole when selecting a trek. You also don’t have to be very rigid about it and can experiment according to your own capabilities.

If you decide to trek with a tour operator

This is an easy and convenient way of trekking. The technicalities are looked after by the company and you can enjoy the trek without any worries. One can simply go to a company’s website and select a trek out of the various treks offered after reading about it. Now if you’re trekking for the breathtaking views of the mountains and looking for a getaway I suggest the following.

1) Start with an altitude bracket of 9000ft-12000ft approx., 3-4days of a 5-6hours max of trekking a day. Acclimatising is an important part of trekking and thus I recommend you to start small. This is not stapled as everyone’s capabilities differ and neither is the only criteria.

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2) The selection of trek highly depends upon your mental and physical fitness too. Try to follow a workout plan a couple of months prior to the trek if you don’t exercise regularly. You know your body the best so take a pragmatic decision. For the people wanting to challenge themselves you can try and increase the above figures. Just don’t go climbing the Everest, please. Take it easy!

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3) Another important point is to check for the distance, duration, and elevation of the trek. This information is generally mentioned on the company’s website. A trek could be short in duration, say 2 days but could be dauntingly steep. So I suggest selecting an undulating trek which you enjoy and climb with a smile on your face. Hopefully, you’ll get good pictures for your Instagram feed too 😛

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Some treks for subheading (a) – Dayara Bugyal Trek, Nag Tiba Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Deorital-Chandrashila Trek etc.

Some treks for subheading (b) – Bhramatal Trek, Har Ki Dun Trek, Sandakphu Phaltu Trek etc.

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Bhramatal lake
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Nag Tibba trek (picture by Jaskirat Kaur)

If you decide to trek on your own

The second heading, trekking on your own, is where I want to put greater emphasis at. It means that you plan, organise and execute your trek on your own. It’s a huge responsibility and trust me you don’t want to take things lightly. Trekking on your own can be really challenging and adventurous and can turn out to be a learning as well as life-changing experience. The following points will help you in selecting a trek if you are trekking by yourself.

1) Start small – Select a short trek to begin with. This will give you the experience and teach you important lessons for your future treks. It will also build your confidence and enhance your skills for venturing out in the wilderness. You can keep the altitude bracket the same as above, 9000ft-12000ft but keep the duration short, 2-3 days max. Also, go for a common trek where you know you will find other trekkers and campers so that you can easily find help if required.

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2) Gear requirement – There are a lot of things that you have to carry since you are trekking by yourself so learn how to pack light. The way I like to do it is, identify needs and wants. Tent, sleeping bag, food etc. are your needs whereas the number of clothes, cameras, laptop and your Xbox (well you never know) are your wants. Stick to the needs and keep your wants less. Select a trek in which you don’t have to carry too much of load.tenor62xz90jc

3) Fitness – A person’s fitness can really be a primary deciding factor of how his/her trekking experience is going to be. One’s physical as well as mental fitness is of paramount importance and should not be ignored. According to me, there is no answer to the question “how fit?” so just follow a wholesome workout including cardiovascular training, building muscle endurance, flexibility and strength training. So the selection of trek also depends on your fitness level and thus you have to be honest with yourself with this regard. A fit trekker will enjoy the trek to the fullest in comparison to an unfit trekker who will slog through the trail.

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4) Weather – When selecting a trek one also has to take into consideration the weather conditions. Some treks can be done throughout the year whereas some treks are seasonal and can only be done in specific months. You will also find different scenery depending on what time of the year it is. Trek like Bhramatal will be dry or covered in snow during winters whereas in spring you will find it blossoming. Avoid monsoon and winter season for the first time as the rain and the cold will not have mercy on you and only double your challenges.

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Trekking on your own is the best way for one to test oneself and get that perfect dose of adventure. Here the main challenge is not the altitude or the duration of the trek but the whole process of trekking. Collecting all information and gear, trekking through the mountains, pitching your tent and cooking your own food, accomplishing all such tasks really proves to be an overwhelming experience.

Some treks to do on your own- Kheerganga Trek, Triund Trek, Nag Tiba Trek, Parashar Lake Trek etc.

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Parashar Lake (picture by Jaskirat Kaur)
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Kheerganga trek

If you ask me, I have done it in both the ways and I would always prefer the latter option. Trekking on your own is a life-changing experience and is definitely to be done in that manner. For all the difficulties and challenging problems one faces, the surreal beauty of nature and the joy of accomplishing simple tasks is a perfect reward that one would cherish.

I hope this article helps you in your selection of trek. If you found it beneficial do give it a like and share it with your friends. If you have any question regarding the topic you can drop a comment below and I shall try my best to help you out.

HAPPY TREKKING!

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