Trekking For Beginners - All You Need To Know

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Trekking is the new craze among millennials. If you have ever been on a walk in the morning, you see how refreshing it is for the rest of the day. Now imagine you are walking in the exotic Himalayan mountain or mystic rain forests of Kerala, or the sensual beauty of the seven sisters in the northeast. Now you can feel how much energy boost you will get and an excellent chance to connect with nature as well as you.

So trekking is basically to go on an adventurous journey typically on foot. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is essential to get away from our hectic life, to discover a new dimension of nature. It works like magic for most of us, and it recharges and prepares you to come back to your busy lifestyle again and fight it with a whole new level of energy.

So, if you have you been planning to go on an adventure to hike to trek, Then you have come to the right place, and I am here to guide you through it and prepare you mentally for this incredible journey which you will encounter.

But first, let’s discuss the basics of trekking. You should at least know what you are getting into. So that you can choose what to try for a beginner, let me tell you what are the types of trekking so you can evaluate how much preparation you will need.

Types of trekking

Trekking is a very generic word for the type of trekking. There are three types of a trek, i.e. easy, moderate and hard one.

Easy trek- Generally an easy trek involves about a couple of days and with easy terrain. It mostly includes a stretch of 5 to 6 kilometers a day. A good example will be Ooty Katagiri, which can stretch over a weekend.

Moderate Trek- This type of trek needs a certain level of stamina as it includes some days walking in more tough terrain. You might get steep ascend as well as descend. It brings more challenges for the trekker. An excellent example for such trek is the Hampta Pass trek in the Pir Panjal range.

Hard Trek- Such treks mostly stretch for a week, and it is the most difficult one as this type of trek requires physical stamina as well as mental stamina. It involves deep valleys and high altitude (15000 feet and above). The trek to Everest Base Camp which reaches up to a height of more than 17, 500 feet is one such trek.

Preparing yourself for trekking

There most important thing which you need to prepare before going on a trek is building stamina. To prepare yourself for trekking, start walking one month before going on a trek. It will strengthen your leg muscles so you will not get cramps often. If you are a smoker, then it is time to quit smoking right away as it will be a huge help. Because when you go on a high altitude, then your lungs need to be at its prime to inhale proper oxygen. Because if you do not do so, then you will suffer from loss of breath and it will be difficult to keep up with the group, and you will become a burden on the group. I am telling this to you from my own experience, so time to say bye-bye to smoking.

These are a few things you can include in your daily life to prepare yourself.

  • Walk 4 to 5 kilometers a day. And some cardio as well.
  • If you go to the gym, then include some shoulder and back exercises to make them strong as you will be carrying a backpack.
  • You can try skipping to train your leg as it helped me personally.
  • Try breathing exercise- inhale and exhale. Minimum 10 minutes a day, it will prepare your lungs.

Things to carry while going on a trek

This is a tricky part because most people get confused about what should they carry on a trek because it is not like a typical vacation which you plan. Because you might have to carry some of the things while you are trekking(depending on your trek). So don’t worry, I am here to help you with the list of things you should carry with you.

  • Good rucksack with back support.
  • Tent and sleeping bags (depending on the temperature range of the place).
  • Layered clothes as in the mountains temperature flux are unpredictable. So pack light as well as a heavy jacket and a raincoat. Because in mountains rainfall is a usual occurrence.
  • Shoes- Invest in good trekking shoes because it will protect your foot in the harsh terrain. You wouldn’t want to have cuts or rashes on foot as it will be difficult for you to walk.
  • Full track pants to protect from unnecessary scratches and insect bites.
  • Water bottles- 2 liters bottle will be fine as you will need to keep hydrating yourself.
  • Flashlight with extra pair of batteries.
  • Camera or cell phone to capture your beautiful moments.
  • You can carry a Swiss knife as it will be helpful in tricky situations.
  • Sun-glass and sunscreen and a hat.
  • Sanitizer, tissue paper and wet wipes ( or you will have to use tree leaves which I will strongly advise not to use from my personal experience.)especially because you need to save drinking water because you will not get a toilet up there.
  • Medicines- if you have any essential medication, carry it with you. You can also keep paracetamol and cetirizine for cold or flu.
  • First aid kit- If you are with a group, then they will have a first aid kit, or you can also carry some bandage and cotton. Also, bring moov or volini spray in case you will hurt yourself accidentally.
  • Food- chocolate and energy bars you can carry for quick energy. You can also carry dry fruits, glucon-d and biscuits.

Some basic hacks to keep in mind

While you are on the trail, these hacks can help you manage yourself well as it has helped me so far-

  • Always pack light- Always pack light as you will be carrying these things with you so organise yourself well and take only essential things. Just pack a couple of pairs of clothes and quick to dry clothes will be better.
  • Distribute the loads among your fellow trekkers.
  • Carry a length of sturdy rope and swiss knife as it will help you in a tricky situation.
  • Carry a stick as it will help you walking and will keep you balanced.
  • Always drink water in small quantities always try to keep your mouth wet. Or you might start developing shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • You can also pack some packed games or a football or volleyball to enjoy your camping site.
  • Do not litter- always carry plastic or carry bag with you and keep your garbage in it because the ecosystem up there is very delicate, and it is our responsibility to keep it clean. Because we will be responsible if the next generation will not be able to see the beauty we are experiencing.
  • And some extra cash as it will help you in need.
  • Always ask questions to your local guide feel. Proceed ahead only if you are satisfied and clear. It will help you understand the demography and culture in that area. Always keep an open mind, never judge.
  • Always avoid any clashes with the locals as you will have a disadvantage in their area. My experience says people are friendly but keep in mind if something happens.

So keep these things in mind, and I believe that you will come back with a rich and loads of lifetime of memories. As a beginner, choose an easy trek to start. Ask many questions to your guide. My last advice will that do not think of it as a race grasp the nature and enjoy it. Sometimes just sit and stare at those valleys. Take it slow and steady, and nature will embrace you with open arms and will take you in a trance. Happy trekking.

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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

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If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.



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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

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Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 



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