Ladakh Travel Tips

The Himalayan foothills are just ideal for trekking, Hiking and Camping offering energetic out-door people a different and exciting option for a Adventure holiday. The Ladakh and Zanskar regions of Jammu & Kashmir are the most popular destinations for trekkers.

Walking in the Mountains-Mountain walking is an art in itself. A good trekker is economical in his actions. If you watch a Hillman or a shepherd walking after his sheep, you will observe that he does not waste energy in unnecessary flailing of arms or legs. His strides are sure and steasy, and he soes not appear to be in a hurry. He htus reaches his destination without undue fatigue. Keep in mind the following points.

» A common tendency among beginners and the experienced is to show enthusiasm by walking fast; this is soon exhausting warm up gradually and continue at a slow comfortable pace.

» Develop a personal rhythm. Lift and keep your step in synchronization with breathing. This should minimize getting out of breath.

» Walking on the level, place the foot flat, heel first, to obtain a better grip and gain a few centimeters with each step.

» Walk in zigzags while ascending a very steep slope.

» Avoid stepping on loose stones.

» Avoid overtaking fellow travelers while walking on a narrow trail.

» Ascending/ descending a scree slope or over loose stones, leave sufficient space between the next person so that any stone rolling down does not hit others below.

» Do not run down a slope. Flex or bend knee a little while descending. Dig heels into soft snow or soft ground.

» Wet grass, pine needles and wet roots can be very slippery. Be careful while walking on them.

» Shortcuts on a foot trail should be avoided.

» Put on warm clothing while taking rest.

» Respect the sentiments and traditions of the local hill people. Respect their women and avoid mixing ort alking with them.

» Don’t damage crops by walking through standing harvest.

» Always carry some water in your water bottle.

Halts and RestsDuring a rest period, lie against a tree trunk or a big stone. Place your legs on your rucksack or on any other higher place. This will regulate your blood circulation. Stop about 15 min. after the first start to readjust your rucksach or to tie a shoelace etc.

Do not make halts frequent or prolonged. Too many halts destroy walking rhythm. Frequent rests are not needed of you follow the right walking techniques. Stop should be made, wherever possible, at natural stopping points, like on the top of a ridge, of before a difficult ascent, or at a scenic viewpoint.

EquipmentsThe following list only mentions the essential elements. You have to prepare a list of clothes and small personal articles you will need during the trek.

A small backpack (about 40 l. It will contain what you will need during a trekking day and carried by you), a kit-bag with padlock (or a big backpack. It will contain the 12 kg personal belongings, which will be carried by horses or porters. We advise you to protect the inside of the kit-bag with a plastic bag), a good sleeping bag, a sweater, a fleece jacket and a waterproof jacket (preferably Gore-Tex), good trousers as well as a waterproof trousers (preferably Gore-Tex), gloves and cap, hiking shoes, sunglasses and sun cream, a walking stick (optional), a frontal lamp or an electric torch. A foam mattress is provided, but if you have a self-inflating mattress, bring it: you will feel more comfortable

First aid kitHere are the main things which can be useful: iodine tablets, tincture or crystals for water purification, analgesics, antidiarrhoeal, intestinal disinfectants, antibiotics, antiseptic, eye drops, bandages, cutaneous antiseptics, waterproof tape, adhesive pads, cotton swabs, skin applications (burn, sunburn, bites or stings), acetazolamide (Diamox) for acute mountain sickness.

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