Himachal Pradesh: The Great Himalayan Survival Trek!
Come face to face with the world’s tallest mountains that have tested the bravest of souls who have tried to endure the challenges they present. During this trek you will learn what it takes to survive in this majestic but rugged environment, employing survival strategies in three different habitats (semi-tropical, temperate, alpine).
This amazing 50 mile trek will take you to the rooftop of the world where you will learn how to survive in the harshest of landscapes. Our expert guides will lead you on a journey that will take you through the heart of The Great Himalayan National Park, where you will learn methods for enduring the hardships that test those who pass through this region like the Dalai Lama experienced in his escape in 1959. Starting in a semi-tropical environment and progressing through temperate forests all the way up into the alpine zone, you will spend several days in each habitat type learning survival strategies specific to that zone, while along the way getting to observe magnificent wildlife and taking in fantastic vistas!
What is a survival trek?
A survival trek is one where participants are taught about living and surviving in the wilderness with implements that are naturally available. The survival treks take place in a natural setting and participants learn to use their resources learning the implements necessary to survive in the wild.
The methods of survival vary according to the terrain that the participants live in – may that be dense tropical or temperate forests, deserts or snow. A complete course in these techniques teaches the participant unique skills that have been forgotten as man evolved.
The Importance of learning survival skills
In our development as a species, mankind journeyed across numerous continents and lived in a variety of habitats, each of which required a unique set of primitive skills in order to flourish. Prior to the industrial revolution and the advent of modern technologies, it was essential to have intimate knowledge of the local environment and mastery of basic fundamentals in order to ensure one’s survival in the wild. Hence, in every tribal culture individuals knew how find and utilise raw natural materials using traditional methods to stay alive and prosper. Read more.
Trip Dates: October 15 – November 4, 2016
Trip Duration: 21 Days
Experience & Activity Level: Previous survival or primitive skills experience helpful but not required. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to cope with high altitude and inclement weather.
Accommodation Style: Alpine tents
Destinations: Great Himalayan National Park, Delhi
This is a survival trek through one of the world’s most challenging and awe inspiring biospheres, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) which rises from 5,500 feet to just under 19,000 feet in elevation in the Himachal Pradesh region of northern India. Often referred to as the most pristine and rugged mountain landscape on our planet, this jewel in the crown of the Himalayas consists of luxuriant oak forests, flaming rhododendron trees, crystal clear sparkling rivers, jagged virgin peaks and some of the rarest of animals, birds & medicinal herbs found nowhere else in the whole world.
For countless centuries nomads, traders, explorers, mystics, and exiles have traipsed through this beautiful but challenging landscape, often times enduring extreme hardship but always leaving with tales of tremendous adventure. Now you get the opportunity to follow in their path; in a journey lasting three weeks and covering fifty miles, you will pass through several different habitat zones that include semi-tropical forest, temperate/coniferous forest, and alpine grasslands.
In each one of these zones, you will spend several days in camp led by our expert survival guides practicing relevant primitive survival skills according to the demands and resources available in that area. These will include the following:
Primitive shelter construction
Creating friction fire using various primitive methods
Locating, capturing and purifying water
Carving survival bows, rabbit sticks, and spears
Making snares and traps for small game
Creating and using primitive fishing implements
Identifying and foraging for edible and medicinal plants
Making cordage and other useful tools out of local plants
Observing cloud formations and predicting future weather events
Navigating across unknown landscapes without a compass/map
Learning techniques for surviving mountain storms and extreme weather events
During the trek between the three survival camps, we will be traversing Himalayan mountain ridges and valleys that hold vast virgin forests and endless fields of wildflowers beneath the towering summits that comprise the largest wildlife conservation area in the whole Himalayan range. Hence, you will have the opportunity to savor unparallel views while also potentially sighting a myriad of rare wildlife including over 215 species of birds, Himalayan brown and black bears, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, musk and barking deer, ghoral, serrow, red fox, common leopards, and the highly endangered snow leopard.
Throughout the trek, we will be looking for tracks and sign of these creatures and studying their behavior whenever possible, as well as searching for and discussing the uses of rare medicinal herbs like jatamansi, kadoo, patish, and the recently discovered nag chhatri.
The trip will start in Delhi and we will immediately head to the Sainj Valley Wild Life Sanctuary, which is a gateway to the GHNP. From there we will trek to Shakti which is the first survival camp in the semi-tropical forest habitat. After three days there, we will move on to the Homkhani campsite where we will spend another three days, this time learning survival techniques in a temperate forest zone.
From Homkhani, we will do a short but steep hike to the Dhel meadow campsite, which is in the alpine zone and where we will conduct our final three days of survival training. We will then begin our route back, taking four days to hike to Tirthan valley and along the way exploring the unique flora and fauna in our midst as well as taking the time to soak in the tremendous scenery before us. After the trek is completed, we will return to Delhi and spend a day there so that you can explore the old town and recharge your batteries before your departure home.
The trip will require that you be in good physical condition and able to withstand the rigors of being outside for an extended period of time in high altitude without the aid of modern conveniences. We will have porters to carry your food, tents, and other camping gear, so you will only have to carry your own clothing and personal supplies.
This will be an amazing experience where you will learn a tremendous amount about wilderness survival as well as being able to see exotic wildlife and some of the most magnificent scenery on the planet. When you complete the trek, you will undoubtedly feel a great sense of accomplishment and take home with you memories of an unforgettable experience that will last you a lifetime!