Etiquettes in the Himalayas
Since long I have been listening to some misbehavioral stories of trekkers. This really disheartens me and everybody else. I have therefore thought of formulating a rulebook of trekking in the Himalayas. Well, I am sure, you are already aware of it and follow these etiquette. Yet, just have a look, sometimes we tend to forget that we are in the custody of the mountains. Only through respect and care for nature, will we be able to get the best from nature.
1- Be grateful to nature
I have learned a very important lesson in the mountains that has contributed greatly to my personality too. When in the mountains, we are in the lap of nature. And being nature lovers and enthusiasts, it is our primary duty to respect nature in all its forms and not indulge in any activity that is detrimental to the mountains and the surroundings.
I have been on a number of treks in the Himalayas and every time I returned to the mountains, I felt I had come home. We don’t dirty or pollute our homes, do we? I personally feel that as trekkers and custodians of the earth, we are obligated to protect nature at every point during the trek and otherwise.
2- Surrender to nature
We can never conquer a mountain. The mountain only lets us climb it. I wish to emphasize that if any day when the weather turns foul in the mountains, trekkers must not challenge the elements and act recklessly. One should follow the instructions of the trek leaders and return to the safety of the campsite with humility. We must surrender to nature, enjoy the sounds of chirpping birds, cool breeze, water gushing furiously. Not listen to our DJ music on loudspeakers. It is necessary for all of us to shed every bit of our ego before going to the mountains. There’s no place for ego in the mountains.
3- Leave no trace
While trekking, I request every individual not to litter even a square inch of the land with wrappers or any non-biodegradable material. It doesn’t take much to keep the plastic wrappers/waste in one’s backpack and dispose it safely at the campsite or on return to base camp.
4- Toilet manners
Another important aspect of hygiene in the mountains is toilet manners. Human waste contains a lot of bacteria, which is detrimental to mountain soil. Although trekkers are allowed to answer nature’s call in the open at a considerable distance from the campsite, I feel it is our responsibility to keep the mountains as clean as possible and therefore we should avoid this when toilet tents are erected by the staff for the trekkers. Toilet tents are basically pits dug in the ground with tents erected over them. It is always recommended to use them instead of using the open ground and spoiling the landscape with human waste.
5-Care for the animals
There are domesticated animals found in the mountains such as goats, horses, sheep, and yaks. These belong to the people living in the villages that we normally pass through. We should treat all the animals with compassion and not act cruelly towards them.
6- Respect the staff
The staff from the company includes the trek leaders, base camp manager, cooks, porters, guides and support staff. Every one of them works hard with complete dedication and conviction to make sure each trekker has a memorable experience and does not feel the lack of an essential facility. In fact, the staff works beyond their capacities in all kinds of weather, be it is snow, rain or chills. Thus, it is extremely important that we as clients show them respect and appreciate their work. By being thankful to them, we have made their day. One should remember that without them, it is impossible to Trek in the Himalayas for an amateur trekker.
7- Trek as a team
Every experienced trekker knows that trekking is all about teamwork. Thus, when trekking in a group, the entire batch is required to co-operate and this is easier if the group members develop a close friendship with each other from day one of the journey. And trust me, friendships made in the mountains last forever because they are special.
8- Encourage other trekking groups
On the way back to the base if your group comes in contact with another trekking group that is heading up, you along with your group members should encourage the members of the other batch to successfully complete the journey. Motivating each other all along the way is the key to success in the mountains.
9- Respect the food
You would agree that the delicious desserts and the amazing menu offered on the trek are out of the world. No luxurious hotel can offer such variety in the menu and finger licking taste. Yet, we see many trekkers leaving food in the plate. Whether we like it or not, we should take in every ounce. There are extreme situations when the groceries get destroyed in the trek, it is then we realize the importance of every single bit. We have to forcefully eat that Tinde and Karele ki sabji at home. If you can follow that at home, why not follow in the mountains?
10- But don’t encourage smoking or drinking
This was, of course, the most expected point. Despite, various warnings we find trekkers smoking or drinking. We can only say that if you do not obey this rule, you are the one who will suffer nobody else.
11- Be a well-manned trekker and pass on to others
Well, this is an unsaid rule. Share these etiquettes with new trekkers to create a healthy and conscious trekking community.
TTH Official Content Writer