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Safety at the Eco Hiking Programme
Category Outdoor Leadership Program Experiential Learning
By Lavanya Pangtey
We take safety on treks very seriously.
It is the only qualifier for conducting any Indiahikes trek, other than eco-friendly trekking. We have set a very high standard for safety and discipline and to achieve this, we have laid down some internal criteria.
Every Eco Hiking Programme excursion necessarily checks all of the following points:
We Choose Safe Hikes
All of Eco Hiking Programme excursions are safe hikes. They require no technical expertise and can be done by any person of any age.
We keep in mind that not every child has the same level of fitness. Therefore, only those routes that are easy to scale, yet pose a basic level of challenge, are opened for school children.
We Have Highly Trained Staff
Our staff is composed of professional certified Himalayan trekkers who have expertise in surviving the outdoors. All trek leaders have undergone Basic Life Support Training (BLS). They are also trained at handling children and have undergone intensive training to administer life saving first-aid measures out in the wild.
Trek Leader Devang briefs trekkers on Day 1 of the trek. Picture by: Vishnu Benne
The number of staff members in any hike is determined by the ratio of one Indiahikes staff for every ten students.
Nobody Gets Left Behind
At the Eco Hiking Programme, we strictly abide by the cardinal rules of hiking.
There is always a ‘Guide’ to lead the pack. His job is to ensure that all students walk behind him, and not ahead of him. At the back is the ‘Sweeper’. He ensures that no student is left behind. The Trek Leader supervises and ensures that everything goes smoothly and according to plan.
We Are Fully Equipped
Our inventory is fully equipped to operate in the mountains. From medical safety kits to radio communication, rest assured, your child is in safe hands.
– First aid kit: Because hiking is an outdoor activity, kids do trip and fall. Our first aid kit is equipped to deal with common and frequent injuries that occur on a hike. It includes ointments for cuts and bruises, musculoskeletal injury relief as well as dehydration, fatigue and pain reliefs. We carry Oxygen cylinders and stretchers in case of grave emergencies where the trekker need to be brought down from the mountain. But rest assured that such measures have rarely ever come into use.
– Ropes: Ropes are a versatile tool when hiking. They are primary used when the trail becomes slippery because of rain. Children can navigate through the trail with reduced risk of injury by using these ropes as railings like support.
Turn Around Point
We follow a turn-back policy as a safety measure for students who are unable to keep up with the rest of the batch. In our years of experience, we have observed that it is always safer to return a trekker from the mountain than to push them onwards if they are struggling very hard to keep up. Students are expected to complete the trek within a specified average time. In addition to this time, they are given an additional 60 minutes to complete the trek. If any student is unable to complete the trek within this time, they are moved to the base.
Food And Water
We prepare delicious, nutritious vegetarian food on all hikes. The meals are prepared hot and fresh at the camp side. Pre-packaged or ready to eat food is strictly prohibited. The students are discouraged from carrying packaged junk food.
And here’s a well known fact, our food is widely praised for being super tasty!
Don’t Worry About The Animals
We ensure that all our hikes are conducted in areas free of large predatory animals. Apart from doing our own research, we also cross check with the local forest department as well as the residents of nearby villages about any threat from wild animals.
However, students can spot some elusive lizards, birds and butterflies on the trek.
What you should do now
1) To know more about Indiahikes’ safety protocol, read this article.
2) If you would like to read more articles on Experiential Learning, click here.
3) If you are interested in signing up for this programme, then contact us here.
4) If you ended up here by chance and were actually looking for treks to do, then head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find all our Himalayan treks there.
5) If you want to see the 13 best treks of India, then get our free guide book here.
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