Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trekking Bootcamp, Aug 25th


Around 200 members attended our Trekking Bootcamp last Saturday
Thanks to Mr. Kumar for sponsoring projector, audio and drinks
Thanks to Mr Kannan and Preeta for providing us with a space


[write up by Sathya]

Dear All,
Thanks a ton to Peter for his wonderful session on Trekking boot camp. He imparted indepth insights on understanding the terrain, Understanding maps, what to carry for 1 day trek and for over night treks (phenomenal attention to details/specifications on every thing we carry for the trek), planning for trails, Managing climate, Managing a trek, dangers during trekking,  Do’s and Don’ts during trekking for about 4+ hrs. to 200+ CTC members.  

Peter knowledge shared with the participants on the foll:
Understand the terrain, Pool, peaks, saddles, valleys, streams, Gorges, Boulders, slopes, Falls & Ridges
Understanding the topographic maps, contours, vegetation density,
Prepping your gears (what to carry for 1 day trek and for overnight treks), light backpack, light breathable shoes with Rigid sole/good grip, Ropes, First aid kid, reusable water bottle)
Planning for trails
Climate influence on trekking (same hill is very different in monsoon, summer and winter)
Cooking, campfire, campsite, how to make tents,
Dangers involved in trekking (water, loose rocks, insects including rescue activities)
GPS usage while trekking, latitude, longitude, Satellite screens, map screen, Compass & Bearing (too much science, sorry I am very weak in this)
Drink essential amount of water, do not gulp
What to do and what not to do during trekking

I did my first trekking at the age of 11 @ Javadu hills. Till I attended Peter’s session, I was not aware of most of the above details, which are important to know while trekking.
Looking back our CTCs journey of 4+ years, we have done about 300+ treks to places such as Nagala (90% of treks), Venkateswara Hills, Thada, Javadu, Shevaroy, Kolli, Palani, Kabinale, Wayanad..10000+ people had their unique experience of trekking with CTC members with no alcohol, no smoking, no littering, garbages to be disposed appropriately, 35+ social treks with less privileged 1000+ children had their first time outing to see experience the real bliss of life in the Nagala hills, with like minded people, who dedicate their day only for the kids.
1 unfortunate accident led to a lot of introspection/retrospection among our team members and I am sure most of us understand statistics and to how to interpret the statistics with the required knowledge.. While trekking involves certain amount of risk, I am sure, every thing in life is a risk, including walking on the road, riding a motor cycle, driving car on the high way, travelling in the bus/train/flight, taking stress at work, getting married (I could visualize a good smile on a few faces), etc..
I am confident, our CTC team does a good job while planning for treks, organizing the trek, volunteers helping each other, contribution to the society by all means, taking care of kids, while bringing smiles for ourselves.. Though CTC had done and would continue to do the best job during trekking, it is important to be cautious and take a measured risk while signing up for trek instead of blind risk.
I earnestly request every one to attend trekking boot camp before participating in treks or go through and understand Peter’s presentation on trekking bootcamp. As required, individuals can always continue to share their learning experiences while trekking..

Part of my profession, travelled almost all over the world and visited most of the places, one would like to see in their life. Never got so excited to see any place, like Nagala Heaven. Nagala is the place, which made me realize what my heart loves the most, apart from my husband, my daughter, my work and my friends. My friends are still wondering, what is so special in Nagala.. “you never got so excited to visit any part of the world, like it happens to you to visit Nagala”.  Vastness of nature, it really reminds us of our place in this world. There are few things in life, we could never visualize the beauty of it, till you experience it.
I started my first activity with CTC for beach cleaning activity on ECR with my daughter in 2009. Primary objective was not to contribute to the society and it was mainly to make my daughter understand, how important is to have the environment clean, how to preserve our mother nature while having funs with like minded people. After cleaning was done in our area, I realized that not only my primary objective was met, we also contributed a bit to the society. Till this visit, for me, it was always as “go to the beach, enjoy the beauty of waves/nature, leave the garbage there and carry good memories from the beach”.  Our life turned differently after this first time beach cleaning.
During the beach cleaning activity, motivation came from Peter, Sudhir and Thilak to join them for the social trek planned in the foll. Month. Again my thought process revolved around providing some exposure to my daughter about the less privileged children, their day to day challenges, how do they still smile and create happiness for each other and during trekking, she might also have company of those kids of her age to play with. I also wanted to enjoy the nature’s beauty and to understand my fitness level. While coming back from the trek, I realized that apart from providing a unique experience for my daughter along with my reduced stress level and both of us contributed a little to the kids, who needed something different in their life. Kids were very excited by end of the trek, like both of us. 
I am unable to forget a line from one of the kids during our social treks, “CTC has created the first memorable day in my life, as I have nothing to remember in my life, like birthday, my parents or sister or brother or relatives. Thanks to CTC for this”..  when I look back, all my trekking in the past, it has been always the social treks and I do not know, how would it be, if I ever participate in regular treks.
The steep cliffs, gorgeous gorges, crystal clear stream with its deliciously cool water, the wonderful foliage, the picture perfect valley, the cuts and carvings on the rocks which had been eroded by the stream for years together spoke for themselves. It spoke of the tenacity of nature, its ability to withstand time and man’s cruel interventions. It spoke of their proud history and antiquity, this is some thing all of us can witness and respect for a long time to cherish our memories.

Clarity of thoughts put into actions, is the ultimate wisdom. Trekking in the hills bring in tremendous happiness, irrespective of your state of mind. In front of the pool, you can hardly remember, what troubles you the most, what is your profession, what challenges did you have yesterday and what is coming up tom? Live the present is something, which you could experience in this heaven.
While we experience unique happiness in the hills, it is important for each one of us to be cautious about a few important aspects while trekking.
Listen and follow the organiser’s instructions carefully throughout the trek (military discipline pl)
Become a good swimmer, as more 95% of the trekking involves getting into the pool, crossing the river streams, etc..
Keep motivating yourself and everyone around you, even if you feel exhausted, positive energy spreads
Be with the team always while driving as well as while in the jungle J (my heavy heart speaks here)
If you ever get lost in the jungle, pl stand in the same place, instead of moving around to find your way..  wait for someone to reach you. once we start moving, if we move in the opposite direction, it becomes difficult to track the person
Eat, whenever you get a chance.. you never know, when will you be fed again
Drink less water while climbing up the hill (except a few sips of water), whenever essential
Thanks to Preetha & Family for supporting CTC to provide venue for some of our activities.
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