Like any trek in the Himalayas demand, Chadar trek too requires you to have all the basic characteristics of a general trekker. These are
- General Fitness and Stamina
- Mental Toughness and Endurance
- Positivity and friendliness
- Possess Proper Gears, at least the bare-minimum essentials
- Resourcefulness and creativity
- and finally the most important thing - Adaptability
If you are trekking in the Himalayas, then irrespective of the trek, you should possess the above-listed characteristics in you., Yes, taking easier treks, in the beginning, helps you to develop these traits, but does not mean that you will not have these qualities in your personality. DO judge yourself and neither over-estimate nor under-estimate your own capacity.
Most importantly, take a note straight away that it is more of a mental game than physical. Your physical stamina should definitely have the capacity to support your mental abilities and desires. A few weak parts in the physical stamina can be overcome by a strong will-power. However, the vice versa is not true.
Nothing much can be done about your mental endurance as it is a part of your 'self-motivation' system and conscious mental training. It starts with initial help from experienced trekkers and being regular on high altitude treks. The experience teaches you and builds you over time and helps you build your mental stamina. This game is more mental than physical. Smaller physical lack behinds can be overcome by a strong mental motivation system.
We can enhance our physical endurance by training ourselves before heading to the high altitude for trek. This training program should start way ahead of your scheduled trek departure. The earlier the better. You may start your preparation by the below-mentioned guidelines and take it forward by intensifying keeping your goal in mind. During this entire training period, you should focus on your cardiovascular health and strength training.
Interval training is a method of training the cardiovascular system by elevating the heart rate significantly and then allowing it to recover for a period before elevating it again. For example, you may sprint to push your heart rate, then walk to allow it to calm down before starting to sprint again. Do not overload, but try to intensify on day by day basis. You may also consider to carry weight on your back to further intensify your training. You may take up cycling to do the same. Cycle very quick. Stop. Walk. Walk Fast. Again cycle very quick. Be careful to warm up your muscles before exercising and cooling it down with stretches post-training.
Breathing is a very important exercise and comes very handy on high altitude treks. Practice taking deep breaths and holding it. Our classical yoga exercises work extremely well for breathing exercises. Else, swimming is the best. It works both on your cardio and breathing.
Your shoulder, back, arms and legs need to be strong to be able to sustain a high altitude hike. Train yourself to strengthen your muscles to be able to carry load on your shoulder and climb uphill in an environment low on oxygen. You may start going to a gym or prepare at home yourself. Atleast, 3 days a week, climb stairs with load on your back, do squats, train your calves, do push ups and planks to increase your core muscle strength. Intensify it steadily.
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE CHADAR TREK
Trekking requires you to be in proper gears for camping, safety and personal protection and hygiene. Below is the list of items which need to be bought by each trekkers.
- 3 T Shirts ( dry fit )
- 3 Light Weight Hiking Pants
- 4 Socks ( 2 cotton, 2 woolen)
- 3 Undergarments
- 1 Penknife or multi-tool knife
- 1 Thin Nylon Ropes for multipurpose use
- 1 Toilet Paper Roll
- 1 Small Towel
- 1 Soap Papers
- 1 Ruck Sack
- 1 Small Backpack/nap sack
- 1 Waterproof Hiking Shoes
- 1 Headlamp with extra batteries
- 2 Water Bottles
- 1 Camp Cutlery Set
- 1 Waterproof Upper & Lower ( also act as windproof )
- 1 Poncho ( we provide to our clients )
- 1 Waterproof Sack/Backpack Cover
- 1 Waterproof gloves
- 1 Skin Moisturizer
- 1 Lip Balm
- 2 Thermal Inner Wears ( upper + lower )
- 1 Woolen Cap
- 1 Fleece or double fleece jacket
- 1 Good Quality Down Jacket ( we provide to our clients our expedition down jackets )
- 2 Woolen Gloves with a pair of thin inner gloves
- Sunscreen SPF 50 above
- Sunglasses( UV proof/ Polarized)
- Sun Hat
- Balaclava /Face mask
- Dry fruit
- Chocolate/Energy Bars
Medical Kit - Himalayan Medical Kit | A Must Have
EXTRA MANDATORY ITEMS SPECIALLY FOR THE CHADAR TREK:
- 2 extra pair of knee length woolen socks,
- 1-liter thermos flask,
- hot water bag ( we provide our clients with 1-liter hot water bag )
- fleece beanie,
- Gumboots or waterproof, high quality, knee length, better-insulated snow boots, for the trek. [ note that gumboots lacks better insulation, but you can manage on a gumboot with layered knee length socks if budget is an issue ] ( we provide our clients with gumboots )
- 1 or 2 trekking poles. ( we provide our clients with 1 trekking pole each )
- Ice Traction Trekking Crampons