Camping is a recreational (and oftentimes laid-back) activity pursued outdoors, away from cities and towns and in the lap of nature, with fresh air and (occasionally) wildlife for company. One can set up a tent, or live in a caravan, camper-van or motor-home when camping. But the classic camping trip involves toughing it out in tents – and at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Camping can be – and usually is – combined with other adventure activities, such as hiking/trekking, fishing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, giving one the ultimate outdoors experience. It can be an individual pursuit, but is often done in the company of friends and family. It’s a pastime that can be enjoyed by the young and the old. Camping is also a convenient option for those attending music festivals or sports gatherings. While camping has moved on from its rough-and-ready, back-to-nature origins, hardy folks are still willing to rough it out in the wilderness, no matter how conspiratorial the elements might be. But for families, with kids in tow, camping is the perfect activity for a vacation.
Mountaineering/Expeditions in India
In the past few years, India has emerged as a popular destination among adventure lovers. While some adventure sports like scuba diving, snorkelling and paragliding are new, others like trekking and skiing have had quite a history in the country. A large part of North India has mountainous terrain and also houses some of the highest peaks of the world, which make it ideal for on-foot excursions. Mountaineering in India allows you to enjoy the sport while you explore the mesmerising beauty of the region.
The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand are among the most popular places where mountaineering adventures in India can be experienced. These places are filled with verdant mountains that seem painted white with snow all through the year. Mountaineering India also lets you try climbing the mountains, considered as tough to be scaled. These jaunts take you to a height of thousands of feet and treat you to some enchanting natural views.
The Indian culture and traditions have always fascinated tourists and drawn hordes to the country. Mountaineering expeditions in India are also preferred by tourists as they provide insight into the vibrant culture of the locals. These treks take you across various villages, allowing you to communicate with the inhabitants and learn about their lives.
While the sport has a long history in the rest of the world, mountaineering in India only became popular after an Englishman, named Arthur Foot, took the initiative. He was a member of a trekking club, and when he was invited to India to head a school, he brought the sport with him. Since then, the activity has gained a lot of fame among tourists as well as among locals. The vast hilly region in the northern part of the country provides great locations for mountaineering adventures in India. Numerous ranges and peaks present here guarantee the satisfaction of any climber. You can opt for an easy trek like a walk to Roopkund, during which you will enjoy treading leisurely to an awe-inspiring lake.
Hiking in India offers world-class hiking opportunities, particularly in the Himalaya, where staggering views of snow-clad peaks, traditional tribal villages, sacred Hindu sites, ancient Buddhist monasteries and blazing fields of wildflowers are just some of the features that make for extraordinary alpine experiences. Routes range in difficulty from easy half-day jaunts to strenuous multiweek expeditions. With a commercial trekking industry that’s far less developed than in neighbouring Nepal, many places still feel wild and relatively unspoiled, and thrillingly scenic treks can take you into magical roadless villages, through craggy gorges and across dazzlingly stark mountain passes.
Being a soft-adventure sport, almost anyone in reasonable physical condition can go trekking. To get initiated into trekking begin with day hikes, returning to your starting point in the evening. Move on to a multi-day trek which is relatively easy, in order to get to know your ability and aptitude. You can venture into the mountains with an experienced trekker, join an adventure club, or go with a reputed adventure travel company. It is not a good idea to venture out into the mountains alone – unless you happen to be a distant relative of the mythical Himalayan yeti (or an aspiring Reinhold Messner, the first person in the world to have climbed all fourteen 8000m peaks, including the first oxygen-less ascent and later the first solo ascent of Everest).
A basic knowledge of camp craft, map reading and first aid is essential before you go trekking. It’s a good idea to do an adventure course from one of the mountaineering/ adventure institutes in India. A basic course in mountaineering and a first-aid course are recommended if you decide to take it up more seriously and trek to remote/high-altitude areas. Get as much information about the trekking area as possible – the people, their culture, the geography, terrain, medical/rescue facilities and weather conditions – before you go.