Child, elderly, and beginner friendly easy treks in the Himalayas

I am compiling a list of the child-friendly hikes and make this post a one-stop shop for all the trails that kids can accomplish. Of course, your kid’s mileage may vary so please do your due diligence.

This list, by its very nature, will always be a work-in-progress compilation. I’ve made public the incomplete details hoping these will help many folks. Leave your insights and suggestions in the comments section to update this best.

Trek Base city Accommodation* Distance to hike (km) Comments
Abott Mount Lohaghat KMVN Cottages, personal tent
Barot local hikes Barot NA 3-5 Jallan Guest House; Waterfall near the trolley tracks.
Bashleo Pass Shoja, Jaon Tent
Bijli Mahadev Hike Kullu NA 3 km from Chansari, 15 km from Kullu Info1, Info2
Chakrata Moila Tibba and Budher Caves Chakrata NA 4
Chakrata Tiger Falls Chakrata NA 2
Dalhousie local hikes Dalhousie NA
Deoria Tal Sari, Rudraprayag Cottage?, Tent 2-3
Dugadda to Lansdowne Lansdowne Hotels 8
Hatu Peak Narkanda Tent 7 Photos
Jamu peak Renuka Ji Tent May get longish and heat may take its toll.
Kamru Nag lake Karsog or Rohanda NA 4 km from Rohanda Listing; Photos
Kapil Muni’s hill Renuka Ji Tent
Lal Tibba Mussoorie NA
Mussoorie local hikes Mussoorie NA Info1
Serolsar lake Jalori Pass Tent Info
Shikari Devi hike Karsog NA 18 km from Janjehli Info1, Info2
Shimla TV Tower Shimla NA
Solan Tibba Solan NA
Taradevi Shimla NA 4 km from Tara Devi station on highway
Vaisho Devi Katra, Jammu Sarai

* Accommodation is categorized as sarai/huts for basic roof; personal tent for camping trip; hotel option for decent stay; NA is Not Applicable for day hikes where stay can be done in the base city.

Please share the discoveries and the experiences of your kids or beginners with us in the comments section.

Advertisements

Dry foods to pack on a trek and an analysis of trek rations

For the self-organized trekkers out there without the support of porter out there, it is an interesting exercise to pack food. While food is not the heaviest item in our backpack, it is one of the most flexible category when it comes to optimizing it. If you do not want to carry a stove and can make do with dry food, then read on. I shall continue to update this post with new ideas/discoveries. Keep coming back 🙂

I do not hire a cook. On a few treks, I was fortunate to avail the services of cooks of other groups by paying a small amount but otherwise I subsist on dry rations. I speak the following from my limited personal experiences; it may not suit your needs. Do share in the comments below as to what rocks your boat. If you find the post useful, it’ll be nice to know so in the comments.

 

  • Dry fruits: As if, you didn’t know 🙂 In my opinion, this is a costlier option. There are cheaper and equally good options! Read on.
  • Chocolates: In my opinion, chocolates are costlier per unit weight or calories provided. Take protein bars, if you must.
  • Dates, biscuits, and Chikkis: Offers fantastic energy to weight ratio, much cheap than other options, and have some decent nutritional value too. This is my preferred food on a trek. Did you ever notice that Parle-G has almost the same energy density as other fancy biscuits?
  • Noodles: Filling, energising, tasty food that can be eaten cooked or raw, if need be. I like Wai-Wai noodle raw better than raw Maggi.
  • Cereal and milk powder: I am not big on cereal but to each their own. These two items can be eaten raw (separately!), if you cannot light a fire.
  • Fresh fruits: If weight permits, these are excellent too. Pick these from the base village or orchards on the trail, if any. Fruits are refreshing, quench thirst, are appropriately filling, and provide roughage.
  • Specific trail food: Rich food created specifically for hikers is available commercially and is a great option if you are willing to shell out some money for it.
  • Potatoes: You can find potatoes anywhere in the hills. Buy some from the village folks enroute. Mind you, these will add good weight to your backpack but are worth it. You can either boil these or roast these in campfire. To avoid charring of a thick outer surface, wrap in tin foil.
  • Glucose and ORS: Technically not a food as it is not filling. But a mix of Glucose and electrolyte salts are quite refreshing and energizing, as these make up for all the sweating. You can substitute this with the likes of Gatorade.
  • Peanut butter: Quite a dense food calorie-wise that does not occupy much space in the bag. Recently, I saw Sundrop’s small sachets worth Rs. 15 in a supermarket. I find this option slightly above average in cost per unit calorie provided. Some folks may not like the taste as well.
  • Boiled eggs: From a base village, if possible, you can get a few boiled eggs for variety. Though be strongly advised that these weigh much and can drain you fast. The only USP is protein and variety.
  • Maggi Masala: Technically not a food, but a Rs. 3 sachet of Maggi cooking masala can add much taste to your boiled food on a trek. Sometimes, I carry a custom mix of spices in a very small bottle in my backpack!
  • Homemade snacks: Provides good variety and a nice reminder of the warmth of our loved ones back home. Though this option requires preparation in advance and may add weight, volume, or both to your luggage. Heck, I once carried homemade laddoos and matthi on a trek!

Packing dry food on trek

Please

A request here is to carry the rubbish you generated back with you. Food items tend to generate a lot more rubbish than other items carried on a trek.

Waste disposal

While we are at it, here’s a shameless plug of an oft-wondered, barely-asked, and rarely-followed tips on pooping in the hills. Here’s a “hilarious and practical thread” on Indiamike.com about the topic. While I recommend reading the entire thread for its fun and educational value, but for those in a rush, directly jump to reply #8, #23, #24, and #28 for some fantastic tips.

Trek calendar for a travel or an activity group

I have created a shared calendar to update my travel/trek schedules (and sometimes those of my friends). For now, the calendar is lacking data entry big time 🙂 I’m sharing this more as a POC (proof of concept); something similar can be (and should be!) done for activity groups.

If there is such a need for your group, create one. If you need help, leave a comment or email me at blackfog at Gmail. For self-help, see Create and share a group calendar and Organize events with a group help articles.