Trekking And Covid19 - Whats New and Whats Different ?
The Corona Virus/COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted our normal life and the way we traveled anywhere freely. It has been around longer than anybody had anticipated. Our generation saw something which could have never been imagined - Complete Lockdown, not just in India, but almost over 70% of the countries in the World. While it did help slow down the contamination but we all knew it could not clear off the Coronavirus. Slowly the lockdowns started to be lifted as it brought tremendous slowness in the economy. In India, we all saw the entire country coming together in all good spirits to help and support each other. However, considering the vastness of our Country and its diverse Socio-Economic structure, we had to see some sad images on the streets and from hospitals. The fight is still on.. and we all are cautious to keep ourselves and our family members safe from the coronavirus.
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After stringent lockdown for about 3 months, India slowly lifted the Lockdown and economic activities restarted. We had taken good amount of time to understand the contamination cycle of the Coronavirus and that it can be kept on its own if we follow few basic safety measures, even while we are outside - Social Distancing of at least 6 feet, Avoiding crowded place, maintaining proper hand hygiene and wearing a triple layered mask while in an open place.
Slowly now, people started to travel and now even tourism has been reopened, but with precautions to keep Covid19 at bay.. We need to apply what we have learnt so far in understanding the Coronavirus and fight it with our cautiousness, and yet do what we love to do.. Go Outdoors. We have to start living with the coronavirus and beat it with our knowledge, self cautiousness and immunity power.
I am sure, now we have enough knowledge about how the virus contaminates and how we can stay away from it. We have all been to the market for purchasing vegetables and other necessities. We have all seen our front line warriors fight it out till now, even when all of us were scared to even peep out of the window.. We all have learnt till now that there are things which the coronavirus is scared of.. Lets put together all of them.
- Social Distancing ( at least 6 feet)
- Clean Pair of Hands ( using Sanitizers or Hand wash )
- Triple Layered Face Mask ( to prevent droplet infection from the surrounding )
- Regular Washing Of Clothes
- Strong Body With Good Immunity
- Hot Water Or Ayurvedic Tonic ( Kadha )
- Keeping Away From Smoking and Alcohol
- 70% and above Alcohol Based sanitizer
- Rigorous Handwashing for over 20 seconds with soap
- Sodium Hypo Chloride Solution ( for sanitizing in mass scale )
We have stayed away from our beloved Himalayas far too long. We certainly need to go back there, but responsibly, following all prescribed guidelines to keep everyone around safe. We can use our knowledge of the coronavirus and do what we love to do the most. To incorporate all these guidelines and safe practices into trekking during the outbreak, we have come up with a very well planned safety protocol to resume trekking activities in the Himalayas. Going forward, we will resume our trekking activities in the Himalayas by following all these measures over our already stringent safety protocol.
Himalayan High has always been known as a very safe and responsible organization for trekking and climbing. Through this safety protocol, we are adding another new aspect to our already strict safety and hygiene rules. By following our COVID-19 safety protocol, we can ensure that we are following all prescribed guidelines in the current situation. This will keep all our trekkers and team members completely safe and allow us to safely organize our treks during and even after the pandemic period. With the assurance of Himalayan High COVID-19 safety protocol, all trekkers can come with a worry-free mind and enjoy their trek in the Himalayas with us, as they used to during the pre-covid era.
To highlight the details of our COVID-19 safety protocol, we have made a short and illustrative video on our Covid19 Safety Protocol.
Mandatory Covid Negative Certificate For All: It is mandatory for all our trekkers to carry a valid Covid Negative Certificate to trek with us. It has been mandated so that all the people involved including fellow trekkers, support crew and local villagers are confident about your travel and makes our journey unhassled. Only RT-PCR test is valid for which the sample collection date is not more than 72 hours from the trek start date.
Smaller Group Composition: In all of our treks and climbs, private groups of family/friends will be most preferred. For Open groups (fixed departures), team size will be limited to a maximum of 10 people to allow better maintenance of social distancing and hygiene. Smaller Groups of less than 10 members have given us best results in the past. e have always believed in a trek experience with small group sizes and adding flavour of Himalayan rawness in our treks.
Sanitized Transportation: For travel to and from trek base, private taxi bookings will be preferred over public buses/jeeps. This adds to additional safety. The cab owner will also be asked to sanitize the cabs mandatorily before the journey.
No Fixed Camps at all: Fixed camps have a negative impact on nature. Using fixed camps in current scenario of Covid19 will not be ideal as there will be no control over personalization of the resources and ensuring hygiene. In our trek groups, our trekkers use a single sleeping bag, mattress & sleeping bag inners throughout the trek without any mixup. Hence it allows for better management of personal hygiene and safety. We will be providing you with your personal kit which will consist of your Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Bag Inner, and Mattress. These will be sanitized and sun-dried at the time we give you. You use it throughout the trek and return us back after the end of the trek. On receiving the kit from you, we sanitize it again to be used by other trekkers. While you will be using it, you are advised to sanitize it regularly as a double check.
Contactless Screening of Participants On Arrival: Thermal Temperature checks of all participants will be done upon arrival and every day on the trek, apart from our regular monitoring that we do every day for mountain wellness.
Contactless Paperwork and Online Booking Procedures: No physical exchange of documents or cash will take place. All formalities from booking of the trek to mandatory document submission will be done online on our website.
Mandatory Sanitization Before Entry: All bags and other items of luggage will be sanitized upon arrival at our trek base.
Sanitized Accommodation, Linens & Sleeping Bags, etc: All rooms, washrooms and common areas of our homestay at the trek base will be thoroughly cleaned. Fresh and sanitized linens will be provided. All camping gear including all tents, sleeping bags, table, chairs etc will be thoroughly cleaned and sun-dried before and after your use.
Sanitized and sun-dried Camping Equipment: All camping equipment of common use like camping tents, toilet tents, dining tents, kitchen tents etc will be sanitized and sun-dried before using on the trek.
Monitored Support Crew with extra protection of masks, gloves and frequent use of sanitizers: Our local staffs are from remote villages where there is no impact of Covid. However, for their safety and to protect their families from the infection, they will follow all the covid safety protocols and maintain social distancing from other groups. They will be wearing masks and using sanitizers/hand wash frequently.
Social Distancing From Other UnMonitored Groups: Wearing face mask will be mandatory for all trekkers and our team members, except while walking during the trek. Maintaining social distancing will be encouraged for all team members, specially between different groups coming from different regions.
Daily evaluation of Health for Safe Mountain Health: This is not a new thing for us. On all of our treks, we regularly monitor the health of our trekkers.
Twin Sharing Accommodation On Treks: All twin sharing rooms/tents will be provided on the trek. Tripple or quadruple rooms will be given to a single family or group of friends travelling together. Single rooms/tents will be provided to solo trekkers at extra charge. Quarantine tents will be carried on reserve. Single tent supplement available
Proper Dining Hygiene in Dining Tents: All trekkers will bring their own cutlery to eat food and clean it. You'll have food in a dining tent where social distancing can be easily maintained because of smaller group size. Cooks and staffs will take extra precautionary hygiene. Utensils will be cleaned in boiling water.
Covid Hygiene Kit including personal Sleeping Bag Inner for free: Hand sanitizers and hand-washes will be available for use throughout the trek and trek-base.
Dry Toilets in toilet tents: Dry toilets ensure less impact on nature and is hygienic as well. There is no means of contact here and the toilet tent door can be sanitized at regular intervals.
Precautionary Quarantine: Any trekker or our team member showing any symptom of viral infection will be immediately isolated and turned back with our help for everyone's safety. Extra quarantine tent will be carried on trek. Even in base camp, we have designated an isolation room in our homestays.
Immunity-Boosting Food Menu: Best possible immunity-boosting food and beverages like garlic dal, garlic soups, kadha, green tea, lemon tea, mint tea, ginger-lemon-honey tea, etc. will be provided throughout the trek.
Filtered, Boiled and Treated Drinking Water: Hot drinking water will be provided all the time. You need to bring thermos flasks for insulation. Water will be purified using chlorine tablets.
Even after all these steps, you too must act responsibly and maintain your own sanitization and distancing during the trek, specially with trekkers from other group.
We can easily understand that the after effects of the current global pandemic are going to be long lasting. The precautions and safety guidelines being prescribed now will be followed for quite some time and that's why we have to adopt these practices in our normal behavior and our treks too. In our Himalayan High Covid-19 Safety Protocol, we have very carefully thought about every aspect of trekking and travel involved in the whole process. That's why we are confident of being able to ensure safety for everyone on all of our treks during the pandemic period and also after it. This will not only help us in keeping everyone safe, but it will probably become the guiding principles in regard of Covid safety for the whole trekking community.
Come, join us and show the World that we can trek, even during these difficult times, just by being responsible and cautious.
This article is all about Covid safety protocol. If you wish to know how Himalayan High ensures the overall safety of every trekker on a trek or even on a summit climb beyond 6000 meters, please read our comprehensive maximum safety assurance protocol on below link.