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Women Are More Patient And Ready To Come Out Of Comfort Zone: Trekker Gaurav Punj

  • IWB Post
  •  July 27, 2018

Trekker Gaurav Punj has released his second book after the success of his first book The Land of Flying Lamas. The second book The Land of Moonlit Snows documents eight stories from the Indian Himalayas.

Gaurav, who has now trekked the Himalayas for a decade now, says he knows nothing better than trekking. The book has a foreword by mountain lover-writer Bill Aitken and a solo trek story by celebrity nutritionist and his wife Rujuta Diwekar and it traverses well-known treks as well as trails that have fallen off the map.

Punj believes that exploration is for everyone and inhibitions like fear of safety should not stop women from exploring the beauty and nature of India. And, in a chat with The Hindu, he explained that the Indian Himalayas are the safest for women.

The Indian Himalayas is amongst the safest places for women. And trekking, even more so. Trek with recommended guides, stated Punj. When speaking about the rarity of women in the trek, he said, Very few women, or men for that matter, trek solo. More than 80% trekkers with me over the last 10 years have been women. They are inherently more okay with being out of their comfort zone as compared to men, and also more patient, both pre-requisites for trekking.

On the basic level of fitness required for trekking, he said, All children can trek. Even those who rarely do any physical activity back home. He added, Movement is natural to them and they take to it as soon as the stimuli is there. Adults have basic fitness levels if they can pick up and wash a cup of chai, climb four floors without unduly getting tired, lift luggage off the belt at the airport. One of the reasons trekking continues to stay the least explored way of visiting the Himalayas is the notion of needing to be supremely fit. Physical fitness helps, surely, but more important is mental fitness, the ability to push yourself beyond what you perceive as your limits. And you can actually develop both while on the trek itself. You prepare for trekking by trekking.

The love for trekking grows manifold after the first experience, he said. I think for me and for almost everyone who treks, the second trek invariably is the favourite trek, shared Punj. On your first trek, you are a blank slate, in awe of everything you experience, and at the same time overwhelmed to take it all in. By the second trek, you are prepared to soak in everything. It’s like experiencing the Himalayas the way it’s meant to be. and it just stays with you forever, he continued.

Not only for a life-changing experience and for a deeper connect with mother nature, Punj says trekking is also an experience that is eco-friendly. Punj shared, Trekking by its very nature is eco-friendly. You can only make it a polluting activity with your actions. Just follow the basics — no littering, minimum packaged food, deep pits for the toilet, small groups, and most importantly, spread out, don’t go to the same treks you keep seeing on social media.

He concluded by suggesting trekkers explore more places beyond the famous ones. Every mountain has a base camp. But most people only know about and want to go to Everest Base Camp. They are going for the name, not the experience. The places mentioned in the book are not the highest, the wildest, or the toughest. If by reading it you feel like going there, you are the kind of traveller who will not make a crowd,said Punj. 

H/T: The Hindu

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