How would we ever have been able to go to such beautifully inaccessible places without the super invention called tents?
For the past four years, I have been actively hiking in the many different terrains of India. While in the tropics, we rarely used tents. Tents, in the tropics, only seemed to be a hindrance getting in my way of a clear view of the night sky. For the cold, a sleeping bag sufficed and when it rained a tarpaulin did. But it was only in the Himalayas I fell in love with camping and was awed by the sturdiness of these tents. It didn't matter if it was a hailstorm or if it was snowing or if it was heavy rain with heavy winds, these wonderful tents protected us from all. It used to get scary when the howling winds sounded as if they were threatening to uproot the pitched tents or when raindrops/hailstorms hit the surface of the tents with such force that it felt like all hell was breaking lose outside, but they tents hardly gave in. They stood their ground, and we could happily hike from mountain to mountain reaching the most inaccessible places on foot.
Keeping that in mind, here's my ode to the lovely tents that helped me reach places!
|While getting up early in the morning is tough, beautiful sunny days like this are a welcome change from the cold chilly early mornings. On such mornings, I usually get up and quickly survey my surroundings for views like this. Taken on the second day of the trek to reach Stok Kangri Summit in Ladakh.|
|On the many occasions where we set up camp by sunset, no points for guessing what's my favorite thing to do. I find a vantage point and enjoy the changing colors in the sky! Taken while returning from a trek in Kashmir.|
|While trying to cross the 5000m Kugti Pass that separates the green Chamba from the barren Lahaul Valley, we were ascending quite rapidly. In 3 days we reached from an altitude of 8000ft to 14000ft and the next day would see us crossing the 16000+ft high pass. In order to acclimatize better and because of the rain in the morning, we took rest in this beautiful glacial valley for a day. As you can see, we were the only occupants around and till date it is only of my most memorable camping experiences Taken in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh.|
|Another benefit of camping is it let's you get you far away from the pollution and light pollution. Saw the milkyway for the first time when I was also camping for the first time, since then I have been always waiting outside the tents in the cold, just to witness the stars and the galaxy! Shot while camping on the way to Stok Kangri Summit, Ladakh.|
|It was in Kashmir that I encountered so much snow on almost all days. We had to cross this snow ridden pass twice and walk on steep slippery snow slopes of the mountains. Camping with so much snow around was another memorable experience, snow sure makes the surroundings look good. This was taken when we were camping on the second day in Kashmir.|
|During my first trek in the Himalayas, after about 3-4 days we were camping at a high altitude of 14500+ ft. The afternoon brought a storm of hails covering everything around us in little snow balls of white. And as always, we were crouched safe inside the tents watching the hail storm and listening to the scary noise of tents and metal plates being hit by the hail. This was taken during my trek to Roopkund in the Gharwal Himalayas.|
|Light Painting in the darkness can be a lot of fun. In Kashmir, after darkness fell, we came out with a powerful flashlight and light painted the entire campsite while the milkyway was slowly rising to create this image. With the faint glow from within the tents, photographing night scenes around campsites is one of favorite things to do now-a-days. Taken while trekking in Kashmir.|
|This is the base camp for Stok Kangri Summit. The number of tents pitched in that small flat land surrounded by high peaks shows a small glimpse of how crowded the Everest Base Camp could be. Tents of all shapes and colors can be seen pitched here along with people of many nationalities attempting 6000+m Stok Kangri Climb.|
|Well you'll hardly find images of tents set up in the day light from me. That is because usually in the mornings, we are in a hurry to pack up and start the days's trek. And by afternoon or evening, we are so tired from the day's trek that all we want to do is to rest more. Only by evening, after some tea and snacks does the energy is regained. Hence all the night shots of camping. :) Image taken near Sonmarg, Kashmir.|
|Because there's no such thing as too much of milkyway, so here's one more celebrating the awesomeness of tents, camping, mountains and the milkyway! Image taken in Kashmir.|
Have you ever camped in tents? How has your experience been?
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