Ali Bedni Bugyal – Camping Trek For Teens

Perfect For Experiential Learning During The Summer Vacations
Difficulty
Difficulty
Easy
Duration
Duration
8 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
11,686 ft ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

Summer Camping Trek for Teens

In our years of experience as a trekking organisation, we have observed that adults imbibe lessons from the outdoors on a daily basis. Children are much more receptive to the world in their growing years. The window period of 12 – 16 years is a  perfect time to inculcate valuable lessons from trekking which will stay with them throughout their lives.

Our Summer Camping Trek Program is exclusively for those between the ages of 12 and 16. It is specially designed to learn wilderness survival skills and in the process develop a stronger feeling of self-confidence, the ability to communicate and work in teams, and become more resilient

They form special bonds of meaningful friendship with each other. They also develop a strong relationship with nature and become more responsible as human beings.

Teen Trek Indiahikes

 

Ali-Bedni Bugyal Trek is perhaps our most ideal trek for teens. Every campsite is unique and located at just the right distance from the other making the trek a perfect balance of trekking as well as camping. Mountain views and alpine meadows like these are hard to find elsewhere at such ease.

This initiative is under the Experiential Learning Programme.

How Is It Different From A Regular Trek?

Summer Camping treks are exclusively for children between the ages of 12-16.

Apart from the experience of the trek they also have activities that lead to learning experientially. These are activities that are specially designed and facilitated on the trail as well as the campsites.

On the first day, we organise the teens into teams. They will be responsible for all camp-related activities and switch roles every day.

Picture by Geet Tryambake

Here’s a peek into what the teams do:

  • The Green Trails team ensures that everyone are engaged with keeping the trails and campsites clean. They oversee waste segregation. They see to it that the toilets and washing areas are set up and clean.
  • The Cooking team assists the cook and helps in serving all meals. They ensure that all eat well and there is no wastage.
  • The Trek Leader Assistants team assists the Trek Leader. They aid those who are struggling or need any help on the trail as well as at the campsites.

Apart from team responsibilities are the activities that have been designed for the program.

Reflections at the end of each day will allow children to contemplate their learnings and experiences of the day. It’s a time of introspection and gratitude.

Here’s a quick itinerary of the summer camping trek:

Day 1: Drive from Rishikesh to Lohajung
Day 2: Trek to Didina
Day 3: Camping at Didina
Day4: Trek to Abin Kharak
Day 5: Camping at Abin Kharak
Day 6: Trek to  Bedni Bugyal and down to Gherauli
Day 7: Return to Lohajung
Day 8: Drive back to Rishikesh

Will My Child Be Safe on the trek?

We understand that trekking with your child may cause you to worry about their safety. All our past family trekkers however have always found our treks to be safe.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions we receive from parents.

  – Who will ensure safety on the trek?

Our Trek Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders.  They have been trained in wilderness survival and emergency medical aid. They are capable of taking care of any emergency on a trek. Our staff is constantly in touch with each other through radio communication to ensure that all the children and safe and sound.

  – What safety gear do you carry? 

We carry fully stocked high-altitude first aid kits, oxygen cylinders, ropes, and stretchers. In addition to this, these treks have easily accessible exit routes for any emergency evacuation.   Click on this link to watch a video about what equipment we use.

– How do I prepare my children for a Himalayan Trek?

Active preparation is important for any trek, especially for children. Watch this video on how to get children trek fit. 

Also, remember to pack the right things for the trek.

In 2018 alone, we have taken 943 children below 18 years of age on our Himalayan treks. This is not counting the 1000+ school students we have taken on local and Himalayan treks.

There is no doubt that children naturally learn more in the outdoors. The joyful memories created and the natural learning experienced can last a lifetime!

 

Here’s a quick itinerary of the summer camping trek:

Day 1: Drive from Rishikesh to Lohajung
Pickup will be arranged from Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh at 6 am.
Fare for 5-7 seater cab will be Rs. 6,000 per vehicle and the cost of a 12 seater Tempo Traveller is Rs. 9,000.
You may opt to book your airport pick-up and stay at Rishikesh with Indiahikes for a cost of 2500 per person/one way.
Day 2: Trek to Didina
Day 3: Camping at Didina
Day4: Trek to Abin Kharak
Day 5: Camping at Abin Kharak
Day 6: Trek to  Bedni Bugyal and down to Gherauli
Day 7: Return to Lohajung
Day 8: Drive back to Rishikesh

Plan Your Travel for the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek

It is great to see you going on the Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek, a grand buffet of our greatest treks. While it is a great trek to do, you need to get your travel plan worked out perfectly.

Ali Bedni Travel Indiahikes

Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.  

1. Here’s a quick view on how to plan your travel

Day 0: Book your air ticket to Delhi or Dehradun. If Dehradun, proceed to Rishikesh. If Delhi, book night train/bus to Dehradun/Rishikesh. 

Day 1: Rishikesh to Lohajung drive. It is an 11-12 hour drive from Dehradun/Rishikesh. Lohajung is the basecamp for your trek. 

We organise transport to Lohajung from Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh. Our vehicles leave at 6:00 am sharp from Rishikesh. The cab costs Rs.6,000 per vehicle for an SUV and Rs 9,000 for a Tempo Traveler.

Day 2 to Day 5: Trek days

Day 6: Depart from Lohajung. You will reach Rishikesh between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm. The cab costs Rs.6,000 for an SUV and Rs.9,000 for a Tempo Traveler.

| Important points to note:

While getting to Lohajung, we recommend you arrive a day earlier and stay at Rishikesh (Day Zero). Staying at Rishikesh gives you a well deserved rest for the night. Plus some bonus sightseeing.

Buffer Day: Keep a buffer day for emergencies. Your trek is 6 days long, but keep an extra 7th day as your buffer day. This is outside the itinerary. You cannot predict bad rain, landslides or a political situation on a trek. If you don’t use the buffer day on the trek, you can always use it for sightseeing in Rishikesh, Haridwar or Mussoorie. 

Always book your return flight/train tickets after including the buffer day in your itinerary. 

Your travel route to the Lohajung basecamp passes through Rishikesh, Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag and Gwaldam. See map.


2. Planning your onward flight/train booking  

If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary. If your trek start day is 25 August, book your air tickets for 24 August to either Delhi/Dehradun. 

There are two options for your flight booking.

Option 1: Fly directly to Dehradun

We recommend this. It gives you an added rest day at Rishikesh. Most metros are directly connected to Dehradun. However, if the cost of the flight ticket to Dehradun is too high, book to Delhi and connect to Haridwar by train or Rishikesh by bus.

| Tip: Dehradun Airport in Jolly Grant is closer to Rishikesh than Dehradun. It is 20 km from Rishikesh and 35 km from Dehradun.  

The Dehradun airport is somewhat inconvenient when it comes to city connectivity (either to Rishikesh or Dehradun). Airport buses that ply between Rishikesh to Dehradun via airport run every hour. In our experience, the hour can stretch to even 1½ hours. 

Taxis are available from the airport (plenty). Prepaid taxis are available (look for the pre-paid taxi counter just out of the conveyor belt at the arrivals). You can also flag down a taxi (bargain a bit) with taxis outside the airport. Airport taxis are exorbitant. They usually charge between Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 to Rishikesh. 

Usually most passengers take taxis from the airport. Try to hook up with co-passengers on the flight for your taxi ride to Rishikesh.

Pro Tip: If you want to save real money try to catch an auto just outside the airport terminal complex. They usually come there to drop passengers off. Autos are not allowed to enter the airport complex. They charge approximately Rs 300 to Rishikesh. 

If autos are not available, walk for further 1.5 km to get to the Rishikesh Dehradun highway. From the highway you can flag down regular town buses or shared autos (shared autos are called Vikrams). Bus fare is about Rs 30 to Rishikesh. Shared autos charge about Rs 20.   

Option 2: Flying to Delhi followed by train / bus to Rishikesh

Flying to Delhi may be a lot cheaper than getting to Dehradun. Make sure to book a flight that reaches Delhi by 8.00 pm. You must arrive in Delhi on Day Zero and not on Day 1.

| Note: If you notice the difference in air ticket prices between Delhi and Dehradun less than Rs 1000 then book directly to Dehradun. The rest and shorter travel time is worth the difference.  

Next, book yourself in the Nanda Devi Express to Haridwar (Train No: 12401). It is a fully AC train that leaves at 23.45 hrs from Hazrat Nizamuddin and gets to Haridwar at 3.50 am in the morning.

Important info: Earlier the Nanda Devi express would depart from New Delhi railway station. From 26 Aug 2019, it leaves from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. The train now comes from Kota. So expect about 15 to 30 mins delay in arrival. The train number has changed too from 12206 to 12401.

For Metro train connectivity from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, take a metro to Dhaula Kuan metro station. Get off and walk down to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus metro station (there are convenient travelater belts over a skywalk). Take a metro to Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station over the pink line. It takes about 45 mins to an hour to get to Hazrat Nizamuddin over metro.

At Rishikesh, wait for Indiahikes pickup at 6.00 am. Contact your driver by 5.30 am. The number of your transport coordinator will be shared with you a week prior to your departure. 

! Caution: Do not book on any other train except the Nanda Devi Express. The other option, Mussoorie express, is notorious for its delay. Your pickup vehicle may leave without you. If you do not get tickets on the Nanda Devi Express, take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, but do not book on the Mussoorie express.

Pro Tip: Take the afternoon Jan Shatabdi express from New Delhi railway station (leaves at 15.20 pm) to arrive at Haridwar by 8.00 pm. Then take an immediate bus to get to Rishikesh by 9.30 pm (bus stand is opposite the railway station). Stay overnight at Rishikesh. Take the Indiahikes pickup the next morning directly from Rishikesh.

Bus to Rishikesh:

In case you do not get a train ticket, there are regular Volvo AC buses from Delhi’s ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Rishikesh. You also get Non-AC buses. Buses are frequent and not usually crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. Buses take 7-8 hours to get to Rishikeshfrom Delhi. AC bus tickets cost about Rs 700.


3. Planning your return flight/train booking

Booking your return tickets require some thought. First, always book your return ticket keeping in mind the buffer day. The buffer day must be included in your itinerary. If your trek ends on day 6, do not book your flight/train tickets for day 7. Instead book for day 8. Day 7 is your buffer day.

Next, if your onward flight departs from Delhi, then book flight tickets for Day 9. 

Sometimes trekkers worry if they can book an early morning flight out of Delhi on Day 9. Yes, you can. But book flights that depart only after 8 am. Do not book any flight between 6.00 and 8 am. You may not reach Delhi in time.

How to get to Delhi on time for an early morning flight

If your flight is early, say between 8.00 and 9.00 am, then there are two options. 

Train: Take the Nanda Devi Express from Haridwar (12402) that leaves Haridwar slightly past midnight (00.17 hrs) to get to Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station at 4.50 in the morning. From Hazrat Nizamuddin you get airport buses from outside the station as well as taxis.

For Metro train walk down to the Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station, take a metro to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus, get off and connect to Dhaula Kuan Airport line metro station (there are convenient travelater belts over a skywalk). From Dhaula Kuan you get metro train to the airport.

| Note: Earlier Nanda Devi express would arrive at New Delhi railway station. From 26 August 2019, it has been extended up to Kota. It no longer goes to New Delhi railway station. Instead it goes to Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. The train number has changed from 12206 to 12402.   

Bus: The other option is to take a bus from Haridwar. It is about 5½ – 6 hrs journey to Delhi. From Rishikesh add another hour to the journey. So if you take a bus that leaves around 9.00 pm, then expect to reach Delhi at around 3.00 am (ISBT Kashmiri Gate). A bus that leaves at 10 pm will reach Delhi around 4.00 am. AC Volvo buses are the fastest, so opt for them. Non AC buses can take up to 7-8 hrs for the journey. 

From Kashmiri Gate ISBT you get Airport buses or taxis.

| Note: Metro trains in Delhi do not start before 5.00 am.

If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun:

If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun then book yourself on Day 8. Most metro cities are now well connected by Dehradun by flight.


4. Planning your hotel/stay

While booking hotels on your return, always book your rooms assuming the buffer day is not being used. Assume the trek is going to run without any hiccups. So what happens if you use your buffer day on the trek? Unfortunately, then you’ll probably lose your hotel booking. So book hotels where you may not have to transfer money in advance. Even if you do, consider it better than missing out on the trek. In Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun it is not difficult to find last minute hotel booking if in case the buffer day is used.

Hotel options in Rishikesh

Zostel

Zostel is a modern backpackers hostel, excellent for women travelling alone. It has basic amenities such as bunk beds, towels, good bathroom. Entire premises is quite hygienic. Bathrooms are shared. Average cost Rs 400 – 800 per bed. Rooms start at about Rs 1,200.
Website: https://www.zostel.com/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


SK International

SK International which is next to Zostel is another good option. It has clean rooms with good amenities. Charges are about Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,200 per night.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MCfW3oNG7DdPFAtP6
Contact Number:
013-524-42943


Hotel Shiv Shakti

Shiv Shakti Hostel is another good, decent option at similar price range to Zostel. This is a hostel like Zostel. They also have rooms.
Location:
https://goo.gl/maps/nm8ikNY8EUWJ7Udw6.


Hotel options in Haridwar

Bedhubs

Bedhubs is a good bunk bed stay in Haridwar — which is rare amongst the Dharamshalas and Ashrams of Haridwar. It is quite close to the heart of the action at Haridwar, approximately 500 m from Har Ki Pauri, Ram Ghat. Charges are around Rs 800 -1,000
Contact number: 01334 224 567
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


 Hotel Radiant

Hotel Radiant near the Haridwar railway station has decent spacious rooms. Room rates are around Rs 750 for a non AC room and Rs 1,050 for an AC room
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MCfW3oNG7DdPFAtP6
Contact Number:
9557155557 (Nitin Sharma)


Hotel Rahi

Hotel Rahi, a government owned GMVN property is fairly decent. Spacious but old building. Almost opposite the Haridwar railway station, just past the bus stop. Prices start at around Rs 700 for a room.
Contact number: +91-135-2431793
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nm8ikNY8EUWJ7Udw6.


Hotel options in Dehradun

Hotel Drona

Hotel Drona, which is a government property owned by the GMVN is decent. It is an old, but a large and spacious property. It is about 1.5 kms from Dehradun railway station. Rooms start at Rs 750.
Contact number: +91-135-2746847
Book online: http://gmvnl.in/newgmvn/online_reservation/
Location:
https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


 Nomads House

Nomads House is another new backpackers hostel in Dehradun. The atmosphere is good. The place neat and clean. Indiahikes trek leaders love Nomads House. It is about 10 mins from the Dehradun railway station. Bunk beds start at Rs 400, rooms start at Rs 800. Shared autos are easily available to get to Nomads House.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MCfW3oNG7DdPFAtP6
Contact Number:
9760596464


MyRoom252

MyRoom252 is a new backpackers facility in Dehradun. Modern, colourful and clean. Bunk beds start at Rs 300. Rooms are available too. It is not too far from the Dehradun Railway station. Shared autos (which are called Vikrams) can get you there.
Contact number: 086308 81083
Website: http://www.myroom252.com/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nm8ikNY8EUWJ7Udw6.


5. What if you miss the Indiahikes pickup? Getting to Lohajung on your own

If you miss the Indiahikes pick up from Rishikesh. Here is how you can get to Lohajung base camp on your own.

Option 1: Delhi → Lohajung (24 hours)
There is a direct bus from Delhi to Mundoli/Lohajung. It leaves Delhi Anand Vihar terminal at 9.15 pm. You will reach Kathgodam at 4.00 am and Lohajung at 5.30 pm.

Note: This is an extremely long and tiring journey and the buses are not too comfortable. We recommend Options 2 and 3.

Option 2: Delhi → Rishikesh → Lohajung (cab)
From Delhi, get to Rishikesh/Haridwar and hire a Sumo to Lohajung. The route: Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karanprayag – turn right to Tharali – Debal – Mundoli – Lohajung

Note: Most taxi operators may not have heard of Lohajung. So, you’ll have to show them the direction as given above.

Option 3: Delhi → Rishikesh → Karanprayag → Lohajung (bus)
From Rishikesh Bus Stand., take any bus on the Joshimath/Badrinath route and buy a ticket to Karanprayag. It is a 6-7 hour journey from Rishikesh to Karanprayag. Take a bus that leaves as early in the morning as possible, preferably around 6.00 am. From Karanprayag Bus Stand, take a shared Jeep to Tharali (47 km). The road to Tharali runs along the Pindar river.

From Tharali, take a shared taxi to Debal (14 km). Once you reach Debal, you can arrange onward transport to Lohajung (24 km).

Network Connectivity
At the base camp Lohajung and at Bedni Bugyal, all network signal is available. Intermittent signal at Gehroli Patal.

– How do I prepare my children for a Himalayan Trek?

Active preparation is important for any trek, especially for children. Watch this video on how to get children trek fit. 

Also, remember to pack the right things for the trek.

In 2018 alone, we have taken 943 children below 18 years of age on our Himalayan treks. This is not counting the 1000+ school students we have taken on local and Himalayan treks.

There is no doubt that children naturally learn more in the outdoors. The joyful memories created and the natural learning experienced can last a lifetime!

Things to get for the Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek

Ali Bedni Bugyal is a high altitude trek with snow. In winter, the temperatures drop to negative temperatures. You’ll need enough warm layers and accessories to keep you warm and help you trek comfortably. So pay careful attention to this entire section. 

First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.

1. Trekking Shoes

Ali Bedni Bugyal trek requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.

| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.

| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean. Rent here.

2. Backpack

For a trek like Ali Bedni Bugyal, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.

| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from. 

| Rental: The 48 litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack. Rent here.

3. Clothes

Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take take off or put on layers as required. 

Base layer: 3 T-shirts

Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.

Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.

| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is a blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)

| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.

| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space, since you’re already carrying them. 

5 insulation layers in winter

The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek is primarily a winter trek. If you’re going any time between December and March, you will need at least 5 warm layers.

You will need 1 pair of inner thermals, 2 light fleece layers, 1  light sweater and 1  padded jacket. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.

For your outer later, a padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.

| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.

| Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.  

| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available on rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter. Rent here.

Two trek pants

Two pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry one just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings / rain.

| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.

| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trek pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup. 

Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.

These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Ali Bedni Bugyal without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first. 

1. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. On a trek like Ali Bedni Bugyal, expect to walk on long stretches of snow. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection

| Wearing tip: Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section you must absolutely never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.

| Buying Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.  

| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.

| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens. Read this article for more guidance on managing contact lenses on treks.

 2. Suncap

A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sun strokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance. 

| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woolen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.

| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sun burns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way. 

3. Synthetic hand gloves

On a trek like Ali Bedni Bugyal you are going to be handling snow quite a bit. You’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself in snow. You also want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.   

4. Woollen cap or Balaclava

Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. Which is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.

Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is absolutely essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woolen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head. 

5. Socks (3 pairs)

Apart from two sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry.

As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug in the night. If you cannot get woolen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well. 

6. Headlamp

Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles. 

| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.

7. Trekking pole (a pair)

Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek there are steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.

| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available on rent on the Indiahikes store. Rent here.

8. Rainwear

On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing. 

| Pro tip: Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.  

| Rental: High grade ponchos are available on rent on the Indiahikes store. Rent here.

9. Rain cover for your backpack

Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes, your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built in rain-covers. If your back pack does not have a rain-cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.  

| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.

10. Daypack (20-30 ltrs, optional)

Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a mule on the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek. While we do not encourage this practice, in case you opt for offloading, then carrying a daypack is mandatory. In your daypack you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites. 

A daypack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not daypacks. Do not get them. 

Other mandatory requirements

1. A toilet kit

Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.

| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.

| Pro tip: Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Ali Bedni Bugyal. 

| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose your sanitary waste.

2. Cutlery

Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leak proof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, bacteria to settle on your cutlery. Incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.  

| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at the highest. 

| Two 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre hydration pack: Ali Bedni Bugyal has many hours of trekking everyday (approximately 6 hours). You need to carry two one litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.   

| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store. Rent here.

3. Plastic covers

Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.

Useful videos to help you with your gear:

Personal medical kit

Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader

  1. Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend down to Yamunotri. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek.    
  2. Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
  3. Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one half hour before the start of your road journey.
  4. Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol. 
  5. Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS. 
  6. ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking.  Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
  7. Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.

Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.

| Pro tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.   

Mandatory Documents to carry

These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.

  1. Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.  
  2. Disclaimer certificate. This is a legal requirement. Download the PDF, read carefully and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during registration at the base camp – Download PDF
  3. Medical certificate. There are two sections in this. The first part must be filled by a practising doctor. The second part must be filled by you. Without the medical certificate the forest department will not issue permissions for your trek. It is also a requirement by Indiahikes – Download PDF

| Pro tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet. 

Will My Child Be Safe on the trek?

We understand that trekking with your child may cause you to worry about their safety. All our past family trekkers however have always found our treks to be safe.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions we receive from parents.

  – Who will ensure safety on the trek?

Our Trek Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders.  They have been trained in wilderness survival and emergency medical aid. They are capable of taking care of any emergency on a trek. Our staff is constantly in touch with each other through radio communication to ensure that all the children and safe and sound.

  – What safety gear do you carry? 

We carry fully stocked high-altitude first aid kits, oxygen cylinders, ropes, and stretchers. In addition to this, these treks have easily accessible exit routes for any emergency evacuation.   Click on this link to watch a video about what equipment we use.

 

 

The Indiahikes Special Covid Cancellation Policy 

We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that. 

This is why we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.

This policy is effective for registrations starting January 5, 2021.

| Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date

– Cancellation upto 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a complete cash refund (minus 4% transaction fee). The money is refunded to the same bank account, credit or debit card from where payment was made. 

– Cancellation during the last 6 days before the start date of the trek, and not counting the day of the trek — Full refund with 100% of the trek fee in the form of an Indiahikes Trek Voucher. Valid for 1 year from date of issue. Can be used on any Indiahikes trek. 

– Cancellation on the start day of the trek, or no show on the start day of the trek — Unfortunately, no refund. 

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable. 

| In the rare event that we cancel a trek, this is the policy we follow:

We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, or government orders, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable. 

| The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)

There are some thoughts and ideologies that we hold close to our hearts.

1. As trekkers, there are times when we have to let go of a trek midway. Sometimes we fall ill, or get hit by AMS or at times simply fatigue pulls us down. At other times bad weather plays spoilsport, or the trail is blocked. It can happen that your Trek Leader sends you down due to a safety or health issue.

At Indiahikes we feel terrible when such an event happens.

Should such a situation occur that you have to drop out from this trek, we want you to know that we feel as bad as you do. You can always come back another time and finish your adventure. For this you do not have to pay Indiahikes any money.

2. On the other hand, there are times when you fall in love with a trek. So much so that you want to do it again, perhaps see it in another season. If you ever desire to do a trek again, please do so. You don’t have to pay Indiahikes any money for repeating this trek. Just inform your Experience Coordinator who will guide you through a special internal process. 

Our only request: Just register for your trek in advance – you know how it is with our groups – they get booked in advance.

Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply to our international treks.

If you cancel any rental gear from our store:

  • Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a full refund minus 4% transaction charges.
  • Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a voucher for the whole amount. This voucher is applicable on all our future treks.

If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:  

The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge. 

If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee. 

| How to cancel your trek: 

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps. 

  1. Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link
  2. Find your upcoming trek on your home page. 
  3. Click on “Cancel Trek” 
  4. Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
  5. Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable). 
  6. Click on “Cancel Booking” 

How long does the refund process take?

After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.

If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.

What is a Trek Voucher?

Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.

Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable. 

How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?

If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek. 

Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Experience Coordinator. 

Available dates

We will open up dates shortly. Click here to see other similar treks that might have dates.

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