Ben Huberman quoted-
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought entire countries to a halt, but our need to connect with others and find resources and communities online has not gone away? if anything, it’s only become more essential. COVID-19 has affected the lives of millions all over the world.”
It’s true that our need to connect with others has grown during these shutdowns and everyone is looking for resources both online and offline to get away with the drowsiness. It has been for more than a quarter of the year that we have been bombarded and the battle still continues. We do not know when all of this is going to be over neither can we approximate the date and even after the end of lockdown, we’re not completely safe. The thing about a virus-originated pandemic is that we never know who might have it. Any person walking down the street, a vendor, shopkeepers, businessmen, laborers, the rich, the poor anyone might be a carrier and potential threat, not to mention these are only humans we’re talking about. In a population as huge as ours, it’s impossible for the government to save the people if the people only refuse to coordinate. Thus, more than anything, it’s in our hands to be safe during and post this months-long lockdown. It’s necessary to follow various safety measures to stay protected even after the lockdown is over. In such unpredictable times, the country has been reopening since June. So, It’s time to act responsibly and protect ourselves as well as others after the lockdown is over.
Here are some Steps to make Trekking safer during COVID 19 and Tour Stay Travel will ensure the safe travel of its customers post lockdown.
Safety measures for Trekkers and the local population
1. While traveling across borders it’s only natural both for the traveler and the local population to worry about anyone being a potential threat for COVID-19. Under these circumstances, the state government of some states, like Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh among other states has made a COVID-19 Test mandatory. So following orders we’ll go through the mandatory testing and quarantining during the course of operation.
2. As densely populated regions are more prone to COVID-19 we’ll be opting for less dense places to stay. Some adjustments have been made in our routes wherever possible to avoid homestays.
3. As a trekker, you could help by trying to avoid any kind of contact with the local population on your part. Avoid movement around villages in the per chose travelling site, like the local markets or any other local attraction. If in any case, you do decide to visit the local grounds make sure to maintain at least 1-meter distance, cover your mouth with a mask and regularly sanitize the metals you’re carrying. Follow all the guidelines as mentioned by WHO to ensure yours as well as the local population’s safety and good health.
4. If there is an urgent need to buy an important item, try not to visit a crowded ground. Make a checklist of the items you will need for your trek in advance. Try packing all your essentials at least a week in advance.
5. Avoid sharing food items with the locals be it, kids or adults. However nice and warm it seems to be interacting with people of a different culture, it’s important to put safety first. Kindly let them know about social distancing and its importance.
6. Avoid getting into close quarters with the locals and avoid any kind of exchange of the item with them.
Safety measures for Trekkers and the Staff
1. The staff members are checked for temperature and other COVID-19 symptoms before carrying on with a trip. We make sure that they are clear through these tests and are safe to travel with both for the good health of themselves as well as the trekkers they are travelling with.
2. All the participating trekkers will also be checked for any COVID-19 symptoms before the start of the trip at the time of briefing. They will not be allowed to continue with the trip if showing positive for the following cases:-
a) If they’re having a fever.
b) If they’re having cough/cold/flu symptoms.
c) If oxymeter reading is less than 85.
3. Food packages and the food that’s cooked will be made under the hands of the responsible and hygienic kitchen staff. They will be wearing masks and gloves throughout the time when in the kitchen. Social distancing will be maintained during dining as well. Close seated dining arrangements will be avoided at all costs.
4. Sleeping bags are a good way to go for trekkers. Packing tents too can prove useful during these times instead of fixed camping. At Tour Stay Travel we would encourage our trekkers to pack and unpack sleeping bags and tents every day.
5. The staff members do not handle back to back batches. A time period of six to seven days is given before the next batch is handed. This is enough time for anyone to showcase symptoms if any. The regular tests are performed during this time and if cleared through the tests, they continue with the next trip. This helps to maintain a check on any potential COVID-19 patient.
6. Proper sanitization of all equipment is ensured. The trekkers and the staff members both are responsible for sanitizing their own essentials. Vehicles and other things provided by Trenkmunk will be taken care of by the staff members as well. All tents, equipment and sleeping bags will be sanitized and fumigated thoroughly.
7. Trekkers also have an option to travel with their own vehicles to the campsite.
8. All the trekkers will be required to carry their own water bottles and other personal items to avoid borrowing it from their fellow trekkers.
9. All the above precautions and safety measures will surely make the trek safer but they still wouldn’t be able to make it free from any risks. Hence, if any kind of discomfort or sickness is felt during the time of trekking it is crucial for the trekker to inform the staff members immediately.
10. We have reduced our batch size of fixed departure treks to 10 people. We will not take more than 10 people on any of our fixed departure treks.
11. We are offering an additional option for Single Tent Accommodation on the trek. You can opt for this add-on by paying a little extra.
12. We are offering more Private Tailormade Treks in the most offbeat parts of the Himalayas for you. You can go for treks with your friends or family on an on-demand adventure to any of the location.
13. We are paperless and contactless in our documentation process. You won’t have to visit a doctor or take any printout to complete the documentation process of submitting a Medical form or waiver form. We have done this to keep in mind your safety and to save nature as even a small step can affect a lot in the long run.
We are still working on the addition of more guidelines to make trekking much safer amidst COVID 19.