Photograph courtesy: Avinash Bhanu
From Monday to Friday, city dwellers in Maharashtra avoid the rains like a plague, huddling from home to office and back, always avoiding and sometimes cursing the rains. But when the weekend rolls in, they spread their arms wide and welcome the same monsoon rains, heading to the Sahyadri hills that run through Maharashtra to experience the cool, wet climate from dizzying altitudes. Monsoon is a good time to go trekking in Maharashtra, with pleasant temperatures and little risk of getting dehydrated. But heavy rains add new dangers, and you need to be prepared if plan to climb the hills. Here, then, are some do’s and don’ts for trekking in Maharashtra. ALSO READ: 8 best monsoon treks in Maharashtra Also Read - Heartbreaking! Patna Rickshaw-Puller Crying on Flooded Street. Watch Viral Video
Go trekking in a group
If you really want to go out on a solo trek, curb your urge and go trekking in a group instead. There is safety in numbers, especially during the monsoon. Plenty of travel groups arrange group treks to take you up the right trail and organize the whole experience in the right way. Even if you are an experienced trekker, it’s safer to have some company with you. Also Read - Monsoon Fury: Death Toll in Rain-related Incidents Rises to 134 Across India
Research the routes a little before the trek
Speaking of trails, make sure you know what route you will take before going on a trek. Do a little research about the fort or hill you are going to climb. For one, it helps enhance your experience even more. When you walk through the massive gateways to Maharashtra’s forts, you will be able to better appreciate the sights around you if you know about its history. Research will also make you aware of any issues associated with the trek and keep you prepared. Also Read - Mumbai Rains LIVE: High Tide Expected at 3PM, Transportation Services Normal
Carry foods that give you a quick energy boost
Monsoon treks in the Sahyadris are considered tougher in some ways to Himalayan treks, despite their relatively low altitude. They are often done at an intense pace because the weather can turn at any time. To keep up and stay energized, carry chocolate bars or simple energy drinks like Glucon D with you.
Invest in good trekking shoes
Do not attempt a trek with sandals or any other casual footwear. Invest in a good pair of trekking shoes or sports shoes that are rugged enough to handle the terrain. Waterproof shoes are always the best bet, and you could get some good ones from Quechua. Otherwise, invest in some sports shoes and carry a couple of pairs of socks extra to keep your feet dry.
Carry basic tools and a first-aid kit
On most monsoon treks in Maharashtra, you’ll find enthusiasts making their way through the train with nothing but their shoes, clothes and energetic screams. But while it is certainly important to travel light, you do need to carry certain basic tools, like a first-aid kit, torch, compass and photo ID, preferably with details of your blood group and age. For some additional cool points, get a dog tag with all these details.
Carry natural foods
Avoid carrying packaged chips or biscuits when you are out on a trek. Instead, get some fresh or dry fruits and other basic eatables that you can quickly consume without worrying about plastic wastes. Easily prepared snacks like sandwiches are also recommended. Food choices are subjective, but just make sure that what you carry does not get spoiled or cause waste. ALSO READ: 5 simple tips you should follow when trekking in the monsoon!
Bring the necessary tools and gear
We covered some basic tools earlier, but certain treks require other gear as well. A Swiss Army knife can be useful in plenty of occasions. If you plan on camping overnight, carry a lighter and at least a basic dome tent with you. Some organizers offer a complete camping experience, but it is best to carry a tent with you for yourself, as well as your own sleeping bag.
Do not deviate from the trail
The majesty and beauty of the Sahyadris can sometimes make you want to stop or go a little off track. But it is best to stay on the trail and with your group rather than wandering off. The last thing you want to do is get lost in the hill forests or lose track of your own group. You’ll have plenty of chances to soak in the natural beauty of the Western Ghats.
Avoid carrying too much
While it is important to carry all the necessary items for your trek, avoid carrying too much. A 10-litre backpack should be enough to accommodate all your items, including an extra pair of clothes, some additional socks, two liters of water and some snacks and gear. Extra weight will only slow you down.
Photograph courtesy: Avinash Bhanu
Do not play loud music or talk loudly
It is very tempting to take out your speaker and belt out some party hits while you make your way up the hill. Plenty of people do that, but the fact is that not playing any loud music or talking loudly is actually the better option. You get to hear the unique sounds of nature around you, and it makes you more aware of your surroundings, which is always safer.
Do not wear jeans or shorts
On monsoon treks in Maharashtra, it is vital to wear the right clothes. Avoid what you would normally wear on a weekend outing: a pair of jeans or shorts. Jeans can cause chaffing on your skin over a prolonged period and doesn’t dry up easily, and shorts expose your legs to thorns and other possibly dangerous elements. Instead, opt for some track pants and a quick-drying T-shirt. Also, go for a poncho or rain jacket instead of an umbrella. NOW READ: 9 treks in India that no traveler should miss!
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