SAFETY NORMS TO BE FOLLOWED FOR ALL TREKS
All participants should submit the Indemnity bond before boarding the vans at start point.
Read the safety instructions before the start of the Trek
Head count at each and every stage. (Start, in-between breaks, End)
Staying as a group throughout the trek. Fast trekkers are not to run ahead and slow trekkers will not be left behind. The group goes in single file and the Leader and the sweeper should at all times be within eyesight or shouting distance of each other. If any trekker is found running off in the front he will be sent back with the sweepers position.
We will have predetermined rest breaks at end of steep sections or at regular intervals, and trekkers are not to break the group to create a gap between the front and back.
When a trekker is in trouble the whole group will have to wait, help and go slow.
In case we are travelling in separate vehicles, In charge for each vehicle will be assigned and people should follow his instructions.
Mainly during the trek, if someone goes to attend Nature’s call, please inform your group and they will all have to wait. You can do it at rest points, and always ensure that somebody stands as a lookout. Do not venture too far away from the group.
We will always try to get proper written permission in the area we are planning to trek. However such things are not possible in most places, and there is no clear procedure for such things either.
An experienced local guide who is a local will be with us. We will if possible get 2 persons, where one will be in the front and one in the end.
Please listen to the local guides, they might be superstitious or will caution us at certain places, please pay attention to them.
On the trekking route you will come across some rudimentary temple, sacrifice places or places where some pooja has been done etc, and the locals might have some story about it. Please do not take it lightly and maintain proper decorum in these places.
Never ever venture into unknown waters at any cost. (Let it be a Pond, Waterfalls, pool, Canal, etc) even though you are a swimming champion. Places where the locals bathe are generally the safest places.
Do not try to venture into any risky activities like trying some different routes, climbing rock formations, going to the edge of cliffs etc.
Do not climb trees, or play around in the bushes you might stir up some animal, snakes or insects.
Photograph animals from a safe and long distance, don’t try to get close to them. Do not use flash on your cameras, as animals tend to attack on seeing the flash.
Also just to get some good photo, do not take a risk on your life by standing on the edge of a cliff or big rock.
A doctor with a medical kit will be available on treks. Incase a doctor is not present; we will have somebody who has been trained in First Aid.
Drinking,smoking or use of any intoxicants totally banned.
During the trek avoid chatting on your cell phone. However at times it could be used for communication within the group, so restrict its usage. Avoid shouting and non-stop talking. It irritates many people who have come to enjoy the quietness and sounds of nature.
Incase you think that you lost, or you come to a point where the trail forks out and you are not sure which way to go, the best thing to do is STOP and wait for help.Don't try to wander around and find your own way or try short cuts. If you have a whistle, keep blowing it now and then, so that searchers can locate you.
The sweeper will be the last person on the trek. Do not fall behind him. NEVER tell him to go ahead and take a break.
The use of a whistle - During the trek only the Trail Leader and sweeper will use / communicate with a whistle. The Sweeper will whistle if he wants the leader to stop. Incase anybody is in trouble they can use this to alert the group. Incase you are lost, you can intermittently whistle so that your searchers can locate your position. Other than that nobody should blow the whistle for fun.
Insects - The forests do have quite a lot of them that could cause problems for us. Scorpions under stones,red ants that sting, bees that attack, centipedes and spiders that cause nasty rashes, leeches that suck your blood etc. To avoid them, just keep your eyes open, avoid rustling the bushes on the path and disturbing anything that looks like an insect's nest or hideout.
Animals - Depending on the forest, the possible animals /reptiles that we could see are listed below and the ways to avoid them are also given. However this list will be updated with the help of an animal expert:
a. Elephants - Absolute silence.Stay still. No photographs. Hide out of sight, and stay
downwind, till it leaves. If it looks like it's coming towards you, and you have no option but to
escape, some locals say the best option is to run downhill.
b. Bison - same as above.
c. Snakes - normally found under fallen trees, cracks in the rocks etc. If there is a fallen tree
on the path, its best to step on the tree and hop off the other side.
If you step over the tree, you might step on a snake on the other side. If you see one cross your path, don't panic,yell,throw stones or hit it. Allow it to pass, humans are generally considered more dangerous than snakes.
d. Monkeys - this one will surely be found everywhere. Monkeys are attracted to food and will be ready to snatch anything that looks or sounds like a plastic bag since they seem to have figured out that humans carry food (biscuits,sweets,chips,snacks) in plastic bags. So don't take them out when they are around. Don't feed them, since the whole group will land up there in seconds. The one to look out for is the Alpha Male - the big male which will be the leader of the pack. They are bold and will attack if threatened with a stick or stone. During snack time or lunch time sit together and ensure that one person with a big stick stands watch while you eat.
These instructions are only basic, and animal experts and locals may give more ideas, and we will update them. Since the behaviour of animals cannot be predicted and a foolproof solution not possible, again it's best to be on our guard all the time.
I am stopping here since safety instructions and advices can keep growing, but It is absolutely you who should be responsible and act with presence of mind. No sense blaming others. It should be always safety first and then enjoyment. Take care and respect and enjoy nature.