Everyone loves to explore and travel in a forest. It is a place to learn about animals, plants, insects, the environment, etc. You must get information about the equipment and learn about guidelines you need in the forest before traveling in it.
List of Required Equipment in your backpack
There are no human settlements or markets inside the jungle. You must equip yourself with the required and essential equipment while keeping the size and weight of luggage minimum. The requirement for some equipment depends upon the type of forest and the number of days you have to travel. Try to make a short stay in the jungle, or you need to get new supplies after some days. Here is a list of required equipment that you must have in your backpack before starting your journey toward the forest.
- Tent – it must be water-proof
- First-aid Box
- Head Torch
- Match Box or Lighter
- 4-6 Dry Bags
- Sleeping Bag
- One Extra dress – Full sleeve
- Two Pair of long-size socks
- Rain Coat or Water Proof Jacket
- Water Bottle 2-3 liter
- Packed Food
- Rifle – but use only if you have life threat
- Snow stick – if you are on a glacier or snow trek
Follow the Guidelines to Travel in Forest
You must follow guidelines while traveling in the forest. Without any prior knowledge about these things, never try to do those.
Harmful and poisonous bushes and trees
Forest is home to different types of trees and bushes that may be poisonous and harmful. Tourists are unknown there. They do not have any information about the nature of plants and trees in a forest. Whether those are poisonous or not is not easy to guess. You have to trek along different plants and bushes in it. Sometimes, you need to cut them to clear the path. Stop here! Do not try to cut or touch those plants or bushes without proper knowledge, as those may be poisonous and toxic. These plant cuts produce poison in the air or leave poison on your hands, which is harmful to your health and life. Auilegia pubiflora, Himalayan Columbine, is a common herb in the Himalayas. It contains some acidic compounds which are dangerous to humans. Aconitum napellus, Violet Monkshood, is a harmful plant. It generates a toxic compound, aconitine, throughout the plant but is high in its roots and leaves, which is much harmful to human.
Harmful flowers in a forest
Flowers are delightful in colors and give attractive and sweet fragrance. Forest is full of different types of flowers of different colors and sizes. They attract tourists due to their beautiful appearance. Their smell attracts someone at a distance. Some of the flowers are attractive in physical appearance but return harmful fragrances. Some of the flowers may be harmful to touch. So do not try to pluck or smell any flower in the forest without prior knowledge. Aesculus indica, Himalayan horse-chestnut, is a large size tree species. Its young leaves and flowers produce a saponin-class toxin called aesculin that destroys red blood cells.
Perfume attracts animals
Forest is the homeland of various wild animals and birds. You have a chance to explore the life of these wild animals and birds, but you have to keep a required distance. Otherwise, they may attack you due to your presence in their area. Before visiting any such trek inside the forest, never use perfume or fragrance. Perfumes and fragrances attract animals and force them to attack. Honey bees move toward fragrance, so it becomes difficult to stay if a swarm attracts you.
Never go close to wild animals
Forest is the home to wild animals, and you are outsides for them. They never like you inside their home. Going close to them is an invitation to attack. They feel themselves and their family in danger as you are close to them. They become furious and try to attach to protect themselves. It had better avoid close contact with wild animals. It will be good to explore their life and environment from a distance. It had better use a telescope or binoculars to explore the wildlife.
In August 2007, I was on a college tour in Swat Valley. Five of us plan to explore the jungle behind the Kunhar River in Bahrain. We were in the deep jungle on the mountain when we saw a leopard sleeping on a flat rock. We were much happy to see it and started to take his pictures. I warned everyone to turn off their camera flash and not make noise. But they did not like to follow instructions. We were observing his open eyes, which were glaring at us. I again asked them to relax and did not try to run. Move back slowly to show him as we had no plan to attack. Luckily he was already full, so he just rolled his tongue on his lips and warned us by staring continuously to avoid coming into my area. Now we turned back and moved toward our hotel in Bahrain.
Noise disturbs animals
Wild animals and birds in the jungle want calm and peace in their surroundings. When tourists plan to explore the forest, they become more excited and forget about the wild animals there. Your noise may disturb them and force them to attack your group. Forest is a place of an unexpected environment. How it looks is not it is? How it responds in the next moment, you can never thick. So whenever you want to explore a forest, especially one that is a new one for you, try to keep yourself silent and never try to make noise.
Avoid camera flash
Forest is full of natural views, so tourists want to save those beautiful and natural views inside their cameras. Most people want to take pictures of wildlife in their natural environment. Camera light may disturb them and attracts them toward you. They consider a flashlight as an attack on them. That flashlight will guide them to your location in the jungle. They can exactly attack you in return. You are ignorant about the situation, so you will not be in a position to protect yourself. So whenever you are in a forest and want to get pictures of animals and birds in their natural homeland, turn off your camera flash and any disturbing lights.
Avoid capturing animal kids
It will be more dangerous for your life if you plan to capture any animal’s kid. They become furious in that case and will try to release their babies at any cost. It will be a cause of someone’s death in your group. So you must avoid such activity. It is also against laws and considered criminal activity. So, it can cause some legal action against you.
Avoid killing animal
All of the attractions and beauty of the forest are due to wild animals and birds. They are considered an integral part and asset of the jungle. They are part of a balanced ecosystem, so killing them will disturb them and could be dangerous for overall life on the Earth. So whenever you plan to visit any forest, never try to kill any animal or bird. Some of these are already endangered species, so killing them will extinct those animals from the Earth. You can only pray to some birds or animals for a specific period if you have a valid license for it. In the Northern Areas, there are many endangered species, so avoid to kill them is crucial for their survival. Otherwise, they will be like dinosaurs for the next generations.
Keep kids out of the forest
Forest is a place of unexpected events and not a place for picnics for family and kids. Kids can never imagine its danger and never understand the guidelines and rules. In case of any unexpected event in the forest, they cannot protect themselves. Therefore, you have to give them protection and safety. But in an emergency, you are unable to protect them. So whenever you plan a trip to explore the jungle, you must keep in mind to void kids and family on this trip.
In September 2012, we, a group of fifteen members, are trekking on a pipeline trek from Ayubia to Donga Gali. One of the group members had taken kids with him. Trek has beautiful scenic views with lush green pine trees and was easy to complete. In the beginning, kids are very excited. Just after 30 minutes, they felt tired and wanted to go back. Their father tried to force them to move, but they insisted on return back. We also offer chocolate and some other eatables but refused to walk. Then we had to set them on our backs to complete the trek.
Avoid overweight yourself
Your luggage is part of your body weight, so it becomes difficult to move if you are overweight. Having more luggage creates a problem for you in trekking and hiking. This difficulty becomes worse if your trek is inside a forest. Moving slowly in a forest is dangerous for life, so you have to be quick in a forest. Therefore try to keep luggage in a small size and weight that does not disturb your movement. Having overweight luggage also becomes more dangerous in case of an emergency.
At the end of Saif-ul-Maluk Lake trek in June 2018, it became much steeper and not easy to move. Despite thirst and tiredness, another problem was my backpack. I was not able to throw it because there were many valuable items. There is only a choice to pull that luggage with me on the trek. I was the last one who had completed that trek.
Avoid insects in the forest
Forest is also a homeland of various insects, especially mosquitos, scorpions, spiders, snakes, etc. All of these are dangerous for humans. They have enough poison to kill anyone if not treated immediately. It is not easy to avoid them if you wear loose clothes. Sometimes, the length of weeds is more than two to three feet, so it contains several poisonous insects. They can bite on your legs if you have loose shorts. You had better wear tight clothes and long shoes before exploring any forest. You must always apply insect replant lotion on your face and hands.
In July 2017, we were in Arang Kel Neelum Valley. After crossing the village, we were in the forest with long grass around us. Everything was in its natural and untouched form. Therefore, it attracted us to explore more and more. There were several small insects and mosquitos in the grass. We had no idea what they were doing with our legs as we wore loose clothes. After five to six hours of trekking, we returned to our hotel. In the evening, we had different swelling spots on the legs and arms. They last for three to four days.
Always avoid these in a forest.
In the forest, you must avoid following activities unless it is a question of your life's safety. You will have to observe that activity whenever you have an ultimate need to do these in the jungle.
Avoid fire in a jungle
It is never allowed in a jungle to fire, as it would be dangerous in the forest. It becomes a reason for the fire in the jungle that may burn vast areas in the jungle and even kill a number of animals. Never burn fire just for fun, as it will become more dangerous in a jungle as you are burning without its consequences. You can fire in the jungle to avoid wild animals if you want to stay there at night. In that case, you must observe fire all time and never make it unavoidable. You can also fire to cook the same food but must turn off the fire completely after cooking.
Avoid throwing garbage.
Whenever you are exploring and trekking in the forest, avoid yourself to throw any garbage such as extra food, food wastage, disposables, plastic bags, etc.
Eatables attract wild animals that can be dangerous for your trip. Disposable and plastic bags are not environmentally friendly. They are also harmful to animals. Sometimes they eat those plastic bags and become dead. Instead of these, garbage will damage the beauty of the forest and exploit its natural view. You may dispose of organic waste by digging in the soil. You have all other wastes with your luggage within a plastic bag.
Avoid mobile in the jungle
Animals can listen to high-frequency waves and generate high-frequency sounds to send messages to their herd at a distance. Mobile devices also generate high-frequency radio waves, which disturb wild animals in a jungle. These signals also disturb their messages to other group members. So avoid the usage of mobile and such gadgets while trekking in the forest. If you have mobile phones in the jungle, you must turn them off.
Don’t cut trees
Trees and plants are the base of forest life. How can you imagine a forest without trees? Trees are home to several birds as well as animals. Therefore, cutting the tree means killing the animals and birds along with the beauty of the forest. If you want to burn a fire for any valid reason, try to collect fallen branches of trees instead of cutting a complete tree. You should avoid cutting small-size trees in any case as it will help to grow new trees in the jungle.
In the end, I hope your safe and memorable traveling and trekking in the forest. If you have any queries regarding some traveling, please write in the comments.