These Valuable Tips for Trekking in Sahyadri are simply Incredible!
The mystic biodiversity of Western Ghats has, in last two decades, started getting recognized and visited by millions of city dwellers. Thanks to the widespread accessibility of Internet and social media. These people find their escape into trekking in Sahyadri mountains during weekends.
But this dangerous blessing has proven to be fatal for the neglecting idiots, who then suffer the wrath of the nature.
The number of people dying during trekking in Sahyadri doesn’t add, but multiply every year. And it is only because of not taking precautions at the basic level, such avoidable damages take place.
So, to mitigate such problems, I would like to share basic tips for trekking in Maharashtra. It is strictly for Western Ghats or Sahyadri treks of India only. Some points you might have never heard about, while some are very basic but still ignored.
I have spent several years in leading treks around Mumbai, so the following is out of my personal experience. But if you think that I have missed out on something or shared any wrong information then please feel free to DM and let me know.
1.Research and be prepared – Don’t just go with the flow.
Research as much as you can. Learn from other people’s experience who have already done that particular trek. With the Internet so much handy these days, reading information and blogs is one of the best ways. Study the mountain route on Google maps or any other trekking app. Download it offline so that you can use it even if there is no network in the Jungle.
2.Never go alone – Like a cliché horror movie.
I really find people stupid who brag about trekking solo. I would never recommend that. Take at least one person along with you. Trekking in the jungle is highly vulnerable and anything can happen. If you have a partner with you or a group, the risk is drastically averted.
3.Quality shoes and carrying water – obvious, isn’t it?
Wear a decent sports shoe or trekking shoes like Actions or Quechua.
Carry at least 2 liters of water with you. You should always keep some water with you as a backup also. Drinking water from a running stream is always safe to drink.
4. Most of the mountains have a base village – Take advantage of it.
Most of the mountains to trek have a village at its base. If you think that you are not sure of the route.
and need help, just ask any of the locals to accompany you as a trekking guide.
Most of the villagers speak Marathi and are very humble. You can also request them to prepare tea or lunch for you. There is no fixed cost for it. Whatever you give them humbly, they accept it. You can even stay overnight with your sleeping bag in the veranda of a temple or a primary school.
5. Keep your body covered – Let me explain.
Wear full sleeve shirt and full-length track pants. This helps in protection from scratches, insect bites, sunburns, etc.…
I am mentioning this particularly because I learned it hard way. I had once developed a skin disease from an insect bite while trekking in Sahyadri. I still have it!
6. Best Trekking season – No, it isn’t Monsoon.
There is no better season, every season has its own charm.
Nature thrives at its best during monsoon. Start early in the morning to avoid too much crowding. Beware of the slippery surface due to the continuous downfall of water.
If you are a Sunset person then you must try camping during winter. Don’t forget to inform a local person that you are going to camp at the top.
During summer, people usually trek during the night to chase the sunrise from the top! The landscape completely changes from lush green valleys to the surreal yellow. Is it worth it? …Totally!
7. Transport options – The journeys are also beautiful btw.
This part requires you to research about transport options available to reach the base of the particular trek. Most of the treks around Mumbai are connected to the railway network.
Travel in a train till the nearest station of the mountain and then take a local transport (rickshaw or bus) till the base village. This is the cheapest way to travel. But the best way is to have your own vehicle riding directly up to the base village without any problem. The vehicle can be parked at the base village.
8. Start early – Even if you are not morning person.
It is always smart to hike during the pleasant climate of the morning. Climbing under the heat will simply kill your excitement and drastically affect the speed.
I recommend to start trekking maximum by 8:00 AM from the base village.
9. Understand your trekking route – Navigate like a boss.
If you are going with a group then this is something you don’t need to worry about. But if you are going on your own, then there are few things that you must keep in your mind.
First, as mentioned above, research about the route and have a partner with you.
Second, most of the trails are marked due to people frequently walking on it. So, most of the times it isn’t a big challenge.
You can hire a local as a guide from the base village. They are friendly and easily approachable. They know the way very well and charge anywhere between 100-500 bucks.
10. Follow the instructions – A personal request.
If you are going with a group then please follow the instructions of the leader and don’t take it for granted.
Participants unconsciously become ignorant with the basic list of things they are asked to bring. Even during the trek some become the real nuisance to the whole group.
11. Take the right start – The secret ingredient.
The difficulty level of your first trek must be easy. The same applies if you are resuming to trek after several years.
Mental strength is more important than the physical strength. That said, always do some light stretching exercise before starting the trek.
The idea is not to start with full energy and then get exhausted, but to climb at a slow and steady speed with breaks only to savour the nature.
12. Go slow – Because it isn’t a competition.
Don’t forget the basic purpose of trekking. It should not be a race to the destination. The moment you want to get ahead of everyone, in the process, you miss the wonderful sights and experiences along the way.
13. Bag and rain protection – Ofcourse, another obvious.
Always carry a backpack instead of sling bag or jhola, it is very inconvenient.
Make sure to keep te minimum weight on your shoulders.
Carry enough plastic bags to cover your belongings.
And please don’t carry an umbrella. Wear poncho, wind cheater or rain coat.