Himalayas are awesome. And during monsoons, they get even better. So, while you make a list of things to pack and carry, keep these 6 things in mind. It will help you take your eyes off yourself and soak in the picturesque views of the Himalayas better.
- Pick a poncho over a raincoat
A poncho is a perfect choice for Himalayan monsoon treks. In 10 seconds it is over you and your backpack! Moreover, the loose fit helps prevent moisture build-up due to perspiration and humidity. The best part is that it packs small and can fit well within the hip belt of your backpack. Just ensure that ponchos have water proof taping on stitches from the inside.
- Pack non-cotton full pants and non-cotton full sleeved t-shirt
Cotton is great for summers. But when it comes to monsoon treks, we suggest you skip it. Cottons, or any fabric that holds water, gets very heavy with showers, failing as an insulator.
We recommend synthetic, full sleeve t-shirt and a synthetic, full length trekking pants. When in wilderness, it’s better to be covered as much as possible to get better protection from stings and thorns. Cotton doesn’t dry easily while most synthetic fabrics dry with body heat. Pick a fairly thick material, as it is your first line of defence against weather, slips and scrapes.
- Wear lugged shoes with good ventilation
When one thinks of monsoon treks, one must be ready for not-so-easy trail. With slippery rocks, mud slush, wet vegetation and more, your only saviour is a good grip of your shoes.
The deeper the lugs, the better the grip! Waterproof shoes with ample ventilation can help control blisters while on the trek. Also ensure that your shoes have high ankle support; even when you pack floaters for campsite. Flip flops are best avoided.
- Mind your feet
Your feet are the first to take the brunt of monsoons while trekking. By being continuously wet due to rain, the skin of your feet might turn soft and wrinkly and can attract fungal infections. Use anti-fungal powder generously on your feet before you begin your trek. It’s advisable to wear thin socks and change them at least once while trekking. If you have the liberty, dry your feet and socks at rest stops. And when you hit the bed, moisturise your feet well.
- Pack smartly
During monsoon treks, it is vital to pack your backpack smartly by keeping frequently used items outside the pack – in the pockets of your backpack. It is a no brainier that when you open your pack in the rains, the water will get in your bag!
- Beware of leeches and avoid them
- Apply salt: If you see leeches crawling or sucking your blood already, apply salt onto the leech and it will drop of! Don’t even think of pulling the leech if it is already sucking your blood. Its bite is stronger than you can imagine. Also pulling will make you bleed even more.
- Tuck in: Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks. It will prevent leeches from entering into your unexposed body.
- Keep walking: Walking does not give enough time for the leech to walk on your feet. If you have to halt for rest, find a dry spot under the sun and avoid cool and damp places. Not leaning on anything on the trail is also a good habit to stay away from leeches.
If you have not yet chosen your Himalayan monsoon treks, here are our top picks!
Region :- Kashmir, J & K
Duration :- 8 Days
Grade :- Moderate
Max Altitude :- 13,750 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 72 Kms.
Region :- Himanchal Pradesh
Duration :- 5 Days
Grade :- Easy To Moderate
Max Altitude :- 14,100 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 26 Kms.
Region :- Uttarakhand
Duration :- 6 Days
Grade :- Easy
Max Altitude :- 15,696 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 38 Kms.
Region :- Kashmir, J & K
Duration :- 7 Days
Grade :- Easy
Max Altitude :- 13,500 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 33 Kms.