Carry these essentials before heading for a trek trail near Mumbai
Certified trekkers and adventure groups curate a handy guidebook of how to get ready before you hit the highlands
Andharban. Pic/Abhineet Prakash
The monsoon is here, bringing with it cool winds, a touch of green and the promise of waterfalls and treks to the peaks of the Sahyadris.
Whether an avid trekker or just setting out, there is always a set of guidelines to follow. One of them has to do with what to carry with you. "Trekking is a fun-filled activity but it has its own challenges and to conquer them, you should always pack smart," says Manoj Kalwar, founder, Travel Trikon. His list of essentials includes a windcheater, trekking or hiking boots, energy or glucose-based drinks, a rucksack or backpack with a cover, and a rain cover for your camera.
Dipanwita Chakraborti, a business consultant and avid traveller, packs ready-to-eat food in her haversack. "Always carry along a lot of glucose-rich food," she says. "I make sure to travel light, or else the climb can get difficult. A torch will always come in handy," says photographer Ruel Rebello.
Instead of a torch, Kalwar suggests a head torch or head lamp, which will ensure your hands are free. Anusha Subramanian, a certified mountaineer and trekker who conducts treks under her company, Bohemian Adventures, says a basic first aid kit and safety ropes are essential when travelling in a group.
If you are a serious trekker, Sharath Raj, co-founder of EightyDegree Adventure Sports (ADAS), suggests a whole backpack of survival gear. This includes a head lamp with extra batteries, Swiss knife or multipurpose tools, needle and thread to mend tears, matches or a lighter, and 30 metres static rope, among others.
Experts and trekkers give us the lowdown on what to carry on your next trekking trip.
"There’s a particular raincoat that is best suited for trekkers. It’s called a monsoon poncho and is a multi-purpose raincoat," says Sharath Raj. The ponchos are thin and flimsy. With respect to clothes, Subramanian and Kalwar suggest quick-dry varieties such as nylon or dry-fit tees, and trekking pants.
At: Mountain Sports Academy, Borivli (W) for ponchos; Amazon, Ajio, Myntra, Flipkart and Nike for tees.
Cost: Rs 200 (poncho); Rs 400 onwards (tees)
Anusha Subramanian recommends Action Trekker shoes. "If you are buying new shoes, wear them for a few days prior to the trek and break into them so that they do not pinch while trekking." Kalwar has been using his Action Trekkers for seven years. "They are durable, offer a good fit and work best for the monsoon. Avoid ordinary sports shoes," he says.
At: Action Trekker is available at any Bata outlet.
cost: Rs 800 onwards
"The bag should be light-weight and sturdy. Rucksacks have numerous straps to hold on to your body, which makes climbing easy, and several pockets for packing your belongings separately," says Kalwar. Subramanian recommends a Daypack (20 litres). Carry a rucksack cover too.
At: Decathlon in Thane and Ghatkopar.
Call: 9619297688 (Thane)
Cost: Rs 1,000 onwards
- Sunglasses, sunscreen (in case it does not rain)
- Personal medication: make sure you carry your personal medication if you have an ailment.
- A minimum of three litres of water
- Head lamp or torch
- Water bottle or Bladder Hydration Pack