Before writing something on ‘How to Prepare for Monsoon Hiking?’, I had, and in fact, I still have an apprehension that people would find this piece ridiculous and absurd because of all the reason you can think of.
Why on earth would you go hiking in Monsoon?
This, I know is a valid question that someone like me who loves hiking should answer with all the conviction I can amass.
How to Prepare for Monsoon Hiking?
Everybody likes to go for a hike on a dry sunny day with clear weather and blue skies. But I believe that there is a significant number of people in this world who hate to wait for the right weather to hike. However, the desire to hike on a rainy season specifically is not the reason that made me write this post.
I wanted to write this because there are days during monsoon that gives the best views of the landscape and even are the brightest and cleanest in the whole year. Thus all the risks seem worth taking.
One common mistake most hikers make is that they tend to prefer a relatively difficult trail, a daredevil feeling seems to blanket most of the times. Remember, Hiking is an adventure activity which at times involves life-threatening risks. However, a smartly planned hiking gives nothing less than an exhilarating experience.
But for monsoon hiking plan, the trails need to be safe and smooth. Avoid area that has loose soil tracks and sloppy or steep landscapes.
What to Wear
Staying safe and comfortable is important. Try not to wear cotton as much as possible during a monsoon hike. You need not necessarily buy new sets for the monsoon adventure. However, there are quite a few things you would rather find important.
- Waterproof Footwears. As mentioned earlier avoid wearing cotton. Some good pairs of waterproof socks always come in handy. These should be breathable socks that help protect the moisture and dampness when it rains.
- Windproof Layers. Normal windcheaters or a jacket is a must. It helps you keep dry from inside. Hiking pants are important to keep you warm against the windy and chilly weather.
- Warm clothes. Keep your layers like you’d do in the winters. Just because it rains does not mean you will stop sweating from inside. You’ll exert more pressure and you’ll sweat and that makes you freeze more than normal. Putting on warm clothes help you adjust to the outside temperature.
Lookout for polyester, silk or nylon even for your innerwear.
What to Eat
It’s rather better if you focus on what Not To. Avoid eating frozen food and carbonated drinks. Hot drinks, bakery items and bread are good. Carry dry fruits as much as possible.
Go for a large water bottle as drinking water from random local springs might be risky because of the flood water.
What Gears to carry?
Carrying trekking poles is a good idea as it comes in use to check the depth of small potholes and pits that often occur throughout the trail during monsoon. Do not forget to carry zip-log bags, flashlights and pocketknives.
On an average, a good hiking duration is between 2-4 days depending upon the intensity of rainfall. Keep checking weather forecast reports if possible while on the hike in the wild.
Be Aware of
- Emergency Rescue Facilities
- Alternative routes if one gets blocked or flooded.
- Availability of market/food/shelters.
- Starting the hike very early. Rainfall is more likely in the afternoons and evenings than mornings.
- Muddy/Wet and Slippery trails.
- Local norms and customs. ( Littering areas, Garbage Management).
- Respect nature and natural setellements.