To me, mountains are my ultimate bliss. Where am I going to go Trek next? This is what keeps me motivated and on my toes. During all my treks, I always push myself to outdo my own limits. This I believe helps me in becoming a better version of myself. 

Tell us A Little Bit About Your Initial Trekking Days. How Did You Start?

My first trek was actually quite random. It was a sudden plan with a few fellow pahadi (hill dwellers) friends who took me to Pindari Glacier Trek which ignited a fire within me. I just knew I wanted to pursue it. Slowly I developed within me a purpose, an aim to cover some of the toughest treks before I set out for mountaineering. 

How Many Treks Have You Done to Date? 

So far I have covered 6 treks

  • Pindari glacier
  • Kafni glacier + chilta top
  • Kuari pass
  • Milam glacier
  • Indrahar pass

All of the above are in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. 

Sanghmitra raikwal trekking experience

What Are Your Thoughts on Women Trekkers? What Obstacles Do You Face and What Advice Would You Give a Woman Going For Her First Trek? 

Women trekkers are already low in number which is why I want to talk about my experiences to encourage more women to take up the sport. Trekking for me is more of a mental game. Fear, hesitation etc is all in our mind. Once we overcome that, physical strength doesn't really matter. All you require is gear and sheer will power. 
My advice for beginners who are attempting their first trek with agencies or even on their own is to have the perfect gear which includes, a good pair of trekking shoes. I've met trekkers who aren't willing to invest in their gear but they aren't aware that if something goes wrong, it can be a lifetime of injury. So shoes are an absolute must. 

Here's an ideal list

  • Trekking Shoes
  • Raincovers
  • Water Bottles (Staying hydrated is crucial)
  • Glucon D
  • Dry Fruits
  • Dry Fit and Lightweight Clothes
  • SPF 50 + Sunscreen
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • Head Lamp instead of a torch (Keeping your hands free is the best idea while trekking)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toiletries
  • A Knife
  • Extra Carrybags (Especially for women to keep dirty undergarments separately)
  • A Sleeping Bag
  • Tents
  • Trekking Poles 

Trekking Poles is something you can consider buying when you seriously take up trekking as a sport. I remember using a stick in my initial ventures, probably the first 2 treks. It's important to look at the quality of the pole. A lot of trekkers complain about their poles because they generally take a lesser quality pole for tough treks. 


Which Trek Do You Remember As The Best But The Most Difficult?

Trekking essentials for women

Choose your trekking poles

Products You Would Swear By During a Trek?

  • Trek 100 shoes
  • The 3 in 1 jacket
  • A Down Jacket
  • Fresh and warm thermals or merino wool
  • A headlamp
  • A Rucksack 50,60 or 70 ltr (I have the Symbian 70 + 10)
  • A Trekking Pole and 
  • A hydration bladder

Do You Have Any Interesting Memory or Moment From Four Trek That Stays With You? 

I remember one incident vividly of meeting a porter who had only one hand. He Treks daily and covers 130km in a week carrying 80kgs of load on his back. He is the most amazing man I've ever come across in my life. His will and positivity toward life really inspired me to keep going.  Nothing is impossible. 

Motivation comes from within and Everything is in the mind so keep trekking and exploring newer heights.

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