The Ideal Location For Outbound Education
Benog Tibba is located inside the Mountain Quail Sanctuary in the Queen of the Hills, Mussoorie. From lush coniferous Deodar forests to the grassy hill top, Benog Tibba provides a leisurely weekend getaway with great views of the undulating Lesser Himalayas.
The easily walkable terrain and close access to Mussoorie and state capital of Dehradun makes Benog Tibba an ideal location for the Experiential Learning Programme.
The base camp for this trek is in the grounds of the government guest house inside the Benog Mountain Quail Sanctuary.
Trekkers arrive at the base by lunch time. This is followed by camp activities like setting up tents, digging the toilet pits and some rounds of fun ice breaker games.
The next day, the trekkers start off in the morning. The first phase of the trail leads through lush forests of Rhododendron and Deodar trees. Under the vegetation, you walk along a small jungle stream and pass by a pond.
After about one and a half hours of walking through the forest, you leave behind the tree line and enter the meadow. This is a an area devoid of tree cover but layered with a carpet of green grass and wild flowers.
The final stretch of the trek before decent is the climb to the top of the Benog Tibba hilltop. There is an old temple at the top which makes for a great relaxing shelter. In addition to this, the view of the undulating mountains of the Lesser Himalayas will restore any lost energy!
After breathing in the fresh hilltop air and recharging your tired batteries, you begin your decent. There is another route coming down the mountain that leads back to the campsite. The route goes through the meadow and back down the forest till you reach the government guest house.
Get trek fit!
The secret to ascending any trail lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time.
Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. Strength This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and in your core body.
You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your work out.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly.
Carrying a backpack can become strenuous after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek. Working out indoors
Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to pack?
No, stuffing it all in isn’t the right way to do it. Packing a backpack correctly saves precious time that you might waste trying to find your things later. It is wise to spend some time on learning what really goes into packing a backpack.
What should I pack?
On a trek, you only get what you take. Something as simple as a forgotten matchbox can cripple your cooking plans throughout the trek.
So, it’s essential to prepare early and prepare well. To begin with, make a checklist. While shopping, remember this thumb rule – keep it light. “Every item needs to be light. This ensures that your backpack, on the whole, stays light,” says Sandhya UC, co-founder of Indiahikes.
Balancing out heavy items with light ones aren’t going to have the same effect as having all light items. “Always opt for good quality, light items,” says Sandhya.
How much should my bag weigh?
“Your backpack for a weekend trek should weigh between 8 and 10 kg,” explains Arjun Majumdar, co-founder of Indiahikes, “To break it down, your tent should weigh around 2.5 kg, your sleeping bag, around 1.5 kg, and the ration, stove and clothes should constitute the other 5 kg.”
The best way to plan is by concentrating on the basic necessities – food, shelter and clothes. Gather only those things that you’ll need to survive. Do not pack for ‘if’ situations. “That’s one of the common mistakes that people make – packing for ‘if situations’. It only adds to the baggage that you can do without on a trek,” says Sandhya.
One good way to go about it is to prepare a list of absolute essentials. Start with the most essential and end with the least essential.
That way, when you feel you are overshooting the limit, you can start eliminating from the bottom. Another tip is to be smart while packing clothes.
Invest in light wash and wear fabrics. “Replace a sweater with two t-shirts,” adds Sandhya. Layering is the mantra when it comes to trekking. Refer to Sandhya’s clothes list to pack smart.
How to pack?
The thumb rule for this one is to eliminate air spaces. Make sure that everything is packed tightly, especially clothes and jackets, as they tend to take up maximum airspace.
Put in all the large items first. Then squeeze in the smaller ones in the gaps. This ensures minimum airspace. A good way to pack clothes is by using the Ranger Roll method.
What to pack where?
Bottom Sleeping bag: Make this your base layer. Sleeping bags tend to be voluminous, but do not weigh much. They’re perfect for the bottom of the bag.
Tent: Just like the sleeping bag, even tents are voluminous and light. Keep the tent poles separately and place the fabric at the bottom of the backpack.
Middle Heavy jacket: Roll up the jacket in a tight ball and place it in the middle of the backpack, close to your back. The middle region of the backpack should always have the heaviest items. You can store other things like ration or mini stoves in the middle.
Other clothes: Roll other clothes and place them in the remaining space, to fill air gaps.
Top Water: Water, although heavy, needs to be easily accessible. So put it in the top most region of your backpack. Medicine box: This is another component that you wouldn’t want to be scavenging for when in need. Poncho: It could rain at any time in the mountains. So, ponchos should be accessible easily. Also, having a waterproof poncho at the top of the backpack provides additional waterproofing to items in the bag.