A Brief Guide to Solo Trekking in Himalaya:
Adventures are best enjoyed when shared as we have the assurance that someone is with us throughout the journey. That doesn’t mean we cannot go on an adventure trip on our own. Solo travelling has become popular through the years and more people are engaging in solo trekking. The exhilarating fun of climbing the summits is not to be shared with anyone else. This is true for the souls who like to be away from the hustle-bustle of the companions. Here we will provide the trekkers with a short and crisp guide about approaching solo trekking and accomplishing it.
So, let us hop onto the journey.
Challenges of Solo Trekking:
Whenever we think of going on a journey alone, ‘challenge’ is the first word that comes to our mind. We often think that we wouldn’t be able to go forward with travel or trekking just because we are travelling solo. It will be a journey that will teach you to deal with things and to find the true you. Some of the challenges that you may face includes:
- You have to be your own caregiver. A lack of motivation is often seen during different steps of the trekking and friends and group members are always there to motivate you. This wouldn’t be the case when it comes to solo trekking.
- Solo trekking is also quite unpredictable and you will need to fix your own route, pitch the campsite, cook for yourself and carry your own things. All of them can be overwhelming but it will be an experience that you will remember throughout your life.
- One’s security will be on their own hands so they should keep their money and gadgets safely. This is very important as you do not want to be left alone in an unknown place without any money or means.
Advantage of solo trekking:
Once you have sorted and planned well for the challenges that you are going to face. There are several advantages attached to solo trekking. The first solo trek that you visit will be a journey of your life as you will get to do everything yourself. The advantages include:
- The biggest advantage of solo trekking is that you get to use your own skills while going through the solo trek. You will be getting the strength that lets you enjoy your own abilities and this prepares you for any future adventures. It will act as a test to judge your strengths and weaknesses.
- Another good thing about solo trekking is that you can take it at your own pace. You wouldn’t need to hurry because your group members are faster. You can also take rest points whenever you feel like but you need to be careful and plan well. You can decide the places that you find interesting rather than saying yes to the decision made by others.
- Solo trekking is the best way to fight your fears. Often you may feel that you aren’t ready for a situation but going on solo trekking will actually give you a boost to go forward with future adventures. It provides you with added confidence.
How to prepare for solo trekking?
Prepping is quite important when you have decided to go on an adventure. It is extra necessary when it is going to be a solo trekking trip. Before you embark on your journey, you need to make sure that you have good preparation so that you will be able to fight any problems that might come your way during the trekking. So, here are some of the things that should be present in your mind.
- Start with short treks:
- Travel light:
- Work on fitness:
- Carry all necessary permits:
- Understand the basic medication:
- Procure the right trekking gears:
Solo trekking can take a toll on your body as well as on your mind. The best way to start out with solo trekking is by indulging yourself in short treks. A 2-day or 3-day trek will be perfect for you as it will help you to test the waters and let you know about your strengths regarding solo trips. The short treks also teach you about the right way to pack.
There is one key rule when it comes to trekking, you need to travel light. Remember that you will need to carry your loads yourself and no one will be there to help you. So, sort out the essentials that you need during your trekking and carry only those. Do not carry unnecessary things. If you are visiting a place that will be cold, try to pack essential winter wears. Do not forget to carry your sunscreen when you are trekking.
Fitness plays a big part when it comes to trekking. You need to be fit enough so that you can take on difficult treks. As solo trekking will be lacking all the aids that your friends usually provide, try to prepare your body way before the trip. You must remember that you will need to walk for long distances on uneven and unknown terrains. Hit the gym and build up your endurance before you finally embark on the journey. Before you start on the trekking, do try to prepare yourself by practicing to walk while carrying your backpack to experience the thing.
You need to be the main and the sole brain when it comes to solo trekking. When you are packing, make sure to carry all the necessary permits and important documents that you will require during the trek. Do remember to keep them in a waterproof and secure pouch so that they are kept safe throughout your journey.
Medication is essential when you are going on trekking as your body can get a bit topsy-turvy in the unknown terrain and environment. Before you start out on the trekking, do visit a good health physician who can provide you with the prescription for essential medication. If you are someone who takes regular medication, do keep them along with you. You should also carry a basic first-aid kit with yourself to tend yourself in case of any injuries. It is better to take a course regarding the usage of the first aid kit. Also, do read about acute mountain sickness if you are solo trekking in Himalaya.
Right trekking gears are crucial when you are going on solo trekking. You need to pack the right gear which will help you be well equipped during the trek. If you have trekked before, you will know that it is better to use a backpack as it allows you to carry everything at once. Along with that, you need the right trekking boots which will provide comfort and protection to your feet. We will suggest you rent your gear if you are someone who doesn’t go on trekking trips usually. Do carry sleeping bags, tents, stoves as they will be essential when you are on a solo trek. Another important thing is to master the usage of things. You should take a class that teaches you about things or you can learn using it in your own home with the help of video lessons. Pack the things well so that carrying them doesn’t become a problem while you are on the trek.
How to be a responsible solo trekker?
When you are trekking, you need to be responsible and care for Mother Earth. So, you should learn about the responsibilities that you have towards nature. There are some ethics that you should follow when you are trekking. Some of them are:
- Try to carry the minimal amount of plastic with you and if you do, do not throw them on the trail. Rather keep an extra bag in your backpack to store the plastic or paper waste that you are generating. Every year several irresponsible trekkers litter the trails which are unhealthy for the Earth. Do remember to bring back all the waste that you have generated during the trek.
- Rather than creating campsites, look for the ones that are already there and utilise it. This helps in maintaining the pristine condition of nature.
- As you will be in a territory that is unknown to you, do not use campfires. Uncontrolled fires can be problematic especially in forested areas, so it is better to avoid them.
- Take all the change of clothes that you need and avoid washing them while you are trekking. A stream of water may look tempting for a quick bath or to wash your utensils, but avoid doing that. Also, try to carry your own water.
- Disposal of human waste is quite important when it comes to trekking. You should always dig a hole that is 6 inches deep and it should be 100 ft. away from water sources, campsites and trails. Do keep these in mind and also cover it with leaves and mark the site, so that other trekkers do not get disturbed by it.
- Do not carry anything from nature and try to keep it as you see it. Enjoy the things present in nature but refrain from taking anything without permission even if it is just a small rock.
- You should remember that the tranquillity and harmony of nature should be maintained as the trail consists of wildlife and other trekkers. Be peaceful and refrain from making any loud noises.
Best weekend solo treks:
As we said above, for the first time experience of solo trekking in India or anywhere, it is better to start out slow and steady. Here we will mention some of the treks that you can finish in a weekend and it will be a journey that you will remember throughout your life. So, let us know a bit more about them.
The Nag Tibba trek is one of the best winter treks that you can enjoy in India and it is beginner-friendly and great for a solo trek. For the trek, you generally need to start from Dehradun and drive to Pantwari. From there you can trek 4 KM to reach the Nag Tibba Base Camp. The next day will require you to trek for another 7 KM to reach the beautiful Nag Tibba summit. The maximum altitude that you achieve through the trek is about 9,910 ft and you get to enjoy the view of several different peaks as the Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Kedarnath, and Gangotri. On the second day of the trek, you can visit the Nag Tibba temple to seek the blessings. The circular trek is not very popular among people, so your solo trekking adventure will be completed in peace.
Apart from the great view of the peaks, the trek itself takes you through the beautiful flora and fauna of the trail. From the top, you can have an amazing view of the Doon valley. The landscape change from the start to the end of the trek is quite different. The camping experience at the base camp is worthwhile and you will get to see a starry sky in the pollution-free zone.
A great thing about this trek is that the paths of ascent and descent are different. So, you will get to see different views in the two-day trekking experience. If you need to use an ATM, then do it at Dehradun. Do pack well as it can get chilly when you are camping in the base camp. We are sure that the memory of sipping on warm tea at the Nag Tibba Top will remain etched in your memory.
The Chanderkhani Pass trek is a well-known trekking experience present in the Himachal’s. The trek opens up a new journey in front of you and we think that it is a solo trekking Himalaya experience that you should have. You need to start at Naggar and then continue to the Chanderkhani Pass and then finally visit the village of Malana which is known for its own customs and traditions. While on the trek, you will pass some of the most pristine lands that are frozen in time. The alpine pastures and a view of the distant peaks will keep you enamoured. While you are on the trek spot the wild cherry trees, the deodar forests, the walnut trees and the golden oak trees which raise the beauty of the place.
The maximum altitude that you will achieve in this trek is 11,970 ft. The trek consists of a moderate level of difficulty and we are sure that you will be able to accomplish it with a little build-up of endurance. When you reach the summit you can have a view of the amazing snow-clad peaks such as Deo Tibba, Pir Panjal, Parbati and Bara Bhangal. From the Rumsu village of Naggar, you make your way to the Nauya Tapru base camp and through the snow-laden treks, you reach the pass. You can interact with the people residing in the Himalayan villages and this will provide you with a different outlook on life. It is a great option for solo trekking as it is beginner-friendly and the trek can be finished in just 2 days which is ideal for a weekend trip.
The trekking distance and the duration of the trip will depend on the routes that you take. So, plan ahead of time and we cannot say enough about packing well because you are going to a place that will have snow. Use the ATM at Naggar before embarking on your journey. The alpine forests and the snow-clad peaks are definitely the main highlight points for this weekend trek.
If you are a fan of picturesque landscapes, then the Prashar Lake trek will be the perfect option for you as the first solo trekking adventure. The trek begins at the city of Mandi and it ends at the small village Baggi. Prashar Lake is situated at a height of 8,956 ft so the trek is perfect for those people who are beginners in trekking. The beautiful blue lake is surrounded by the Dhauladhar Ranges, so when you reach the summits you can expect an enticing view of the peaks. A fun fact is that the lake freezes during the winter months. On a clear day, the summit allows you can have a look at the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Kinnaur ranges.
The Prashar Rishi temple is situated beside the lake, so you can show your gratitude to God. We will recommend you to immerse yourself in the greenery and enjoy your time by conversing with the local people who are very friendly. You should pack well as the weather can get chilly at it can even reach 0 degrees Celsius at night. Do remember to be careful on the trek as you may need to pass some places that are covered in slippery ice sheets.
You will find the last ATM at Mandi when you are going for the Prashar Lake trek. You will need to trek a total of about 16 KM on this adventure and we are sure that you will be able to accomplish it without any problems. The Lake also has ties to the Hindu Mythology which tells that Bhima created the lake by striking the earth with his elbow. The beautiful view of the valleys and the nearby ranges make this trek a worthwhile experience.
If you are someone who wants to embark on a solo trekking adventure, this is the best time to do so. Do not think much as at times you do need to spend time on yourself and a solo trip can be a great way to find yourself. Plan according to the time you have, so that you can have everything under your control. Do ponder upon the points that we have mentioned above as it will help you to have a better experience when you are on the solo trekking adventure. Try to think about the things before you start out on the journey. We do hope that you will enjoy your solo adventure of exploring the world. Just go with the flow and have as much fun as possible!
Read More Solo Treks: Banbanjara Tales