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Dear India Hikes team,I just completed my second Himalayan trek with India Hikes (Phulara Ridge 01-07 Oct 2022). First of all thanks for introducing the concept of safe and professionally managed trekking in India.You are indeed a pioneer in this field.However, I have couple of feedback points to make this trekking experience even better for everyone:
1. Please allow the option of Twin-sharing tents. Right now, you only have 3 ppl sharing a tent and it even happened once that even 4 of us were forcefully fitted into 1 tent. It obviously affects the quality of sleep which in turn, makes the next day's trek all the more difficult. Many ppl like me are having to drop the idea of trekking just for this issue2. Quality Control, in the recent Phulara trek, during rains, our Tent started flooding from the floor, it seems it was a Torn & Old tent that allowed rainwater to seep in. Hope you check the quality and upkeep of your gear for safety of trekkers.


Nice to have things:

A>  If possible, please allow some support in cleaning utensils etc wherever [possible and at least give us a proper cleaning platform (the COntrapment system is not effective most times)B> DIning tents are often too small esp when the trek is over-crowded beyond capacity. In one trek we had nearly 30 folks and there was no place in DIning tent to sit, it was big chaos that can be avoided,
I look forward to your response. I would love to go for more treks if the above issues are addressed.
Best regards

Mash

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13 hours ago, mash said:

Dear India Hikes team,I just completed my second Himalayan trek with India Hikes (Phulara Ridge 01-07 Oct 2022). First of all thanks for introducing the concept of safe and professionally managed trekking in India.You are indeed a pioneer in this field.However, I have couple of feedback points to make this trekking experience even better for everyone:
1. Please allow the option of Twin-sharing tents. Right now, you only have 3 ppl sharing a tent and it even happened once that even 4 of us were forcefully fitted into 1 tent. It obviously affects the quality of sleep which in turn, makes the next day's trek all the more difficult. Many ppl like me are having to drop the idea of trekking just for this issue2. Quality Control, in the recent Phulara trek, during rains, our Tent started flooding from the floor, it seems it was a Torn & Old tent that allowed rainwater to seep in. Hope you check the quality and upkeep of your gear for safety of trekkers.


Nice to have things:

A>  If possible, please allow some support in cleaning utensils etc wherever [possible and at least give us a proper cleaning platform (the COntrapment system is not effective most times)B> DIning tents are often too small esp when the trek is over-crowded beyond capacity. In one trek we had nearly 30 folks and there was no place in DIning tent to sit, it was big chaos that can be avoided,
I look forward to your response. I would love to go for more treks if the above issues are addressed.
Best regards

Mash

An option to pay a bit more for just double occupancy would be ideal rather than sleep next to 2 others stuffed into a tent.  

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Hi Manish

I am surprised to know that the 4 of you shared a tent last year.  This usually does not happen on Indiahikes treks. We will investigate it further to see the reason behind it.

From your recent trek experience, I would like to address the issues you have shared:

1) At the moment, for all our trek climbing up to 12000 feet, we provide twin-sharing tents. But for higher altitude treks, it is more resource intensive to carry more tents, like taking more mules/porters. That was the reason for years, we have been strong advocates of 3 people sharing a tent. But we do understand the concerns trekkers have. We have been working on bringing in lightweight tents which are 2 sharing on higher altitude treks as well.

I'll give you a bit of background. Two years of Covid had put a full stop to import or raw materials for all our tents. The backlog in the factories that manufacture our tents was huge. Earlier this year, the backlog was for a full one and half years. Thankfully, things have started to ease. Containers are moving and parts are coming in. Our manufacturers have also stepped up in their production. It will take another 3 or 4 months for things to ease.

On our Winter treks, we will be providing twin-sharing tents only.

2) It is not pleasant to see your equipment malfunction. The last week's heavy rains took a toll on our tents. As soon as we get any feedback from our trekkers, we immediately take steps to ensure that issue does not repeat in the next group. We got the feedback from your group and immediately took action about the camping experience. The next few groups are already up on the trek. All groups are doing fine and the tents are holding well.

To answer the other points, water contraption has been the most effective way for us to use water on the treks so far. It saves water and does the required job. But if you have any other suggestions which can save water and give a nice washing experience to trekkers, please do share your thoughts.

Coming to the dining tent, there are about 22 trekkers on most of our treks (depending on difficulty). With that group size, the dining tents are usually comfortable. But again, your team had heavy rainfall. That also added to your dining experience. But otherwise, trekkers usually enjoy the cozy setting of spending time in the dining tent. 

We have solved many problems of trekking in our country through trekkers' experience only. Your suggestions give us food for thought.

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Dear Indiahikes Team,

Over last 4 years, i have got a chance to do 6 treks with IH in different seasons and different parts of the Himalayas. Basis my experience, I would like to put before you my suggestion with respect to allowing 2 trekkers inside a tent instead of 3. The reasoning for this is summarized below:

1. The hygiene standards of each individual are different and I believe 2 is definitely more hygienic than 3. While the space inside the tent is good enough for 3 persons to sleep, it does not give enough breathing space with 3 inside. You do not feel fresh & hygienic when 3 persons breath inside a small place. Also, the trekkers don't have the luxury of bathing over the trek days which adds to the overall odour inside the tent. The situation gets even worse when all the 3 have to manage wet clothes & bags.    

2. Almost 70% of the time I have come across partners who either is snoring / coughing partner inside a tent. This is a natural condition anyone can get in to (including me). After a challenging day out in the mountains, you would be craving for a place of your own where you feel cozy, comfortable and relaxed - and that's your tent . You don't want to get in to a situation of managing a snoring / coughing partner the whole night and end up with sleepless nights on all trek days. It spoils the whole trek experience. By allowing 2 in a tent the probability of you ending up with a snoring partner reduced by 50% !!  

3. So far as the rationale that 3 in a tent makes a good company, I believe most of the times at the campsite, all the trekkers are out either in the dining tent or roaming around the campsite. This gives ample opportunity to mingle around and make the best friends with the fellow trekkers. We hardly get time inside our tent to do long conversations and have time together. 

4. Managing your trek bag get quite complicated with 3 inside !!  

5. If 3 in a tent is commercially more sensible option and has a bearing on the trek cost, my suggestion is that IH can give option to the trekkers between 2 and 3 in a tent and costing can be adjusted accordingly. While I believe this is more responsibility for IH, looks manageable...  

Thanks

Samir

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