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Trekking in Himachal Pradesh?





saratdear
Hi,

My school has planned this whole "adventure" trip to North India (I am in the South) during our summer hols, and our school selected trekking, rafting etc. etc. in Himachal Pradesh. I've signed up, but the thing is I've never been even to the middle to India, let alone the north. Embarassed My mother is going crazy at my idea - "It's a new place - you'll catch some disease - why risk?" and so on. I understand her concern, but I'm excited at the idea of going there with all my friends.

Has anybody got any experience on trekking, rafting etc near those areas? Any idea how tough that will be? I've got no previous experience.

Sarat
deanhills
Maybe you should ask the organizers what level of trekking they will be doing and ask for a list of the skills that are needed. There is no embarassment in that. They would admire you for it. As there is trekking and trekking. Some trekking is more advanced and require a greater degree of skills than others. It is important that you do as you may end up hurting yourself or indirectly or directly hurting others as usually there is a lot of teamwork involved.
ocalhoun
While I don't know much about that area, I have done quite a lot of 'trekking', and a little rafting as well.

Hiking Equipment:
For trekking/hiking, a good walking stick is the best equipment you can bring. It'll make walking much easier even on smooth surfaces, and the rougher the terrain is, the more it helps. (Until you get to the point of cliff-climbing or something, though even then it is still helpful sometimes.) You can find a good quality one that is collapsible for storage and transport, adjustable in height, and durable enough for around $10 online. With a little extra searching, you can find one that will let you mount a camera to the top (search for 'monopod')- this lets you have your camera more easily available for brief photo opportunities, and it saves valuable pocket/hand space.

For a backpack, get one with wide, padded straps, and a chest/torso strap horizontally across the front, which makes the pack ride better, which in turn makes it much more comfortable for long periods. An internal frame one would be even better, but those can be expensive, and may be bigger than what you need. Most backpacks are designed to ride high on your back, with straps tightened down as far as comfortable. Wearing it this way will save you a lot of back/shoulder pain.

Don't use cheap water bottles. They make the water taste like plastic, and eventually cause health problems. There are water bottles available that don't alter the water at all, some made of plastic. My favorite though, is the 'clean canteen', made of metal, which is durable and leakproof, and doesn't alter the flavor or composition of water, even if the water is stored in there for months.

Carry a first aid kit, and know how to use it. Don't get one of the stupid little ones full of band-aids and chapstick. Get one intended for major trauma- because anything less isn't worth carrying a first aid kit for. My favorite is the US military IFAK (individual first aid kit), which comes in a small, watertight container, and includes important gear for treating major injuries. You can find them on Ebay or at army surplus stores.

Bug repellent. I'm guessing the area you're going to will have plenty of bugs, so bring some good repellent. Also, if you can find it, there is such a thing as bug-repellent soap- which is very convenient in that every time you wash yourself, you reapply the repellent. Besides making things more comfortable, keeping the bugs away will also help reduce the risk of catching some tropical disease.

Navigation. Anybody can use a compass and a map. While it may not be precise without special training, it'll at least prevent you from ever being totally lost, as long as you keep track of roughly where you are on the map.

Hiking Advice:
Practice some, and get into shape if you're not. How in shape do you need to be just to walk around? Try going at least 10 miles with a pack weighing at least 30 pounds... If that's a challenge, you need to work on it until it is relatively easy. Remember that a walking stick makes it slightly easier though.

I always avoid marked trails when hiking- It lets me discover cool things that very few people ever see, and I see more wildlife that way... If your group's navigation skills are up to the challenge, I highly encourage leaving the trail.

Take it slow- If you rush through it, you'll get tired and miss a lot of the experience.

Rafting advice:
The most difficult job on a raft is the one steering in the back. Physically harder, and takes more skill. On top of that, that position is the most likely to fall off into the water. Make sure the strongest/most experienced person is in that position.

The fastest way to turn is for one side of the raft to paddle backwards while the other side paddles forwards. You can spin the raft around very quickly if this is done right.

Before you go far, pick a calm spot of water, and practice. Work out commands of what to do (like speed up, stop paddling, back paddle, turn left/right, spin left/right, et cetera) and practice all of them several times-- It'll help save you when these things need to be done quickly and perfectly in intense spots later.

Keep a rope in the raft to throw out to anybody who falls out, and to tie it up when you want to take a break.

Convincing Mom:
Reduce disease risk by using bug repellent.

Go to your family doctor, and get any vaccines recommended for people traveling to that area.

You only live once, and a short, fun life is much better than a long, miserable one.
deanhills
An excellent posting Ocalhoun. Learned lots from it thanks.

ocalhoun wrote:
Bug repellent. I'm guessing the area you're going to will have plenty of bugs, so bring some good repellent. Also, if you can find it, there is such a thing as bug-repellent soap- which is very convenient in that every time you wash yourself, you reapply the repellent. Besides making things more comfortable, keeping the bugs away will also help reduce the risk of catching some tropical disease.
I was unaware that there is bug repellent soap. Interesting to learn that and can appreciate it making a great difference. The tips about the water canteen and medical aid kit are great. I imagine a flashlight would also be a must. One that is lightweight and can stand alone as well.

Essential part of the equipment would be good waterproof boots and socks and to walk the boots in long before departure. The socks should help to absorb shocks, be light as well as easy to dry when they get wet for any reason, and keep feet warm if necessary. As well as a good hat, ditto practice to see how it keeps up with the different weather. There are some hats that keep the rain out of the face for example. A really effective sunscreen. Maybe if they make soap with bug repellent in it, one could get sunscreens with bug repellent in them?
saratdear
Much thanks, you two! My mother seems to be convinced now, fortunately. She asked a few people (like I've done here, but offline Smile ) and there's one person who goes for trekking there often and has vouched it would be safe for children.

We'll reach our base camp by around 11th May, and we're supposed to do our trekking from there. They say they'll provide us with a kit (which will be our backpack, for all practical purposes) with all the usual stuff, and...pickaxe and ropes. Whatever is that for? Somehow when I think of it, it make me think mountaineering instead of trekking. Anyway, I'll be sure to take my camera, loads of additional batteries, a flashlight, woollen socks, sweaters, bug repellent, etc. I'm not sure about the soap however, I will see whether I can find it.

Another procedure we have to follow is a medical certificate to certify that we won't suffer with breathing trouble etc. with altitude. I don't think I do, but the problem is I occasionally have sinus trouble. Last year, I came down with fever two or three times, and it was accompanied by sinusitis (what are you supposed to call it? Sinusitis or sinus inflammation or...). I'm Googling for things like "sinusitis altitude", "sinusitis trekking" etc but nothing useful is turning up. If anybody's got any information about it, I'd be happy.

Thanks again, ocalhoun and deanhills. Smile
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
Another procedure we have to follow is a medical certificate to certify that we won't suffer with breathing trouble etc. with altitude. I don't think I do, but the problem is I occasionally have sinus trouble. Last year, I came down with fever two or three times, and it was accompanied by sinusitis (what are you supposed to call it? Sinusitis or sinus inflammation or...). I'm Googling for things like "sinusitis altitude", "sinusitis trekking" etc but nothing useful is turning up. If anybody's got any information about it, I'd be happy.
I would think your best bet would be to see your doctor. He would be the best one to advise you with regard to your sinusitis. I'm really impressed that the organizers would like you to provide a medical certificate. That does look as though they are taking precautions that may also be reflected in the trek. Smile
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
While I don't know much about that area, I have done quite a lot of 'trekking', and a little rafting as well.

Hiking Equipment:
For trekking/hiking, a good walking stick is the best equipment you can bring. It'll make walking much easier even on smooth surfaces, and the rougher the terrain is, the more it helps. (Until you get to the point of cliff-climbing or something, though even then it is still helpful sometimes.) You can find a good quality one that is collapsible for storage and transport, adjustable in height, and durable enough for around $10 online. With a little extra searching, you can find one that will let you mount a camera to the top (search for 'monopod')- this lets you have your camera more easily available for brief photo opportunities, and it saves valuable pocket/hand space.


I would definitely say that the trekking pole is optional. Coming from someone who has, literally, trekked hundreds or thousands of miles in my life in many remote forests and mountain ranges, I would definitely call it optional. I've had friends that wouldn't go anywhere without them and I won't go anywhere with them. To me, they just get in the way. The only times I like them is if you're fording a river* and need help stabilizing yourself in quick currents, if you're crossing a river by walking across a fallen log and don't want to fall in the water, if you're walking up/down something steep (it helps you go up by removing some weight, it helps you go down by preventing you from falling). So if you do decide to bring poles, make sure to rig something on your pack that allows you to time them to it if they become an inconvenience.

Quote:
For a backpack, get one with wide, padded straps, and a chest/torso strap horizontally across the front, which makes the pack ride better, which in turn makes it much more comfortable for long periods. An internal frame one would be even better, but those can be expensive, and may be bigger than what you need. Most backpacks are designed to ride high on your back, with straps tightened down as far as comfortable. Wearing it this way will save you a lot of back/shoulder pain.


This is also a matter of preference. Many people prefer internal frames, as you said, many people prefer external frames. There are pros and cons to both. In my life, I have used both, and I actually prefer external frames. Sometimes internal frames are more comfortable, but I actually find external frames to be more comfortable because I like to rest my hands behind my back against the frame (another reason why I don't use trekking poles). External frames are also much easier to pack (they usually have many pockets vs. one large pocket... So you don't have to empty everything to get to one item). Plus, you can attach stuff to the frame on an external pack. When I used to carry a tent (I no longer use a tent. I've gotten into "jungle hammocks" which are more comfortable, lighter, handle weather well, etc. Plus if I'm in alpine altitude with no trees, I can usually rig something up and use it as a tent), I would attach it to the frame.

Quote:
Don't use cheap water bottles. They make the water taste like plastic, and eventually cause health problems. There are water bottles available that don't alter the water at all, some made of plastic. My favorite though, is the 'clean canteen', made of metal, which is durable and leakproof, and doesn't alter the flavor or composition of water, even if the water is stored in there for months.

Carry a first aid kit, and know how to use it. Don't get one of the stupid little ones full of band-aids and chapstick. Get one intended for major trauma- because anything less isn't worth carrying a first aid kit for. My favorite is the US military IFAK (individual first aid kit), which comes in a small, watertight container, and includes important gear for treating major injuries. You can find them on Ebay or at army surplus stores.


Hell, freakin' yes! Ocalhoun made a good suggestion for water bottles. If you can get them in your country, another good choice is Nalgene. They are extremely strong (I've had bears and many other huge mammals get to them and not damage them at all). Plus, they screw on nicely (same threading) as many of the top brand of WATER PURIFIERS. So I can easily pump water into my bottle. That brings up another point. Either get some sort of water purification tablets (micro pure is what I sometimes use) or make sure to have a water purifier pump (they are extremely light and easy to use). You don't want to just drink water out of the river... You can get sick (although I never have and I've had to drink untreated water on several occasions). Also, get a good first aid kit but make sure it's light. I don't know how long you'll be gone (when I go on my trips every summer, I'm usually gone for several weeks and if you're going to be in the wilderness somewhere in the world for several weeks with every piece of equipment you'll be using on your back, you want it to be as light as possible).

Quote:
Bug repellent. I'm guessing the area you're going to will have plenty of bugs, so bring some good repellent. Also, if you can find it, there is such a thing as bug-repellent soap- which is very convenient in that every time you wash yourself, you reapply the repellent. Besides making things more comfortable, keeping the bugs away will also help reduce the risk of catching some tropical disease.

Navigation. Anybody can use a compass and a map. While it may not be precise without special training, it'll at least prevent you from ever being totally lost, as long as you keep track of roughly where you are on the map.


If the bugs are also real bad, get a mosquito net (they look extremely stupid, but can be life savers. I've been to places deep in the forest - particularly rainforest/wet forests where the bugs are so bad that I'm wearing multiple layers of long sleeve shirts and pants and have had bugs bite through them... I wouldn't be surprised if some of those bugs had their own pair of scissors...) I've come back from trips and looked like I had some sort of disease because I've had so many (thousands, literally) of bites. For bug repellent, see if you can get 100 Deet in your country (it's the best).

Quote:
Hiking Advice:
Practice some, and get into shape if you're not. How in shape do you need to be just to walk around? Try going at least 10 miles with a pack weighing at least 30 pounds... If that's a challenge, you need to work on it until it is relatively easy. Remember that a walking stick makes it slightly easier though.

I always avoid marked trails when hiking- It lets me discover cool things that very few people ever see, and I see more wildlife that way... If your group's navigation skills are up to the challenge, I highly encourage leaving the trail.

Take it slow- If you rush through it, you'll get tired and miss a lot of the experience.


Good advice but Ocalhoun left out the most important piece of information. If someone in your group needs to take a rest, take a QUICK 30 second STANDING rest... NEVER sit down! If you're going to sit down (for lunch, or something) then take your pack off and rest for at least 30 minutes. This will avoid cramps. You want to take as few breaks as possible. But not everyone is in shape and some people will need breaks (especially if you're trekking up a steep mountain). That is okay, but make sure that it's a quick standing breather break.
Quote:

Rafting advice:
The most difficult job on a raft is the one steering in the back. Physically harder, and takes more skill. On top of that, that position is the most likely to fall off into the water. Make sure the strongest/most experienced person is in that position.

The fastest way to turn is for one side of the raft to paddle backwards while the other side paddles forwards. You can spin the raft around very quickly if this is done right.

Before you go far, pick a calm spot of water, and practice. Work out commands of what to do (like speed up, stop paddling, back paddle, turn left/right, spin left/right, et cetera) and practice all of them several times-- It'll help save you when these things need to be done quickly and perfectly in intense spots later.

Keep a rope in the raft to throw out to anybody who falls out, and to tie it up when you want to take a break.


All good advice. However, make sure you practice capsizing in the probable case that someone does fall in and in the improbable case that the raft flips. You need to know how to swim, how to get back in the raft, and how to flip the raft over if it flips...
Quote:

Convincing Mom:
Reduce disease risk by using bug repellent.

Go to your family doctor, and get any vaccines recommended for people traveling to that area.

You only live once, and a short, fun life is much better than a long, miserable one.


I luckily never had this problem as a kid... My mom would freak out as I did dangerous things (climbing up shear cliffs without a rope, exploring remote places for hours by myself, getting within feet of bears, cougars, etc., and doing many other dangerous things) but she developed a way around... She basically took up the "Don't ask/Don't tell policy." I just didn't tell her about these dangerous things and she never bothered trying to find out. Do that with your mom. Convince her that it's just a simple field trip and if everything is extremely safe, tell her afterwords so she'll let you go again next time. If something dangerous happens, don't tell her so she'll let you go next time.


Most importantly, HAVE FUN, respect nature, use common sense, stay with the group, don't do anything to get over head, know your limits, STAY HYDRATED (everyone has their own rule of thumb for this because everyone is different. My personal rule of thumb is to drink 2x the water that I feel I want to drink... because most of the time your body actually needs more water than what you think it needs... When you take up in the morning, force down a full canteen before you even start hiking and then drink throughout the day... If your piss isn't clear then you need to drink more...), and create memories...


*As a I side note that I'll add: If you're fording a river, it would be good to take a light pair of sandals that you can keep in your back. I generally will take off my boots (you must hike in a good pair of boots) when I get to a river and then put on sandals and cross. If you don't have sandals, then cross bare foot (although this can be dangerous which is why I suggest sandals). And I don't mean flip flop sandals... Get ones with a back (mine even have toe cover).
saratdear
Thank you very much for that informative post, Afaceinthematrix. I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner. Smile

So..I'm leaving tomorrow. I'll be gone for around 20 days, and when I come back I'll try to post some pics of me.

So long, guys! Wink
saratdear
Aaaand...I am back!

The trip was great..I just got back today, and is adjusting back to normal life. If anybody is interested, I will post some photos as well as my experience in due course.

Has Frihost changed a lot in my absence?
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
Aaaand...I am back!

The trip was great..I just got back today, and is adjusting back to normal life. If anybody is interested, I will post some photos as well as my experience in due course.
Great! So can you let us know all of the things you needed to take on your trip that could be useful for others? How did it go? Did you do any high-risk climbing?
saratdear
Apart from the regular stuff (dress and the like Smile ) what I recommend taking is:

    A windproof jacket
    A sweater (I mentioned both of them because we went up to Kareri lake where the temperature was around 5 degree celsius. Even with both of them and a tshirt on, I was cold.)
    A cap to cover your ears
    A GOOD pair of shoes (this is especially important if you are going to do some rough walking)
    Extra pair of socks (believe me, they get smelly pretty quickly)
    Good sunglasses (which will protect you from snow blindness as well)
    Medicines
    Extra batteries for your camera and mobile phone
    Moisturizing cream


That's all which comes to my mind at the moment...I will post if I remember something. Apart from this, I recommend reading ocalhoun's and Afaceinthematrix's posts above.

Of course, a few of these apply only if you go to cold places like I did...

High risk climbing...no. We had regular rock climbing, rappelling etc. but all of it was pretty safe. All in all, it was an awesome experience.Smile
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
Apart from the regular stuff (dress and the like Smile ) what I recommend taking is:

    A windproof jacket
    A sweater (I mentioned both of them because we went up to Kareri lake where the temperature was around 5 degree celsius. Even with both of them and a tshirt on, I was cold.)
    A cap to cover your ears
    A GOOD pair of shoes (this is especially important if you are going to do some rough walking)
    Extra pair of socks (believe me, they get smelly pretty quickly)
    Good sunglasses (which will protect you from snow blindness as well)
    Medicines
    Extra batteries for your camera and mobile phone
    Moisturizing cream


That's all which comes to my mind at the moment...I will post if I remember something. Apart from this, I recommend reading ocalhoun's and Afaceinthematrix's posts above.

Of course, a few of these apply only if you go to cold places like I did...

High risk climbing...no. We had regular rock climbing, rappelling etc. but all of it was pretty safe. All in all, it was an awesome experience.Smile
So no bugs then? Also no need for special water containers? Smile Did you camp on the way, or was furnished accommodation and food provided?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
So no bugs then?

There's usually no bugs when its cold, bugs everywhere can't survive freezing temperatures very well.
saratdear
deanhills wrote:
So no bugs then? Also no need for special water containers? Smile Did you camp on the way, or was furnished accommodation and food provided?


Thankfully, no bugs. I wasn't able to get the bug repellent soap, but I did take mosquito repellent cream along. I didn't have to use that.

I just used normal water bottles because we weren't on the move all the time, so I didn't have to store water so long as to it start tasting bad.

We first went to our base camp, the Regional Mountaineering Centre (RMC) where our preliminary training was given. There were buildings and all, but in the name of training we had to sleep in tents. Smile Then we went up to 3 other camps, all of which provided food, sleeping bags etc. But from the 2nd camp we went up to a place called Kareri lake, where there were no tents etc. so we had to sleep in cowsheds. That was the hardest part. Razz Then in the morning we went up to touch glacier. It was fun playing snow-fight. Smile
Afaceinthematrix
saratdear wrote:

Extra batteries for your camera and mobile phone


Are you serious? You go on a trip like this so that you can escape your technological dependencies... So why screw that up by bringing your mobile phone? Honestly...

I can understand bringing a camera because it would be nice to capture these memories... I have many pictures from my trips in the past. I always bring a camera but I have never brought my cellular telephone. One trip I went on someone brought a satellite phone because we were in a place with a true risk of danger, but we didn't use it... And you don't need extra batteries if you're only going to turn it on in case of an emergency (although I still would personally not have brought it).

Besides, most places you go you will not get reception. So then you're essentially just carrying extra weight on your back... So just leave your phone at home!

P.S. I am glad you had fun. It sounds like it was a pretty decent trip and you may have learned a lot from it.
saratdear
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Are you serious? You go on a trip like this so that you can escape your technological dependencies... So why screw that up by bringing your mobile phone? Honestly...



Well...I did mention my mother's concern. She made me call everyday. I just used to call her, and then switch it off for the rest of the day, but I did need the extra battery because there was charging facility at just our base camp (besides the train, of course) and everyone was fighting over it. Smile
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
saratdear wrote:

Extra batteries for your camera and mobile phone


Are you serious? You go on a trip like this so that you can escape your technological dependencies... So why screw that up by bringing your mobile phone? Honestly...
I thought a mobile phone would be a necessity, not a luxury. For emergencies if someone got hurt. And the other way round. Using it of course for every day chit chat would be silly. But having it around for when someone breaks a leg or gets bitten by a snake, would be handy I think?
Afaceinthematrix
Most of the places that you go will not be like the place the OP suggested... You will not have base camps with electricity and reception. Cell phones are useless in forests for the most part (unless you're high in elevation).

Besides, there are other ways to handle injuries. You always go places in groups of four or more. That way if someone gets hurt, one person stays with the injured people and the other two people go back for help. That way no one is ever alone.

I have gone on plenty of trips with just two people, me and a friend, but I do not suggest it. Go in groups of four.

Also, when you do mountaineering or any extreme sport, you know that there is some level of risk. Train yourself to let go of things like phones and such. Just be careful and be prepared (like having friends). Know how to handle minor injuries/first aid. Just don't bring electronics (except maybe a watch with an alarm clock if you like to get up and start hiking before it gets hot).

saratdear wrote:
but I did need the extra battery because there was charging facility at just our base camp (besides the train, of course) and everyone was fighting over it.


This makes me want to cry. It seriously deeply saddens me. Is it that hard to let go of your electronics for a week or so?
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Most of the places that you go will not be like the place the OP suggested... You will not have base camps with electricity and reception. Cell phones are useless in forests for the most part (unless you're high in elevation).

Besides, there are other ways to handle injuries. You always go places in groups of four or more. That way if someone gets hurt, one person stays with the injured people and the other two people go back for help. That way no one is ever alone.

I have gone on plenty of trips with just two people, me and a friend, but I do not suggest it. Go in groups of four.

Also, when you do mountaineering or any extreme sport, you know that there is some level of risk. Train yourself to let go of things like phones and such. Just be careful and be prepared (like having friends). Know how to handle minor injuries/first aid. Just don't bring electronics (except maybe a watch with an alarm clock if you like to get up and start hiking before it gets hot).

saratdear wrote:
but I did need the extra battery because there was charging facility at just our base camp (besides the train, of course) and everyone was fighting over it.


This makes me want to cry. It seriously deeply saddens me. Is it that hard to let go of your electronics for a week or so?


Having a phone along is a valid precaution, unless there is absolutely no chance of getting a signal.

Personally, I carry supplies for emergencies of all kinds, but that also includes a phone. I leave it shut off the whole time, but if I had a truly serious emergency, one of my options would be to turn the phone on, and see if I could call for help... and perhaps climb to the top of a hill or mountain to get a signal if it was important to. (I do have plenty of other options though.)

Really, it's just another signaling device. I carry a mirror and whistle (and fire-making supplies) for the same purpose, and if I was going somewhere extremely remote, I might also consider carrying flares or a small search-and-rescue radio.


(Personally, in saratdear's exact situation, I would have turned the phone off and claimed that there was no cell phone coverage there, rather than call every day.)


Carrying electronics only goes wrong when instead of being a tool to help you accomplish your goals, they become an unbreakable link back to the rest of the world, and hold you back from your goals.
Carry a camera, but don't be so busy taking pictures that you forget to look at the real thing.
Carry a GPS, but know how to navigate without it in case it breaks, can't find a signal, or runs out of power.
Carry a phone, but turn it off except in dire emergencies.

Okay, yes, you can call these things useless weight... but none of them are truly useless, and you can find versions of them that don't weigh much at all.
saratdear
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

This makes me want to cry. It seriously deeply saddens me. Is it that hard to let go of your electronics for a week or so?

I guess I exaggerated a bit, but what you said is true. It is hard (atleast for most of my friends) to let go of their mobile phones for more than 2 weeks.
rogue_skydragon
I've never traveled India before, but I would LOVE to in the near future. Many diverse cultures means many different opportunities for adventure.
Afaceinthematrix
saratdear wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

This makes me want to cry. It seriously deeply saddens me. Is it that hard to let go of your electronics for a week or so?

I guess I exaggerated a bit, but what you said is true. It is hard (atleast for most of my friends) to let go of their mobile phones for more than 2 weeks.


That is ridiculous and I must admit that I am annoyed that the administration of the organization that took you even allowed it!

By the sounds of your trip, it wasn't as remote or as strenuous as I actually suspected. But then again, I should have known better because it was a trip through a school and you have to deal with the parents of all the children you're taking. If it was up to me, there would not have been a base camp with electricity. It would be in a place without electricity.

Furthermore, if I had been in charge, there would have been NO cell phones from any student whatsoever. I would allow the adult chaperones to take a phone if they wished but they would NOT be allowed to use it except in cases of extreme emergency (and no, "I miss my mom," "I am home sick," "My mom told me check in with her" are NOT emergencies). Any phone, or electronic device except for a watch and camera, would be immediately confiscated.

The fact that some people could not go without their electronic devices sickens me...
saratdear
rogue_skydragon wrote:
I've never traveled India before, but I would LOVE to in the near future. Many diverse cultures means many different opportunities for adventure.

Well, hope you have nice trip! Smile (whenever you are going to have it)

Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Furthermore, if I had been in charge, there would have been NO cell phones from any student whatsoever. I would allow the adult chaperones to take a phone if they wished but they would NOT be allowed to use it except in cases of extreme emergency (and no, "I miss my mom," "I am home sick," "My mom told me check in with her" are NOT emergencies). Any phone, or electronic device except for a watch and camera, would be immediately confiscated.

Are such extreme steps really necessary?

Not everybody brought their mobile phone for just communication. For many of my friends it doubled up as their music player and camera;as you can guess these are huge power drains hence they needed to charge very often. Meanwhile I just had a basic set which is very battery efficient, and I had to charge only 1 time during the whole trip.
Afaceinthematrix
saratdear wrote:

Not everybody brought their mobile phone for just communication. For many of my friends it doubled up as their music player and camera;as you can guess these are huge power drains hence they needed to charge very often. Meanwhile I just had a basic set which is very battery efficient, and I had to charge only 1 time during the whole trip.



You didn't exactly help your case with "For many of my friends it doubled up as their music player and camera"

Why did anyone need to bring a music player? First off, that is a safety hazard. If there is something dangerous, like a snake in the trail, everyone needs to be able to hear everyone so that someone can point that out. If someone screams because something happens, everyone needs to be able to hear.

Furthermore, as I keep saying, the point of the trip wasn't to have all of these modern technologies. How are you supposed to have an intimate experience with nature and truly learn something about yourselves and your friends if you're busy screwing around with your phones and music players and trying to figure out how to charge it?

Maybe you are too young to truly see how bringing those hindered the educational opportunity or maybe it's because you've never been without them... I don't know what the case is...

There is no reason why they should have been brought and so they should not have been allowed. Adult chaperones should be allowed to bring a phone (if they wish) but it should only be turned on in extreme emergencies (and like I said, "I am home sick," "I miss my mother," "My mom told me to call in check in" are not valid emergencies).
saratdear
Well, nobody really listened to music when we were actually on the move, but it helped during the trip to Himachal Pradesh (The train journey was 45 hours! While going, we boarded the train on 8th night at around 10:00, and reached Delhi at 10th, 5:00 PM. Then we had another overnight train journey, and then by bus around 5 hours)

But I take your point, Afaceinthematrix. It maybe just because we have never been without our gadgets for long periods of time.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

The fact that some people could not go without their electronic devices sickens me...


Really...
Just chill for a moment.


This was a for-fun trip, not a technology-addict boot camp.
If the people on it want to ruin the experience by not giving up their toys, it's their loss.
I would only forcibly take the electronics away in one of these circumstances:
-parent's request
-safety hazard (as in the headphones and the snake scenario you pointed out)
-obnoxious and ruining others' experiences
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