What NOT to take on your trek
- Throw out frivolous items. When emptied, your backpack should look more like a survival kit. Make-up, shaving kit, matching caps and scarves are a big no. You don’t need to be fashionable on a high altitude trek.
- Don’t carry excessive medicines and toiletries. If you are trekking with your family or friends, ration your resources. For instance, carry a single bottle of sunscreen for all. This is more than sufficient for a 6-8 day trek. You don’t need to carry medical kits separately for each person either. One medical kit with the necessary medicines will suffice.
- Avoid too many products with the same use. Carry a tube of face wash that can double up as a hand wash.
- Leave anything you won’t need on the trek behind. Unwanted extras like the clothes you’ve taken for your post-trek travel need to be left in hotel lockers. These can wait till you are back from the trek.
- Don’t carry too much food. Some trekkers tend to carry a lot of packaged food like snack bars. If you are travelling with Indiahikes you will be provided with meals and snacks. If you wish to carry food, carry a few nuts and dry fruits. Nothing more.
- Avoid carrying electronics. Carry DSLRs, battery back ups and tripods only if you are into photography. To be in the mountains is a break from constantly buzzing electronics. Carrying ipads and speakers will kill that purpose and strain your back.
- Don’t pack for “if” situations. “If it rains I may need an extra set of clothes or if it snows I might need an extra jacket.” These situations have very little certainty. What is certain is the weight of your backpack. So stick to that weight limit. Ideally, your backpack must weigh only 8-9 kg.
- No turkey towels. They are bulky, eat too much space and take too long to dry. Carry one light towel instead.
- Don’t carry extra footwear. You can avoid spare footwear altogether. But if you’re keen on it, carry the lightest pair. If you’re in a group, you can share the extra pair of slippers. Three-four can carry just one pair of slippers and manage with it.
- Don’t overload yourself with water when not required. Carrying two 1L bottles is a must, but you don’t always have to fill them to the brim when there are water sources on the way.
On a high altitude trek, even a handkerchief can weigh you down. So think and pack wisely.