According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, trekking is defined as: “The activity of walking long distances on foot for pleasure

For first-timers, the trekking experience may get a little overwhelming. But any new endeavour can be intimidating. With a little effort and training, scaling it up to cover long distances isn’t out of your reach.

In this beginner’s guide, we share everything you should know before you go for your first trek. So let us dive in and get ready for an adventure!  


The grading system/difficulty level is to get a good picture of what you may experience up there. These gradings are evaluated on various weather conditions, altitudes, walking routes and so on.  


The “easy” level implies that you’re able to walk for 3-4 hours per day with occasional breaks. These type of treks are suitable for all adventurers, as the trails are in general good and are relatively at a low elevation.

There are some easy treks in India like Chopta, Valley of Flowers, Dodital trek.

For first-timers, Valley of Treks is a great experience. You can click here to know everything about Valley of Flowers.  


The “moderate” level implies that you’re able to walk for 4-6 hours per day with occasional breaks. These routes involve a reasonable amount of elevations.

Generally, these treks require no prior experience of trekking. If you are in good health and a regular walker, these treks are suitable for you.


Anything from 8 days to 2 weeks of trekking with crossing mountains passes, rugged terrains with no proper paths usually fall under the difficult level.

No technical knowledge is as such required, but you need good stamina and strength for these treks.  

Some of the strenuous treks in India are Chadar trek, Goecha La Trek, Hampta Pass, Markha Valley trek and Roopkund trek.  


Before going on a trek, ensure you are fit enough to avoid any health-related issues. It is advisable to train your body and mind before you embark upon the trail(s).

It is vital to building your core, legs and shoulder strength. Good breathing techniques also help when you are at a high altitude.

You can include jogging/running, core exercises, yoga, meditation and likewise activities in your daily routine to prepare your body and mind for the trek. We suggest you start with brisk walking followed by jogs for at least a month.


1. Rucksack / Backpack

Be extremely careful of choosing the right bag for you. Trust me, the kind of hiking bags you carry will decide your hiking experience. Nonetheless, it is also crucial you determine what your need is. 

If you are new to trekking, the choice of a backpack will be very different from the ones who trek regularly. If you are going for 2-3 days, a 40-50L rucksack shall suffice.

We recommend Quecha and Wildcraft.

2. Rain Cover + Raincoat 

Especially in India, it might rain/ snow in most trekking destinations. The rain cover will protect your bag and things to get damp in heavy rainfall. Most of the rucksacks are water repellent but not waterproof.

You’ll either need a raincoat or a rain cover to protect your essentials. So, add this to your list.

3. Trekking shoes

Remember, your shoes can make or break your trek. Trekking shoes are your best friends, so invest in a good quality shoe. Look for comfortable and breathable shoes.

Here are some of the styles you can check:

  • Light Hiking Shoes: These are a sturdier version of running shoes. They are suitable for day hikes and are comfortable.   
  • Mountaineering Boots: If you’re travelling rocky terrains, glacial trails or snowy paths, these are perfect for you. They are built heavy and can withstand rough terrains.
  • Backpacking Boots: These are my personal favourite. The backpacking boots are made for on-or-off trail travel. 

These boots are designed in such a way to carry the heavy load for your multi-day trips. Their stiff soles and durability help you fight almost any weather condition. 

4. Flip-flops

It is a tedious job to wear shoes at all times. Every time you step out from your camp, it will be tiresome to tie your lace every now and then. Of course, your regular trekking shoes should suffice, but if you want to laze/ ease yourself out, do carry a pair of flip-flops.

5. Water bottles

Always keep yourself hydrated during your trek. Carry bottle(s) that can store 2-3 litres of water. You can also carry a portable purifier-filter bottle should it deemed necessary. It will come in handy when you come across streams and rivers during your trek. 

6. Munchies 

Depending upon the treks, usually, you’ll find some small stalls on the way, but there may be a time where you discover nothing on the way.

You can, from time to time munch, upon some light food to keep your energy levels high. Carry dry fruits, energy bars, chocolates that come in handy and are easy to consume.  

7. Medical kit 

Please be aware that usually, there will be no medical shops up there on your trekking route. So, always carry a first aid kit and some basic medicines with you. It is better to be safe than sorry.  

Do not forget to carry insect repellent/mosquito repellent to protect you from bloodsuckers and dreadful stingers out there!  

8. Consider Using Walking poles 

Trekking poles take some pressure off your knees and thighs, so consider using them.

Usually, depending upon the treks, you do get trekking poles/sticks around your base camps. However, if you wish to buy these sticks, don’t worry as they are easy to carry and are foldable, giving without any extra weight to your backpack.

9. Torchlight / Flashlight/ Headlamp 

We generally do not comprehend the importance of flashlights. It is essential because you never know what time in a day you’ll reach your destination. 

Be it an overnight journey or not, do not miss adding this item to your trekking packing list!

10. Extra Clothing For Unpredictable Weather

Carry at least two pairs of suitable clothing for yourself. The weather is always unpredictable up there, so better be prepared.

If you are going on high altitude or sub-zero trek, the must-haves are – fleece jacket, neck warmer, thermals, woollen socks, fleece gloves, waterproof gloves, and snow goggles.

11. Sun Protection 

Most hikes transpire during daylight, and this pertains to exposure to the sun. Carry sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from scorching sun/sunburns and harmful UV rays.

12. Portable Charger 

Although there are bleak chances of you getting any network, you’ll need a portable charger to charge your camera/torch and so on. 

13. Toilette kit and Towel

Nobody talks about it, but it is one of the essentials! Carry toothbrush, toilet paper, sanitiser and some dry tissues.

Carry a microfiber towel to dry up if you decide to take a dip. Try to avoid carrying a regular towel as it takes time to dry and if wet becomes heavy to carry.  


As a rule of thumb, the heavier and lesser-used items go at the bottom of your bag.

The lighter items go in the middle of the bag; and

Frequently used items such as water bottle, snacks, napkin, etc., will remain at the top.



1. Overpack

While packing your stuff, ask yourself – Can I survive without it? Somewhere deep within, if the answer is YES, leave it back home!

2. Remain Dehydrated

Always carry sufficient water with you to keep yourself hydrated. Your body needs to be hydrated as you climb up there.

3. Pollute Water Bodies 

Remember, the rivers and streams you come across are the source of drinking water for thousands of residents. Do not contaminate such water bodies, and be mindful during your trek.

4. Create Noises

We humans do not belong to the mountains, and we are simply visitors. Animals and birds shun away from the noises, and it disturbs their natural being. Please do not create a roar when you are up there!

5. Wait For The Trek To End

Don’t be anxious and wait endlessly for the trek to end. Trekking is a journey, not the destination. Enjoy yourself on the route, breathe clean air and appreciate the little things that come along the way. This journey may turn out to be one of your best experiences of your life!


1. Expect The Unexpected

Expect human errors, weather turbulence, off-the-plan turns and much more! Understand that everything may not run smoothly for you. Be patient and be mentally prepared for the trek.

2. Enjoy Little Things     

Push your sleep and physique limits to experience little things in life. Enjoy starry nights, hooting owls, soothing silence and natural habitat. Make the best out of this trip.

3. Be Responsible Adventurer

The adrenaline rush is natural but know your limits. Do not be reckless and get yourself in danger.

4. Take Appropriate breaks When Needed

Usually, new trekkers get overwhelmed during the trek and keep walking even though the body is asking for a small break. Consequently, this leads to exertion. So, whenever needed, take short breaks and do not overexert your body.

5. Come Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Pitch in your tents, sleep on the rugged ground, prepare fresh food and learn some life skills along the way! You’ll appreciate the little luxuries you have when you go back home!

Happy trails! 

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