Trekking in the Sahyadris – 10 Mistakes to Avoid During Monsoon
Monsoon is the best time to explore the treks in and around the western ghats also known as Sahyadris in Maharashtra. Sahyadris don’t just display beautiful landscapes and astonishing mountain top views but they also hold a lot of historical significance. Due to its tropical weather, the western ghats receive huge amounts of rain showers during the months of June to September, making it a hotspot for trekkers.
Trekking during monsoons can be quite tricky as you may need completely different gear or a different approach.
But before embarking on a stunning ride on a trek to the western ghats during the monsoon, there are certain mistakes a trekker should avoid in order to not end up having a disappointing experience.
Following are the top 10 mistakes one should avoid while Hiking during the monsoon in the Sahyadris.
- – Wearing cotton apparel
A thing about monsoon hikes is that no matter how much you try, you are going to get drenched in water. Also one will sweat during the hike and for the water and sweat to evaporate one will need a quick dry T-shirt and pant. Quick drying apparels are generally made up of polyester which has quick drying and breathable qualities. Breathability as the name suggests makes the fabric quite breathable so that one doesn’t feel hot and sweaty on the inside. You can use your football or gym jerseys as well which have good amount of polyester content.
2. Wearing a Poncho and Waterproof Lowers.
A raincoat upper is better than a poncho because Poncho becomes ineffective during sharp gusts of wind and it becomes difficult to keep your next step. Another thing why one should avoid waterproof lowers because anything that is waterproof is less breathable, therefore protect your head and upper body which includes your chest and your core and make sure that you have enough ventilation in your lower body.
I personally prefer the Raincut Upper from Decathlon which becomes compact and easy to carry.
3. Having on a waterproof shoe
July and August is when the western ghats receive heavy rainfall and at higher altitudes it tends to get windy thus making the showers more rapid. Waterproof shoes during torrential rains become ineffective because the water will anyhow enter from the ankle opening. So, rather look for quick dry or breathable shoes. Water once trapped inside a waterproof shoe becomes difficult to dry off because of the layer of waterproof membrane inside the shoe.
4. Putting a shoe with a hard sole or Boots.
The western ghats trails are about rocky trail sections. Water and moss makes the surface super slippery. You will need a soft sole that can be pressed against these rocks when you shift your bodyweight which is why you must have seen the locals hike in sandals and slippers. However, if you are a beginner, wear a shoe as it protects you from slips and falls and then from your next trek onwards you can go with what works for you.
5. Not carrying poly bags.
You are going to need dry clothes post your hike or during your hike and you are also going to need something to keep all your things inside your backpack. That’s where poly bags come into picture. Everything inside your bag should stay dry so that you can camp comfortably.
I follow this principle even in the North Indian Himalayan Terrain.
6. Relying completely on backpack rain covers
Backpack rain covers are useful for light rain and drizzles but they can be ineffective for heavy showers as the water may seep in from behind the neck and everything inside your backpack may become wet. Further, I find them useful while travelling. Keeps your bag dust free when you park them in government buses luggage carrier and they stay theft free when you travel.
7. Not choosing the right trail
Avoid trails that have rocky patches and routes as they become slippery. However, treks like Sandhan valley, Kalavantin, Harsher fort, Harishchandragad (Nali Chi Vat route), Rajgad to Torna have a lot of rocky trails and that’s something that is unavoidable. On the other hand, treks like Rajmachi, Harishchandragad via Pachnai, Bhimashankar, Tandulwadi, Rohida/Vichitragad, Devkund Waterfall Trek. Andharban Jungle Trek etc. have marked forest trails whereas trek like a Katraj to Sinhagad Trek which is a very popular trek around Pune has a combination of both.
8. Not using day Zip-locks
Dry bags and Zip-locks can be very useful for trekkers who hike independently and rely on offline navigation for the route. It can also be very useful for vloggers. You can stuff your electronics inside the these Zip-locks so that they stay dry. You can also stuff your small documents and your purse inside these Zip-locks.
I personally prefer Decathlon’s Swimming Pool Pouch which gives me decent space for my phone and a purse.
9. Not doing enough research about the trek.
If you are a beginner trekker it is advisable to look for treks that can be completed in a day as camping overnight during monsoon can be a bit tricky as it can get difficult to keep the tents dry. However, if you do plan to camp overnight you can choose treks where there are natural shelters preferably a cave so that you need not carry a tent with you.
Treks with natural shelters include Salher fort, Harishchdragad, Rajgad fort, Rajmachi, Prabalgarh, Bhimashankar, Torna etc.
I am gonna take an extra step and make your life easier by helping you choose the right Monsoon Trek for you. Here is a blog on 15 Best Monsoon Treks Around Pune & Mumbai.
10. Not choosing the right weather
Weather in the western ghats during monsoon can be uncertain. A heavy rain shower may make it difficult to trek and may cause you inconvenience. This is why if you are a beginner I would suggest choosing Mid-September to Mid-November as the preferred season because that’s when you will find lush green trails with minimum rain, beautiful sunsets as the sky stays clear and cold nights that are manageable. You should also check the weather forecast for that very day before embarking on a trek so that you are very well prepared for the weather.
11. Not carrying an extra set of dry clothes
Usually after you complete your monsoon trek there are two things that happen. You are completely drenched in water and your body has become cold because of it being static. This is when if you continue to wear wet clothes, it will not just make you uncomfortable but can also make you fall sick. In order to prevent that, it is always advisable for a change of fresh clothes right after completing the trek so that you stay dry and warm before reaching home.
Enjoy the rains as you are going to get wet, no matter how much you try.