6 Vital Highlights of 2021 in The Trekking World

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Over the previous week, we now have been reflecting on how the 12 months 2021 was for all of us at Indiahikes. Wanting again, 2021 was one of the crucial decisive years for Indiahikes. In an organisation’s historical past, there are one or two years which might be extraordinarily important. We take large strides, make elementary adjustments. In 2021, we did that many occasions over. Which is why 2021 is a 12 months that can stick in our reminiscence and in our hearts. 

I believed I’ll share these reflections with you, as a result of for us, you might be as a lot part of Indiahikes as we’re. You might be a part of the ups and downs we face, the highlights and the low factors. So I feel you’ll discover these reflections very insightful. 

1. In 2021, we rewrote the imaginative and prescient of Indiahikes to Everybody Should Trek. 

My first level could shock you, as a result of proper from the time Indiahikes began, our imaginative and prescient has by no means modified. We’ve all the time needed everybody to trek, which is what led to the creation of Indiahikes in 2008. In truth our title “Indiahikes” mirrored our ideas that we needed India to hike. But, we had by no means outlined it effectively or articulated it. 

In our incapacity to outline our imaginative and prescient, we’d inform everybody that we needed to “Outline the way forward for trekking.” It did justify all of the futuristic work we did, however on the similar time, it was a fancy thought for folks to grasp. 

So one of many greatest highlights of 2021 was that we rewrote our imaginative and prescient. We modified our imaginative and prescient to a easy “Everybody Should Trek”. That is what we believed in, that is what we needed to do. 

This rewriting of our imaginative and prescient caused a shift in how folks understand Indiahikes. First, it modified how these inside the organisation understood the imaginative and prescient and spoke about it. Not simply our Trek Leaders, cooks and guides, even the distant muleman abruptly appeared to grasp the imaginative and prescient and talk about it like his personal. It has caused an amazing sense of affection, satisfaction and possession within the organisation. 

This has additional had a ripple impact, touching our trekkers’ lives. They’re returning dwelling with a stronger trek expertise. As soon as they’re again from their treks, they really feel otherwise about themselves. They really feel so near our imaginative and prescient that they even attempt to take it ahead inside their circles.

We’ve by no means seen such a profound affect inside or outdoors the organisation earlier than, which is why that is certainly one of our most vital highlights of 2021.

2. We outlined the Indiahikes Expertise. 

For a very long time, the idea of an Indiahikes Expertise remained summary. Trekkers would trek with us and depart with a sense that was past rationalization, past phrases. Over a decade we now have been designing our treks in order that trekkers go dwelling with not simply great recollections of the mountains and journey; however with a profound change in themselves. This was the Indiahikes Expertise.

But, for anybody to grasp this, particularly our trekkers, it was very summary. 

Lastly in 2021, we truly outlined what it was — an amalgamation of our 4 pillars coming collectively. In the direction of the top of the 12 months, our filmmaker, Mayur Srivatsav, gave us a fantastic image of the Indiahikes Expertise by means of this movie. 

Probably the most profound affect of the Indiahikes expertise has been on our trekkers. Not solely are they going again dwelling with a robust sense of transformation, they’re studying new abilities which might be making them safer, extra sustainable and extra assured trekkers.

3. In 2021, we began constructing Indiahikes campuses. We constructed campuses at Sari, Raithal and Kotgaon.

For over a decade, Indiahikes has been operating treks out of lodges/motels on the base village of the trek. These have been our basecamps.

However creating a novel Indiahikes expertise at these basecamps was very troublesome. In lots of of those basecamps we didn’t have the fitting ambiance. We have been in cramped confined areas. Trekkers spend extra time contained in the rooms than in mingling with one another.

We didn’t like this. We noticed trekking otherwise. We needed our trekkers to turn out to be half of a bigger trekking neighborhood. We needed our basecamp to resemble this neighborhood — an area for everybody to come back collectively and work together. We needed our trekkers to turn out to be a group even earlier than they began on a trek. We had seen in our expertise that when trekkers trek as a group, the expertise is altogether totally different. 

Which is why, in 2021 we determined to construct campuses close to our base villages. We began with Sari (Deoriatal trek), adopted by Kotgaon (Har-Ki-Dun, Kedarkantha trek), after which Raithal (Dayara Bugyal trek). You could even have visited these campuses. 

The importance of our campus is three fold. (1) It brings trekkers collectively as a neighborhood. (2) It additionally helps convey our group along with a really robust sense of possession. It has an amazing affect on the group’s morale working there. (3) Lastly, we can provide higher amenities to our personal group members. The campuses can create a house away from dwelling.

We’ve constructed the Indiahikes campus to create a way of neighborhood at our base camps. Trekkers have ample house to collect and have conversations inside and outdoors their lodging. It’s a house outdoors their properties. Featured right here: Our Trek Leaders sharing tales collectively at our Sari campus. Image by Jothiranjan

4. We launched DIY Trekking in 2021. 

DIY trekking is just not new (DIY stands for Do-It-Your self). A lot of the world treks DIY type. But, hardly a handful of individuals in India take it up. As a result of there’s a drawback trekking DIY in India. Trekking trails will not be clearly marked out. There aren’t any boards or indicators on trekking trails. Alternatively, navigation on a path, particularly within the Himalayas could be fraught with risks. 

As well as, light-weight trekking gear (tents, sleeping baggage), easy-to-make trekking meals, and moveable cooking gear are unimaginable to get in our nation. Solely the diehard can search them out (spending monumental quantities on it). 

We needed to vary this. We needed trekkers in our nation to have the ability to trek DIY. So for the whole a part of 2021, our DIY group began gathering GPS recordsdata of necessary treks in our nation. They began to mark factors on the recordsdata for anybody to comply with. Nobody would get misplaced in the event that they adopted the GPS trails of those treks. Plus they constructed straightforward tutorials to information trekkers on easy methods to use these trendy navigation instruments. 

Then our Analysis Group began working with our producers to design new light-weight tents, sleeping baggage and meals kits. (Extra on that within the subsequent level.) 

We ran pilot teams. A few of them labored effectively, some didn’t. But, by the top of 2021, we have been able to launch DIY trekking with our navigation, tenting, and meals kits. Our first few trekkers went out on their very own DIY treks within the final days of December. They got here again completely thrilled with the expertise. 

5. In 2021, our Analysis and Improvement division grew to become unbiased.

In 2021 we took one other large stride, which we imagine can change the way forward for trekking. We created a Analysis and Improvement group at Indiahikes, which might make innovation a elementary a part of Indiahikes.  

There are 3-4 necessary leaps we have been in a position to make because of the R&D group. 

  1. We launched new light-weight sleeping baggage. Our Hillman sleeping bag used to weigh 3 kilos. Our R&D group together with our producers experimented over many months to convey down the load of our sleeping baggage, with out compromising on their effectivity of -10°C. After a lot experimentation the load has come all the way down to virtually 1.4 kilos. This has an enormous significance. It fosters DIY trekking, which advantages trekkers to a big extent. 
  2. We made new light-weight DIY tents. Earlier our Hillman tents weighed 5 kilos. Once more with a variety of analysis our producers and R&D group have gotten the load of our tents down to only 2.5 kilos. This has additionally been a game-changer. Now with equal efficiency in antagonistic climate circumstances, we now have lighter tents. 
  3. We launched pre-mixed meals, which has caused a unprecedented change within the meals expertise. In 2021 we began focusing strongly on meals. The analysis and growth of premixed meals caused three issues. (1) Standardization of style and consistency in meals throughout all slopes. (2) It has enabled DIY treks and made it doable (3) Most significantly, it has given cooks at Indiahikes extra time. This has helped them look past cooking and concentrate on the next degree of trek expertise. 

Internally, there are innumerable different improvements that the R&D group has caused — our offloading kits make baggage administration extra environment friendly and simpler on the mules. 

Our cooking stoves have undergone adjustments to turn out to be extra vitality environment friendly. 

Our new segregation sacks and water contraption methods are a beautiful means of waste administration and water effectivity. But, that is solely the start. 

Analysis and Improvement brings about innovation in trekking. This could change how trekking is finished sooner or later. 

Our new light-weight Crosstrek Lite tents on the Rikoda campsite. Image by Swathi Chatrapathy

6. The Indiahikes group grew practically threefold in 2021. 

In 2020 throughout the pandemic, when a lot of the world thought we have been closed down with out work, the Indiahikes group was working more durable than ever. Our treks had stopped, however our minds hadn’t. We needed to come back out of the primary lockdown as a renewed organisation — Indiahikes 2.0. I had written to you about it at the moment

In 2021, all our exhausting work from 2020 paid off. We introduced many new members into our group. 

Our group of Trek Leaders grew in quantity. Our group of guides and cooks have additionally grown in quantity, with all of them taking part in an energetic half in imparting an Indiahikes Expertise to trekkers. 

We’ve shaped an “Expertise group” at Indiahikes, which takes care of the design and execution of the Indiahikes Expertise. Our group of Expertise Coordinators is bigger. Our content material group has specialised movie makers, photographers, designers working collectively.

The brand new technology of group members is slowly starting to take cost of the organisation, bringing in innovation and searching into how we design the Indiahikes trek expertise. (See profession alternatives right here.)

Part of the Indiahikes group, which has grown in leaps and bounds within the 12 months 2021.

Wanting forward at 2022: 

We’re trying ahead to the 12 months 2022 with a variety of optimism. 

It’s true that we’re beginning the 12 months with an Omicron variant that has left a query mark on our treks. However that is short-term. We imagine we will probably be out of the worst of the third wave of Covid disaster by the top of February.  

Quite a lot of the numerous steps that we now have taken in 2021 will bear fruit in 2022 — be it DIY trekking, our campuses at basecamps, new improvements in trekking or new routes to trek on. 

I hope you could be part of our work ahead in 2022, whether or not as a trekker, a group member or a effectively wisher. 🙂 

Blissful New Yr 2022!




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