Disturbed with the monotony of routine life and cloistered office cubicles, young professionals across India are looking for travel experiences which bring them closer to nature and allow them to disconnect for a while.
While jungle treks and hiking through dense forests may sound like the ultimate adventure, many of us often fail to acknowledge the underlying risks and dangers, and the fact that our misguided travel exploits often come at the cost of disturbing these self-containing ecosystems.
After all, we are the ones entering forested areas – the home of many other species, and it is vital that we behave responsibly. How we behave in such scenarios plays a significant role in maintaining nature’s equilibrium that can otherwise be threatened by our ignorance.
Having said that, this shouldn’t hold us back from exploring jungles and connecting with nature. Instead, we should prepare well in advance, and a little more research will always come in handy.
Well, we have done that extra homework for you! Here are some tried-and-tested tips and useful advice that you should keep in mind while venturing out into the wild:
1. Seek official permission from the forest officials before planning trips to endangered zones.
Many deaths have occurred when people decided to overlook the need for such permits and ventured about on their own. In such a scenario, the risks could range from an encounter with a wild animal, forest fires to even an extremely perilous route that gets you lost.
Always remember that these officials have spent years in the forests and definitely know better. Look out for Forest Department-assisted tours or treks, which will take you through routes that may not just be safe, but also picturesque.
2. Travel light and carry only what is necessary.
Keep in mind that forests are full of wild animals, and it is essential to pay heed to the food items that are being carried. While biscuits are fine, steer clear of chips and other ‘crunchy’ snacks that make noise. It is preferable that you opt out of carrying fruits as these can easily attract the attention of monkeys. The idea is to carry only those food items that make as little noise as possible.
3. Pay attention to what you wear.
Treks in the jingle should be carried out without attracting any attention – which is the safer option for both you and the animals. It is primarily for this reason that forest officers, who operate in dense forests, wear clothing with a camouflage pattern on it. So, avoid wearing bright colours that will stand out and instead choose darker hues that will blend in well.
NOTE: This tip must especially not be ignored because bright-coloured attire confuses wild birds, who can mistake you for a mate, upsetting all your plans.
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4. Avoid perfumes or strong-scented fragrances.
This point is particularly important is because wild animals inherently have a robust sense of smell—it helps them survive in the wild. Strong, flowery scents can attract honeybees, and you surely don’t want to turn your forest trek into a rather painful affair.
The scent can also attract larger animals who are curious, or worse, turn aggressive due to the foreign smells.
5. Dress well to avoid leeches
A forest is not a place to flaunt expensive outfits. It houses countless creepy-crawlies, so please make sure you are appropriately dressed and well-covered. A pair of good trekking shoes is definitely a must!
Make sure your arms and legs are covered, and you occasionally check your body for ticks, mites and leeches.
Last but not least, please respect the nature and its wild animals, and do not leave behind any garbage. We hope these tips help you and you have an enjoyable trip.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)