Solo trekking in Himalayas without any support of trekking expert or any trekking organization is altogether a different ball game. 90% of the solo trekkers report that solo trekking is challenging. As trekking involves moving into unfamiliar areas, the trekker has to complete some formality in his country before undertaking an expedition. You may venture into international borders and the unknown regions, and therefore safety is a prime concern.
Whether you are trekking alone or in a group, what matters is the extent of the challenge. The purpose also should be defined. You may be looking for beautiful views of snowcapped mountains or peace of mind, or instead, want a mental and physical challenge with the dose of adventure. As per your preference, you may choose some trek giving you summit views, the view of floral fauna, water bodies or snow. Know the dangers of hiking alone and what preparations are needed from this section.
The trekking expedition isn’t complete at all without trekking in the Himalayas. If you are a trekking enthusiast, you must try out Himalayan trekking at least once.
If you are looking to enjoy the view of summits, you may choose Kuari Pass. Animal lovers and bird watchers can stick to Sandakphu. No matter what destination you choose, solo trekking in India is challenging.
Why is solo trekking so challenging?
The first-time trekker should avoid trekking alone. The very thought of trekking alone might make you tremble. Yes! Solo trekking is challenging for the following reasons:
• manage your logistics and items
• you carry trekking gear or rather drag it
• need to cook yourself
• have to be alert all the time as there is no one to look after you
Solo hiking and camping are challenging since there isn’t anyone you may fall back upon. The entire experience is dependent on your preparation. Refer to solo trekking in Himalayas quora for that will prove a great help.
Trekking alone involves a lot of excitement, and the experience is altogether different. On reaching the highest of altitudes and that too on your own, you feel elated and great about yourself. If you are trekking alone for the first time, then it is better to choose an easy trek or a shorter one. You may return home in 3-4 days time. Slowly and steadily when you gain confidence, you can choose a difficult and longer trek. Having faith in yourself is most important.
Preparations needed for solo trekking in Himalayas
When you think of solo trekking in Himalayas, your mind gets filled with several thoughts. You have all sorts of questions in your mind:
• What trek to choose?
• What if something goes wrong?
• Can I go for solo trekking? Am I capable?
• What would be the cost of solo trekking?
To overcome the apprehension, there are tips to solo trekking in India you may follow:
• For solo trekking, start small and opt for 2-day or 3-day solo trekking. Slowly and steadily build confidence
• A level of fitness will be needed. If you have already decided to go for solo trekking, develop your fitness level. Try and walk for longer distances and choose a terrain which is rocky, uneven and unfamiliar. Being fit is most important since you will walk for hours to cover longer distances, set up the camp for yourself, cook your meals and also clean up on your own. A lot many things have to be done, and so be prepared for all of them. Follow a fitness routine and be physically and mentally strong.
• Know all the first aid items you have to carry. Himalayan trekking tours are delightful and thrilling if you are prepared. Get the list of medicines to take from your doctor if you aren’t sure of what to include in the first aid box
• On your solo trekking expedition, you need a proper backpack, shoes, a tent and a sleeping bag. If you aren’t sure about investing in all such items, you can rent all of them. However, buying gear and trekking items are suitable to move since it will bring down the cost of subsequent treks
• As you will cook your meals, practice cooking months before. Hone your skills if you already know cooking. Carry soup, pasta, and noodles as they are light. Try and experiment with different flavors and then make choices. Cook on the stove and practice cooking regularly.
There is an advantage of solo trekking. Solo trekking will help to save Himalayan trekking tours cost. You don’t have to pay anything to trekking companies in India, and this money may be utilized for buying quality gears.
Looking for free trekking in India? Opt for solo trekking and follow the trekking etiquettes stated below:
• carry little plastic and try to bring back whatever you wish to throw
• avoid using campfires since it is uncontrolled fire
• Don’t wash your clothes or utensils in any water body. Carry water in the pitcher and move at least 150 feet away and then clean up
• Dig cat hole and adequately cover it after using. Disguise with mud and cover with leaves
• Don’t pick things from the trail or carry them to another place. This will disturb the natural habitat
Steps to safe solo trekking if you are a woman
Adventure holiday is all about traveling in groups, but have you thought that a solo adventure holiday could be more interesting? There are trekking routes scattered throughout the Himalayan range basing on the difficulty level. Some are easy while others are challenging and meant for experienced lots. As a solo female hiker, you may face some challenges. Safety is not that issue if you are prepared and are smart.
A solo woman trekker looking to experience adventure in the Himalayas can follow the tips stated below:
• Pack light but don’t forget essential items you may need midway. Carry breathable track pants and light T-Shirts if it is summer. Don’t forget to carry sunscreen lotion. If the winter season is set in, make sure to bring a fleece and lightweight jacket. You never know when you camp by the snow. Buy proper trekking boots and never use regular shoes while trekking.
• As a solo hiker, you may hire a reliable porter to help you throughout the expedition. They are easily available
• When you are hiking, cash will be required now and then. ATM will not operate most probably. Make sure you carry enough money so that the entire hiking experience is as smooth as possible.
• Carry a trekking map to your trekking expedition since Wi-Fi won’t be functional on the Himalayas. Through the map, you can know whether the path is right or not. For your safety, it is mandatory to carry a trekking map
• Your medicines should be accessible to you all the while. Indian solo travelers should keep their medication in the most accessible chamber of the rucksack
• Many places in the Himalayas test your abilities. There may be wild animals, sparsely populated areas while you pass through dense forests. So, it is advisable you carry extra batteries.
• All the emergency contact numbers should be in your speed dial. It is wise to carry local SIM card for that will make several places accessible to you. Let the embassy know your whereabouts to stay safe.
• Travel insurance is essential to carry if you are out for an adventure journey. It may be that there is some medical emergency and immediate medical evacuation is required. If you don’t carry travel insurance, the entire affair will be very costly.
• For a smooth journey, take the needed permits along with you
• take all necessary hygiene items for monthly cycles
• Know the gestures and etiquettes of staying in the Himalayas. People of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan are particular about mannerism and gestures
Where to trek and what destinations to choose?
There are several destinations for solo trekking in Himalayas. Himalayas is beautiful for trekking whether you move alone or in a group. Himalayan treks are embellished with lush green meadows, lofty peaks, dense and thick woods and translucent lakes, mesmerizing water bodies.
There are some prominent treks perfect for solo trekkers:
• Har-Ki-Dun is camouflaged with snowy mountains, verdant forest and takes the trekker to remote areas. In the entire Garhwal Himalayas, Har-Ki-Dun is most popular, placed at an altitude of 11667feet. According to the popular belief, Pandavas left for Heaven from this mountain
• Gomukh Tapovan Trek is at the height of 4465 meters and takes visitors to the very source of Gaumukh. The trek is moderate and perfect if you plan for solo trekking. The lush green meadow of Tapovan will leave you captivated. From here you can see Mt. Meru, Bhagirathi I, II, III, Chaturangi and many more snow-capped mountains.
• Chapta Chandrashila Trek is mini Switzerland in Uttarakhand. The trek is very easy and shows you lush forests, huge meadows. It also provides mesmerizing views of Himalayas
• The Valley of Flowers is moderate trek popular for breathtaking beauty, aroma-rich colorful flowers. Spot the species of fauna while trekking. Travel between June and September to have the best experience. The Valley of Flowers is one of the most beautiful treks for all the trekkers.
• Pindari Glacier trek has a fascinating beauty. It is placed at an altitude of more than 13500 feet. This trek is very easy and offers a fabulous view. Snow-dressed Nandakot and Nandadevi offer lovely views. Explore the Almora town and Bageshwar while treading the untread.
• Kafni Glacier Trek is again an easy trek for solo trekkers. It is towards the east side of Pindari valley and the Southern region of NandaKot Peak. You can’t help but wow over the fascinating beauty of nature.
• Nagtibba Trek is also a fabulous destination for solo trekkers.
Solo Trekking in Himalayas will be real fun if you choose the trek carefully. Experienced trekkers might choose challenging trails while amateur trekkers can settle for easy treks given in this section.