We’re Opening Assisted DIY Treks At Indiahikes

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We’re Opening Assisted DIY Treks At Indiahikes

Do-it-yourself treks with Trek Leader

Category Diy Treks Guides To Choose Treks

By Swathi Chatrapathy


Last month, a team of four trekkers went on the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek with Indiahikes. 

But it was not an Indiahikes trek like you know it. They were taking part in an Indiahikes Assisted DIY trek. There were only four trekkers, one trek leader, and a mule to help with the load. 

This was the first of our "Assisted DIY Treks." 

Together, the 5-member team navigated the trail, cooked for themselves, set up camp where they wanted, paced the trek as per their comfort, and more or less trekked how they wanted. 

These were five strangers trekking together in the heart of the Himalayas.

The Assisted DIY team trekking together at Ali Bedni Bugyal. Picture by Vrunal

When we met them after their trek, the five were thick as thieves, almost inseparable. And even though this was among their first treks, they had grown to be tough as nails. They felt like they could tackle any trek on their own from now on. 

Almost in chorus, all four of them said that after this assisted DIY experience, they could not return to a regular trek. 

We noticed similar reactions when trekkers joined us on assisted DIY treks to Tamenglong in Manipur and Warwan valley in Kashmir.

Register for Assisted DIY Trek to Kedarkantha

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What is the difference between a regular Indiahikes trek and an Assisted DIY trek?

A DIY trek, as the name suggests, is a Do-It-Yourself trek. You manage everything — you set up camp where you want to, you cook your own meals, you navigate the trail using GPS maps, and you trek at your own pace. 

A Trek Leader from Indiahikes accompanies you on the trek. Their job is to look into your safety. They carry all emergency safety equipment, including life-saving drugs. If you find it challenging to navigate the trail, the Trek Leader steps in. 

The Trek Leader is as much a part of the DIY trek as the others. It is true that the Trek Leader is in charge of the team, but their role is more consultative than authoritative.

Do you carry all the gear for the trek, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking utensils, on a DIY trek?

No, you don’t. That's why you're accompanied by mules. Mules carry heavy equipment like tents, sleeping bags, and kitchen equipment. The rest of your personal equipment is carried by you. 

As a single person, can I join the Assisted DIY Trek?

Yes, that’s the whole idea behind the assisted DIY trek. We want you to trek on your own. However, you may not always have a friend circle or a group of people who want to do this with you. So even if you are a single person, you can join our group of DIY trekkers. All of you come together on the trek, make friends with each other, and then do the trek on your own. 

In all our DIY treks, we have seen that the bonds and friendships formed are almost unbreakable. This is the most important takeaway from a DIY trek.
Note: You may register for your trek with your friends and family too :)

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In November 2021, Indiahikes team set off the explore a new route to Gidara Bugyal. They trekked purely in DIY style.

Apart from the Trek Leader, who else from Indiahikes would join the team? 

Apart from the Indiahikes Trek Leader, no one else will join the team. There aren’t going to be any helpers, porters, or cooks. You are doing the trek on your own, without any support. Yes, if you are accompanied by a mule, the mule man also joins the team. 

What about cooking? How do we light a fire? We have never done this before!

The Indiahikes DIY cooking and food kits are sent with you on your trek. All meals are accounted for. For most meals, you only need light cooking. You use our DIY stove and our DIY gas canisters (they're the size of perfume bottles). 

Cooking on the DIY trek is one of the best experiences on the trek. Trekkers chat, bond, and share a lot of laughter while cooking.

Keeping this extraordinary experience in mind, we are officially launching Assisted DIY Treks.

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Indiahikes team cooking using DIY stove and DIY gas canister on the Ala Kul Lake trek in Kyrgyzstan.

Whom is this trek meant for?

This is not going to be a regular Indiahikes trek. This will be a completely Do-It-Yourself way of trekking.

As a DIY trekker, we would be trekking freestyle. This would mean that right from setting up campsites, cooking meals, finding trails, digging toilet pits, we are going to do this together as a team.

As a member of the team you are going to be assigned tasks to do. Along with camp duties you may have to map the trail, or photograph, or take videos or find a new trail. Some other team members may be collecting stories about culture and folklore from the local villages. Others may be digging into the history, geography and geology of the region.

You'll be carrying your own equipment. Of course, we do it with the new lightweight DIY camping gear of Indiahikes. But expect your backpack to weigh about 12 kg.

How we will assist?

For these specialised DIY treks we would provide your with a navigation kit, a camping kit and a food kit. Apart from this, a trained Indiahikes Trek Leader would also accompany you on the trek.

The Navigation Kit contains

  • Detailed documentation of the trek
  • A GPX file of the trail, including marked waypoints

We have made sure that, with the kit, you do not need a guide to show you the way.

The detailed documentation will also guide you on what to look out for, where to camp, water sources, and key highlights.

With the documentation, it is like your Trek Leader is walking along with you. 

The Camping Kit comes with

  • Crosstrek Lite Expedition tents
  • Lightweight sleeping bags (-10 °C)
  • Mats and groundsheets
  • A shovel
  • Safety equipment (microspikes and gaiters + oximeter)
  • Kitchen kit (with required vessels + a camping stove and gas canisters)

The Food Kit has specially made dehydrated and premixed food used on expeditions

This kit is marked out, and you will get an instruction manual on how to cook your food. Each day’s kit has your

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

These food kits do not require cooking. To prepare your meals, you just need to add warm water, which is ready to eat.

Our R&D team has specially designed the menu. It is exactly what you need on a trek. It does not resemble home or restaurant food.

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Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.

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