The backpack forms the most important part of your luggage for a trekking expedition in the high altitude. It not only contains the basic items that you need to carry for your trekking journey but also includes utility items that may find use in emergency situations. So it is really important that you pack your backpack carefully before your trek so that you do not miss out on any vital accessory. To help you out and to give you a basic idea about what to take, we have prepared this guide. So go ahead and take a look.
Basic Backpacking for a High Altitude Trek
It is really important to carry proper trekking gears in your backpack so that you do not fall prey to mountain ailments like hypothermia that can sometimes be fatal. We recommend you to carry at least one good quality waterproof down jacket to keep you dry in case it rains or starts snowing. Apart from that, do not forget to carry waterproof gloves, few woolen hoodies, a pair of hiking boots and socks each. These will help you to stay warm even in extremely low temperatures and also prevent hypothermia.
#1. Always be Prepared for the Worst
Mountainous terrains can be unforgiving and the weather can also change drastically from one hour to the next. So you should always be prepared to face any emergencies in high altitude always. If you plan to trek to heights of more than 10,000 feet, then you should carry oxygen cylinders as the O2 levels are very thin there. Also carry a first aid kit with the basic medicines to fight common high altitude ailments like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). It is best to consult a doctor before you start your journey and make a list of all the medicines you are likely to need.
#2. Be Prepared for Uncertainty
As mentioned above, mountain weathers can change drastically, so it is always recommended to carry some basic accessories and tools that will help you get through your trekking expedition safely. Some of the items that are always recommended are a lighter to start a fire, some dry twigs or branches of trees (it is difficult to get dry branches to light a fire in rainy weather), a torch, a binocular, a pair of sunglasses and a water bottle.
#3. Maps and Navigational Aids
Maps are the most important navigational aids in the mountains. So make sure you are carrying a map that details everything about the peak that you intend to trek. It is also recommended to mark the nearest human settlements on the map clearly so that you can return back there in case of an emergency. You can also take the help of various hiking applications that can provide you all the relevant navigational information if you don’t have a physical map.
#4. Carry Dry Food in Ample Quantity
Trekking needs a lot of energy so to replenish it fast, you need to eat frequently. As dry food items are readily available in high altitude, you can carry them in your backpack easily. You may also choose to carry easy to make food items like ready-made noodles that require only hot water for its preparation. You can also carry biscuits that can serve the purpose of providing instant energy. Tea also works as great refreshment so you can carry some tea bags if you wish.
#5. Intake Plenty of Fluids and Take Sufficient Rest
It is really important to give your body some rest in fixed intervals of time to avoid tiredness and fatigue. Also do not forget to intake plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated. Remember, in cold climates even if you do not sweat, you still lose water from your body. If you are not careful, it can lead to severe dehydration and force you to cut short your trekking expedition. You should carry a proper outdoor tent for resting and can also take a thermos flask as will keep the water from freezing in extremely cold temperatures.