- An upset stomach, often caused by a change in diet or consuming contaminated food or water, is a common ailment. To avoid it, one should pay particular attention to hygiene and quality of food and drinks.
- A cough, Cold and sore throats – common in the dry mountain air can lead to a chest infection. Sore throats can best be avoided by attempting not to breathe cold air directly through the mouth. Smoking should also be avoided.
- Joint muscle strains, foot problems & blisters are also common. Wearing good footwear will go a long way in avoiding them. For sprains & strains, apply cold water to reduce swelling and support the joint with a crepe bandage
- Trying to go up too fast too soon can lead to high altitude sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) occurs due to the effect of thin air at high altitudes and can be fatal at times even resulting in death. Climbers going up to 3000meters or above should give their body plenty of time to acclimatize. Should you develop initial symptoms of AMS such as a headache, loss of appetite, swelling of the limbs, nausea, the difficulty of sleeping, irregular breathing and unusual weariness, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical advice. Maintaining good fluid intake helps combat altitude sickness.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Darjeeling & Sikkim is a safe place to trek, provided the basic rules are observed. When the trek is being arranged by a trekking agency, most of the contingencies will be handled by its staff. But when trekking alone, you may not have anyone to turn for help. Therefore, trekkers should either hire a good trekking agency or hire reliable guides if trekking in smaller groups.
The best way to avoid risks while trekking is by planning, playing by the rules and realizing human limitations. In case of misfortune, a detailed message should be dispatched to a reliable organization or individual immediately for the rescue operation. If communication facilities are unavailable, the normal first aid principle should be followed till help arrives.
SOME OF THE SAFETY RULES TO ABIDE BY ARE:
- Do not trek alone.
- Do not display your cash or expensive items.
- keep belongings secure and within sight.
- Make arrangements for handling emergency situations beforehand.
- Register personal information and trekking plan details with respective embassies.
- Buy a travel insurance policy that covers helicopter rescue. Leave a copy of the details with an agency.
- Choose only authorized government registered adventure tour operators.