While “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” can aptly be applied to treks, the sense of incompletion always follows you back home, if you can’t summit. The most crucial but often neglected thing which mostly stands in the way of trekkers and the summit is proper equipment.
As a trek leader I never stop emphasizing on the importance of proper equipment specially to unseasoned novice trekkers. It can make or break your trek experience. And more often than not, I have seen trekkers face immense difficulties as they wanted to save a few bucks on the shoe or nonchalantly decided that they don’t need a pole or would make do with a wooden stick from the trail. Here is a list of the 5 equipment I think should be given prime priority to.
During any trek, the body part which takes in the most punishment is your feet. So it needs all the help you can give. A good and proper trekking shoe is must for any trekker, expert or amateur alike. The grip of a good quality rubber sole and the support of a high ankle sturdy shoe cannot beplayed down.
A trekking pole acts as a 3rd leg and somewhat eases the strain on the knees. Though many seasoned trekkers prefer to keep both of their hands free while walking, a little bit of support from a pole never hurts. So a good and sturdy pole with comfortable grip, adjustable height and preferably with shock absorption, goes a long way in helping a trekker.
I always advise trekkers to carry their own backpacks. It’s not only essential for your wholesome trek experience but also imparts a sense of balance. While the packing of the sack should be done quite methodically, the pack itself is also something to pay close attention to. A lightweight sack goes a long way in making your back hurt less. But the most essential are the support rods, without which, your trek experience would be far from a pleasant one.
A major part of the trek takes place under the glaring sun. So a polarized and UV protected sun glass is indispensable in a trek. Apart from the sun, the glare of snow is quite harmful for the eyes, and can also make one blind. So a good pair of shade is must, especially for snow treks.
Though it might seem like just a novelty item, I can’t stress enough on the importance of a powerful headlamp. You would have to walk in the dark in most of your summit attempts, and to keep your hands free, a head lamp comes most handy. And it also proves its worth when you have to answer to the call of the nature in the middle of a freezing night. Trust me, you will thank me later.
If you are planning for a trek soon, do keep these in mind and you would be mostly good to go. Though the budget constraints may bother us, these 5 are the places where you are advised not to make the cuts as they can be the deciding factors of your overall trek experience.
An ardent traveller, this ex engineer has been a child of the mountains from early childhood. With the passion of mountaineering running in the veins, he has been instrumental in the operation and running of WeTrekkers. As a trek leader has successfully completed various batches at Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Bamsaru, Sandakphu, Pindari and many more.