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Important Points to keep in Mind
- Respect the natural environment at all times. Do not litter, burn wood, play loud music, pluck plants or herbs, or disturb wildlife. Carry all your litter back with you. Follow established protocols regarding toilet. As the saying goes: take nothing away but memories, leave nothing behind but footprints!
- On many treks forest rest houses or huts are available for the first day or so, but do not depend on them and carry your tents. Reservations should be made in advance with the local DFO or Range Officer.
- It is risky to go on treks without a competent local guide, especially at higher altitudes or where Passes have to be crossed or glaciers negotiated. Always hire a guide or obtain the services of an authorized, registered tour operator. You can find a list of them with the local District Tourism Development Officer. Do not patronize such people off the road.
- Do not take these treks lightly or be casual about preparing for them. Be well equipped with appropriate camping gear, foodstuffs, clothes, medicines, boots, torches etc. Any good tour operator will give you a list, or you can find it on the website of Himachal Tourism as well.
- Always respect local sentiments, culture and practices. People in these remote communities in Himachal are very warm-hearted and hospitable to a fault. Do not abuse their trust. Any good guide will tell you about the local customs and taboos, which must be respected. Trekking is not just about getting to a place, but the experiences involved - so enjoy them.
- You must always watch the weather. This can change suddenly at higher altitudes, so be prepared to modify your itinerary, if necessary. Do not be fool-hardy or display misplaced bravado. In these areas Nature is king, and you must follow its dictats.
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