Published on April 19, 2018
slide 1: Do’s and Don’ts of trekking Carry your backpack Carrying your backpack is part of trekking experience. It is a testament to your physical and mental strength. It is very empowering. We encourage this practice for two other reasons. Firstly although we have a weight limit of 9 kg for backpacks I have personally witnessed trekkers coming with overweight bags. Porters and mules bear the brunt of this carelessness. When you make a conscious choice to carry your own backpack you pack cautiously. Watch this video to see how to to pack effectively. Secondly every time you offload a backpack we take in an additional porter/mule. With that comes the need for extra resources which results in excess waste generation. Hence I recommend to give it a serious thought before choosing to offload your backpack. Bring reusable items This is pretty self-explanatory. Many trekkers find it inconvenient to wash their own utensils. Some bring disposable items for the trek. Although we insist onreusable water bottles use and throw bottles are frequently used by many. Not only are they a health hazard they tend to accumulate and usually don’t find an exit from the mountains. Plastic bottles styrofoam plates are a common sight. They take hundreds slide 2: of years to decompose and are a threat to any ecosystem let alone the pristine mountains. Bring eco-friendly products We often come to the mountains to detox physically and mentally. With common toiletries like toothpaste face wash sunscreens lip balms etc. the dream of detox is a far cry. Toiletries and cosmetics are often laden with harmful chemicals. Oxybenzone in sunscreen has been attributed towards declining coral reefs by various studies and sodium laureth sulfate in toothpaste. These are damaging to the body of the user as well as to the environment. So plan and pack eco- friendly alternatives. To know more about these options email lakshmiindiahikes.in. Collect and segregate Our core vision is to leave the mountains in a better state than we find them in. One way to do that is to clean the trail as we trek. The success of this mission depends largely on your participation. Thousands of trekkers like you have helped us collect over 1500 sacks of garbage. Cleaning is one thing disposing the wasteis a completely different ball game. Much of the waste that we collect can be recycled. Much of the waste we generate can be up-cycled. But to facilitate this we need to segregate waste. The easiest way of segregation is at the point of collection. Unsegregated garbage in slide 3: landfills is as bad transferring trash from one place to another. It is our moral obligation to segregate the waste we collect. Take your waste back Finding places to properly dispose waste is a constant struggle for me. Even when we do the state of landfills is a far cry from set environmental standards. Dumping grounds of Manali is one such example. Situated to the Beau river it is a safety hazard by itself. One way to reduce the load on these landfills is by consciously taking back the waste we generate. This includes the packaged food wrappers plastic bottles etc. We also ask women trekkers to put used sanitary napkins in zip locks and take them back to the cities. At high altitude with low temperatures bacteria is hardly active which means the rate of decomposition is dismal. As long as you properly layer it with newspaper and place it inside a zip-lock bag you will hardly experience bad odor. There is no reason to consider it unhygienic. Don’ts on a trek Don’t get packaged food One of the points discussed earlier was to take back your own waste. To minimize the waste carried back we can simply control our consumption of packaged food. I will not ask you to stop eating your favorite snacks. If necessary you may bring them in zip slide 4: locks or reusable boxes. If you choose to buy from local shops get them in a paper bag or reusable boxes. If everyone makes this choice we can make a huge difference. Don’t consume carelessly Dhabas on your trek are often laden with packaged food. Trekkers are excited to find Maggi there. I won’t deny how comforting it is to have warm Maggi after a cold and hard climb. But it is precisely after such a strenuous day that you need to avoid Maggi. Trekking is a demanding activity. Adequate nutrition is a must. Made from refined flour Maggi and other packaged food is anything but nutritious. To add to that it cause indigestion. At high altitudes indigestion is a common ailment. We don’t need to make it harder for our bodies that are struggling to acclimatize. This is just one reason why I insist on buying cautiously. These days the local cuisine is slowly disappearing from the menus of local dhabas. Encouraging local food is a win- win: it’s good for the environment supports local sustainable farming and you get to experience the local culture A demand for local food provides direct income for a mountain farmer and encourages local farming. Not to forget the food is healthier compared to any packaged food. Don’t pollute water slide 5: This is pretty common sense. The rivers and streams you cross are the source of drinking water for thousands. Those in the valley directly consume this water without filtering. So peeing and washing in the stream is a big no-no. Ideally washing areas and toilets are at least 50 m away from water sources. This is to avoid leachate from reaching the water sources. Don’t waste Use resources minimally. Trekking is all enjoying nature and surviving with minimal requirements. So adopt that idea and imbibe it. Even recyclable and organic waste is waste. So let’s avoid wasting. Don’t create noise We don’t belong in the mountains. We are visitors. Animals and birds often shun away from the noises and change their behavioral patterns. So let’s make it a point to not disturb our hosts and enjoy them in their natural setting. Loud noises are pollution and though we are used to it in the cities creating a ruckus in the mountains is unacceptable. We owe it to the mountains to protect them. So let’s practice the do’s and don’ts of green trekkingand keep our carbon footprint to a minimum.