Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons

Trekkers who are going for trek during heavy rains in Monsoons do face some difficulties during the treks especially the beginners, but all of that hassle can be avoided by following a few, simple tips that guarantee to make your monsoon trekking experience, all the more enjoyable!

 

Wear the Right Clothing – Escape the Rain!

Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons - What to wear

We all know that rain during monsoon is mandatory and so begin prepared should be too. The rains can make your clothing stick to your skin, which reduces the fabric’s breathability. While synthetic clothing, with full body coverage, is the best option. Non-cotton t-shirts and pants are highly recommended. Shoes should be lugged, with good grip. Alternatively, trekkers can opt for trail runners which, unlike leather boots, do not get wet or damp easily and so minimize chances of blisters. Trail runners are also better ventilated. Lastly, carry extra pairs of dry socks because wet socks are the primary source of foot sores and blisters! Trekkers can choose to wear thermal underwear and tights if they want to. Hard shell jackets, waterproof gaiters, windcheaters, hats, and raincoats should be kept in handy also.

Things to pack:

  • Two pairs of socks or more
  • Waterproof gaiters
  • Trail runner shoes
  • Synthetic clothes
  • Thermal underwear and tights
  • Hard shell jacket

Avoid:

  • Wet socks at all cost
  • Cotton clothes
  • Leather boots

Pack the Right Gear – Basic Camping Requirements

Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons - What to pack

For camping trips, a light tarp is good. This provides quick, easy shelter from the rains. If hiking in larger groups, for longer periods of time, then it is advised that trekkers carry with them three to four person tents. A light, waterproof backpack is essential, too. The backpack should be big enough to hold some accessories and at least a couple of days’ worth of food and clothing.

Things to pack:

  • Light tarp
  • Tents
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Lighter or Matches

Avoid:

  • Thick tarp
  • Heavy objects

Also Read: 10 Treks to Undertake in Himachal Pradesh this Monsoon

Camping Overnight? Then take…

Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons - Night Camping 

Monsoon is a season for mosquitoes. For overnight trekkers, a torch with extra batteries is essential. Plastic and zip-log bags come in handy during monsoon treks, especially when it comes to storing electronic devices and wallets. Personal toiletries should also be packed alongside a small first-aid kit. Trekkers can also carry a walking stick, a whistle to call for help if needed and a penknife. A deck of cards will also come in handy if the rains to get too heavy to trek in and trekkers need a way to kill time. And the most important item during camping is a sleeping bag; carry one each in your backpack.

Things to pack:

  • Torch (extra batteries)
  • Zip-log bags
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Pocketknife
  • Sleeping bag

Avoid:

  • Heavy backpacks
  • Disposable plastic items

Keep your Skin Protected

Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons - Skin Care

On a trek it is very essential to keep your skin dry. A rain coat is a good start but it does not mean you still wont get wet. Water will surely seep into your shoes (water proof or not). A pair of house slippers will undoubtedly relieve your feet from your closed hiking boots. Apply balms or skin creame on your feet, regularly, to restore the natural oils that your feet lose through trekking in a damp environment.  Always keep Cetrizine, Crocin and Tiger Balm in your medical kit. Wet weather often causes viral fever, colds, coughs and headaches.

Leeches are common during monsoon hikes. To remove the leech, sprinkle salt on it as it will fall off from your skin. If bitten, apply anti-irritants like caladryl lotion, or coconut oil. If there is severe itching, take antihistamine drugs. To prevent leech bites altogether, rub your exposed body parts in Dettol or Odomos.

Things to pack:

  • Pair of comfy slippers
  • Balms for skin
  • Antibiotics  (Cetrizine, Crocin, etc)
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Mosquito repellent

Avoid:

  • High dosages or drugs
  • Additional sprays

Also Read: 20 Best Treks in India

Keep up your Energy Level – Carry the Right Eatables

Guide to Trekking and Backpacking in the Monsoons - Food to Carry

Even during rains, trekkers must drink at least four litres of water per day. This prevents your muscles from cramping up, oxygenates your blood on high altitude treks and keeps you hydrated. Any food that trekkers carry must be high in complex carbohydrates, not easily perishable and add variety to your options. Complex carbohydrates sustain you for a long time, as opposed to foods that give you a quick sugar rush. Hence, chocolates, fizzy drinks and energy bars are not recommended. Ready to eat food packets like Maggi noodles, bread, bananas or dry fruits are the best foods to carry.

Things to pack:

  • Large Water bottle
  • Fruits (ones that can last few days)
  • Instant Noodles & Soups etc.
  • Dry fruits and nuts
  • Bread or cookies

Avoid:

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Frozen food

Note: Foods should be high in carbohydrates but should be complex carbohydrates, since they are broken down slowly and are released gradually into your system.

Joita Das

Author

An undergraduate student from Bangalore, Joita Das is a keen explorer with a burning desire to travel the world. She has lived in Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Dehra Dun, Bangalore and Dubai and growing up in such diverse contexts has instilled in her an unparalleled passion for travel writing. She enjoys reading fiction, watching Rom-Com movies and playing friendly basketball matches! 

By Rohan

You might also like...