Am not talking about solo, group, nor am I talking about mountains, beaches or nature.. Am asking if you are the well informed, do some research before you head to a destination or just get there and figure things out kind of traveller? Don’t tell me you don’t know, ‘cos I wont accept that!! :D
The reason I started writing this post is what I witnessed during my recent trip to Sikkim. Yes, that is where I was for 10days, completely disconnected and lost in the hills [Sikkim diaries shall follow soon,I promise]
In this post, I wanna share some thoughts with those who think the hills are just another destination to go chill in… They are, but then they also teach us lessons about ourselves… So be prepared~!
- For those escaping to the hills just ‘cos they are cool/cold, go with warm clothes. Do not think just ‘cos you are from a warm/hot region, the cold weather symbolizes wearing skimpy outfits.
- Be aware of your surroundings… always! If you are in the hills, especially if the altitude is above 8000ft, you need to listen to your body extra carefully.
- Oxygen levels up there is lesser than what it is in your home/base, and so you might feel tightening of chest, breathing difficulty, dizziness or any other unusual sensations.
- For those headed to The Himalayas Leh, Spiti, Sikkim or other high altitude places for a family holiday, it is advisable to carry Diamox [ a tablet] and pop it a day ahead.. Carry warm wear and do take something to cover your ears.
- At Lachen [North Sikkim], when we were buying snacks and some essentials, a man next to me came asking for “chingam”[ chewing gum] and picked up a kilo of it. When I looked at him, he said they were headed to Gurdongmar Lake, and since the oxygen levels were low, chewing gum would help them deal with it. Friend & I were stumped, we then told him to buy the pill and pop it at night and maybe one next day.
- During the Sikkim trip, a fellow traveller told me she suffered partial facial paralysis ‘cos of cold wind in her ears. So, a woolen cap + muffler/shawl is best.
- Do not take small children or elderly people to high altitude places, unless they have gotten clearance from doctor /physically fit. We saw so many families with babies and the babies were bawling their brains out [guessing ‘cos of ear ache due to cold winds] and the families had no clues how to deal with it. Make sure to also carry extra warm clothing for these two categories… No harm layering up and feeling warm in such places- remember the saying “better safe than sorry”.
- Drink more than the usual amount of water you consume. Also carry ORS or electrolytes, cos sometimes when you feel light headed or dizzy this will help restore sugar in the system…
- Do not waste water- be it drinking water or otherwise. Since my USA trip, am a fan of the toilet paper and learnt to restrict use to one sheet for every toilet visit. [Yes Yes, trees are felled etc, but then am not killing a fresh tree or depleting new resources. You can also use newspaper as well.] #We have been reading news about how there is severe water scarcity in Shimla and Spiti…locals are getting drinking water supply once a week or lesser only.
- Do not trash, do not throw litter wherever you go. We get that you were hungry and so munched away on million snacks and drinks, but do carry an extra bag or use the bag these packets came in to chuck trash in. Carry them with you till you find a trash-can and empty them. Also, reduce use of plastic as much as possible…
Well, do add on if you can think of other points…