In May 2018 I quit my five years of IT job to pursue my travelling dreams. The very first assignment in this entirely new field, was to work as a Content Creator for Bikatadventures, which is one of the leading trekking companies.
My work took me to various treks across the country, literally every other week. During the initial treks, I too made the common packing mistakes that every trekker makes. But over the period, I learned from my experiences and finally I was able to say that I learned exactly what is needed to be packed for a trek.
I also figured out some of the alternatives in the essential items that made my trek much easier.
I bet, you won’t find these items listed in other websites, but trust me you will be thankful that you choose the alternatives.
1.Water Bladder instead of Water Bottle
If you are planning to go on a trek, I bet you must know how important it is to keep consuming water and that too in small sips every now and then. No matter how much you believe that you won’t fall lazy of taking out that water bottle and sipping in every now and then, you will end up gulping water only during breaks. Reaching out to get your bottle out or asking someone to pull it out for you seems too much of an effort because you have to do it almost every 15 to 20 minutes.
Water Bladder comes really handy during treks. The weight of water is also distributed proportionally inside your bag and there a tube that runs down from the bladder which you can fix with you bag’s shoulder strap. So all you got to do it, remove the cap and sip the water from tube, no need to stop walking, no need to keep down your bag, no need to look around for help.
Some people say that refilling bladder is bit of a problem but it is not, trust me on that. It got a huge zip opening through which it can be cleaned easily and can be refilled easily as well.
2. Steel Plates and tiffin box instead of Plastic ones
Most of the trekking companies ask participants to get their own plates, tiffin box and a mug. Almost every person carries a plastic box or plate but plastic tend to remain greasy and are hard to wash the oil remains of food where as if you box is of steel; just one water spray would clean it thoroughly. You must be wondering why so much thought process about washing utensils? Well, up there at high altitude, amidst freezing cold winds you would not even feel like wiping your ass forget about washing utensils in subzero temperatures after dinner.
Some use butter paper as well to keep the utensils clean but there is a risk of stomach infection and also, you have to carry all the waste that you create.
3. Rain pants and rain jackets instead of Ponchos
Lot of trekkers prefer ponchos over rain pants and rain jacket, just because ponchos seems to be easy to wear but then end up managing them throughout the trek. Ponchos do not serve the purpose when it’s windy. Ponchos provide almost no protection to your pants. Ponchos don’t even cover your full arms. On top of all this, it becomes really difficult to walk wearing ponchos. Rain pants and rain jacket provides full coverage and protection from rain and moreover, are far more comfortable than Ponchos.
4. Floaters or crocs instead of chappals
The major trekking period in India is from May to October, which is also a rainy season. The campsite is going to be damp and slushy and if you are hopping in and out wearing chappals, chances are you might slip or stuck in the slug. Floaters and crocs have better grip hence are more comfortable and can be used during stream crossing as well, which is impossible in chappals. Moreover, if something happens to your trekking shoes, you can rely on floaters or crocs for walking but definitely not on chappals.
5. Dry fruits instead of chocolates or energy bars
Chocolates and energy bars are not that bad of an option but you can switch to a healthier option of dry fruits. Not only that they consume less space in the bag but also do more good than the damage. It is true that one requires consuming sugar products as sugar level goes down with the altitude and trust me, raisins and dates are the best alternatives for the chocolates.
6. Tampons instead of Pads
This one is for all the girls ready this article.
Trekking while on chums would be the last thing one can wish for but nothing can stop us. Right? Meftal is there to sooth out the pain but what about the pads? It gets really sweaty walking whole day while on trek and the hardest part is finding a place to change it. Tampons are our real life savers up there. You won’t even feel it and moreover it is easy to change as well and plus you don’t have to worry about the leak as well.
Please consider one point, no matter what you are using, please do carry your sanitary waste down to the base with you. I use to keep mine in a zipper bag and use to put it in the down zip of my bag where I use to keep my floaters thus totally separated from the cloths. And no, the smell will not spread to your cloths. I have met many girls who would just dump the pads in the temporary toilet tents and it is the worst thing we can do to the nature.
Let’s try to be the responsible trekker here, I bet you are 🙂
During my initial treks I too struggled with the ponchos, chappals and the pain of washing plastic plates but over the period of time I observed and learnt the alternatives that could solve these small yet very essential problems during trek. Try incorporating these alternatives and I bet you’ll see the difference these things make.