Trekking is an amazing hobby to have. It’s good for your health, you will have fresh air, quality time away from all the city noise. More and more people have started to go for treks, mainly due to social media. It has now become a fad than a real thing that you really want to do. I am not discouraging you all but a lot of inexperienced and stupid people head to the hills and become a nuisance to others and nature. And some risk their life for some dope shots not knowing the risk involved and then die. So I have compiled these 10 Basic trekking rules that you should follow while trekking or hiking.
I come from a family of Mountaineers and Trekkers. My mother was a professional trekker and over the years trekking with her, these are the few basic rules of the mountains and about trekking that I have learned and I think you should know them too.
Rule 1: Do not play music loudly on speakers while trekking.
The most basic trekking rule and this annoys the hell out of me when I am trekking. Have you ever come across that one group of trekkers on the trail who are playing loud music on their Bluetooth speakers. Yes, these people are a nuisance.
There is an unspoken rule in the mountains “If nature is giving you the peace you need you better keep it that way, for the animals and birds and other people.”
Ask this question to yourself, Why do you go for trekking? Is it because it makes you look cool and awesome on Instagram? Then sorry bro it’s not for you. It’s so not for the people who are gonna trek with loud music on thinking that you are in some sort of a movie, no bro stay in the city then.
I recently went to a bird sanctuary, Karnala fort, it’s a short sweet trek. There was a groud of college kids trekking while playing music on their Bluetooth speaker and talking loudly and then I overheard them saying “where are the birds, I didn’t see a single god dammn bird”. Seriously though, how the hell are you gonna see any birds when animals like you are trekking making a loud noise. So please keep this really basic trekking rule in your mind.
This the most basic but a really important trekking rule that I can tell you, it will drastically change your trekking experience.
Rule 2: Do not through plastic bottles and wrappers while trekking
I don’t what is the problem with people, it just feels like people just shit trash as they walk. Since trekking has become a fad, all city kids go to city outskirts for treks (looks cool on Instagram, right?) Most of them carry packaged food, chips, candy and stuff and they just throw them while walking, like seriously why?
It really great that many popular trekking places have started taking tickets and extra deposit money for your chips packets and mineral water bottles, you get the money back after you show the trash with you and not in the jungle.
Many trekking groups have started voluntary works of going up forts and cleaning the garbage, on Raigad fort such things keep on happening and on many other forts.
Please don’t do this, it hurts to watch garbage lying around, I always carry a small pouch with me while trekking to pick up as much as I can and bring it back to the city, so there are chances of proper disposal.
Rule 3: Bring your own water and food, there’s no sharing is caring.
Trekking is not a luxury trip, don’t expect others to bring your food and water (there are exceptions for food, but not for water). And just, please do not bring those tiny bottles, carry a good amount of water with you and stay hydrated.
Why am I telling this? Reason 1 a lot of trails don’t have good water source and there are 2 types of people always, the first type do not bring water and will keep asking others for a sip, and second, have water with them but they’ll still ask water from others and when your bottle is finished you will not find them.
This might look like “self-centred view” or “just think about yourself attitude” but it is not, trust me this is important. This is the first thing I learned from my mom who is a professional trekker, If you are in good condition then only you can take care of the team.
Food can be rationed equally between team members on a really big trek, but water use what you get for yourself. And don’t drink like ‘‘in one go half bottle empty’’ Take small sips, just to kill the thirst your body will go ahead, learn how to ration water for yourself.
Rule 4: Pack your bags light but also carry all that you need depending on your trek.
Okay, so if it’s a one-day small trek, just carry water, food a napkin and that’s it, and yeah your camera if you have one. If it’s a monsoon season keep your raincoat and just one extra pair of clothes.
Some people just carry too much stuff like, they’ll bring two pair of shoes, they’ll have 2 pair of clothes and on top of that, there will be essentials like water and food. And all this will make your bag heavy. Do you really need that much for one trek? In some cases, they’ll ask a friend to exchange bags coz it’s too heavy. I mean please don’t do it.
Carry light but also carry all the essentials you need. Enjoy the trekking experience. But if it’s a big week-long Himalayan trek then the equation changes. You have to pack right for those treks. Your bags will be heavy, the goal is to not make it too heavy. I will link up a blog here about how to pack bags/rucksacks for a Himalayan trek.
Rule 5: Do not take risks, you have 1 life.
If you are not a professional trekker or one with not a lot of experience and you come to a risky patch and there is no one experienced with you then it’s better to back off. You have one life, there’s an even bigger world to see.
There will be friends who crossed a risky patch and now just because you can’t cross it they are now laughing at you. Ignore them, just ignore them. If you really think you can do then go forward with it. But if not remember there’s a family back home.
I am not scaring you, just a warning to trek safe.
Another way the majority of the people die in the mountains ( I am not considering suicide cases, coz there are a lot ) is stupid stunts for some cool photos like standing at the edge or leaning too much at the edge.
I mean why? Why risk your precious life just for a cool Instagram photo. The only way you become famous after doing these stunts is your dead picture (blurred) showing up on news channels.
Stay safe, trek safe, take care of fellow trekkers, you have one life enjoy it. And if you really want a cool picture standing over the edge, just photoshop it. Keep this rule in mind.
Rule 6: Do not put your heads in your phone while trekking
This is not annoying but is a stupid thing to do. Watch where you put your foot. What if you put your foot on a loose rock or a slippery surface and on the other side its a fall. Just think of it.
So keep your phones in your pockets.
I mean I know we want to click photos and take videos. I also want to do that but before you do that stay conscious about your surrounding. Look where you are, is it safe to walk with the phone in your hand., or just wait at a place take the pictures and videos you want, but the phone back in the pocket and move on.
Rule 7: Use safety ropes and harnesses where it’s necessary.
There are some treks that you just cannot do on your own or with your friends, you have to go with a big group, mostly like 15-20 people (organized treks). Why? Because of there some places where there is a walk from an edge (alang-madan-kulan trek). You have to use safety in these places, a harness is necessary.
You may be a bigshot trekker or even a daredevil, shut those things off, use a harness and a safety rope to keep you safe, just in case.
Rule 8: Do not carry valuables on you and don’t fight if robbers come
Keep this as a general rule of not carrying valuables on you like gold jewellery (earrings, necklace, bracelets, etc.). Also do not wear expensive watches. There’s no choice but we have to bring your smartphones so keep it with you, you never know it might come useful. So keep this rule in mind.
This might not happen to all but there are places like Sanjay Gandhi national park. There are some settlements inside (illegal) and these people mostly rob trekkers.
This incident once happened with my mom at the same above mentioned national park. Where the entire group was circled by robbers carrying choppers and were robbed of all the money and jewellery on them
Why shouldn’t you fight them? They will mostly be carrying weapons (knife, choppers) and there will be some hiding behind, there never be one person. So it’s better to save your life than the risk it. Get down and put a complaint at the nearest police station.
Such incidents are super rare but I thought I should mention it because it happened to my mom.
Rule 9: Do not write your names on Rock faces or forts if any. (for Indians)
This one is especially for my Indian brothers and sisters. Just tell me who hell is interested in reading you and your lover’s name on a bloody rock face or fort wall? And it is just not love-birds, even some trekking groups, just write their names on forts, why? This not a basic trekking rule but an important one to keep in mind. Keep the places you visit in good condition for others.
Just bloody hell stop it because this thing is happening at every historical place in the country.
Rule 10: Enjoy the trekking experience and enjoy nature.
I don’t know if this can be considered as a trekking rule but I thought why not. If you are going on a trek enjoy the sounds of nature, the wind rustling through the grass, the birds chirping the smell of the ground. Don’t talk shit up in the hills or place loud music on your phones and BT speakers while trekking.
Don’t be a crybaby while trekking. Like, don’t just go because you want to reach the top and click cool pictures, do it for the whole experience.
Enjoy the whole trekking experience as one whole package.
So these 10 rules are just basic trekking rules for the one-day trekking craze that’s going on across cities and towns. I have not at all touch any technical aspects.
So enjoy the trek, enjoy the experience and stay safe and take care of others.
Do Share if you find these trekking rules useful