Thursday, 22 January 2015

Trekking and Outdoors: Why is Safety a Critical Factor



Trekking and outdoors is a fast growing interest in the country and India with its diverse geographical spread is on the top five Go-To destinations in the world. Hence, numerous trek locations and offbeat outdoor vacation destinations are attracting a lot of travellers from not only India, but from around the world. 

Wilderness travel is as exotic and attracting, as it is challenging. Though trekking is a hit in a lot of locations in the country, The Himalayas are the unbeaten king in the category, because of the magical experience and the dream-like terrain. Every season, The Himalayas witness huge number of trekkers and hikers – both, first timers as well as experienced adventurers.


While the Himalayas are attracting more and more trek enthusiasts every season, the safety, however, still remains an issue. The high altitudes, tough & remote terrains and extreme & unpredictable weather conditions – everything is a potential problem that is known to halt treks, leaving people stranded or trapped. Hence, Safety is probably the biggest concern in the current outdoor adventure travel scene.

Recently, the Chadar Trek of Ladakh was put on a hold by Leh Govt because of a potential natural mishap. The various groups of trekkers that were already starting this popular trek, were hence, stranded. Last season, the Valley of Flowers trek was in news because of a broken bridge that closed down commute. 

Himalayan treks are often faced with landslides blocking the roads, snow fall covering ever surface, strong winds making it impossible to camp outside and the simplest to deal with – rains. All this is what a travellers’ nightmares are made of, not to mention, the travel company’s too. To combat all the above, this is what is required:


  1. An extremely well thought of trek plan. The trek has to be well thought through, including the trail, the time of travel and the group strength. It is best to travel in small groups because it ensures more safety and attention. 
  2. Expertise, experience and leadership quality of the guides. To lead the trekkers expertly under unpredictable weather conditions, to have the kind of experience that helps you foresee the nature conditions, and to act quickly and cleverly in times of need. 
  3. A strong back up for safe stay, that has to be a part of the main plan. The backup planning need to count for every possible What-If situation, with the safety of trekkers in mind.




At GIO Adventures, safety of our trek groups is our first concern. When you go outdoors for an offbeat or adventure activity such a trekking and camping, along with your physical well being, your mental state is equally important. One tiny detail, like a smelly sleeping bag can make you feel unsafe or uncared for. In India, especially for first timers, mental and emotional fitness is often overlooked, which is a pity. A trip should never make you want to change your mind about outdoors and head back home instead. This is something we at GIO Adventures treat as a priority. 

We believe that a trek is successful only when every possible crisis condition is thought about, tended to and prepared for. When you are in the Himalayas, anything less that fully prepared is not acceptable, and we follow it like our Bible. From small trek groups, minimum of two professionally trained mountain guides per group, and a strong backup from our Himalayan Eco Lodges – GIO Adventures is the safest outdoor offbeat and adventure firm in India. And take it from us – Safety is the MOST crucial factor in outdoors.

At GIO Adventures we pride ourselves on well trained, safety savvy and an extremely experienced team of guides and experts for all our activities. GIO Adventures has a team over a hundred highly experienced and motivated Outdoor Specialists. All our guides are professionally trained and the team is led by the legendary Mohan Singh Gunjiyal. Mohan Singh is a Padam Shree awardee and a mountaineer par excellence and is GIO Adventures’ Chief Instructor.

When it comes to safe practices, small groups come on top. Operating in small groups of never more than 12 people at a time, is our mantra. Each group has a minimum of 2 guides who have proven their capability over the years – from leading treks efficiently in the wilderness, to even carrying trekkers on their backs in cases of emergencies. The commitment and compassion are the driving force in the team, that has been our pride since 1999. Safety is crucial and critical when it comes to outdoors.

The nature is wonderful and exhilarating, and there is immense joy in exploring new places, but remember – safety first! Adventure is out there, go explore. But start after making sure it is as safe as it is thrilling. In short, what we want to say is, please put safety first when planning a trek.