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Do you believe me? when I say "So Eassyy"


" Very easy " :)



"Yeah sure Sir, very easy" I tell my mountaineering course instructor at Sikkim. All the while secretly muttering prayers under our breath for the strength to take just one more step forward.Just one.

Collectively we basic mountaineering course students refused to acknowledge that this one more step seemed to be going on forever. We had pushed ourselves much further than what we previously thought was physically possible.All the brave machismo talk we brandished, when we mountaineers first met each other had been unceremoniously dumped. We acknowledged silently that we were at our wits end, here on this mountain.A buddy climber, about to throw of his backpack and pray for a chopper to airlift him back to his comfy sofa,TV & popcorn was encouraged by a silent look from his fellow mountaineer.Without saying a word ,communicating "I know ,I know ...... let's go ,I think we are reaching the end".That mountain silently witnessed some great friendships that day.

We were all that we had to draw strength from.This fine morning we were concluding a 28 day long mountaineering course by climbing up higher and higher up this majestic but ominously named "B L A C K peak" (Sikkim) In my fertile imagination ,this mountain ,wrapped in stillness by near zero visibility fog was like Mount Mordor of  Lord of rings movie (non lord of ring fans ,its OK, I forgive you ,Mordor was where the bad guy lived) .I was of course the hero in my fantasy movie, climbing mordor to save mankind :) I was quickly brought back to reality by my mountaineering instructor shouting at me "Quit daydreaming, weathers getting worse, hurry up"

          
                            Black peak summit .....finally


   Black peak summit .....finally


The only ones calm and composed on that mountain,where the HMI Mountaineering instructors, I am convinced they are from a different planet altogether.Boulders which posed such insurmountable obstacles to our newbie mountaineering eyes where deftly handled by our instructors.Before we knew it, we all suddenly sensed it!It was near.... Oh my God at last ,we are the summit!  That moment was foreign to me ,all the pain,exhaustion and fear faced near life threatening heights ,so far on the climb, just fell away easily .A sense of heightened awareness of that 360 degree panoramic view flooded us.Yes, I would do that treacherous climb again in a heartbeat for that euphoric feeling on the summit.

Even we couldn't believed as we saw down and realized just how much further we had climbed.In the pic below,do you notice the small curved line,well that's the river from where we had started earlier that morning. So next time you see an adventurer pretend it was easy or they were not scared ,do not believe them.It's for the very fact that it's not easy and pretty scary, that we love doing it. Who knows maybe you will join me on my next mad trip ?  :)
                 
                 Oh my god! We made it to the summit! Hurray :)

            Oh my god! We made it to the summit! Hurray :)



In defense of my movie fantasy ,where I am climbing  Mount Mordor.Just look at  this scene below from Lord of rings movie ,that's how Mordor looks.Doesn't it look like a climbing conquest you will tell your grandkids about huh?


MORDORRRRRRRR  play dramatic background music in your head while watching this :)

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Things to bring for the BASIC MOUNTAINEERING COURSE (BMC)



Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Things to bring for BMC


Congratulations ,you've just received your BMC seat confirmation letter from HMI.This is gonna be the most rewarding and transformational experience you will go through. I have been blessed to have done HMI 's BMC course.It remains one of the most cherished memories of my life.This blog is written to help mountaineers, to report, well equipped for this course at our beloved HMI.I will list out all items from toe to head ,with links to buy it at discounts online.






 Provided by HMI 
 (You don't need to bring these items)

Down feather jacket ,Sleeping bag ,Gaiters ,Crampons ,Snow shoes, Rock climbing shoes ,Rucksack , Harness, Rope sling ,Plastic cover,Wind stopping jacket and pant ,Woolen balaclava,Water bottle ,Ice axe ,Helmet

.


Things that you must pack:
Trekking Shoes
Single most important thing you will pack.

First  let me tell you what type of shoes not to bring for trek.Shoes with low or no grip/PVC soles are not suitable for trekking.That means  those awesome Nike,Reebok shoes you’ve with flat grip area.They are good for city life but,absolute no no for treks.


My choice 

This will last you many treks. I,personally use only this shoe.Bought it for my BMC course and has lasted me for atleast 10 treks after that,still going strong.Many trekkers are absolute fans of  Quechua Forclaz 500 ,India’s most popular trekking boots  .A bigger investment, but it gives you good grip and is,very very good in protecting your feet from getting wet .
  • Traction: TPU Essensole sole with 5 mm lugs for good grip.
  • Cushioning: Full foot PU midsole: durable and high-performance.
  • Waterproof: Breathable and waterproof Novadry® membrane keeps your feet dry.
  • Stability: High upper with two hooks on top provide excellent support on any terrain.
ggg 
        


Buy at Snapdeal


Bata hunter shoes are a low cost option, good for two treks maximum. Has rubber soles with deep grooves , for good grip. However it doesn't offer water proof factor, so as you are trekking  through snow, your feet are bound to get wet.A solution for this problem is  to carry a multiple pair of socks.
BATA HUNTER SHOES






Cost max 700 Rs.
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Socks : Woolen and Cotton


Normal quality cotton socks,4 pairs
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Woolen socks Keep one pair of thick woolen socks (available in any hillstation market) for use only when you are inside the sleeping bag.
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Thermal Inners
This is a absolute must ,because of the light weight but the warmth it provides you,in Himalayan cold.Buy the top and bottom set in the right size.I have put good brand names,which offer good quality product.
Women


MEN
                                                                              
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T-SHIRTS
Bring 2 pcs ,1 for wearing on trek ,other for backup if you get wet.Avoid white/light colour.They get dirty easily
My choice : A quick drying ,one made of  Synthetic fabric.Which  means reduced drying time and transfers moisture out quickly ,keeping you dry. Throughout the trek, for many treks.



http://www.snapdeal.com/product/wildcraft-womens-hiking-tshirt-green/629039247527#bcrumbSearch:Hiking%20T-Shirt?utm_source=aff_prog&utm_campaign=afts&offer_id=17&aff_id=13089 



Women's Tshirt Rs.699 only
Women's Tshirt Rs.699 only
  
Men Tshirt Rs.699 only
Men Tshirt Rs.699 only

Men's Tshirt Rs.1381 only
Men's Tshirt Rs.1381 only



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Track pants


.Bring maximum 2 pcs ,1 for wearing on trek ,other for backup if you get wet.Avoid white/light colour.They get dirty easily.
My choice would last you many treks  are Extremely quick drying and fairly robust, a useful feature to have when you have arrived after a rainy day trek to your camp. You could simply change to a spare track pant and hang up the wet ,quick drying pants ,in the morning it would have dried! These are worth the money,I spent while buying it.It has lasted me many long treks. 

For men:

              
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 Woolens
The winters temperatures easily drop to subzero temperatures.Ensure the jacket you bring ,will perform well in these conditions.
My choice
I have listed men and women here.Pick the right size .This investment will keep you toasty and warm in the trek and winters back home.
MEN
     
WOMEN
     
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  Rain coat 
Himalayan weather is unpredictable so be prepared to protect yourself from getting wet.
Low cost option: Buy a huge plastic sheet and fold it to cover yourself like a rain sheet.You need to hold the rain sheet together through out the trek.
My choice : A lightweight Raincoat top  with hood and rain pant set.To keep me dry throughout the trek. 

      
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  Sun Cap + Woolen cap
Gives you shade from sunshine .Protect your neck also by covering behind with a handkerchief
Woolen for Men                        Woolen for Women
                                                                         
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  Gloves 
A better quality glove, which would last you many treks.Below one is not totally waterproof.Best one is Gloves with gore tex material .


http://www.snapdeal.com/product/wedze-access-adult-ski-gloves/684759154083#bcrumbSearch:gloves|bcrumbLabelId:160?utm_source=aff_prog&utm_campaign=afts&offer_id=17&aff_id=13089
A little water resistant
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For the Ladies





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Neck warmer

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Waterproof cover for turbans
Water proof cover for turban
Click to buy it
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Bandana 
To protect face from dust and grime during trek.



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Towel
Only for wiping yourself after a face wash, how about just carrying a small hand towel or a lighter big towel. Listed here are quick drying towels. 
    

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Electrol
Packets to add to your water bottle that contain high levels of Vitamin C, electrolytes and minerals. Good for the added stress on your body.


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Energy bars. 
 There should be very less or no sugar.Honey is a great substitute for sugar



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Lip balm  with SPF 15 protection


 
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Dishwasher liquid 

 and a scrubber. Needed to wash your mess tin, in the mountains.transfer to a small bottle enough for 28 days

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Body moisturizer
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Nail clipper










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  Water Bottle





    Or  another option is a water bottle with an inbuilt filter

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    Sunscreen
    SPF 30 and if possible waterproof one.It helps when you are sweating,the sunscreen remains on skin,if waterproof instead of trickling away.
     


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      Pen knife 
    If you are buying a knife THE best standard is this one.It has a useful tool for handling blisters.(good for trekkers).There are many other models you can choose in the link.

     
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      Sewing kit
    Imagine a situation your only rucksack has torn.Simply open your sewing kit and do a temporary repair ,which will last, until you’re back to basecamp.
    To repair  torn shoes,torn backpack or clothes . Carry Buttons
    Various Size Needles ,Duct Tape – To add strength to torn fabric before sewing. Braided fishing line, Nylon Thread or dental floss – Much stronger than regular thread.
    Shoe Goo – This stuff is great for repairing shoes, waders, rubber boots, and torn backpack.

     
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      Sunglasses
    To help protect from snow blindness.Sun shine reflects from snow and reaches your eyes.Choose sunglasses that effectively block out the sun’s UV rays from all possible reflective surfaces. If you are traveling in the conditions that can cause snow blindness, you will likely need full-coverage or wrap-style sunglasses that prevent light from entering at the sides. Choose polarized or dark, mirror-coated sunglasses for the best results.Any shades with uv protection  is good.Here's a link below to UV protected goggles collection Sunglasses 
    LANYARD  
    Prescription Lenses For the Adventurer
Its a very common question in the mountains for those wearing prescribed spectacles in their daily life. Well there 3 solutions to it.
    1. Wear a good covering CAT 3/4 sunglass over your specs. It is a cheap and easy solution if you will be venturing in the outdoors for just few days, and less frequently in a year. Some brands call theses FITOVERS
    1. Using Polarized 'clip-ons' or 'flip-ons' over your regular specs. These fit on the nose bridge and are an easy solution. Check with your optician.
    1. If you are a frequent mountain visitor, or usually go for longer treks, have your glasses customized from a good optician. Your requirement should be your eye power + CAT 4 UV protection. Other factors like polarized lenses, photochromatic lens, tint colour, nose grip, temple padding, side shield can be customized. Lots of online companies sell it as prescribed sunglasses or powered sunglasses in India.
 ** Contact Lenses are a hassle in the mountains while you are trekking and hence it is not advisable. Go for sunglasses over specs or prescribed sunglasses. 
  logo_68spec
      -----------------------------------------------
      Vaseline
    Every gram of weight counts when you are trekking in Himalayas.Instead of vaseline bottle  for moisturizing and another one for lipbalm .
    My choice: Carry a single Small pack,you can use as lip balm also .

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      Soap
       Facewash and Paper soap to use in camps


    2. Buy small sachets of your toiletries,like shampoo,toothpaste,conditioner etc. Why carry a huge bottle of it,which would last you atleast 2 months for a week long trip.There are things which aren’t sold in sachet packs ,for those items ,try this trick to minimize weight.

    p1010879
     
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       Toilet Paper
      In case water isn't available in higher camps.

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      Tissues
    Facewipes,these wet tissues are so refreshing during a trek.Ok ,Ok this is not a must have,but I love these facewipes so much,had to list it too.  :)


     
     
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      Medicines (First Aid kit)
    Important : First pack your personal medicines.

    Next pack  medicines for
    Cold,Cough,Fever,Headaches,Crepe Bandage for sprains,Volini spray for fast relief,Band Aids,Antiseptic cream,Combiflam for easing pains,Anti vomiting tablets.

    There will be a medical kit available in campsites,but always be on the safe side and carry your own supply.
     

    -----------------------------------------------
      Camera and Memory cards
     
    I see ,on many  treks,passionate photographers carrying their tripods along too.I’m just getting into photography too,so I understand the lure of a tripod.However,before bringing ur tripod ask yourself. is your rucksack super light, much lighter than others ? Because others aren’t carrying Tripods,only you are carrying that extra weight.Do not over burden yourself.The most important thing here is to enjoy the trek.Think honestly ,is a tripod absolutely necessary? You decide. Carry empty memory cards(if possible extra batteries), which you will happily fill in the trek :) Wishing your photos, many Facebook likes ahead.Do share your favourite photos with me at me@hiteshkumar.com

    I’m sure you have your own favorite camera
    My favorite point & shoot camera ,designed specifically for adventurers like us is Nikon Coolpix  AW130
    16 MP--5x optical zoom and 10x* Dynamic Fine Zoom--Built-in Wi-Fi--Full HD 1080/60i movie recording--with 5-Axis Hybrid VR (Vibration Reduction)--Waterproof*1 down to 30 m/100 ft-- shockproof*2 to a drop of 2.1 m/7 ft-- freezeproof down to -10°C/14°F

     

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    Torch

    Most probably ,there will be no electricity at any higher camps during treks,U can pack  any light weight torch.Carry extra batteries.
    My choice is buy a hand charging one which doesn't depend on batteries.Its a dependable light source.But not very strong light. Hand Pressing Flash Light - No Battery No Bulb, Simply Shake to Recharge .
       

    The best option of course is a  headlamp  giving u freedom to use your hands.very helpful when in a dark tent and searching through your back pack  for chocolates.





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    Camera Batteries

    Charging options during the course are bare minimum or non existent








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    Small Lock
     




    For keeping your locker at HMI hostel safe.
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    Writing Material (Ball Point Pen & Diary)
    ok any simple diary and pen would do,however this classy leather bound makes it memorable)






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    Backpack cover 
    For protecting your backpack from getting wet
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      WALKING pole   
    Helps in maintaining balance and brings stability.


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    Pickles ,Chutney ,snacks etc.



    The food can always be spiced upto your homely favorite taste with this
    (plastic small sachets are best,avoid big glass bottles) 


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      Powerbank

    Somehow there is mobile network coverage in your camp site.You want to talk to your family  or  update your amazing  trek photos on Facebook ,but there is no battery left in your mobile .Awwww , Get a fully charged powerbank on your trek.



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