I started trekking in 2017 , Kedarkantha being my very first high altitude trek, on a chilly December in 2017.Since then, I have completed 4 high altitude treks which I will write about in an another article but here are few things that I realized from my very first trekking experience :
My backpack weighed about 8 kgs+ and yes , I had over packed it with extra t-shirts and jackets which I never used. But, it is because of this experience , I was made aware my own cold threshold capability and have packed wisely since then.
2. Always carry extra pair of socks
Always, always, always carry 2 extra pair of socks - specially if you have a river crossing ( like in Hampta) or a trek trail which has snow. Once wet, it is almost impossible for them to dry, and trekking without socks is an absolute no-no.
Consult your trek leader before taking diamox and inform him if you do. It causes the blood to thin, so the water intake has to be sufficient to meet the body requirements. It's not an absolute necessity, I have done Hampta ( 14ooo ft) without it. But, I was too scared the first time , so I was on a diamox course during Kedarkantha which is only 12500ft . YES, you will pee a lot and sensations in the fingers are quite common, so weigh in your options. (P.S. Arriving a day or two early works helps in acclimatization as well.)
Sunglasses are an ABSOLUTE MUST, specially if it's a snow trek. For people like me who wear spectacles , do not hesitate to wear sunglasses on top of your normal glasses. ( Although, I have a myopic vision, simply wearing sunglasses was a task for me in the mountains but thankfully a lady was kind enough to exchange with me as hers were a bit bigger and could fit easily on my glasses which was a SAVIOR) . Else, if you have powered sunglasses, you are good to go.
5. Water points during the trek
Always pay attention to the briefing at the start of the day where the trek leader mentions about the trail and the water points. You may not necessary have to carry 2 bottles from the start of the trek, hence reducing the weight of the backpack.
If your daily routine doesn't include exercise, make sure you create time for some at least 2 months before the trek . Do not under estimate the terrain in high altitudes. Make sure you devote time to strengthen your lung capacity and the leg muscles.
Now that the trekking is slowly resuming, I hope you go out and experience it. It surely is life changing :)