Trekking time calls for some preparation. Of course, you need the soul and zest of an explorer, but something beyond that as well. Trekking can be quite overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Treading all the way up to the highest peaks is no easy task. Let us begin with the basics and give you some first trek shopping tips. Don’t worry, the shop till you drop slogan doesn’t apply here. Here are 5 important first trek shopping tips for you guys.
Judge your terrain: Keep the terrain in mind. A lot depends on the region you are trekking in. Of course, it is specifically about the Himalayas, but some trails could be more or less tricky or steep as opposed to the others. Having a sound knowledge of your trek route in advance goes a long way in determining the kind of shoes, clothes and gear you have to buy. This goes hand in hand with the climate and weather forecast. Be prepared to layer up and cover your head and ears if needed. Shop for mufflers, ear muffs, eye protectors and jackets – for the cooler times of the year.
Pick quality goods: Choose quality over quantity. The best way of finalizing a jacket, hood, shoe or backpack is to go by its durability. Shopping for items that might cost a little extra is a good investment made. If they are long-lasting, they are for keeps. Do not think of buying 3-4 jackets or pairs of shoes for the cost of one. A single, sturdy piece goes a long way. Cultivating this as a first trek shopping habit stays with you through your trekking tenure.
Buy only what you need: This is the biggest tip of all times. Please do not get over-excited and invest in a lot of trekking gear and supplies. This may be your first trek, but it doesn’t mean you cannot shop afterwards. We would suggest you experience a trek or two and then engage in buying the right products after identifying what you truly need. We don’t mean to dissuade you, but sometimes the first trek could be the last if you lose interest or decide not to pursue it.
Stock the essentials: Forget all the fancy trekking gear for now and think of hoarding the essentials. Buy a solid pair of hiking shoes, but buy hiking socks too. Pick a sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle, headgear or cap, sunglasses and fanny packs for your journey. Buy a sleeping bag, a good liner, hand wipes, lip balm, first-aid kit etc. Everything else can wait. In fact, one of the best ways of avoiding a heavy shopping bag is to buy the trekking gear at the nearest unit to the trek.
Choose the essential accessories: Before you get suited and booted with your gear and seal your bag, stop to check if you have carried the accessories needed for your kits – photography, reading, cooking etc. Check for permissions and allowances before you tread up with the load. Invest in lightweight, long-lasting accessories and essentials. Should we remind you to buy extra batteries and load up your power bank with juice to last the trek?
At the end, we would like to reiterate just one point for your first trek shopping: shop all you need – not all you can.