Let's face the truth. Treks are difficult. It is difficult for city dwellers to give up their materialistic lives and live on mountains with only bare necessities available to them. Being a trekker is a gradual process, you cannot just give up everything and go to live on the mountains at once. If you try that, you will never want to trek again. Leaving the city and all your belongings will give you withdrawal symptoms at first.
Hence, to make your trek easy, you need to carry as much as you can in very little space. You can eat what you take, that is basically everything that you carry in your rucksack. Hence, you want to carry the maximum stuff possible with the least possible weight and stuff as much as possible inside your bag. Here are 10 travel hacks for your next trek which will make your trek 10X easier. Whether you're going to the Himalayas or to a trek near your hometown, these hacks will help you to get your way through.
1. Carry protein bars(to help fight hunger and tiredness)- Protein bars are the most underrated food item that you can carry with you on a trek. It occupies very little space in your bag and can be filled into the basic air gaps which exist in your bag. My favourite protein bars are the ones from Yoga bars. They are relatively cheaper Rs. 100 and they come in a variety of different flavours. Hence, this gives you access to flavour when you are trekking and can mean a lot when you are surrounded by cold or a hailstorm and cannot go out to cook. Even if you are trekking with a travel company like Indiahikes, protein bars can mean a lot because you may get hungry when you are walking on the way and this is a real life saviour.
2. Carry smoothie powders/ beverage powders with you (to help fight dehydration and fatigue)- There are various smoothie powders that are healthy and packed with proteins. When you are on the mountains and are travelling with a trekking brand, they serve you tea/ coffee twice a day. You can mix these smoothie powders in the tea/ coffee or any other beverage and consume them. You can also mix these in water for flavour and consume them when you are trekking. This makes water way more interesting and lets you stay hydrated. I use protein powders from Sante Spa Cuisine which is located in Bandra. These have zero sugar, contain stevia, and come in many different flavours. They are also rich in proteins so this helps protein to enter your diet on the mountains as well where there are limited sources of protein. They have many different flavours ranging from power greens, cocoa, mooring pineapple, beetroot to various other fancy ones.
3. Carry Kombucha (to help fight dehydration and fatigue)- Kombucha is a relatively new trend in the market. If you have not heard of Kombucha, you are not alone. Kombucha is fermented green tea which tastes like beer but is non alcoholic. It is packed with probiotics and this too contains zero sugar. You can carry Kombucha to the mountains though it needs refrigeration because it is freezing cold on the mountains and your Kombucha will stay safe. If you carry this, you will get enough probiotics in your diet to help you. I generally use the one by Bombucha, but you can carry any other brand. If you don't find this, then you can carry Yakult. Try not to consume Yakult because it has sugar and that causes digestive problems on the mountains.
4. Carry all this in your backpack and offload the other bag (to help fight fatigue, exhaustion and tiredness)- If you offload the bag on your trip, you will not have to carry the heavy rucksack. The mule will carry your bag for you and this will be really helpful because you won't get tired. Don't feel guilty, just offload your bag. This will help you reach a higher altitude on your first trek. You will be given an option to offload your bag if you are travelling with a trekking brand like Indiahikes or TrekTheHimalyas. Other companies do not give this option.
5. Carry a sleep liner (to help fight sleep problems)- Thunderstorms are really common on mountains and it gets really cold. Most of the people cannot go trekking because they are not equipped to handle the cold. If you are going solo, carry a sleeping liner with you which you can put inside your sleeping bag. If you are going in winters, carry two sleeping bags. Generally, Indiahikes provides sleeping bags to people, but if you are going solo, this is a necessity. You will get this at Quechua. This will solve most of your sleep problems.
6. Carry a tiffin box (to help fight hunger and fatigue on the way)- When they are serving breakfast to you, take some for the journey in your tiffin box. If you have to walk 10 km in a day, you will get tired and feel hungry on the way. This food will then act as your energy reserve and will help you on your way.
7. Carry coconut powder which is rich in ions (to help fight dehydration and fatigue)- There are brands like Zappy which produce coconut powder which just needs to be mixed with water to make coconut water. This is very mineral rich and it is also rich in ions. This helps to stay hydrated on the trek. People generally get bored of consuming water on the trek and this helps all of you who have a problem staying hydrated. This is a super healthy way to stay hydrated.
8. Carry a massage roller (to help fight blood clotting)- It is really cold on the mountains and this hampers your blood circulation. You can carry a massage roller with you. If you massage your legs for 20 minutes after reaching the next basecamp, this will help to fight soreness and will keep you energetic for the second day. Above all, it will keep up the blood circulation and will prevent blood clotting.
9. Oil your hair (to help fight dryness)- Hair quality deteriorates on the mountains because it is really cold and you do not bathe for a few days. Oiling your hair helps you to keep them moisturised and prevents them from spoiling. You can also oil your skin in the day to prevent it from getting dry. This is much better than cream.
10. Carry a towel with you (to help fight infections)- This item will not be on the things to carry list which you will be given before the trek. However, do carry a towel with you. They will give you hot water on the mountains to drink and if you use some to make a wet towel and wipe your body with it, it will save you from infections. This is a good hack on treks.
If you have been giving yourself excuses as to why trekking is too hard, this blog has made your trekking 10X easier. You may not have to give up food taste on the mountain if you carry these things and you will have a less harder time maintaining your body and lifestyle. If its your first trek, carrying these things is a must.
Stop giving yourself excuses, just pack your bag well and get to go. Most of the people who go trekking once, do not go again because they took the wrong stuff on the trek and packed their bags wrong. This made their trek harder and made them appreciate the city life. Don't be one of those people. Pack smart and incorporate intelligent minimalism on your trek.