In the prevailing culture of traditional expedition style trekking and mountaineering in the Himalayas, Blue Bolt offers essential lightweight backpacking skills and equipment to those who seek to explore independently.
“What makes this enterprise difficult but also riveting, is that independent exploration is a story and you don’t know where the story will lead but what you do know is that the story is about you.”
Introduction to independent exploration
Independent exploration is a self planned and self supported way of travel. Below are the basic differences between traditional expedition style and independent style.
Traditional Expedition / Independent
Porters or mules / Lightweight backpack
Cook, helpers and kitchen / One pot cooking
Guide / Contour maps, Satellite Images and GPS
Why travel this way? Well, there are many reasons.
See a little deeper.
Satisfaction in doing things on your own.
Simplicity and efficiency of the system.
Explore less known places.
Most environment friendly way of exploration.
For the hell of it.
The traditional Himalayan explorer uses heavy equipment, so he has to hire porters and mules to carry it till base camp. At higher camps, he has to do load ferries from one camp to another, in order to move his heavy equipment. The progress is slow and exhausting, so he has to depend on a larger team of climbers, sherpas and support staff to help him.
With the arrival of newer technologies, we now have light weight mountain equipment. A lighter pack allows us to carry all our gear without being dependent on porters and mules or without exerting ourselves with multiple load ferries. New school explorer carries dehydrated food as it is significantly lighter and smaller in size. Dehydrated meals, being pre-cooked, take less effort, time and fuel to prepare in high mountains. With the advent of satellite based GPS, and technology such as Google Earth, OpenStreetMap and smartphone apps, it is possible to study the terrain of any place and navigate there by yourself. These new school methods have transformed how we explore Himalayas and our planet. It has opened up new multi day independent exploration possibilities in various fields such as mountaineering, winter travel, ski touring, mountain biking, packrafting, paramountaineering, and ocean kayaking.
Lightweight Himalayan Trekking Program | 2016
Lightweight Himalayan Trekking Program (5N/6D) takes in place in Pir Panjal range of Himalayas which is accessible from Manali via Delhi. You will learn about trip planning, lightweight equipment, pitching shelters, one pot cooking and self navigation, among other things. The focus specifically will be on how these skills apply to high altitude Himalayan terrain and the goal is to make you confident in using these skill on your own independent trips. Group size is 4 people max, accompanied by 2 facilitators. Price and Location TBA.
Philosophy, notes, DIY projects, product reviews, recipes and trip reports.
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