Take a Hike: A Trekking Guide For Bangalore
Looking to head outdoors? One of the best things to do on the weekends is going trekking! Read on for everything you need to know here.
Taking your first step into the wonderful world of trekking?
Some of the outdoors' most rewarding sights and experiences come with a bit of a workout (thankfully, one that's surrounded by clouds rather than with horrible gym playlists).
The Western Ghats - the mountain range close to Bangalore - offers some of the best and most varied trekking in the world. While there's some tough climbs, there are some very beginner-friendly trails. Depending on which trek you pick, you'll see plateaus, green vistas, waterfalls, forts, lakes, fireflies and more. It'll introduce a new side of the state to you!
Here's what you need to know if you're trekking for the first time:
- Get a decent pair of shoes - they're your best friends while trekking. You don't need anything fancy, just a regular pair of sports shoes (INR 1500-3000) will do, as long as the sole is in good shape. You can graduate to the badass-looking trekking shoes once you commit to trekking.
- Pick a trek - Most treks happen in the weekend, over a day (6 AM - 6 PM), in a group of 5-20. They're organized by experienced and passionate trekkers, so you're in safe hands. Pick an easy trek to begin with - our travel guide has them organized by difficulty level!
- Wear the right stuff - a loose dry-fit tee shirt and shorts / track pants works best. Avoid jeans. Carry water, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a windcheater and a plastic cover for your phone in a backpack.
- Alert loved ones - Tell close friends and family that you'll be in a place with likely zero network for a few hours but are in good hands. Especially if your circle involves people who panic if you don't respond to Whatsapp messages in 2 minutes (we've all been there!)
- Wake up (tough part) and enjoy (easy part!) - A trek is an experience like no other, and a wonderful thing to get addicted to. If you're a shutterbug, take a camera along after a couple of treks once you get familiar with climbing.
Looking to up your trekking game?
If you've scaled the easier treks, now's the time to raise the bar and try tougher treks. Why? You'll be rewarded with even better sights, more magnificent forts and, honestly, you'll get a whole new adrenaline rush.
Here's what you need to know if you're taking it up a notch:
- Get better shoes - those keds are fine for easy treks, but once you start encountering more rock patches, water streams and varying terrain, you'll need better footwear. Decathlon / Wildcraft stocks several excellent models - pick something that feels comfortable and has a good sole.
- Pick a trek - As with basic treks, Insider has several of the Western Ghat's best medium-range treks (see!). While you can do several of these as a beginner as well, they're best enjoyed once you have a few hikes under your belt. While you can pick any, you can choose depending on what sights you like best - waterfalls, forts, lakes, etc.
- Get better gear - Once you're a committed trekker, you can move on to getting a better backpack, lights (for night treks), a hydration pack, etc. One never feels bad splurging for outdoor activity. Aspiring photographers - now is when you'll want to invest in a good ultra-wide angle lens to get stunning landscape photos.
Looking for something else?
In which case, check out some excellent things you can do with a roof over your head - comedy and music events in Bangalore. Or just stay in and check out some Insider-recommended comedy videos and TV shows.
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